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Friday, March 1, 2013

316

An Ode to the Diva Cup

More than once, as I’ve watched my Diva Cup roll around in a pot of sterilizing boiling water on my stove, I’ve thought to myself that I should probably do a shot of tequila with the thing at some point. It holds an ounce of liquid, and it looks like a little silicone shot-goblet, but it’s more that I just want to party with it, because I think it’s awesome.

I made the hasty decision to buy the damn thing already in a drug store in 2008 and, ever-cautious with my lady bits, I looked up instructional videos and Livejournals (if that says anything about menstrual cup demographics) about insertion techniques before I got down to business in my bathroom. True to Livejournal form, most of the stories were bad ones, about people crying in their bathrooms, cursing the injustice of shallow vaginal canals.

But it wasn’t so bad, and there ain’t no mountain high enough and ain’t no vaginal canal shallow enough to keep you from getting the hang of it. As per the instructions, if you start by folding the cup in on itself and finish by yelling “Chup chup chup chup chup chup chup chup, nannaaay!” and firing your gun into the air, the invisible swordsman will appear, and the Diva Cup will disappear.

The first time I wore my Diva Cup in public was to watch a gay pride parade — my little way of saying ‘Hey, whatever you stick in your wherever is cool with me, friends.” I spent as much time getting teary-eyed at the beautiful and inspiring display of openness and pride as I did clenching my legs together, worrying that I was about to spontaneously birth a mini shot-goblet of blood on to the sidewalk if I so much as exhaled.

After the parade, I stopped in at a café with a friend and bee-lined it to the ladies' room to assess the damage. Nothing. No sign of life. Clear skies. You’ve got clearance, Clarence.

“There’s nothing there,” I whispered to my friend upon my return from the bathroom.

“What?” she whispered back and looked around like I was trying, unsuccessfully, to summon ghosts.

It was that precise moment that I became a member of the Unofficial Menstrual Cup Salesman Brigade and made it my life’s mission to convince other menstruating women everywhere that holy shit, you have got to try this out. 

My conversion crusade got off to a bit of a false start when I told my then-pregnant and not-at-all-menstruating older sister about the novel idea and told her that once her rivers inevitably swell again come spring, she should get on this, they even have bigger sizes for stretched-out birthy vaginas. Sold.

She didn’t bite immediately, and like a good salesman I held back, or forgot I’d even mentioned it, and once she had an eight-month-old at home, she brought it up again. “I just bought one today,” she told me in an email, “and I’m having nothing but bad luck so far. I bought the one for baby mamas, and I read the instructions multiple times and did exactly as instructed, but it always leaks. WTF?”

WTF, indeed. When I read the message I took a moment to pause and shed a single tear before I responded. “Oh how I love thee, Diva Cup,” I began, and then admitted that I don’t know much about post-birth junk elasticity.

In the year I’d been a Right Honorable Diva Cup Ambassador, I picked up on two crucial pieces of advice that I always imparted on my pupils. First: nothing is more important to the Diva Cup than the 360-degree turn. When I first read about the turn in the instructions I was all, “You want me to do a pirouette? In my bathroom? Well, if you say…” And upon a second read I thought, “Screw that, I got the fucker in position, I don’t need to get showy about it. Let sleeping dogs lie, mon frère.” Then I did a pirouette and got on with my day.

Nope, turns out that turn is like when the kid twists the bedknob in Bedknobs and Broomsticks and the whole thing lights up and angels sing and a portal to a new land is unlocked. If it doesn’t turn easily, you’ve screwed up. Abort mission and try again, pal. When you do it right, sometimes you actually hear a little suction noise, like the first hopeful gasp of a newborn Narnian centaur. That’s the portal latching onto the opportunities in the new world you’ve just unlocked. Wash your hands, sister, because today’s the first day of the rest of your life and you’ve probably got bits of uterine lining on them at this point.

The second crucial piece of information I picked up is that my vaginal canal swings to the right. Who knew. More importantly, who knew and didn't tell me. For a while I was fighting nature and trying to keep everyone center-aligned but the typesetter of my loins was gunning for ragged right and I was in no position to argue. I don’t get it, but once I gave in to the ol’ starboard lean, the turn came more easily and suddenly it was like I was riding a bed with Angela Lansbury to Naboombu.

Around the same time, the same friend from the cafe succumbed to my sales pitch and came to me for troubleshooting. The turn wasn’t happening. It was like the cup was flattened, she said.

“It obviously has to work,” I told her. “You've had other cylindrical-shaped things in there before. Has a dude ever complained that you've flattened his penis? If not, there's a way.”

Science, nature, and brute force cannot be wrong. And if a silicone shot glass in your vagina was meant to be wrong, it wouldn’t feel so right.

Heather Cleland is a writer from Toronto and has been menstruating like a champ since the early '90s.



316 Comments / Post A Comment

anachronistique

A friend of mine totally did a shot out of a clean DivaCup at one point. You're not alone.

missannethrope

Wow, it sounds great! But I'll never know, since menopause has freed me of all things periodical.

Judith Slutler

@missannethrope It's like you are ALWAYS wearing a Diva Cup!

Lu2
Lu2

@missannethrope Here's where I chime in and say, I used the D-Cup for several years successfully but got so tired of pinching my innards and feeling weird suction that I finally abandoned it in expectation of the advent of menopause. I opined, "lemme just go back to tampons, which are much easier for me, and have a bit of luxury in the few cycles I have left before menopause surely removes the question of my monthly wasting of resources from the equation." Yet my menstruality persists, year upon year! Granted, I'm not yet old enough to be anything like a miracle of fertility, but all my friends are ahead of me on the menopause curve and I just keep buying those tampons. Forgive me, mother Earth!~

HereKitty

@Lu2 IIRC, "I'm in my late 40s and my damn period just keeps arriving" (paraphrasing) was one of the questions for Texas Gov. Rick Perry last year when his Facebook page was (hilariously) under siege. He was apparently too busy turning down federal funding for Planned Parenthood to answer, go figure.

