Finally! There's a Product that Means Never Buying Another Tampon Ever Again

The Diva Cup: we tried it, and aren't ashamed to admit how much we love it! (Seriously.)

Lets be frank here, ladies: supplies for that time of the month are not always cheap. I don't know about you, but when it comes to tampons, I know exactly which kind works for me. Even if its not the cheapest on the shelf, I'm not skimping on it. I cannot let my tampon routine be derailed by a plummeting economy. The risks of public embarrassment are too high.

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But, what if I told you there is another way? I was recently sent the Diva Cup, a silicone menstrual apparatus that is inserted and then emptied, cleaned and re-inserted about every 12 hours. When I first heard about this item I was skeptical, as I think many are. It sounds messy and unhygienic.

Then I delved into online research. There are entire forums of women who are dedicated and passionate about menstrual cups. Many claim it has changed their life for the better, and saved them money. Others mention that using one is more environmentally sound than using tampons or pads; the cup creates no waste, whereas more mainstream options fill up garbage pails daily.

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So, I tried it… a few times now. And I'm not going to lie, using this thing precisely takes practice. You need to be comfortable with your body. You need to decide which insertion method and folding technique works for you. (There are many not-so-gross YouTube videos devoted to this.) You need to ruthlessly Google all of your questions, and not be afraid of the answers. You need to embrace the strong community of ardent cup users on the Web. They'll comfort you in times of need: "No, it can't get lost up there!"

But when you get it to work, you'll see why it's worth it. You can't feel the silicone inside of you. It doesn't dry you out and effect your pH like tampons do. There is virtually no risk of leakage if used properly. There's even a funny little sense of empowerment. And there are no more monthly purchases of tampons or pads. The cup is completely reusable, and could potentially last you forever.

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The Diva Cup goes for $25 to $40, depending on where you purchase it. It's available in many health food stores and online, and it comes in two different designs for pre- and post-childbirth. There are other brands of cups out there too in different sizes, materials and even colors. Once skeptical, I've now become a proud proponent and user of the Diva Cup.

So ladies, what do you think? Have you used a menstrual cup? Would you try this?

By Elspeth Velten