The DivaCup and why I love it

Christina Dee

The DivaCup and why I love it

Nov 30, 2016

There seems to be an increase in interest in finding out more about the DivaCup or other menstrual cups.  Wives want to know how they work and why would anyone use them? The DivaCup is a small silicone cup shaped to fit inside you. It fits

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The DivaCup and why I love it - All your questions about menstrual cups answered, especially the embarrassing onesThere seems to be an increase in interest in finding out more about the DivaCup or other menstrual cups.  Wives want to know how they work and why would anyone use them? The DivaCup is a small silicone cup shaped to fit inside you. It fits over your cervix and collects your monthly flow. There is no absorbing happening or soggy pads to change.

We had set up a survey to collect questions about DivaCups and sent it out to the mailing list. We got quite a few, so I am going to do my best to answer them using my experiences of having one for a few years now.

1. Why would I use a DivaCup over tampons or pads?

As a woman, you have particular pH levels in your womanly parts. Tampons and pads are not designed with the health of these parts in mind.  They are designed to absorb liquid, tampons, in particular, absorb all types of moisture. God designed the vagina to be self-cleaning and they don’t allow for that cleaning to happen.

Pads are made of the same things diapers are, they absorb a lot of liquid and they can do it quickly. I don’t know about you, but my monthly flow is not the same consistency as say, urine, or that nice blue liquid they show on those commercials. In the warm months of the year using pads tends to give me a rash that seems to be similar to a baby’s diaper rash. I don’t like, and never have liked, using pads. That wet almost slimy feeling grosses me out. It’s not a comfortable feeling at all.

The DivaCup sits inside close to the cervix.  It collects your flow, but doesn’t affect your ability to self-clean the way a tampon does. You don’t get that gross wet slimy feel because usually none of it makes it down to your underwear. On the heavy days, I will wear a light days cotton like panty liner just in case.

2. Cup vs Period underwear

I haven’t had any experience using the period underwear, so I did a little reading about it. What I discovered was that they absorb about 2 tampons worth of your monthly flow.  They are discreet and reusable and they say dry feeling. They look good on the website but then I checked the price of them. They are not cheap! The cheapest I could find was a pack of 5 for $26 on amazon. If you were to go to the company’s sites they are anywhere from $30 a panty to $40ish. You can buy 1 DivaCup for that much money. The problems I see happening is that you have to take spare pairs with you.  If you need to change in the washroom in public, that could be awkward.  Plus, then you have the dirty panties to carry around with you, so that means you need to have a wet bag.

But they would be great as a back-up for those heavy days, or overnight on those heavy days. I know when I wake up those first 2 nights I get to the washroom as quickly as I can so not to make a mess. Hmm, perhaps I should consider buying a pair or 2.

3. Is the DivaCup more convenient?

I find that the cup is far more convenient than any pad or tampon.  If for no other reason than because it’s reusable.  You don’t have to remember to take extras with you, and there are no pads or tampons to buy every month.

The most inconvenient thing about it is that it can be messy to empty it. And then wiping your hands with toilet paper doesn’t always work the best if you’re in a public washroom. If you can remember to take some personal hygiene wipes with you, that works much better.

4. Putting the DivaCup in

It takes a little bit of getting used to and has a bit of a learning curve to get it in easily. If you go to the website www.DivaCup.com you can see directions there with pictures.

One way is to fold it into a U shape. The other way you fold the rim down into the cup. It’s hard to explain without a picture. You’ll take it and sort of push it back towards your tailbone. Once inside you rotate it 360 degrees so that till sits in the right position to be as comfortable as possible. In my experience, this is the hardest part of all. Learning your body shape and how exactly to get it in the best way to work properly. You can read the instructions on their website for more details. I am just not sure how to explain this without getting too detailed.

5. What if you have a really heavy flow?

If you have a particularly heavy flow you can wear the cup and a pad for extra protection. I tend to do this on my first 2 nights. I have a rather heavy flow those days and it could be real messy if I didn’t.

6. How do you know if it’s full?

Do you know that feeling when you need to change a tampon? You just kinda know? It’s the same sort of feeling.  Those days when it’s heavier and I need to empty it more often I just have this kind of heaviness there and know it’s time.   It usually results in a bit of a mess, had I gone a little sooner it wouldn’t have been so bad.

7. Can you feel it inside you?

Yes, you can, but sometimes not. It’s funny, because I will go about my day, and I forget that it’s “shark week”. You don’t have that itchy pad, or that string hanging out of you to remind you what week it is. It just feels so much cleaner and more comfortable than anything else I’ve used. I’ll remember later in the day, “Oh yeah, I should probably empty it” and it’s no big deal. I’ve never forgotten more than a day.