Lu2
Lu2

@HereKitty OMG, I never heard about that. Thank you! ha hahah. I never thought to ask a conservative busy-body my perimenopause questions. This would have been a great question for Rick Perry. "Dear governor, is the Diva Cup right for me?"

Myrtle

@missannethrope I just moved to a new apt and my Cup did not come with me. My steadfast companion is no longer need now that Elvis has left the auditorium. But oh, the times we had, together. Here's the moment of silence, in respect, that the toss into the trash did not give homage to.

allendaniel

Just terrible!!!@a

sophia_h

Man, I've thought about trying these for years, but a) heavy flow, b) I know you have to try different brands sometimes to figure out which your body is shaped for, and most importantly c) I can't do tampons because they make me sick, and I think my body just really wants all that stuff to get the heck out of dodge and not have anything else up in there messing things up.

Relatedly, has anyone ever tried Luna pads? The investment is high but they seem nice.

MousesHouse

@sophia_h You would probably be perfect for it. For real, for all the reasons you stated you thought you wouldn't be. Also, I've never heard of trying out different brands! I was under the impression they were all basically the same! I was fine on the first try.

sarah girl

@MousesHouse Different brands have different widths and lengths; I think most people run into trouble with the length. The Diva Cup is relatively long, along the spectrum of menstrual cups, and people with more shallow vaginal canals can have issues with it sticking out uncomfortably.

This is my new username

@sophia_h Cups are the best for heavy flow!! Those bad boys hold quite a bit of uterine goo. They are also wayyyyy more comfortable than tampons, in my opinion. I don't get the weird uncomfortable tampon feeling with a cup at all.

anachronistique

@sophia_h I had a ridiculous flow (which is why I got a mirena) and I LOVED the DivaCup. It holds more than tampons and it doesn't do that horrific drying-out thing.

Judith Slutler

@sophia_h I always had to use a pad and a tampon at night during the first 2 days of my period, and I've had zero overflow issues with my cup.

Roxanne Rholes

@sophia_h I use fabric pads and I love them! I also only use them at night, when shifting (and therefore leakage) is less likely. Two things that I found were really helpful:

1. Get black ones! I'm totally down with blood, but stains (on anything) drive me nuts.
2. To avoid staining my other laundry, I unsnap it, flip the wings to the top side, re-snap it over the wet spot, and throw it in the laundry bag. Voila!

sophia_h

@MousesHouse (and everyone else) HMM. Well, I think tampons make me sick in part because they're petroleum-based, (OB cotton ones are better, not great) so maybe silicon would be easier on my system. I am pretty shallow, though, so I might need to get one of the shorter cup brands.

sarah girl

@sophia_h Another thing to consider is that the Cup isn't actually absorbing anything - it's just sitting there, collecting blood. And I believe it's medical-grade silicone so there's a good chance it'll play nicely with your system.

Sea Ermine

@MousesHouse Apparently there are some charts that show the differences in sizes and shape and flexibility of each brand (and each size within each brand) on livejournal. They also list the materials of each one which is helpful if like me, you use silicone lube and don't want that ruining your cup (I went with a MeLuna)

parallel-lines

@Sarah H. Do you know which is best for women on the smaller/shorter side? I think a diva cup would be too long and I have a small cervix so probably too big as well--is there another brand that's a better fit?

ach_so

@parallel-lines I think Lunette is the smallest. It's a Finnish brand. I had one and it was awesome. I now have a Diva Cup-brand cup, and I've had some fit issues with it.

Mariah Mantis@twitter

@sophia_h @sophia_h I've always hated tampons and having stuff up inside me generally (exemptions made for sex) and so I've been using Luna Pads for years now. I bought four pads and four liners, and I just wear a pad with liner, take the liner out and wear just the pad, then switch. My periods are pretty light and short (shout out to Mirena for that one) so honestly most months I don't even make it through my permutation of eight cloth pads.

But yes, agree with the wise person above about BLACK. Also, flannel in the summer is a little bit unpleasant/sticky. Also also, if you're going to do a lot of walking I'd think very hard, I find my cloth pads tend to migrate up the back of my undies which is definitely uncomfortable and possibly messy.

That said, I bought the pads five years ago and they're still going strong. I think they're a good investment.

NeverOddOrEven

@sophia_h
I have a couple cloth pads made by a small local company that I picked up at a co-op, but they are one million bajillion times better than a disposable. Feels no different than regular underwear. And I don't even wear underwear outside of my period.
Highly recommend. For everyone. At least as a back-up, which is how I roll.

sophia_h

@Roxanne Rholes (and everyone else on fabric pads) I think I really might give them a go, if I can find ones long enough (I have to get the Kotex extra-long and thick ones in the dark pink wrapper, which are one level above overnight/orange and hard to find!) One time in my life I ran out of pads and had to use a washcloth, and it was so comfortable I have been thinking ever since I should try the fabric option.

par_parenthese

@NeverOddOrEven I made a big stack of flannel pads a few years ago and those suckers are still going strong, even with my shithouse sewing skills. They are AMAZING. When I'm crampy the first couple days (I use them as backup for my Luna Cup because I don't always have the luxury of running to the ladies room at a minute's notice), I put 'em in the dryer to warm them up a little before changing them out? Warm soft flannel on crampy bits. <3

NeverOddOrEven

@par_parenthese
And patterns! I get to bleed all over a little adorable retro-mushroom print and they put a bird(s) on the other.

damselfish

@Roxanne Rholes re: black pads

I use oxobrite. I've got wild and crazy patterns and lots of light colored pads and only one of them stains-- must be the fabric. Cotton also doesn't stain as much as the flannel ones do, IME.

Valley Girl

@ fabric pad users and/or Clean Persons: Are y'all soaking the pads before laundering or just throwing them in the washer? I feel like I would be okay with washing them straight off with a slug of vinegar if that was good enough, but the idea of having some kind of menstrual soaking bucket sitting around seems a little too medieval for me.

