I am assuming from the title of this post alone that you experience the dreaded period and are curious about menstrual cups. Since this is a TMI topic, be prepared for the nitty gritty details of My First Menstrual Cup Experience – The DivaCup.
I received a DivaCup for review purposes and was not paid for this review or endorsement.
Being a long time pad and eventual tampon user, I was kind of weirded out when I first heard about menstrual cups. I had a hard time using tampons for a while since they were uncomfortable for some reason until I got older. I couldn’t imagine inserting a silicone cup into my lady bits and have it be comfortable and even work. I am a very heavy bleeder so assumed I would have to keep taking it in and out multiple times a day and that turned me off from ever wanting to try them.
After a few of my friends raved about them and swore that I would never go back to pads and tampons, I decided to brave it out. I mean, I did push out 3 kids after all so this shouldn’t be so bad!
First things first, here are some key details about the DivaCup:
- 12 hour leak-free protection!
- Made from the highest quality healthcare grade silicone to assure comfort and durability.
- Does not contain any of the following: latex, plastic, PVC, acrylic, acrylate, BPA, phthalate, elastomer, polyethylene, and free of colors and dyes.
- Reusable and eco-friendly – no waste, no chemicals.
- Features extra grip ridges for easier removal.
- Cleared for marketing by the US FDA and the Australian TGA and the only reusable menstrual cup allowed to be sold in Canada by Health Canada.
The DivaCup comes in 2 different sizes for basically Pre-Birth and Post-Birth:
- Model 1: Recommended for women under the age of 30 who have never delivered vaginally or by cesarean section.
- Model 2: Recommended for women age 30 and over and/or for women who have delivered vaginally or by cesarean section.
I went for the Model 2 and have never really been excited about my period until the DivaCup arrived. It came at the perfect time too since Aunt Flow decided to visit just a few days later. Since I have an IUD, and not one that stops or slows periods, I sometimes spot heavily for a day & then the dam breaks a few days later. When that finally happened, I tested out the DivaCup.
The very first insertion was a bit nerve wracking. I read & reread the directions so many times that I probably know them by heart. I inserted the cup by folding it (I prefer the “U Fold”) and pinching the opening tight so that it is small enough to insert inside. Sitting on the toilet (being careful to not drop it in!) or squatting is easier for me and just insert it enough until the stem, or grip handle, is no further than a 1/2 inch inside. Then, make sure to grip the base of the cup, not the stem, to rotate the cup. This allows the cup to fully open up inside and get a nice seal. Once inserted, I didn’t feel it at all after it shifted into place. The stem may be a bit long and can be snipped but I wouldn’t recommend doing so until you are used to insertion and removal.
The first day I checked it probably 3 times. Since I am a very heavy bleeder, I swore that the cup would fill up fast and that I would leak. I was completely wrong, not even halfway. This is actually a neat way to keep track of how much you bleed since there is measurements on the side…I mean, if you’re into that sort of thing.
The cup can stay in for up to 12 hours and was very convenient for sleeping. I didn’t have one leak while using it for 4 days and didn’t have any problems with insertion or removal. It does take a few times to really get it down pat and gets quicker with practice.
When you remove the cup, you simple dump the contents into the toilet and wash the cup with water, The DivaWash, or a mild unscented water-based (oil-free) soap, and reinsert. Make sure that the 4 small holes near the rim are clean because that is what causes the suction for the seal.
When my cycle was complete, I washed it like I normally did and then stored the cup in the breathable drawstring cotton pouch that came with it. This keeps it clean and ready for use next month as well as easy and discreet carrying in a purse.
We did go out to eat while I wore the DivaCup and was a bit nervous. I had already wore it a few days but it was the first time I had left the house with it. I usually have an assortment of pads, liners, and tampons in my purse and didn’t even need to use them or feel the need to check the cup!
If you have very heavy periods, you may want to remove and clean it before going out just to be safe. This could help prevent needing to do it in a public restroom.
Cramps, I have some MAJOR ones, enough to crawl up in a ball and hate the world. Even though I’ve only used the DivaCup for one cycle. I feel like it helped alleviate the cramps in some odd way. After doing some research on menstrual cups, I came across many people who claim the same thing. I’m not sure how that works, but I’ll take it!
Make sure anything that you use to clean does not contain: vinegar, tea tree oil, scented/fragranced soap, castile/peppermint soap or any other oil based soap, rubbing alcohol, antibacterial soap, hand sanitizer, pre-moistened wipes, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, dishwashing soap, bleach or harsh chemicals as some have been known to damage or compromise the silicone (may leave a sticky or powdery film, etc.) and may need to be replaced to avoid irritations, burning, etc. If you have cleaned your DivaCup with any of the non-recommended cleansers, replace the cup if there are any signs of deterioration or if you experience irritation.
I have had my IUD for 9 years now and have 1 more year to go before removal. I completely forget that I have it most of the time since I never have any problems. Because of this, I didn’t think anything of it when I opted to test out a menstrual cup.
You CAN use a menstrual cup with an IUD but you MUST make sure to break the seal before pulling it out. If you do not break the seal, you can run the risk of dislodging the IUD.
Break the seal of the menstrual cup by reaching in and grabbing the base, not stem, of the cup and giving it a pinch while tilting it slightly. I also rotate it or rock it back and forth a little and then pull it out slowly. I have used it for 4 days of my period and hadn’t had any pain or problems with it.
How Long Does A Diva Cup Last?
The lifespan of a DivaCup varies between woman due to vaginal pH, how well and often the cup is cleaned, what cleansing agents are used, etc. I’ve heard of some women claiming they’ve had their cup for years. You should inspect your cup regularly for signs of deterioration such as a sticky or powdery film, severe discoloration or odor, etc. and replace your DivaCup with a new one if you see any of these signs. Since The DivaCup is a personal hygienic product, a general guideline is to replace it once a year, but ultimately, it is up to you to decide when it is necessary to replace the cup.
Teens can use the DivaCup, although my teen thought it was the craziest idea EVER. I’m sure if they have already used tampons that it wouldn’t be so bad trying the cup out.
Where To Buy
Giveaway Thanks to DivaCup, one lucky reader will win their own DivaCup in their chosen model (1 or 2)! Entering is simple using the widget below. Good luck! US/CAN ONLY – Ends 5/10/16 Rules: This giveaway is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media. The winner will be chosen randomly and contacted by email. Winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is drawn. US/CAN only. Daily Deals From a Nerd Mom and all bloggers involved are not responsible for prize shipment. The DivaCup is in charge of that.