8. Taking it out.

I love the DivaCup because I can actually forget about my periodThe cup has a little stem on the end, I am not sure why. I’ve heard many many women just cut if off cause it can cause discomfort. It’s kinda pokey. After cutting that off, taking it out is pretty easy. If you haven’t waited too long so there isn’t an overflow happening, it’s a clean and simple process. Give the base of the cup a gentle pinch without squeezing too much and turn it like you are unscrewing a bolt. This helps it to let go of the cervix so you can pull it out easily. Once you’ve removed it, just pour out the contents.  If you’re near a sink, rinse it thoroughly and reinsert. When I’ve had to empty it in a public washroom I’ve simply wiped it out with some toilet paper and put it back in. It’s not ideal, but I’m not taking it to the public sink.

Some people have expressed concern for it just falling out. This would only really happen if it wasn’t in properly. Your vaginal wall muscles and tissue are elastic. Once you have it in they sort of shape around the cup and it helps to keep it in place. The only other reason I can think when it might fall out would be if you suffered any sort of prolapse.  Your cervix can’t be too low as the cup needs a little space so it’s not poking out. I talk about this a little further down.  For the majority of women, you can rest reassured that it won’t be falling out of you.

9. Cleaning and care for your DivaCup

It’s important to take proper care of your cup to get as much life out of it as possible. Wash it with a water-based, oil-free, soap. DivaCup makes one called DivaWash. It’s designed with woman’s health in mind. It will not cause irritation or infection etc..

It’s recommended to empty and wash it at least twice in a 24 hour period. I have worn it for longer, and it hasn’t been an issue. I forgot that I was wearing it! It’s that comfortable.

It’s pretty self-explanatory. Wash your hands before and after you empty it. But also when you are about to use it for the first time that month, give it a nice wash as well.

Between cycles, you store it in a nice little cotton drawstring bag that comes with it. Airflow is important to the integrity of the cup.  Do not store it in an airtight container  as it’s not possible for the excess moisture to evaporate.

If you think it needs a better cleaning, or to get rid of any discolouration, you can boil it for 5-10 min. The website does recommend that if you have used it while you had a yeast infection that you replace the cup.  It is unknown if boiling the water completely eliminates the yeast on the cup.

With proper use and care, a DivaCup can last 5+ years.  If you notice that it has a sticky or powdery film then the silicon might be degrading and you should replace it.  Or if there is severe discolouration or an odour.

10. Can you use the DivaCup during sex?

The website will say no, not to use it then. But I have a few times. Now I don’t recommend getting all crazy. That doesn’t work actually, mine got sorta stuck in an odd way one time that made removal a little tricky. Not that we got all crazy.  Anything more than typical missionary I think you would be at risk of moving it too much; the DivaCup sits quite low on the cervix. But if you lay on your back, it gives you a little more room inside for your man. It is made of a soft silicone that becomes even softer when it’s in a warm environment.  So it gets even more flexible when inside of you.  And he can’t feel it, well at least Jay says he can’t feel it. So I would say proceed with caution in this manner. It is a great way to avoid a mess if you or your husband need some loving time together.

If you’re wondering if you should have sex during your period, Jay wrote an article here about that.  If you’re wondering if other people do have sex during their period, we also have a survey answer that question.

11. When not to use a DivaCup.

I’m not a medical expert or anything like that, so you should consult your physician if you have any concerns. I am just going to share what I know from my doctor and experiences. It is not to be used after you have a baby. That first postpartum cycle you should just use pads.  You could also use “mama cloth” or period underwear if you don’t like disposable pads.

The other instance when you might not to would be if you have a prolapsed cervix, but this I am not sure of.  That is definitely something you should talk to your doctor about. There are specialists that trained specifically in pelvic floor wellness and strengthening. This is not an issue that we need to suffer with for the rest of our lives. We shouldn’t always have to just deal with peeing just a little when we sneeze or laugh too hard. Or running as fast as you can to the nearest washroom so we don’t have an accident. This is not normal! It may be common, but it’s not they way your body should be working. What’s good to know is that these different prolapse conditions can be fixed with proper exercises.  You can get your pelvic floor back to a nice trampoline like state.  Firm but flexible and able to bounce back quickly.

12. Brand Recommendations

I’ve only ever used the DivaCup and I love it.  So, that’s the brand I’d recommend.  For about $20, it’s very reasonably priced, especially considering you’ll be avoiding the cost of buying pads or tampons every month.

If you’re interested in checking it out, The DivaCup comes in two models, so make sure you get the right one.  The DivaCup model 1 is for those who haven’t had a child yet. Model 2 is for those who have had a child.