Hurricanoes

@Valley Girl I only use them as back-up for a cup, so they don't actually end up with that much on them and I just toss 'em in with everything else--never been a problem at all. If I full-time bled on them, I'd probably rinse them at the end of the day and leave them to dry out, then toss em in the wash. I am with you on the soaking bucket--especially in the summer, it sounds like rotting bucket to me.

NeverOddOrEven

@Valley Girl
I've rinsed in the sink and air dried to use again without a full wash when in a pinch, but I've also thrown them straight in the wash, no problem. Everything I've read says it's fine, too.

crango

@sophia_h and @parallel-lines I'm pretty shallow and use a fleurcup. The stem on the bottom it a bit long though, but you can trim it down if you need to, plus it comes in two sizes depending on how heavy your flow is.

par_parenthese

@Valley Girl I use 'em as cup backup too, and I've never done anything but wash them with my lights in warm water with regular (fragrance free eco hippie free range) detergent and vinegar, but I'm pretty who-caresy about menstrual blood. It's just a thing. Also all my pads are plaid flannel, evenly split between very dark blue and red, so staining has never been an issue (although? They're not really stained even if I look closely at them?).

T A@twitter

@sophia_h I am a heavy flow girl and love my diva cup! I can now sit through an entire meeting on even my heaviest days (in high school I needed a super tampon+an overnight pad to make it through a 55 minute class. I wasn't always successful).

I now know that I can bleed more in a day than most women do their whole periods, but by my 4th day, I can keep the cup in all day! I sometimes forget that I have my period. Really, my ibuprofen wears off after a few hours and I start to wonder why I have weird abdominal pains. The diva cup may have been the best thing that happened to me because it literally changed my life.

Bitterblue

@T A@twitter I was also a heavy flow girl, especially after I went off BC for about a year -- once I had to empty my diva cup seven times in one day because it kept filling up, ugh times a million!

But I got the Mirena IUD and holy shit it is amazeballs. I seriously barely bleed at all, I don't need my diva cup anymore -- I could hold my entire period in a single pantyliner. Five years of worry-free BC and no periods, seriously the best thing ever.

The Attic Wife

Literally, the ONLY thing that has tempted me to try out the Diva Cup in this article is all the Bedknobs and Broomsticks references. Well, played.

reburkel

I love the Diva Cup! In the beginning I once had to GChat with a pal with one hand while trying to sort out what was going on with the Cup in the other hand.

Exene

Love that Diva Cup. I clean mine in the dishwasher.

grizzle_bees

Ok, Diva Cup experts: how compatible is it with an IUD? Because I already have to fiddle around with my cervix once a month as it is. What if I go to pull the Cup out and(::BARF::)grab onto my strings instead?

sarah girl

@shart_attack How long are your strings? It shoooouldn't be an issue; since the Diva cup kind of goes around your cervix, your strings should be in the middle of the cup and not wrapping around it or anything. The most important thing, though, is to BREAK THE SUCTION on the cup before doing any pulling - you can pull out your IUD if you don't.

Now that I've scared you, I used the Cup successfully with an IUD for about a year with no string-pulling or IUD-dislodging incidents.

parallel-lines

@shart_attack NOOOOOOO, don't do it! My friend had an IUD and it literally sucked it right out of her. They don't advise IUD users do a suction based cup, but I used to use Insteads (which are more like a diaphragm, no suction) and those are safer though not 100% recommended either http://www.softcup.com/

PaprikaPants

@shart_attack I have a Diva Cup and an IUD and I proselytize endlessly about both. My gyno said it would be fine, she cut my strings pretty short, and I agree with Sarah H. about breaking the suction before pulling it out. I always do that anyway cause it's just easier.

grizzle_bees

@parallel-lines aaaAAAAHHHHHH that sounds so fucking horrifying. I'm going to spend the rest of the day curled up under my desk, gently stroking my lower belly and whispering, "I'll never do that to you, Uterus."

VDRE

@parallel-lines I'm considering getting an IUD and the pulling out the IUD with the DivaCup worried me but according to this study it looks like it should be ok?

sarah girl

@VDRE I read somewhere that the real issue is using a Cup in the first month of having the IUD installed, because that first month is when the expulsion possibility is highest. Once you get past that risky time, though, it should be fine.

honey cowl

@shart_attack This is exactly what I was going to say! As A Certified Paragard IUD Ambassador, I am terrified of suctioning out this awesome bit of copper that keeps me baby-free!

parallel-lines

@VDRE Hmmm...there are different kinds of menstrual cups--some have suction, some don't. I can't tell which one they used for that study.

I asked my gyn straight up and her advise was "No, don't risk it, could cause scarring and be very painful." So, I didn't. But my experience with IUDs was a horror show all over the place (that's a story for another time--if you are nullparious do your research since a lot of stuff happened that they didn't warn about).

PaprikaPants

@Sarah H. Oh god, yes, agree, do nothing in your first month of having Paragard except wear pads and eat ice cream.

grizzle_bees

@honey cowl I, too, am a Certified Paragard Ambassador. I love this little bit of copper like I would my own children that I'm NEVER going to have as far as my Cervical Vanguard is in place.

grizzle_bees

@PaprikaPants YUP. And sob quietly.

honey cowl

@PaprikaPants I feel a responsibility as A Certified Paragard IUD Ambassador to let any Paragard-Considering Ladies reading this thread know that my period is not worse with the Paragard! Even in the first month! Really it has made no difference!

Just so those P-CLs might be a little less terrified going into it than I was.

tealily

@shart_attack My gyno said it would be just fine. I agree, break the seal. I had been using Softcups for ages and switched to Diva when I got my IUD (supposed to be less likely to catch the strings), but since I was having trouble with the 360 spin, I decided to go back to the Softcups until my gyno checked me out. Everything is a-okay after 3 months, and I'm planning to switch back to the Diva. Really, I think it would be pretty hard to accidentally catch the strings.

VDRE

@Sarah H. Good to know, thanks.

