Period Survival: The Diva Cup Review

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When I started my sophomore year of highschool, I was still using pads for all of my periods. I was constantly getting teased by my tampon-wearing friends, asking me things like “why do you still wear diapers?” For me, pads were just something I had been used to using since I began my period, and had continued to use because my mom constantly urged me that I wasn’t “ready” for tampons (whatever that meant).

By mid-sophomore year, I finally made the transition to tampons, and I wondered why I had waited so long to use them. They were easy to use, easy to remove, and are extremely versatile. So, I stuck to tampons until pretty recently- my senior year of college.

However, I’ve recently found something even better. A close friend of mine recommended the Diva Cup to me a few months ago. She explained that it’s essentially a small cup made of silicone that you insert into your vagina that you can re-use for years, and leave inserted for 12 hours at a time. I’ll admit, when she offered me this explanation, I was not entirely convinced. I honestly found it strange and slightly gross. But lately, I’ve been tired of dropping money every month on boxes of tampons, and a reusable option began sounding more and more appealing.

So for my last period, I decided to try the Diva Cup on for size. Another confession- I sat on the toilet and stared at the directions for this thing for about 15 minutes. This was a bad first impression for me- it scared me to think I have to follow a numbered list of instructions for something that I’m literally going to put inside of me.

Regardless, I began the endeavour. The first step is to wash your hands. You MUST thoroughly wash your hands before using this product! (this should be a given before you put a tampon in, too!)

Next, you choose your folding method. In order to allow the cup to open up inside of the vagina, you must fold it properly when you insert it: you can either fold it in a “U” shape, which is similar to folding paper “hot-dog” style if you remember that from elementary school; OR you can do the push down method. The “U” shape method seemed easiest for me, so that is the route I took.

My first attempt at inserting the cup was not successful. Nor was my second attempt, or even third. This was disconcerting, until realized a couple things I did incorrectly. First off, my hands were still a little wet from washing them before hand. So the first couple of times, my hands kept fumbling around with the cup, making it extremely difficult to insert. Secondly, my vagina was dry, as was the rim of the cup. I skipped over the instruction telling you to moisten the rim of the cup, which makes it slide in much smoother and far more easily. Once I followed these little steps, the next few insertion processes were a breeze- it definitely just took a moment to get used to.

Once it was inside, I couldn’t feel a thing at all. My next concern, though, was how I would remove it. The cup has a small stem at the bottom which is added for easy removal. This sticks out a little bit, which can potentially be irritating to some women, but did not personally bother me whatsoever. You also have the option to cut the stem a little bit for added comfort once you’ve gotten used to using the cup - cool!

After going along my business that first day as usual, I removed the cup after about 9 or so hours. The great thing about this cup is that you can leave it in for up to 12 hours! Since it was my first use, I wanted to take it out a little earlier to check out the verdict, and make sure I didn’t leak.

Pulling it out also took a little bit of practice, but I also made a little mistake there, too. I clenched my vaginal muscles, when in reality you must relax them to allow for easy removal. When you focus on relaxing your muscles and pinch gently on the stem and pull, it comes out pretty easily.

Confession part III: The first ever removal of the cup is slightly… odd. No blood spilled out of the cup, which was great. But let’s be real - it is slightly alarming to see a cup of your own blood. However, I got over this notion quickly, and was actually more shocked in how clean the overall removal was. The next step is obviously to wash the cup thoroughly. You are supposed to use unscented soap, so I used a bar of unscented Dove soap and lukewarm water to wash the cup. This was again, a very different practice that I obviously had never been accustomed to, but became very easy to get used to very quickly. During the entire week of my first use/period with the Diva Cup, I didn’t experience one leak, given I ensured I didn’t leave it in for more than 12 hours at a time.

The convenience of being able to leave the Diva Cup in for 12 hours at a time, the money I will now be saving from cutting tampons out of my budget every month, and the positive environmental impact they have (lots of waste involved producing pads/tampons!) was all more than enough to make me want to continue using this product for every single period I have to come. It even comes with a cute little bag for storage!

For a one time investment of $29.99, I 100% recommend this product to all you ~flowin’~ ladies out there. There are even 2 versions- Model 1 is for women who have never given birth, vaginally or cesarean; and Model 2 is for women who are 30+ years old and/or have given birth either vaginally or cesarean.  

You can find the Diva Cup at your local Target, Walgreens, or Walmart.

images courtesy of BeyondBlush.com and Divacup.com