Menstrual cups are the newest feminine hygeine product for periods, and I tried one out! Her Campus was kind enough to send our chapter some Diva Cups and I got mine at the perfect time of the month...
Here are my tips and experience with the Diva Cup
Give yourself time on the first try
Aside from reading the directions ahead of time, giving yourself plenty of time the first time you try inserting the cup. There are a few different methods of folding the cup, so try those out and choose whatever works best for you (the punch-down was my fav). Make sure you take deep breaths and remain calm, I know it's a weird experience, but you can do it! If it's been an excessive amount of time and you're still not getting it, maybe give up and try again later.
Know ya self
Make sure you are somewhat familiar with your own anatomy! It seems odd, but looking at and feeling your vulva can help you so much during this process. You'll be able to finesse the cup to fit your body in the best way.
Break. the. seal.
Ouch! My body hurts just thinking about my first try at taking out the cup. I was wondering what I was doing wrong and pretty much ready to just revert back to tampons, until I saw a Tik Tok about menstrual cups. All of the comments said that they were great once you learned to break the seal. Menstrual cups are made of silicone, so they will sort of suction themselves to your vagina. When taking the cup out, make sure you squeeze the whole cup with your fingers while pulling it out. This way, it doesn't feel like your insides are being vacuumed out! (Shoutout to Tik Tok, what a life saver).
I would just dump the ~contents~ of the cup into the toilet and then wash it out with hot water and unscented soap. To clean them, you boil them over the stove and keep them in the little bag when they are not in use.
My overall experience
After some practice and perserverance, I found myself in favor of the Diva Cup over tampons or pads. Especially when you're travelling, you don't have to worry about having enough tampons or pads. You also only need to change it out twice a day, so you're spending more time doing things you enjoy! Menstrual cups are also better for the environment because they reduce the use of single-use items.
I would give the Diva Cup a 4 out of 5 stars and I encourage all women to try one!