@parallel-lines that's a good point, I do use a Diva Cup which does suction but I always break the suction before removing it so it should be fine? I think I'd probably be more worried about getting the IUD first and the Diva Cup second because then learning how to take it out properly is more high stakes.

sarah girl

@shart_attack Can I just say, I'm so jealous of all you happy Paragard ambassadors - I had one for just over a year and adored it, but then became one of the lucky 0.6% who got pregnant (and subsequently miscarried) even with a perfectly placed IUD. UGH.

So uh, be careful out there.

tealily

@honey cowl My first one was about as painful as the days following insertion, but since then, no biggie. A little heavier, but menstrual cups make this no biggie either.

grizzle_bees

@Sarah H. OOF. Sorry, babe, that sounds awful. Is all your babymaking equipment still okay?

grizzle_bees

@tealily Honestly, it differs from woman to woman. (Google the iud_divas Livejournal to read just about every single IUD horror/success story you could imagine) Some months I start cramping heavily the week before and bleed like hallway-of-blood-in-the-Shining amounts, other months there's no marked difference in my cycle.

sarah girl

@shart_attack Yeah, all is well - I had to have the IUD removed as soon as the test came back positive (IUD + fetus = potential serious issues) even though I was miscarrying at the time, but everything's all back to normal.

Still haven't decided if I'm going to get the IUD reinserted.

parallel-lines

@Sarah H. Yeah, all the "this is awesome" stories bum me out because I want to be one of them--I lobbied for six years to get an IUD (and went through five doctors in the process) and when I finally did I could not believe the bleeding. Like, torrential floods with periods lasting close to two weeks and so much pain that I'd be bent over sobbing. I'm bummed I didn't get to have an awesome experience after so much work to get it (gave up a year and a half in and haven't looked back)--I've heard they are bringing a smaller version to market for nulliparous women and those with a smaller uterus but I don't think I could go for another round of feeling that awful.

many things do not fly

@VDRE I was a huge Diva Cup fan before I got my IUD. And I spoke to my GYN and she told me I would be a-ok to use it post-insertion, just take some precautions about suction, etc. I was all ready to have the two of them be friends, but I never got my period again. Apparently, this happens frequently with the Mirena (if you happen to be looking into that over Paraguard). So, it's possible the whole question might be moot? Just something to consider.

MilesofMountains

@shart_attack I've been using a Divacup with my Mirena for a year, no issues. After a couple of months, my strings curled up around my cervix, so there's pretty much no chance of catching them when taking out my cup. I make sure to break the seal before I take my cup out, but my reasoning is that if the suction is enough to yank large objects through your cervix, it wouldn't be good for you even if you didn't have an IUD in so EVERYONE should be making sure they break the suction.

Sea Ermine

@parallel-lines From what I've been told insteads are the worst to use with an IUD because of where they sit inside of you. Even the instead manufacturers say that they aren't designed for use with IUDs. If you're going to use a cup it would be best to use one of the silicone cups from a brand that says they are ok for use with IUDs and then make sure to break the suction.

mustelid

@shart_attack I've used the DivaCup since I was 17 and got a Paragard when I was 21ish. I asked when I got the IUD if it was cool to keep using my cup, the doc said yeah. (Some docs say yeah, some say no, so...) I used it fine for about a year, until one day I was reaching in to take my cup out while in the shower and a bottle of shampoo fell from the rack onto my arm and yanked it out real quick and I yanked the cup and the IUD out. The whole thing came out, it hurt like hell, I sat sobbing in the shower for a while.

But... at least 50% of the sobbing was "fuuuuck I am going to have to pay for another IUD and that one still had like 11 years left in it."

Anyway I told the doc what happened, they looked and said everything looked fine, I got another one put in. And now I never take it out in the shower anymore and I am really super careful.

So yeah, I don't know if this scares you or makes you feel better? But I would say "not incompatible, but with added risk and requiring caution."

All that said, I don't really care if my uterus scars because I don't want kids and I will probably end up gettin' fixed at some point.

grizzle_bees

@mustelid I just SHRIEKED out loud reading that story. WHYYYYY?! I'm glad everything was okay after that though. Jeebus.

slutberry

@shart_attack I have an IUD and a diva cup. I started using my cup again on the second period with my IUD. No problems whatsoever. Just slide your finger up alongside your cup to break the seal before you pull it out, if you're nervous.

mustelid

@shart_attack Sorry! Honestly I feel like the huge takeaway is that a lot of the sobbing was about the money, not the pain, and I did find it worth it to a) get another IUD inserted and b) continue using the DivaCup. It was pretty horrible but I wouldn't let it stop you from doing either one, just... learn from my mistakes, don't do it in the shower or near potentially falling objects, and be careful.

grizzle_bees

@mustelid NO, man, *I'm* sorry that happened to you! I'm nervous enough about the damn thing just shooting out of its own volition (unlikely, I know), that I don't need to add an additional layer of anxiety to the whole thing!

nonvolleyball

@shart_attack I've had two Paragards & a Mirena & used a DivaCup throughout--even immediately post-insertion. (& I've never expelled one either...but the reason I've had multiple IUDs is a long story & I'll spare you.)

honey cowl

@Sarah H. OMG. So scary. I don't know how I would handle this. Glad you're okay.

honey cowl

@mustelid This is frightening. You are a stronger woman than I.

orejitasmiamor

@parallel-lines I think that you are right, and there is one called Skyla coming out soon that is supposed to be better for nulliparous ladies. I think it is like Mirena, but lower dose hormones and smaller, basically because they have proven that IUDs are safe for teenagers and since they are so effective and free of failures, unlike the pill.

I've also heard that with Mirena you don't get a period after 6 months because of the hormones, so then the cup isn't really an issue.

cupcakecore@twitter

@shart_attack I had an IUD and a Divacup and I had no problems.

