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Warning! TMI Alert!

I am having my period. That’s right – shit just got real up in here!

My reproductive system has been doing it’s thing for about 25 years now. In that time I have tried just about every menstrual product available: pads, tampons, sponges, liners…you name it, it’s been in the vicinity of my vagina.

Then, about eight years ago a friend told me about The Diva Cup (a.k.a “Menstrual Cup” a.k.a “The Cup”). It’s one of those rare products that, once I began using it, really did change my life a little bit. For all of it’s simple brilliance the first time I tried the cup, I was actually a little bummed because, holy mother of menstration why didn’t anyone tell me about this sooner.

The Diva Cup is just what it sounds like: a reusable tapered cup made of soft silicone. It’s inserted into the vagina where it collects blood and other endometrial leavings. One the cup is full, the contents are discarded – typically into the toilet. The empty cup is put back into place and the party continues until Aunt Flo packs up and leaves town. Easy. Peasy.

Image via nurtured.ca

Like any other product The Diva Cup isn’t going to work for everyone. It has lots of pros, but their are some cons as well. But in the spirit of accentuating the positive, let me start by telling you why I’m such a fan of the little cup that could.

Pros:

  • It’s pretty dang comfy. Once the cup is in and properly positioned over my cervix, I pretty much don’t feel it at all.
  • It’s non-porous and won’t trap bacteria
  • It’s super easy to keep clean. It can even be sterilized in boiling water.
  • It’s very durable. I’ve had the same cup for six years and it doesn’t show any significant signs of wear.
  • It’s environmentally friendly
  • At just over $42, it’s a very inexpensive option when compared to disposable products.
  • It’s convenient. You can easily store it in a purse or a bag. That way it’s always available no matter where you are when your period starts.
  • No risk of toxic shock syndrome! Woot!
  • It can be worn overnight. No need to wake up in the middle of the night for a quick change.

So that’s the good stuff and it’s a whole LOTTA good. But Diva may not work for you if

Cons:

  • You’re uncomfortable inserting things in your vagina. Not only does the cup have to go in there, you need to use your fingers to position it properly.
  • You’re uncomfortable at the sight of your menstral blood.
  • You like having vaginal intercourse during your period. Unlike a tampon, the cup needs to come out before anything else goes in. Unless you don’t mind a mess (which some people don’t), the Diva isn’t great for menstrual coitus.

I’ve been using mine for years and I rarely experience leaks; however there can be a bit of learning curve in terms of getting to sit properly. It took me a couple cycles to really get the hang of using it. Most people get the hang of it by their third period and in the meantime, pantyliners are a great backup.

All in all, The Diva Cup is one of the best investments I have ever made and something I plan to keep using until the day that menopause comes ‘a knockin!

Comments

  1. WA_side says:

    I’ve heard about these a lot in the last 6 months or so, and plan to try one (or another) at some stage in the near future.

    Quick typo though, I think you mean NO significant signs of wear. ;P

    • nadinethornhill says:

      Sweet! I hope you love it as much as I do.

      Thanks for the heads up re: the typo. It’s been corrected! :-)

  2. birdsbeesme says:

    Pretty sure tampons should also come out before anything else goes in…

    Also, when I started using the cup, I found that the little stem part hung a bit lower than what was comfortable, so it changed my whole experience when I read online that I could just trim down the stem! Made everything much more comfy!

    I <3 my Diva Cup!

    • nadinethornhill says:

      Thanks for reminding me about trimming the stem! Mine’s never bothered me, so I left it in tact but I’ve definitely heard from other users that it can be an issue.

      • Me says:

        The stem bothered me even after trimming and I read online to turn it inside out. Now it’s perfect for me! Cannot feel the cup at all. I can’t say enough good things about it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have wondered about these … how about heavy flow … like the change-your-super-plus- tampon-every-2-hours-and-you-still-sometimes-leak kind of heavy flow?

    • nadinethornhill says:

      My periods are typically short-lived but intense, which means some very heavy bloodshed and the cup handles it beautifully. I do have to empty it more often, though – usually every 5-6 hours. Again, it might take some time but with practice you do learn how long it takes for your flow to fill the cup.

    • Me says:

      I have extremely heavy periods, like changing my super P tampon every 1 to 1.5 hours heavy. I can get 2 to 3 hrs on my heaviest day with the Diva which is awesome. I love it!

  4. Rhonda says:

    I love my diva cup! In response to the heavy flow question, I have the change-your-super-plus-tampon-every-2-hours-and-you-still-sometimes-leak kind of heavy flow. I have to empty my cup every two hours or so on the first and second days of my period. Other than that, it’s two or three times a day.

    • nadinethornhill says:

      Clearly my flow isn’t as heavy as I think it is :-) Thanks for sharing, Rhonda!

  5. Rachel says:

    I have been using The DivaCup for a few months now and love it (also with I had known about it sooner). I did find that the stem got in the way but also that entire cup was a little too long because my cervix sits very low. I was a little discouraged until I had read someone else say they has turned theirs inside out. I tried it and it works perfectly now!

  6. Michaela says:

    “Unlike a tampon?” I would never have sex with a tampon in, personally.

    • nadinethornhill says:

      It’s not recommended, but I did do it a couple of times when my libido was high and I was on my last tampon.

      *Hangs head in shame*

      Bad sex educator! No biscuit!

