Diva Cup Review: Pros and Cons of Menstrual Cups

March 19, 2020

The Diva Cup has actually been around for several years now, but I only decided to try it last year because the concept of using a cup to collect your period blood felt weird and scary to me. But several friends told me that menstrual cups were super practical, so I decided to take the plunge. 

I’ve been using the cup for 7 cycles now. There was definitely a learning curve in the first cycle—I had a lot of trouble inserting, and it felt like I was going to suction my insides out when I was trying to remove it. The very first time I used the cup, it also made me feel like I needed to pee (all these details are such a pleasant way to start a blog post lol). That said, I think I’ve gotten the hang of now, and I’ve grown to really like the cup, so I want to share my thoughts with people who are considering making the switch.

*This post contains affiliate links, meaning I earn a small commission on any purchases made through those links. Any purchases help me keep my blog running so I can write more guides and reviews to try to help readers like you!*

How the Diva Cup Works

The Diva Cup is basically a silicone suction cup that comes in 3 sizes, models 0-2. There’s a recommended size based on your age, flow, whether you’ve given birth, etc. I got model 1, which is the one recommended to people between 19-30 years old who haven’t given birth. 

To insert the cup, you have to fold it—there are many different ways to fold it, but the most popular is probably the C-fold, where you basically fold the cup in half vertically. Once inserted, you should rotate the cup to make sure it’s fully open by grabbing onto the bottom of it. To remove the cup, break the seal by pinching or pressing the bottom, and then you can help get it out with the tail.

If you want a closer look at the cup, go to 1:20 in the video below (basically a video version of this post).

Reasons to Switch to a Menstrual Cup

You might be wondering why anyone would want to subject themselves to a menstrual cup when pads and tampons exist and are perfectly good. Here are some reasons to choose the cup instead:

1. The cup can stay inserted for a longer time than a tampon

You can keep it in for 12 hours vs. a tampon’s 8 hours. You won’t have to worry about it as much, which is especially helpful while you’re sleeping, or if you have a long, active day ahead of you.

2. Less risk of leaking (big game changer for swimming & sleeping)

Since the cup is actually holding your blood, there’s also less risk of leaking, which might happen if you soak through your tampon. The cup is especially useful for swimming, because it seems way more hygienic than a wet tampon. It’s also awesome for sleeping because you can sleep in whatever position you want, without worrying about bleeding all over the bed. It honestly almost doesn’t even feel like you’re on your period when you use the cup, especially while you’re sleeping.

3. Save money on menstrual products

Money-wise, you might actually be able to save money using the cup over time. The Diva Cup is $30 retail, which is a little pricey, but you can find cheaper brands online, and you can also find cheaper Diva cups on eBay, which is what I did (and I promise they’re new, not used). Pads and tampons can really add up, so if you do the math and see how much you spend monthly on them, you’ll probably find that using a menstrual cup will pay off in less than a year. If you take good care of the cup, people have reported that they’ve lasted several years, and some companies claim that you can use them up to 10 years. 

4. Produce less waste

Finally, there’s also the environmental aspect of the cup—it’s reusable, so you won’t be generating nearly as much waste as you would with tampons and pads. According to CNN, one cup produces .4% of the plastic waste generated by pads over 10 years, and 6% of that for tampons.

Pros and Cons of the Diva Cup

Pros of the Diva Cup

I’ve been through most of these already, but here’s a quick summary:

  • It’s incredibly practical for sleeping and swimming—you can worry less about leaks, and I personally haven’t had an issue with leaks after using the cup for 7 months.
  • You can save money on tampons and pads. If you already have a large supply of these, one thing that might work is switching between pads and tampons and the cup. I’ve been using the cup for more fitness-related activities and sleeping, and using a pad otherwise. This helps with the transition since you’re not switching to the cup cold turkey, and you can use up the pads/tampons you have left.
  • Using the cup cuts down on waste from menstrual products.
  • The Diva Cup is widely available, and you can easily pick it up in many grocery store chains like Target.
  • I had a really good experience with the Diva Cup’s customer service. I rambled about my initial Diva Cup struggles in an Instagram caption and tagged their account, and I got a comment from their account asking me to email their support to figure out why I was having some issues. The support team sent me a very thorough and prompt email, and I thought that was awesome, because it’s not every day that a company has such a reactive and helpful social media account and support team.

Cons of the Diva Cup

There isn’t really anything I don’t like about the cup, but there are some things to be aware of:

  • The Diva Cup is apparently one of the most rigid menstrual cups out there, which makes it a little harder to insert and remove, and can cause discomfort. I’ve also been recommended the Athena Cup by a friend, so if you’re concerned about comfort, you might want to look into that. The Athena Cup is also half the retail price, at $15.
  • The upfront cost of the Diva Cup can be expensive, but you can find cheaper *new* ones on eBay, like I mentioned. I got mine for $15, half of the $30 retail price. 
  • Diva Cups are not the best color—the translucent white gets stained more easily than other colors. I’ve had mine for just over half a year, and have noticed some light discoloration.
  • You should be careful to time your outings with your cup emptying schedule. I haven’t had to change my cup in public restrooms because the volume has been more than plenty for my flow, but if you’re planning to have a long day out, you might want to plan ahead if you don’t want to empty the cup in a public restroom. 
  • Cleaning the cup can be a little tedious, as you have to boil the cup in water for 20 minutes between each cycle. Note that it’s not every time you use it, but between each cycle. For uses within the same cycle, you can simply wash it off with water. Even though you only have to boil the cup monthly, it’s still a little more work than single-use pads and tampons.

Where to Buy the Diva Cup

You can pick the Diva Cup up in almost any major grocery or convenience store, but you can also get it online:

(Prices current at time of posting)

You might also consider the Athena Cup ($16), the Lunette Cup ($27), or the Lena Cup ($25). I’ve only used the Diva Cup, so I can’t say much about the others, but they’re supposed to be less rigid than the Diva Cup, and are less likely to stain since they’re not clear.

I hope you found this post helpful, and let me know if you have any questions!

You might also like these posts on sustainability:

7 Common Misconceptions About Sustainable Fashion
Wastetarianism: An Alternative to Veganism?

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About Me

I'm Lily, and I run races and go places (& blog about it).
As a liberal arts grad/endurance athlete/travel enthusiast, I find beauty in many spheres. Consequently, I have no idea where life will lead me. Here is where I document my (mis)adventures and try to offer some helpful advice. Feel free to join me for the ride. Read More

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