QuadrophonicSound

@honey cowl Bluh, my periods are so insanely, insanely heavy with my paraguard that I have to take intense amounts of iron for the anemia and yet... I'm keepin' it in. Hormonal birth control and I were not friends and I like not worrying.

chickaboom

@quadrophenia me too. that's actually why i had to start using the diva cup, there was just too much damn blood. but i'm still keeping it!

copper lovin' ladies -- how long did it take your body to somewhat normalize? i've had mine for a little over six months and i feel like i'm still cramping at least 2/3 of the month :(

honey cowl

@chickaboom I have had mine about 9 months. My period is not remotely regular & it is never the same. I would say 1 out of 3 or 4 periods is heavier & more crampy. For a while I spotted for, like, 6 weeks straight. But I think I'm basically at equilibrium now. Ask your doctor!

Blushingflwr

@PaprikaPants Many, I wish I'd had that prescription from my doctor!

Bitterblue

@shart_attack The Mirena IUD has also made my period a bit of a moot point, but for another anecdata point, I've used it in conjunction with a diva cup with no ill effects. I prefer pinching the cup at the bottom to release the suction, because I feel like it's easiest not to spill anything that way, and also gives you a good grip on the cup.

sarah girl

Actual LOL at like eight parts of this article.

I was on the Diva Cup train then fell off for a while when I was having really heavy and painful periods (when I'm cramping like crazy, the last thing I want to do is stick my fingers up there and mess around); they've gotten better, though, so I might get back on it. It makes me sad that I need to keep my nails shortish, though, to avoid scratching very sensitive bits.

TheclaAndTheSeals

Is this where we all share our Diva Cup fears and are reassured?

I haven't tried it because I'm worried about spilling blood on myself when I take it out.

Judith Slutler

@TheclaAndTheSeals OK this is non-reassuring, the first couple of times you will probably spill some blood on your hand. I definitely spent the first 3 months I used mine with some girl-scout-level preparedness, I knew exactly where all the single stall bathrooms on campus were, I carried wet wipes etc. It does take some practice.

sarah girl

@TheclaAndTheSeals The best thing to do is to remove the Diva Cup while sitting on the toilet (like, sitting but leaning forward so you can reach stuff); that way the blood just dumps into the toilet. I will say, unfortunately, that with particularly heavy loads I have spilled blood on my hand which is groooosssss. But never onto my clothes or anything.

likethestore

@TheclaAndTheSeals eh, you just wash your hands. It happens and it's not a huge deal. One time I dropped it on the bathroom floor though and it looked like a crime scene.

kickupdust

@TheclaAndTheSeals I am a total clutz and spill everything all the time, but this has never happened to me. I mean, you're on the toilet, right? sleeves rolled up, pants around the ankles, you reach in there and when it comes out dump it straight into the toilet bowl. it doesn't come out of the toilet bowl area until its been emptied. doing it in the shower is another excellent option!

TheclaAndTheSeals

@likethestore Not sweating blood on hands. Worried more about spilling blood on my pants while at work, or something equally terrible.

This is my new username

@TheclaAndTheSeals I have never had issues with spilling on my clothes, and I am fairly spilly when it comes to emptying my Diva Cup.

OhMarie

@TheclaAndTheSeals I am worried about this too! I am also not squeamish about blood on hands, but I would personally be terrified about, like dumping it all over the front of the toilet? Probably impossible.

notpollyanna

@TheclaAndTheSeals
I usually empty my diva cup in the shower. In the morning I am already in the shower. If I have to empty it in the evening, I just take off my pants, empty it, rinse it, clear myself out a little, and reinsert. If you get the hang of it that way to begin with, those times when you don't have shower access and must do it in the toilet aren't so daunting.

D.@twitter

@Sarah H. I had a friend who used to compare emptying her Diva cup to "sacrificing a small mammal" in her toilet. I used one when I lived abroad in a country that didn't have a well-organized sanitation system, and my only option would have been burning all my pads/tampons. I never liked it, though. I mean, it was okay, but don't feel bad/inadequate if you don't end up loving it. It's not for everyone.

mustelid

@kickupdust DO NOT EMPTY YOUR DIVACUP IN THE SHOWER IF YOU HAVE AN IUD. (Read upthread for my cautionary tale.)

nonvolleyball

@mustelid I feel like "yanking" is a reasonable description of how I remove mine most of the time, & my various IUDs have stayed put throughout. (I've also removed it in the shower on a few occasions--it's an especially good option if you're staying at someone's house & feel weird about [or are logistically incapable of] rinsing the thing out in their bathroom sink.)

ayo nicole

@TheclaAndTheSeals I get blood on my finger but that's about it.
I tried emptying it in the shower once and that was the only time in my life where I felt like I might faint. Watching that much of your own blood slide down the drain is more intense for me than just dumping it in the toilet.

Clarisse McClellan

@TheclaAndTheSeals You may not even need to empty a diva cup in a public bathroom. They don't have to be changed as often as tampons, depending on your amount of blood, so you could just do it at home.

VerityStandingStill

One major benefit of using a cup is that unless you have a very heavy cycle, you probably won't have to empty it at work or when you are out of your house at all. I've been using the Instead cups (the disposable ones, but I just rinse them out and use one per cycle) for almost a year, and I have only spilled once. It was only a couple of drops, on the floor, and I was drunk at the time. So, don't try to empty it when you are drunk!

karenb

TMI question - for the nuvaring ladies - there's a day or so when the end of my period and the new ring overlap - i want to try the divacup, but i feel like that's a lot of aparatus up in there. any thoughts?

Norrey

@karenb When I was on the ring I found that the overlap days were light enough that I didn't mind using a cloth pad. BUT! The Diva Cups sits just inside your vagina, and the ring sits right up against your pelvic bone, so I think you could easily use both. Also worth mentioning, Diva Cup has amazing customer service, you can call in with all sorts of questions and there's always a helpful person on the other end of the line. I bet you wouldn't be the first person calling with that question.

anachronistique

@karenb I asked my gyno about this when I was considering the ring and she said that basically the ring is supposed to sit up near your cervix and the cup sits lower, so they shouldn't interfere.

nzle

@karenb Ditto what @anachronistique said. My gyno said it wouldn't be a problem in terms of effectiveness, and in practice it was never a problem with one getting in the other's way, either.

karenb

@nzle / @norrey / @anachronistique - thanks, ladies! good to know! i may be a convert, then, we'll see in.... 26 days.

