Diva Cup Review

by WinterSultrice. February 19, 2013.

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The DivaCup is a silicone cup worn vaginally that collects menstrual flow. It is considered a healthy, convenient, and economical alternative to tampons and pads. It comes in two sizes: Size 1 fits best for women under 30 years old who have never delivered a child vaginally or by caesarian section. Size 2 is recommended for those over 30, whether they have given birth before or not.




Why I Wanted to Try the DivaCup

- being non-disposable, I like how plumbing friendly this product is. Tampons have so often clogged the toilet, and I can't stand having a bunch of used menstrual products in the garbage can where guests can see and kitty can reach.
- there are no risks of Toxic Shock Syndrome like with tampons, or skin irritation like with pads
- since I no longer need to make a monthly purchase, it's easier on the wallet
- you can wear it for up to 12 hours at a time. This saves me time and stress, as I don't have to balance my busy schedule with tending to my period
- being able to wear it for up to 12 hours is extremely beneficial to my more active lifestyle. I can now plan camping and fishing trips without worrying about having to carry feminine products with me
- it can be worn during swimming and sports
- even though I'm sensitive, the cup is made of silicone, which is incredibly rare for anyone to have sensitivities to.

My First Impression

Upon taking it out of the box, I noticed that it was soft and malleable, which is always a bonus in a product that I want to move with me. It wasn't too big, but had a curious stem on the bottom, and I worried a bit about it poking me. I later learned that this stem can be trimmed if needed. I didn't think I'd have a problem dealing with insertion and removal as I've been using an alternative disposable menstrual cup for some time with no trouble, so I was pretty shocked as I unfolded the 3 page instruction manual it came with, for something I perceived as a quick and easy to use product. It was a bit daunting to find out that I was going to have to insert the cup, then rotate it while inside to prevent leaking- a lot more hands on than I expected.


Trying the DivaCup For the First Time

After reading through the lengthy instruction manual twice (or was it thrice?), I felt overwhelmed and confused. Finally I decided to just pop it in the way I felt would work best. Surprisingly I got it on the first try. I spent the day comfortable and largely not thinking about it. I was sure I finally found the product that would make my period as painless as it could be. At the end of a long day, however, I realized that cleaning and reinserting the cup probably wasn't something I'd want to do half-asleep until I got more used to it. This is also when I learned that the handy little stem on the end wasn't meant to pull on to get it out. It was up to me to bear down with my muscles to remove it, and I wondered if that was going to be as easy as it sounded, especially since I haven't been doing kegel exercises. Turns out it was that easy, and I appreciate not having to reach in to get it out.

After Day 1

When cleaning the cup for the first time, I was a little put off by seeing a day's worth of menstrual flow just sitting there, not absorbed into any cotton as I've grown accustomed to over the past 10+ years I've been dealing with this. This made me slightly squeamish when I tried to insert it, so days 2-4 I dealt with a fair bit of leakage. Admittedly, that's all user-error, and it got better as I got faster at putting it in and learned just how to do it correctly.

I should have listened to the DivaCup website:

Tips for Success

No one expected you to ride your bike without training wheels on your first try. Likewise, finding the right fold, routine and time of use for your DivaCup may take a few cycles. Once you’ve got a handle on it, you’ll be inserting and removing the cup without even thinking about it.   www.divacup.com

Summary

Overall, I love this product. It has a steeper learning curve than I expected, but the pros far outweigh the cons. I am confident that by my second or third period, I should be able to handle it like a pro. Being incredibly forgetful, I enjoy not having to remember to throw tampons in my bag before leaving the house, because I've already got my coverage with me. With my irregular period, it's also a relief not having to deal with scrambling for a new box of tampons or pads when a surprise period pops up. When my period got lighter, I was relieved to be using a non-toxic silicone product, rather than irritating my body with a mostly dry tampon or pad. And most importantly, I've made a better, healthier choice for my body and the environment I live in. When asked, I always say yes, I would recommend this product!


 
Skinartia on Feb 19, 2013 at 7:25pm:
Hooray! I've been using my Diva Cup for about 9 years now and I love it. There definitely is a learning curve (even I still sometimes end up with a leak here and there), but the benefits are so worth it. I, too, have an irregular period due to endometriosis so it's nice to not have to think, "Gah, I'm out of X-product!" I also use Lunapads so my whole cycle is environmentally (and cost) friendly. :)
Kate on Feb 19, 2013 at 9:15pm:
I must say, I'm presently on my period and I can't thank the Diva Cup enough. I actually completely forget it's there. I change it twice daily, it's super easy, and I don't need to worry about being stocked.

I usually do wear a liner, but it's not super necessary. As in, if I were somewhere and out of liners, I'd still be fine - I'd maybe just use backup TP (have we all been there?).

I should really invest in a few lunapads and liners.
Skinartia on Feb 20, 2013 at 7:34am:
Kate, I'm going to privately message you on FB about Lunapads.

And yes, we have ALL used backup TP at one point or another. This one time, before my reusable menstrual products days, I started spotting at my job and I had no access to anything. I had completely forgot to keep anything in my back. Since it was just spotting, I used TP and a bandaid to hold it in place. *lol* MacGyver style!
Coco on Feb 20, 2013 at 12:12pm:
I've been thinking about trying the ol' Diva Cup once more, although now that I'm over 30, I guess I've gotta get the next size up. Last time I tried it (quite a few years back, I admit), I just kept leaking & finally gave up, since I felt like I had to wear a pad anyway.
WinterSultrice on Feb 20, 2013 at 12:41pm:
I know I've used TP as backup on more than one occasion! These things happen. I was getting a bit frustrated by the third day of leaking, but by the end of it I realized it had to do with the way I was turning it. It was the comfort and convenience that made me keep trying, and it helped that I had girlfriends who had tried it before to talk to for tips.
Adventuress on Feb 20, 2013 at 6:39pm:
i LOVE my Diva Cup and can't imagine ever going back to disposable products. I too found the learning curve steep and getting over the squeamishness of being so intimately in my vagina every period. But after my first period, I was totally turned onto it! Not having to change your tampon/par every few hours, always spending more money on more disposable and chemical laden (or super expensive) products, running out, worrying you left it too late... none of that exists since the Diva Cup! Your initial investment pays off in a few months since you can use one cup for years... and when I'm traveling I only need to remember to bring one thing. Can't say how much I love it!!
WinterSultrice on Feb 21, 2013 at 1:28pm:
I wanted to ask anyone who has had a Diva Cup for more than a year. I just got mine a couple of months ago, and although they claim to stand up to years of use, I wanted to know from someone with experience. Do they change shape, color, anything like that? Or are they just as great as when you first bought it?
Skinartia on Feb 21, 2013 at 7:00pm:
I've had mine for 9 years and the shape has stayed exactly the same. It has become a bit discoloured from years of blood and I have to remember to poke a needle through the holes at the top. Otherwise, it's as great as when I first got it.
WinterSultrice on Apr 18, 2013 at 11:36am:
Update: Just as I suspected, the use of this product got WAY easier, and faster than I initially thought. Now I barely notice it at all, and taking it out/reinserting is a breeze.

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