I’ll admit it, I was a bit freaked out at the prospect of trying a menstrual cup. I’m one of those people who took (sadly) years to get the hang of tampons, so placing a ‘cup’ in my vagina simply did not sound pleasant. But after doing some research, I learned that I wasn’t alone in feeling that way. I quickly felt reassured that it is easier and more comfortable than I had imagined. Here are all of the things that made me confident and comfortable to try a menstrual cup for the first time, that I wish I knew earlier.
Let’s start with the basics: What is a menstrual cup?
Menstrual cups are small bell-shaped cups that you insert into your vagina to collect period flow rather than absorb it like a tampon. They’re often made of silicone, so they’re actually super flexible and easy to insert.
The environment (and your bank account) will thank you for using a menstrual cup.
Idk about you, but I feel I’m constantly buying tampons. Doing so doesn’t just hurt my wallet, but also the environment. Because menstrual cups like the DivaCup are reusable, making the switch will vastly decrease your footprint, while saving you money every month.
You should find the right menstrual cup for you.
When I was looking at menstrual cup brands, it was important to me to find a company that has been in the industry for a while. DivaCup has been innovating the period game since 2003, and they’re also extremely transparent about their safe manufacturing process. This on top of the countless resources on their site shows that they’re in this to create long-term relationships with their customers.
Menstrual cups are better for your vagina.
Believe it or not, your tampon may be drying out your vagina. The absorbent fibers can leave a residue that can irritate that area. If you experience any concerns in that department, menstrual cups may be a great option for your vaginal health. This DivaCup is made from 100% medical-grade silicone with no added chemicals (no BPA), latex, dyes or plastics. We love a transparent brand!
There are different sizes depending on your age and flow.
When it comes to menstrual cups, it is not a one size fits all type of product. Typically your age and flow are helpful clues to predict which size is right for you. But you won’t know for sure until you try one for yourself. DivaCup uses the word ‘model’ to define the size, for example, I use a Model 1! Model 0 is for those new to the world of periods or 18 years of age or younger, Model 1 is for you if you’re between the ages of 19 and 30 and have a medium menstrual flow, and Model 2 is for those over the age of 30 and/or those who have a heavier menstrual flow.
Patience is key.
It is totally normal when using a menstrual cup to not see success right away. I’ve been there, I’ll admit I got very frustrated my first time! It’s a different insertion and removal process then you may be used to, so it can take a few days, or even a few cycles to figure it out. Lucky for you, there are lots of helpful guides for all of your questions and concerns.
Here’s how inserting a menstrual cup works…
This is one of the main reasons I was hesitant to try a menstrual cup. A few things to remember: always wash your hands before inserting. And just like inserting a tampon, try to relax otherwise your muscles may be stressed making this process a bit uncomfortable. To insert, you actually fold or bend the top rim of the silicone cup. There are a few different folding strategies used like a U-Fold or a Push-Down Fold. Check out some visuals here to help you find which will work best for you. And remember, the instructions for every menstrual cup vary, so reference the user guide when you purchase yours.
And this is how to remove it…
Once it’s in, you can actually wear your DivaCup for up to twelve hours! And then it’s time for removal, which is the other piece that I was stressed about. In my head, I was thinking ‘what if it gets lost up there?!’ Well, I’ve been reassured that that can’t actually happen, and this guide helped me figure it out. The base of the menstrual cup is easy to grip, so once you’ve got a hold of it, you’ll gently move the cup side to side while pulling down.
Is it messy?
This is another question I asked my friends who started using menstrual cups before me. So let’s get real, the short answer is that yes, you’re going to get a little more up close and personal with your period. Just make sure to wash your hands and pour the contents of your cup down the toilet for easy, and sustainable, disposal.
How do you clean a menstrual cup?
Next, you’ll need to clean your cup. DivaWash is a 100% plant-based cleanser made especially for your DivaCup. Its ingredients are gentle and safe for all skin types. Simply use a small amount to create a lather, then rinse thoroughly with warm water in your sink or bathtub and let dry. Pro tip: if you’re removing one in a public restroom, use a damp paper towel to clean the cup in the privacy of your own stall.
When should I replace my menstrual cup?
They last a pretty long time, which is amazing for my bank account. You should get in the habit of checking your cup regularly for signs of deterioration like a powdery film, severe discoloration, or an irregular odor. If you’re seeing any of these signs or experiencing irritation, it’s probably time to buy a new one.
I hope this helps you determine if trying a menstrual cup may be right for you! Follow The DivaCup on Instagram to learn more about their products and resources and be sure to shop DivaCup here and save 25% off cups with code “HCDIVA”!
This is a sponsored feature. All opinions are 100% our own.