MissFae

@karenb I have used both successfully!

phlox

@MissFae Me too! And if you're using one, you're already used to sticking your fingers up there to get stuff in position.

planforamiracle

@karenb I currently have both in my vag right now. s'fine!

Norrey

I LOVE MY DIVA CUP. I can't...I have a hard time expressing how much I love it. I could never have period sex before because tampons waaaay dried me out and made it painful, but the Diva Cup keeps things nice and un-inflamed. I, too, have become an unofficial Diva Cup salesman since getting mine in '08.

anachronistique

@Norrey I try not to be that person who's a totally irritating evangelist, because it's as obnoxious as any other sort of proselytizing except you are also talking about your privates, but... I really do love it.

etc etc

@Norrey Ooh, can we talk about period sex while using a Diva Cup?! I guess it's the same as "Excuse me while I remove my tampon," but then you throw the tampon away and need somewhere to store the Diva Cup. Which can be awkward if you're at a gentleman friend's house and the relationship is fairly new.

ALSO. Maybe TMI, but recent experience. Gentleman friend and I were fooling around (pre storage conversation), and my Diva Cup got wedged super high up in there. It took me like 10 minutes to get it out, which really interrupted our, uh, flow. Anyone else, ever?!

Norrey

@etc etc Oh...yeah, that would be awkward. I have a long term, live in partner, so we're pretty much past any awkwardness or *ahem* flow issues. Maybe a quick trip to the bathroom, and wrapping the cup in TP and stowing it away in your purse/pocket? I've had that happen where the cup gets stuck too far up and it's a PAIN.

This is my new username

@etc etc I just rinse it off and leave it on the counter in the bathroom for that time, but we live together and my fiance is not squeamish about that stuff. He does laugh at the sounds it makes when I take it out though.

Sarah Rain

@etc etc I make sure it's relatively clean before we start and leave it in until absolutely necessary, when I take it out and wad it up in a handkerchief or TP on the bedside table. Ideally though I plan ahead and use a Softcup, which can just stay in there.

bnna

@Sarah Rain I mean I've totally just had sex with my Keeper in. I've fooled around with it a bunch, and I've taken it out before (while he was getting a condom I went to the bathroom? and left it there? it seemed pretty normal) but also a couple times I've jest kept it in there! The thing is those times have never been with LTRs, I mean I don't do LTRs, and my partner(s) and I have usually been drunk. Once I asked the dude if he felt it, and he said "I think it might be hurting me," but he didn't seem very sure and then he just kept having sex with me and I kept the Keeper in and everything seemed fine... I hope that my really scientific data collection on having sex with menstrual cups has been helpful!

Judith Slutler

"When you do it right, sometimes you actually hear a little suction noise, like the first hopeful gasp of a newborn Narnian centaur."

ahahahahaha yes

bellryana

DIVA CUPS RULE! And ever since getting a Paragard, it is the only thing that can keep up with my flow on heavy days. If you know anything about what happens when you stick copper in your cervix, then you know this is a hearty task. Plus, dollars saved on cooter cotton can be spent on more interesting things...like happy hour.

ach_so

@bellryana Totally agree. Paragard period = AHHH. But with a cup, way easier to handle.

chickaboom

@bellryana ohh my god seriously.

likethestore

YAY I frigging love when I get a chance to rhapsodize about my cup since most people in real life find it unsettling when I talk about my blood catcher. I've used mine since 2006 with zero problems. In all that time I've used tampons once (when I left my cup at my, um, sex friend's house and was too embarrassed to ask for it back...that was an interesting night). I swim with it, sleep with it, travel, never had leaks or trouble. I love it way more than I thought I could love a piece of silicone.

Judith Slutler

@likethestore Me toooooo. It's one of those things I just can't get evangelistic about. And, now I think my female friends think that it's some super arcane thing because when they ask about it I'm like "Yeah, it's about the size of an egg cup. It's pretty awesome" and that's all. I am just not capable of properly sharing the Secret Of The Silicone Chalice with them!

Sassafrass

@likethestore Yes! I have been a using a diva cup since 2009 and it is wonderful. I never loved tampons or pads, but it took some time to get up the nerve to try a cup out. Let me just say I've never looked back. And it is weird to proselytize about it unless someone asks, so it is fantastic to share my joy here with everyone else. Taking a trip a couple of years ago I realized on a layover that my period arrived early. Stranded without my cup, I ordered a replacement on Amazon and had it delivered to my final destination. When I arrived at my friend's house later that day I was like "so, I'm expecting a package to arrive here tomorrow..." One day of tampons was all I could handle. The cup is great! Life changing for me.

yeah-elle

Ugh I really want to try it, but despite wanting to get friendly with my nethers, my fear of it not working is overlapping with my financial fear of spending a chunk of money on something I end up never using. So instead I keep throwing money down the tampon hole (hoho tampon hole).

Lucienne

@yeah-elle Maybe try Softcups first? They're cheaper, and if you like them you can buy a reusable cup.

I'm having good luck with Softcups, they are way better than tampons.

honey cowl

@yeah-elle Tampon hole!!!!!!!!!!!

antipretty

Ahhhh <3 u Dive Cup.

I haven't used mine in about a year since I got my IUD put it. My Mirena virtually eliminated my period to the point where I get paranoid and pee on a stick every few months just in case.

