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Your Questions Answered: Details on the DivaCup

By HERWriter
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Here it is, lucky readers! Your questions answered by a proud user of the DivaCup. Emily Gordon first tried this alternative menstrual product two years ago, and hasn’t looked back since. Read on to hear her advice and experience on using, cleaning and learning to love your cup.

Hannah: Why did you decide to get a menstrual cup?

Emily: Well, when I first learned about it from a friend I was disgusted with the idea of dealing with menstrual blood and a reusable cup. But then a couple years later I took a Women’s Studies class where I learned more about the details of the cup and the benefits of using one, and the idea became much more interesting to me. I was especially struck by the way tampon companies build consumer loyalty and suck buyers in – how if you buy their product once, you will buy it for life. I didn’t like the idea of corporations using my natural body cycle as a money-making endeavor. My Women’s Studies class helped me to see that there are options outside of the more mainstream menstrual products. When I actually thought about the DivaCup more critically, I realized that almost every woman has a period so there should be nothing gross about it! We all bleed, it all looks and smells and feels the same – it’s what we all experience! So why be disgusted?

Hannah: Why did you choose the DivaCup rather than the Keeper?

Emily: Actually I just learned about the DivaCup first, but if it had been the other way around, I might have picked the Keeper instead. Really, it was the benefits compared to tampons that I cared about. Any menstrual cup has huge cost benefits, health benefits, environmental benefits – that’s what sold me. Not necessarily the brand name. I just came across it first. I guess maybe color could have been a deciding factor if I was doing it again – I like the clear option better than the brown.

Hannah: What was it like, using the DivaCup for the first time?

Emily: Well, not so great at first. I remember I was really nervous trying to put it in; my muscles were too tight and I couldn’t insert it comfortably. I actually had to get my friend from down the hall to come talk me through it.

Add a Comment3 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I was also wondering how accessible DivaCup and other cups are to women around the country, especially lower-income women. Is DivaCup like so many "Go Green, Buy Organic, etc" initiatives that in actuality are only feasible for the upper-middle class? Or, hopefully, not?

September 17, 2010 - 3:01pm
HERWriter (reply to Anonymous)

This is a great question.

In my sampling of the market, cups are available for about 37 dollars, regardless of brand. And while 40 dollars is a lot for a single purchase, you have to keep in mind how much money it saves in the long run. A box of 30 tampons (one period's worth, more or less) costs 5-8 dollars, depending on type. So, basically it should take about 5 months to make back the money spent on a cup. And they can last for up to 10 years!!

It DOES end up being a more cost-efficient purchase in the end (as do many green initiatives) but the initial investment can certainly be a struggle. Luckily, at least in my experience, DivaCup has been very responsive to customer questions. I wonder if they would also be responsive to subsidized costs for lower class women... I will investigate and get back to you!

September 18, 2010 - 8:50am
EmpowHER Guest

"In retrospect, it was the dialogue that was really powerful! How two women can bond over their periods and have an open conversation on menstruation – that is one of the greatest things about DivaCup: Normalizing society’s ideas about bleeding." That's pretty huge. Way to go, DivaCup (et al)!

September 17, 2010 - 2:59pm
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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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