Monday, June 19, 2017

The DivaCup Review: Clean, Green, and Frugal

If you're not a human being who bleeds once a month, you may want to skip this post. For everyone else, I have good news: a menstrual cup will change you life. No, really. I swear.  

I've been using The DivaCup since January 2016, and my period has never been better. To put it simply, menstrual cups are a cleaner, greener, and far more frugal way to deal with my monthly flow. You might say I've become a bit evangelical about them - after two IPAs, I'm likely to round up every woman at the brewery, stand on an empty keg, and loudly extol the virtues of menstrual cups. (Okay, I did not stand on a keg, but the rest of that sentence is basically accurate.) 

I've been meaning to review The DivaCup for quite some time, and reached out to the company because why not? They kindly offered to host a giveaway (!!!) so now I get to wax poetic about one of my favorite things, and in return you might win your very own DivaCup! Let's get to it. (NOTE: The giveaway is now closed, but the review still stands!) 

First things first: what the heck is a menstrual cup? 

A menstrual cup is a small cup made from 100% healthcare grade silicone which you insert into your vagina during your period. When inserted correctly (I'll get to that part in a minute) the rim forms a seal, and the cup collects menstrual fluids over the course of the day. When you're ready to empty it out, just remove the cup, dump the contents, and clean it in the sink with soap and warm water. 

Menstrual cups are eco-friendly due to the fact that they're reusable - you're not filling up landfills with feminine hygiene products every month. They're also a great way to save money - The DivaCup retails at $39, and you can use the same one for years as long as you take good care of it. Never again will you have to wad toilet paper in your panties while you run to the drugstore for an emergency box of tampons. 

Is The DivaCup difficult to insert? 

I won't lie - it can take a few tries to get it right. The first few times I wore mine, I was nervous, a bit uncomfortable, and full of fear that I'd spill at any moment. Watching some videos helped, as did experimenting with various folding methods. Personally, I've found the taco fold (or U fold) to be easiest, but every body is different. 

Is it comfortable? 

Absolutely. I often forget my DivaCup is in, mostly because you can wear it for up to twelve (!!!) hours. I empty and clean mine twice a day - in the morning and at night - and it only takes a few minutes. I've taken it camping (nothing to pack out!), worn it during a half marathon (flawless!), and popped it in before a cross-country flight (easy peasy, plus saves so much room in my carry-on). Ocassionally it feels as if it's riding low, and in that case I just take it out and reinsert until it sits right. 

Does it ever leak? 

Every once in a while, but on those days it's more a user-error than something The DivaCup did. Even though I consider myself a menstrual cup pro, nobody is perfect. Just last month my taco didn't quite unfold and... well... let's just say I'm glad I only buy black underwear. (<-- a girlfriend offered up this lifehack a few years ago, and I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner. Things happen all month long! Why tempt fate with a pair of tighty whities?) I will say that as someone with a lighter flow, I've never leaked due the cup overflowing, and I've never ruined a pair of pants or a dress. 

How do you clean it? 

Warm water and unscented soap is all you really need. The only drawback is if you're using a public bathroom, since you have to wash it in the sink. This hasn't been an issue for me because I'm generally home at least once every twelve hours, and my workplace has private bathrooms. If you're stuck in a stall, you can simply wipe it clean with toilet paper and pop it back in, then give it a good scrub at a more convenient time. 

Are there any downsides? 

It can take a few tries to learn how to insert it, and also how to remove it. I had some trouble the first time and was convinced my DivaCup was lost forever in my body. The DivaCup comes in two sizes. There's a "small" for women under 30 or who haven't had children, and a "large" for women over 30 or who have given birth. I'm 34 but childfree, and erred on the size of small which has served me well. (Thank you, Kegels.) 

Finally, if you're queasy about blood and bodily fluids, a menstrual cup may not be a great choice. You'll definitely be up close and personal with your body, and the insertion and removal process means your fingers are going places. Personally, I don't mind seeing blood and fluids - you get used to it and even appreciate it. After all, it's a natural part of the body and a sign that things are working as they should. 

Where can I buy The DivaCup? 

You can buy it many stores, order one online, or win one by entering this giveaway - the rules are below! 

How to enter to win The DivaCup: 

There are two ways to enter this giveaway, for a total of two chances per person. Leave a comment on this blog post for your first entry; like Better Than Never's Facebook page for a second entry. Log your entries using the widget below, which will help me choose a random winner. This contest will end on Sunday, June 26th, at midnight, and I'll announce a winner on Monday. Good luck, and thanks for playing! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway * I was not paid for this review; all opinions are my own. 
** The giveaway is only open to readers in Canada and the USA.