But I definitely recommended it to everyone I know, because the Diva Cup is amazing.

adriana

@antipretty
My Mirena has done the same thing (and I am equally paranoid). I almost miss using the Diva Cup and being a loud and proud ambassador for it. But now I am also a Mirena Ambassador!

nonvolleyball

@adriana HA! I'm a few months into a Mirena & hadn't used it in a while, but I was spotting enough last night that it seemed wise. & then I was like "hello, old friend!"

also, um, not to be too TMI, but...it can also be useful if you've just had--let's say "a romantic experience"--& need to quickly transition to being out in the world without...leakage. if you catch my drift.

adriana

@nonvolleyball
Oh, I do indeed catch your drift... haha that has taken some getting-used to. Still worth it, <3 u Mirena.

nonvolleyball

@adriana "the DivaCup: it's not [just] for blood anymore!"

VerityStandingStill

@nonvolleyball Cups are also used by women who are actually trying to get pregnant, for the same reasons. I think it's mostly the Instead Softcup that people use for that (it sits up higher and keeps the, uh, fluids closer to the cervix where they need to be), but still, be careful about that!

adriana

@VerityStandingStill
AHHHH GET IT OUT GET IT OUT

Jen@twitter

"The first time I wore my Diva Cup in public was to watch a gay pride parade — my little way of saying ‘Hey, whatever you stick in your wherever is cool with me, friends.” "

Oh.

Girl Named Jack

You know, I've been thinking about getting one for a while, and just as I was clicking the link in the story, "I Bleed" by the Pixies came up in my playlist. Hardy har har, universe. Good one.

liverwortlaura

Sponges!!

raised amongst catalogs

@liverwortlaura You converted me to sponges months ago and I am so grateful!

yunkstahn

I'd be worried about dropping the thing in the toilet. Have any of you ever dropped it in the toilet?

anachronistique

@yunkstahn That is exactly why I am on cup number 2.

sarah girl

@yunkstahn Yes :(

You just go "UGGHHHH GROSS" and carefully fish it out, then wash it several times with extreme care. Maybe with a little shuddering.

So it's gross, but you can deal with it.

yunkstahn

:O My luck it would be at work and I'd have to hobble to the row of sinks with wads of toilet paper stuffed into my drawers and praying that I didn't bleed all over the bathroom, then wash out the cup with the sickly-sweet government soap, and then my boss would walk in and aughhhhhhh!!!!!!

nzle

@yunkstahn I've only ever dropped it in the toilet at home, but I always just tell myself that it was about time I boiled it, anyway.

likethestore

@yunkstahn Maybe I'm just a disgusting person because I just fished mine out, cleaned it and went on with my life. My vagina didn't fall out so I guess I'm ok.

Nutellaface

Love you all, but you can pry my Tampax Pearls out of my cold, menopausal hands.

honey cowl

@Nutellaface AMEN SISTA FRIEND

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Nutellaface Yes ma'am. (Tampax Pearls are also the reason I giggle a little when people say "clutched her pearls." Heh.)

iceberg

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Bahahahaha! Now I am picturing, like the Wealthy Dowager from the Simpsons bent over, clutching her Tampax Pearls string.

Bittersweet

@Nutellaface et al: HELLO MY PEOPLE. Nice to see you here. Tampax Pearls forever and always...or at least another 10-15 years when I enter the Crone Age.

every tomorrow@twitter

@Nutellaface I'm That One Person Who Hated The Diva Cup. It leaked, it chafed, it gave me Horrible Death Cramps, my vagina hates cups. I freaking love Tampax Pearls though. Also Kotex U is pretty awesome, especially the miniature-sized ones. Those are great for carrying in my purse. (I always have a shitload of tampons in my purse, Implanon makes you super irregular.)

Nicole Cliffe

I just want to be able to take my uterus out at will until I want another fucking kid, you know? It is the worst design. It is a PT Cruiser.

Norrey

@Nicole Cliffe wouldn't that be the SHIT. Or like, if you could mentally control fertility.

OhMarie

@Nicole Cliffe @Norrey My husband and I joke about the Nuclear Codes method--like, we'd both have to turn a key to make one of us fertile.

fabel

@Nicole Cliffe I wish I could just take it out & wring it over the toilet when I know my period is coming, & then put it back in, empty.

(Did I take this too far?)

notpollyanna

@fabel
I hated periods so much before diva cup and birth control (less mess! less pain and lighter periods!) I fantasized about having a hysterectomy. Or doing this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menstrual_extraction

Ophelia

@fabel I wish they were external to begin with. Like, when you hit puberty, you're given a uterus, and you have to take care of it like a permanent pet, but you can just put it in the closet most of the time, and just take it out when you need it.

stonefruit

@fabel You certainly did not. I logged in to give that a thumbs-up.

Blackwatch Plaid

@Nicole Cliffe I both used a menstrual cup and drove a PT Cruiser in high school. I'm not sure if there's a joke in that, so take it as you will.

Bittersweet

@fabel Honestly, I'd happily spend one day a month crying, cramping, eating Entenmann's chocolate doughnuts and bleeding like a mofo, if the other 30 were period-free. Especially if I could pick the day.

Alli525

@Bittersweet Me too - one sick day a month, especially if I can take a Saturday or Sunday every time, would be worth every agonizing minute, instead of 6-7 days of bleeding and expensive contraptions to spirit the blood (none of this "uterine lining" nonsense, even if that is technically what it is) away.

OxfordComma

@fabel : YES.

karenology

Viva la Diva Cup! It makes things like traveling and camping possible when you're on your period. (you'll probably still attract bears, though)

Sea Ermine

So I've really wanted to use one of these (and bought one!) since suddenly tampons started causing irritation for me in the last few months but they just do not play nicely with my IUD. The last time I tried it I ended up making a last minute trip to the doctor because it got stuck inside and I couldn't get it out and when I finally did there was a ton of suction and I was terrified that I dislodged my IUD. Turned out the IUD was still in place but I'm scared of doing something worse.

Also, does anyone else find these incredibly painful to put in? Relaxing my vaginal muscles takes a lot of concentration and foreplay for me so I don't understand how I'm supposed to put a cup, and also my hands in my ladybits at the same time without getting all sexy first.

