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It seems like everywhere I turn I'm running into articles and products that encourage greener living and eco-friendly alternatives to things we use everyday. So it's no wonder that people are beginning to think of environmentally friendly feminine hygiene products.

While many have pointed out the wonders of cloth pads, which are reusable (and come in cute patterns!), I'm not sure how I feel about switching from tampons to something that still makes me feel like I'm waddling around a bit. I don't think I could get over the comfort factor.

I think this is one of the strengths of the Diva Cup, a soft silicone cup that is inserted into the vagina and collects blood from your menstrual cycle. Sounds a bit queasy-making initially, but the cup has some wonderful benefits:

* The Diva Cup can be worn safely for 12 hours at a time - when you're ready to remove it, it can be emptied out, washed with soap and water and reinserted.

* It won't dry out your vaginal lining and it hasn't been bleached, like tampons. Chemical free hygiene products are better for the environment and your body!

*The Diva Cup can be used for a year. I use about 8-10 tampons a month on average. In one year alone, I'm using between 96 and 120 tampons! One Diva Cup costs about $25. You do the math.

* The Diva Cup is a great environmentally friendly alternative to tampons and pads. The website points out the benefits of being a 'Green' Diva:

"Women, on average, experience a lifetime menstruation span of 41 years (11-52). From use of disposable feminine hygiene, an estimated 12 billion sanitary pads and 7 billion tampons are dumped into the North American environment each year (1998).

Add a Comment23 Comments

My question is this: is it messing when trying to take it out if the cup is full of blood. Would it spill everywhere and get on everything (mainly on heavy days)?

January 30, 2010 - 10:33am
(reply to JenRebekah)

You take it out while sitting on the toilet, so the blood goes straight down the loo.

January 30, 2010 - 10:42am
EmpowHER Guest

Hello! I found your article very good an interesting! I have been using my Divacup for 3.5 years now and it has been the best choice ever. However, I would like to add something to your article. A menstrual cup, thanks to the quality of its silicon, can last up to 10 years if well taken care of. One year is too little and, in my opinion, a pointless waste if each year we will throw away barely old menstrual cups.

January 19, 2010 - 10:08am
EmpowHER Guest

There are also other options... one being sponges. Reusable, natural sponges available at heath food stores, often marketed as Venus Sponges.
I used the Keeper for years, but found it uncomfortable when bike riding, so started with the sponges and used them still.

October 24, 2009 - 11:20am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

How well do the sponges work? Do you have problems with leaking? How often do you have to wash them out?

October 24, 2009 - 12:40pm
EmpowHER Guest

I got my diva cup 4 years ago, its the best thing to happen to my cootch, no joke. I lost it once and had to use tampons for a month and I thought i was going to die of discomfort.

October 11, 2009 - 10:41am
EmpowHER Guest

I really wanted to like the Diva cup, but I found it uncomfortable. It was definitely better than pads, but I hate to say that I still prefer tampons. I tried it for a few months, but the constant pressure was too much. I think I might be smaller than most women this was intended for. They have a money back guarantee, but I haven't given up on it yet.

October 7, 2009 - 2:33pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

There are lots of other cups out there that are smaller and softer than the Diva Cup. I tried the Diva myself and found it very uncomfortable. Here's a community site for cup users that discusses all the different brands and pros and cons of each. Good luck! http://menstrualcups.org/

October 23, 2009 - 1:26pm
EmpowHER Guest

Uh... you don't have to wash it every 2 hours. Every TWELVE hours, but around 8 will probably be more comfortable.

You know what's just as gross? Collected period blood in a diaper-like pad under your crotch. Plus, isn't walking around with it next to your skin all day pretty nasty?

Just sayin'.

September 30, 2009 - 5:16pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Agreed. The comments about it being disgusting and unsanitary are frankly, ignorant. If your own body grosses you out that much, you have bigger problems than what to do about your period. It's not that gross at all and it's not uncomfortable. I've never had any issues using the restroom, either, that must be a case by case issue. Disgusting and uncomfortable - pads - by a long shot.

October 7, 2009 - 11:52am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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