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To follow up on my other post: community.livejournal.com/menstrual_cups/1661838.html , I wrote the Diva Cup people again.

My email:

Hi Christie,
I'm part of a online forum or community that is devoted to menstrual cup information. I posted our email correspondence (I hope that is okay with you) on there to share with the members since a lot of us were curious about the life of the Diva Cup. I wasn't sure if I was just imagining the 10 year claim or read it from another website other than yours. I definitely did remember your website saying that the cup could last for more than 1 year, and someone on the community linked me to this, which is an old archived Diva Cup website copyright 2004. http://web.archive.org/web/20050115043223/http://www.divacup.com/

If you go to FAQ and click on "How long does the Diva Cup last?", you can see that the answer contains this "The material is very durable, and with proper care, The DivaCup™ should last for many years. The DivaCup™ can be boiled to sterilize the cup, and rubbing alcohol can be used to help remove the natural discoloration. The material and the cup itself should last indefinitely, but since it is a hygienic product, some women prefer to replace the cup every year or two." 

So how come Diva International now claims it is best to replace the cup after a year, when it should last indefinitely (with proper care, of course)? Some women on the forum I belong to (with over 4,000 members) have used the cup for 10 years with no problems at all.

Thanks for your time, I am eager to hear what you think about this.


And their reply:

"Dear Andrea:

Thank you for the email.

In the past we indicated that it could be used “many years.”

Although some other manufacturers claim a ten year use, Diva International has over 16 years experience in the menstrual cup category.  Our team has over 38 years combined experience in natural feminine hygiene.  This experience leads us to the suggest that just as one would replace mascara or a toothbrush in a timely manner, one should replace a menstrual cup annually because of its personal nature.  As we state in our FAQs, it is ultimately up to a woman as to when she will replace her cup.

We modified the indication from “many years” to “annually” to adhere to government regulations and ISO standards that require us to use our informed opinion to guide consumers.

The silicone is the same type of silicone (healthcare quality) that we have always used- nothing has changed in our 6 years of business.

By following our explicit cleaning instructions found in the FAQs on our website and by using The DivaWash (that has been specifically formulated for the DivaCup) or other non-fragranced, mild soap and avoiding any cleansers/substances that would compromise the silicone, the cup should hold up well.  There are a wide range of pH levels found in vaginas.  For some women a high pH level will compromise the silicone faster than other pH levels.  Again, a woman usually knows when to replace their cup.

Hope this helps!

The Diva Cup Team "

I wrote it before I realized that other cup companies (Keeper, Ladycup, Lunette, Mooncup UK) all said they can be used for many years, even up to 15. I'm not going to write them back because I don't think it will do any good but if any of you feel you want to, they got back to me very quickly.
Kellyrainbowtastic on April 22nd, 2009 06:25 pm (UTC)
I wonder if the ISO standards this woman mentions have anything to do with the Lunette issue?
Angela, the not-so-teenaged dementorcrazykitties03 on April 22nd, 2009 06:36 pm (UTC)
ISO is a voluntary organization. In order to be ISO certified, you have to comply with whatever version of the ISO Standard you are seeking certification in. ISO has no legal authority. It's something that a company can choose to do or not. If a company is seeking ISO certification, they would not stop conducting their business during that time.

I work for a company that is ISO certified and used to work in the Quality department and have been through more than a few ISO audits, so I'm not just trying to sound like a know it all or anything like that.
virushumanvirushuman on April 22nd, 2009 07:05 pm (UTC)
So it sure seems like they changed it to make more money, in my opinion.
Angela, the not-so-teenaged dementor: cuffscrazykitties03 on April 22nd, 2009 07:37 pm (UTC)
I just want to make it clear that I don't know what Standard they are certified to and my company is not in manufacturing, so I certainly can't speak to that as far as specific requirements they may have to follow for their particular standard. I am familiar with the 9001:2000 standard.

In just making a guess from my experience, I'm guessing that their auditor told them that "many years" is too vague and they needed to offer a more concrete guideline. Diva decided on one year.

Yes, I do feel like they probably went with one year to hopefully sell more cups. Why state 2-3 years when they can go with 1? Especially if they can justify that with talk about PH levels and compromising the silicone. I don't know, it just seems like if the material were that easily degraded that it wouldn't be surgically placed in the body, but that's just my opinion. Maybe some women have to replace their cups after a year, but I imagine they are in the minority.
crochetaduckcrochetaduck on April 22nd, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)
I don't have any medical background or anything, but it seems plausible to me that the vagina might have a different PH from other parts of the body. I hope someone else can clear this up for us.
Why should she live to fill the world with words?suewin on April 22nd, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC)
I dont have any medical background either....
But my thought on it is that while the average PH is close to the same, maybe some women have more instances of PH changes???

All I know is after 3-4 years mine needed to be thrown away :)
hiriel1804 on April 22nd, 2009 09:03 pm (UTC)
I believe the environment in the vagina is supposed to be acidic. Which is why discharge can bleach dark underwear.
samdw on April 22nd, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC)
The Miacup site actually discusses this - you might find what they say about it interesting:


Im not sure if what they say applies to Divacup though...
3fantasybooks on April 23rd, 2009 01:33 am (UTC)
I think her claim makes sense. It sounds like the cup lifespan is as long as a woman wants it to be as long as it still works. Just because they had to follow government regulations doesn't mean that they are true or set in stone.

froggie3dsfroggie3ds on April 23rd, 2009 04:21 am (UTC)
I think the analogy of cups to mascara and toothbrushes is just ridiculous, especially considering that cups can be sterilized.
Alucardalucardkpl on June 12th, 2009 01:39 am (UTC)
I'm not surprised they replied so quickly.
From what I've heard (by word of mouth), Divacup has EXCELLENT customer service.

A woman I know didn't know about this community and hadn't met anyone who used a menstrual cup when she started using a divacup. She called their customer service line, and they literally talked her through it while she was inserting it, step by step.