The DivaCup is a flexible, silicone cup that folds into a u-shape and then rounds back out when placed in the vagina. “It’s essentially a bendy shot glass.”
Paul Simon sang about “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” Kate Bush had “50 Words for Snow” and I have 50 different names for my period: “Red Dawn,” “The Crimson Tide” and a slew of other descriptions unfit to print. The names became much kinder, however, once I took the advice of several friends and made the move from tampons to the DivaCup.
This menstrual cup is a game-changer.
The breakdown: It’s a flexible, silicone cup that folds into a u-shape and then rounds back out when placed in the vagina. As one friend put it, “It’s essentially a bendy shot glass.”
Once it is suctioned in place, the DivaCup can be left in for 12 hours at a time and collects flow instead of absorbing it. “DivaCup must be emptied, washed and reinserted at least 2 times a day (twice in a 24 hour period) and can be worn overnight without concern of leaking,” reads the company’s website.
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“In many ways, it’s a variation on the diaphragm,” says Dr. Lauren F. Streicher, associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University.
The first menstrual cups similar to today’s models were invented in 1937 by actress Leona Chalmers and made of latex rubber. An indirect descendant, the DivaCup is one of many different menstrual cups on the market. There is no additional bacterial risk, and it makes for a more environmentally sound choice.
“Certainly, we’re not more concerned with toxic shock syndrome with the DivaCup,” Streicher says.
Streicher says there isn’t a particular condition that should prevent someone from using the product; as is the case with any abnormal bleeding, it’s important to see a doctor immediately if any spotting or extreme flow changes occur.
While I am less than in love with its super-gendered name, my experiences with the DivaCup have me feeling like Celine, Mariah and Beyoncé all at once. I am finally able to run, dance and get to work without freaking out about what my body is going to do next.