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11 thoughts on “The DivaCup and why I love it”

  1. LJ88 says:

    I have been using a Diva Cup for about twelve years and will never go back to pads and tampons. I do use a pantiliner with my Diva Cup as I find a teeny amount of blood and mucus is present after putting it in.

  2. A says:

    Thanks. I’ll probably get one after I have my baby (pregnant with my second).

    I used to use the instead softcup and I liked it but it hasn’t been fitting right since I gave birth to my first baby

    1. Susie says:

      When I bought my menstrual cup 16+years ago (I am still using the original one I bought)their were two sizes. One for women who had given birth and one for women who had not given birth. The cervix is apparently larger after you have had at least one child and I also imagine the vaginal walls are a bit more stretched out.

      So, check and see if they have a larger cup when ordering. It will make a difference.

  3. Libl says:

    I use the Instead Cups. They are disposable, but I use one throughout one period, washing it and reinserting it, then discarding it at the end of my period. This feels more sanitary to me than a perpetual diva cup.

    The instead cup can be used during sex with full on penetration.

    The instead cup needs only one finger removal rather than jamming two fingers up your hooha, which may not be possible for some women.

    The instead cup is more of a sack than solid cup, so overflow can happen on the heavier first few days. That is a con.

    Some day I may try the diva cup, but would never use it during period sex. My instead cup is my go-to for that.

  4. Kay says:

    Just a minor correction, it sits in the vagina, not in the cervix. (Regarding sex with the cup in.) I admittedly haven’t tried that yet and was looking forward to this post so I can figure it out. I confess I still don’t get it! Haha. I know from checking my cervix that my vagina is very average, about 3 inches long. Obviously it expands to accommodate sexual intercourse, but the diva cup is almost two inches tall, so I cannot for the life of me figure out how this would work during sex. I’m stumped!

    I love using a menstrual cup and I will never go back to pads or tampons. I prefer a cloth pad as a back up, because it can leak when too full or when not inserted properly. It has been my personal experience that it leaks when it is too high or close to my cervix; it needs to be very low in my vagina to work best, with the bottom of the cup just at the entrance to my vagina. (Once again, sex with it in would be impossible for me with it positioned here.) I did cut off the tip to the cup because it literally hung outside my vagina. Not a big deal for a tampon string, but not cool for a big silicone tube thing. Ouch.

    But anyway, speaking from experience, the cup CAN fall out. Sorry if this is TMI, but I apparently have very effective PC muscles, at least judging by my childbirth experiences, and once while bearing down to, ahem, do my business, I popped that thing right outa there. I now remove it before I go number 2 because I don’t want to have to go fishing for it again. Blech! No more kegels for me. ?

    P.S. My sister would want me to post this Public Service Announcement that you need to be careful to break the suction properly before pulling the cup out. She did not twist it to break the suction once and just yanked it out… and immediately had the most horrific pain and cramping for the next three hours that she was curled up in a ball on the bathroom floor trying to decide whether to faint or throw up. DON’T PULL. Twist!! Or poke a finger by the rim. Always break the suction before removing!

    But truly, with proper use, menstrual cups are amazing and I will never go back to disposable products.

    1. Kay says:

      P.S. Thank you for this post, Christina!

  5. Momma31 says:

    Another woman vouching for the Instead Softcups! Ive been using them for 7 years. I use one softcup for my entire cycle (washing a couple times a day like the Diva cup) and then use a new one the next month. It’s only about $8 for a 14 pack, so that $8 lasts me for over a year of period protection. I love that with softcups you can insert very easily as well as have sex in any position without it being affected. My husband said he can’t even feel it in there, most of the time, which is awesome. I’ve considered using a different cup, but for me the softcup is pretty ideal so I’m not sure I’d like the other styles better due to the added expense and less pleasurable sex factors. I’ll never go back to pads and tampons…wish I’d learned about menstrual cups sooner!

  6. Ashley says:

    I have the Super Jennie reusable menstrual cup and I LOVE it!!!

  7. Courtney Reese says:

    I’ve been using the DivaCup for 3 years now and I LOVE IT! I have a heavy flow and definitely agreed with what you said. Except the part about sex with it in, I’m with Kay, I don’t get how that would work…but my husband’s against sex during my period anyway so it’s a non issue LoL I also love there is no more gross period smell anymore!! Thanks for writing this!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I was wondering if a 13 year old could use a mentrual cup? My daughter is interested in one but I’m a little apprehensive with her being so young and a virgin. What are your thoughts on that?

    1. Susie says:

      I think it should be fine. You could always write the company and ask what they suggest.
      When I bought mine, many many moons ago, they had two sizes: one for women who had never had a vaginal birth AND one for women who had had a vaginal birth. Their was also rubber or silicon.

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