      • Shora says:

        o.o how do you even, though? I cant see any way that would work without a tampon being crushed painfully against my cervix x.x

  7. Nyki says:

    I have been reading up on the diva cup in the last month, this is my first pregnancy and am over my due date by 5 days. I haven’t had a menstrual cycle in awhile and am planning on buying the diva cup for when it starts back up again (after the whole healing process has seized). So far from what I read, it seems like the right choice for me, however there is still a couple things I wonder about. A) Can you feel the cup all the time? A lot of times in the past with tampons towards the end of my cycle, I would be sore from constantly changing tampons every 3-4 hours that I would get sore and constantly feel them. B) Can you feel the liquid? The biggest reason I would wear tampons was because I can’t stand that messy feeling you have with pads. C) When you remove the cup to empty, is it relatively messy? And finally D) I am planning on having an IUD for birth control, do you know if the cup would mess with having that form of birth control? Thank You :)

    • Carrie Warner says:

      Nyki,
      For me personally, you can not feel the cup unless it is not positioned correctly. Also, when the cup gets full it does start to fall down which is a nice warning that it needs emptied.
      I think as long as you made sure that the cup was wet before inserting, it should not make you sore. It is very smooth being silicone, so there would be no friction while inserting and taking out. ( Just my opinion though.)
      I can not feel the liquid. If it is inserted correctly and you don’t leak, it is just like any normal day.
      Removing the cup really is not all that bad. Just pull it out and dump it. Wipe it out with a tissue or rinse it in a sink. Just don’t drop it!! Seriously though, it is so much better than anything else out there! I LOVE it and am glad I got it!
      Sorry, I can’t answer your IUD question. Maybe someone else can. Hope this helps!
      Congrats on your baby! Hope you have safe and wonderful delivery!

      • nadinethornhill says:

        Hi Carrie,

        Thanks for this thorough response. You know I never considered that “full” feeling is this cup moving down a little because of the weight, but now that you’ve said it yes, that’s exactly what it is! :-)

    • nadinethornhill says:

      According to Diva Cup’s wesbite many customer do use the cup with an IUD, but they do recommend checking in with your doctor so you can get up to speed with any risk particular to your IUD and an internal hygiene product.

      Again every body is different, but I can tell you most people I know who used the Diva Cup can’t feel it. I certainly can’t. It’s made of flexible silicone, so it sort molds itself to the shape of your vagina. I don’t really feel the blood until it’s close to full and even then it’s a very subtle sensation.

      Once I learned how to remove the cup smoothly, I found it wasn’t that messy. I just bear down, which pushes the cup close to the opening of my vagina. From there it’s relatively easy to dump the contents into the toilet and flush them away. If I’m at home, I rinse the cup out in the sink and if I’m in public, I just wipe it out with toilet paper. Occasionally when the cup is super-full, i have had a little blood on my hands, but it washes away easily. And once I dropped it which – I’m not going to lie – was a little horrifying, but I suffer from high levels of klutziness. You’ll probably be fine. :-)

  8. I love it too! I find it’s better than a tampon for heavy days since the capacity is greater IMO. Totally fixes those days when I’d be heading to the washroom every 90 minutes or so for a change. No I’m not kidding. Ugh. I agree that a pantyliner as backup is a good idea early on though.
    It is also fabulous for travel for all the reasons stated. It’s literally all you need to pack and you don’t have to be constantly calculating where the next bathroom might be. I’m just cautious about not rinsing it in tap water of countries with non-potable tap water.
    Oh, and while the Diva cup is a bit harder to find in stores, I prefer it infinitely to the Instead (which is a disposable option so not environmentally friendly or particularly comfy.)
    The only thing I’m not thrilled with is how much it gets stained, but that’s really just aesthetic.

    • nadinethornhill says:

      I soak my cup in a solution of 1 part Oxyclean and 10 parts water overnight. I rinse it out thoroughly and it comes out looking as good as new.

  9. Janciepants says:

    I found that cutting the stem was even too “long” so I use mine inside out. Works just the same! :) Awesome!

  10. Chantale says:

    if there is concern about folks not wanting to insert into vagina, the same company makes the Luna Pads (reuseable cotton pads) that I now use religiously. They are great and easy to wash.

    • nadinethornhill says:

      Yay! Luna Pads are a great option for people who prefer using external menstrual products. Like the cup they’re environmentally friendly and relatively inexpensive. They also come in an array of cute fabrics!

  11. I’m a long-time Diva Cup fan. They’re an investment up front, definitely— but a great one.

  12. Emilie says:

    Whilst using the diva cup, is it comfortable to play sports/ workout? I’m a ballet dancer so I really need something that stays up there through the jumps and stretches. :)

    • Nadine says:

      Hi Emilie. I’ve run, cycled and done pool laps in my diva cup all without any issue. I’ve also done burlesque, which at my level isn’t nearly as athletic as ballet dancing, but it stayed in place and didn’t betray my menstrual state…even in white panties. :-)

  13. courtney kay says:

    I love my Diva Cup! I have endometriosis and used to have to wear super tampons and overnight pads at the same time to avoid leaks and would wake up in the morning to a mess anyways. high school was a nightmare having to go to the bathroom between every 50min class. Now I simply put the cup in and am good to go. I get 12 hours of protection (except for day 2, I can only go 6 hours) Which is perfect for my job as a midwife’s apprentice.

    • Nadine says:

      Hi Courtney,

      Thanks for commenting. I’ve had other people ask how the Diva Cup performs in cases like yours. I didn’t have any direct feedback from users with endometriosis or similar conditions, so knowing it works well for you is great!

  14. Jo says:

    I’m a first time Diva Cup wearer and i’m still 16 and a virgin and when i’m wearing the cup, i feel pressure down there like.. i can tell that its there. its not really painful its just pressure, less than a cramp but its constant. i was just wondering if thats normal? or am i doing something wrong?

    • Nadine says:

      Hi Jo,

      I had that when I first started wearing it as well. What was going with me, is that the cup was pushing against my cervix in a slightly weird way. If you’re comfortable, try giving it a half twist once the cup is inserted. I find when I do that, I can find the “comfy spot” and that pressure goes away.

      Hope this helps!

      Nadine

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