Growing Organically | Diva Cup
This month I decided to try something completely new and different for my Growing Organically series. I had been very intrigued with this product for the past several months so I decided that this would be the perfect time to give it a go. What is this new something? A menstrual cup! That’s right, this past month I decided to dump the hassle that is sanitary pads and tampons and switch it up with a menstrual cup, a Diva Cup to be precise.
I had heard about the Diva Cup from a few people (that swore by it), but it didn’t really hit my radar until I saw Buzzfeed’s review on the Diva Cup. I thought it was hilarious, but at the same time I was fascinated. There seemed to be some major benefits to making the switch so I decided why not — I’ll give it a try! I contacted Diva Cup and was gifted their Model 1. Thank you, Diva Cup! I’ve answered some common questions below and am sharing my experience using the Diva Cup.
Warning: If you are uncomfortable reading about topics that talk about menstrual cycles or bodily fluids, then I suggest that you skip over this post…
What is a Diva Cup?
It’s a reusable bell-shaped cup made of high quality silicone that you insert into your vagina and is worn internally. It sits low in the vaginal canal, collecting rather than absorbing your menstrual flow. It does not contain chlorine, dyes, colorings or additives like pads and tampons. It is also scent-free and it can be worn for up to 12 hours.
Was It Awkward/Difficult to Insert the Diva Cup?
A little bit. There was definitely a learning curve for me, but after using the Diva Cup the entire time during my last cycle, I am now much more confident with it.
The night I decided to give this bad girl a try, I made sure to look over the directions a few times. I knew that I was going to have to get a bit more involved since my fingers would be going into my lady bits, so I wanted to be fully prepared. I took the cup out of it’s packaging, washed it like it is suggested by the instructions and assumed the position. (You can wash it with DivaWash as suggested by the instructions. This special wash is a pH balanced and fragrance-free soap that you can wash your cup with. Or you can be like me and use good old vinegar and water.)
On the instructions, they illustrate that you can use either the “U Fold” or the “Push Down” fold before insertion. I tried the U-Fold first. I put my right foot up on my vanity chair, I tried to insert it, and… it was a fail.
“Alright, let’s try this again,” I thought to myself. It reminded me of the first time I was using a tampon (mind you, I was at Sea World’s public restroom and my friend’s mom was explaining how to use it — mortifying). You’re not sure what you’re doing, you’re scared that the thing will get lost in there and the first attempt to put it in is a bit awkward.
For round two I decided to try the Push Down fold and it was a success. I made sure to have my fingers around the base of the cup and I rotated it to make sure that it was fully open (again, as suggested by the instructions). It did. The whole process was not painful at all, just a different sensation.
At first I was worried that it went too deep since the directions said not to let it go too far inside or leaking was a possibility. So I grabbed the tiny pole at the end of the cup and pulled it down a bit. I found that bearing down helps it move down easier.
Warning: It’s obvious that you have to get down and dirty with this product. If you are not comfortable with your body and putting your hands and fingers in your lady bits, then this product is not for you.
What About Leaking?
The Diva Cup does not leak unless you insert it incorrectly or if you leave it in for too long. The longest they recommend keeping it in is 12-hours. Because of this rule, I also think that it’s important for you to understand your flow before testing this product out. Are you heavy the first few days? Do you have clots? Do you tend to leak at night? Getting an understanding of your period prior to wearing the Diva Cup can really help you out. If you have a heavier flow, you will have to empty out your Diva Cup a few more times throughout the day. I personally have a light flow so I have been able to leave it in for the full 12-hours and have had no issue with leakage.
How is the Removal of It? It Seems Scary and Gross.
A lot of women may freak out at the sight of their menstrual blood in a cup they just pulled out of their vagina. It doesn’t bother me, but then again I support and see women give birth as my job so this is just another day at the office.
The removal is actually easier than I expected. The instructions said to bear down like you are trying to have a bowel movement and you will feel the Diva Cup move down your vaginal canal. Maybe I’m a good pusher, but it was super simple to get out. Getting it in was more difficult than getting that sucker to come out. Once it moved down, I grabbed the base of it, gently squeezed it to relieve the Diva Cup’s suction, then I pulled it out. I discarded what the cup had collected in the toilet, then rinsed and reused! (I found that putting it in, removing it and cleaning it is way more convenient when you’re in the shower.)
Do You Seriously Not Feel It?
At first I did feel it. It was something new in my body so I was a bit more aware, but I sometimes feel tampons too so I decided not to think about it too much when I first used it. I just put on my pjs and went to bed. I had no issues going to sleep and did not wake up uncomfortable. After a couple times using it and getting better at inserting, I didn’t really feel it at all. I even would forget that it was in there at times! It’s pretty liberating to be able to wear thongs, sleep through the night, work out with ease and even wear a swimsuit without the fear of creating a mess or have a string popping out.
There are 2 Kinds of Diva Cups. How Do I Know Which One is for Me?
Why Would Anyone Want to Use Something Like This Instead of Tampons or Pads?
I have found that there are many benefits to using the Diva Cup. They are:
- It catches WAY more flow than the average tampon and pad.
- It doesn’t disturb the body’s pH balance the way a tampon does.
- It doesn’t stink the way a pad can.
- It does not contain chlorine, dyes, colorings or additives like pads and tampons — which can have a negative affect to your body long term.
- It’s antibacterial and reusable which means no contributing to the landfills.
- It’s long lasting. Some Diva Cup users have had theirs for close to a decade which saves you $$$!
- It’s comfortable for active ladies. I’ve gone running, done yoga and did a gym workout with my Diva Cup in and had zero issues.
- It helps you monitor your menstrual flow. This may be important for women who need to keep a closer look at their cycles every month.
The learning curve for the Diva Cup can be challenging but I think it’s totally worth it. I wish that all women would give menstrual cups a try, but I understand that it can be intimidating. I give it two thumbs up and am looking forward to using it for years to come. If you still aren’t convinced, check the reviews online. Just about everyone that uses the Diva Cup loves it.
Have you ever used a menstrual cup? What was your experience like? Do you recommend it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!