BoatGirl

@Sea Ermine
You're not alone. I find it super painful to put in. I used to love it anyway because of the convenience once in, but then after a couple of years of use, I guess I got allergic or something, as it got all itchy. And yes, I always cleaned it carefully and am up to date on all of my appropriate gyno checks, so no issues there. Its just irritating. The other thing to be aware of is the little rubber pull tab - it can break off. Now there's a panic when it pulls off and you're stuck in a bathroom wondering how the hell you're going to get this blood filled rubber shotglass out of your ladybits.
Isn't being a girl just spiffy!

oboe-d-amore

@Sea Ermine Yeah, I tried to use one, and had so much pain from insertion/removal that I just couldn't do it. Which makes me sad.

iceberg

This was hilarious and perfect and I love it and I love you, but I'm still not jamming a plasstic shot glass up my snatch.

sarah girl

@iceberg Would it change things if the shot glass was actually silicone? (probably not)

parallel-lines

@iceberg what if it still has the tequila inside? Huh? Huh?

C'mon girl, I wanna get your vagina drunk!

Apocalypstick

@parallel-lines I think you actually CAN get drunk through your vagina. You can definitely get drunk through your arse. ...I know some odd people, ok?

iceberg

@Sarah H. silicone:plastic::potayto:potahto ;)

@parallel-lines something something "salt-rimmed" aaaaahhhhhhhhhh!

Ellie

@Apocalypstick You can, much faster and more directly, it is really dangerous.

Daisy Razor

@iceberg Amen, sisterfriend. I just cannot deal with the idea of something suctioned onto my cervix.

yunkstahn

I'd be afraid of dropping it in the toilet. Have any of you dropped it in the toilet?

Hurricanoes

@yunkstahn Unfortunately, yes, though only once. In a (reasonably clean) toilet in a rather out of the way place in a Latin American country (no stores) without really any friends to speak of. I screamed inside for a few seconds, fished it out, washed it several times, popped it back in. In my memory, there was no soap, but my brain really wants that to be made up, because gross. But with soap and/or boiling, no big deal.

Relatedly, although I have dropped it a total of one time over the course of...almost 8 years, I say a little prayer to the blood-gods every time I use it in an outhouse.

yunkstahn

That's a pretty good record!

Panzerschwein

@yunkstahn yeeeessss and I was like "!!!! oh god!" and then I washed 10000 times, put it back in, felt really gross like everyone could tell (no one could tell), and when I got home I boiled it for 100 years and then carried on with my day.

Have had no vagina diseases (?) so I think it's ok!

Hurricanoes

@yunkstahn The grippy rings around the bottom are surprisingly effective for gripping it, even when slippery!

VerityStandingStill

@Hurricanoes This is why I use the disposable Instead cups. I use one per cycle (just rinse it out and put it back in), but I make sure to have a spare with me just in case I drop it someplace impossibly gross. I've never needed to use the backup, but it makes me feel a lot better knowing it's there!

maxine of arc

But the best part is that if you have a really heavy flow, which does NOT let up at night despite what every other woman seems to experience, you can go to bed with your cup in and sleep through the night without changing it. And you don't have to wear an elaborately constructed pad diaper. Not that I'd know anything about that. Just saying.

Girl Named Jack

@Chesh I might also be familiar with the elaborately constructed pad diaper. "Overnight" length, my ass.

sophia_h

@Girl Named Jack They make one that's more serious than overnight length! It's the dark pink one (NOT to be confused with the "light flow" medium pink one) and it is better than the orange one by far.

Girl Named Jack

@sophia_h Ooh, I didn't know that. I will look for this. I think in all honesty the problem might be less about pad length than about me getting my knickers in a literal twist while I toss and turn in my sleep.

@Chesh YES! Except my flow is so heavy that when I wake up in the morning, I know that the instant I'm upright, there will be leakage (my cup overfloweth!). So I've gotten really good at waking up, scooting out of bed, and hop-skipping to the bathroom in a kind of sideways postion so that I'm not fully upright until my pants are down.

In related news, I am awesome.

OxfordComma

@Girl Named Jack : Augh, and when it actually splorches UP YOUR BACK????

Fucking uterus.

Bitterblue

@S. Elizabeth You are not alone. We are both awesome. There should be some kind of club.

fondue with cheddar

Woah, this is crazy timing you guys because I just got my FIRST menstrual cup (Lunette) and have been wearing it for two days. My period hasn't started yet but I wanted to practice before I started bleeding. I should be getting it any day now and I'm so excited!

I've never birthed a baby, but I got the larger size because my flow is heavy. It's a little weird because I can feel it, like when your tampon isn't all the way in. I'm pretty sure I put it in all the way but it's just so big. I wish I could be sure though. I'm no stranger to sticking my fingers or other things in there, and I'm pretty familiar with my vaginal landscape. But there just isn't enough room in there for me to feel if it's in place. I guess I won't know until I start bleeding? It's also slightly painful, but maybe that's just because I got the stiffer, larger size?

Also, I have another question! I'm flying out of state this weekend and I'm a little concerned. Is the cup something the TSA x-ray people might see, and if so might they think I'm trying to smuggle something up in there? I have no idea how common menstrual cups are (I don't think my friends and 'Pinners are a very scientific sample of the female population) so I don't know if they'll just be like, "Seen it, NBD." Or if they will even see it at all.

sarah girl

@fondue with cheddar If the cup is stiff, you might be able to try running it under hot water for a little while before inserting - that can make it a little softer.

fondue with cheddar

@Sarah H. That's what I did. The stiffness doesn't bother me too much, it's just an ever so slight pain that is not nearly as bad as I will feel once my period starts.

Oh, I've also never heard a suction sound. Does everyone always hear that?

TheBelleWitch

@fondue with cheddar TSA won't see it! Those backscatter machines can't peer into orifices... fortunately. Anyway, I can attest to having flown with a DivaCup many a time, so you shouldn't have any issues.

maxine of arc

@fondue with cheddar It's my understanding that the creepy x-ray machines can only see under your clothes, not into your body.

Maybe the stem is what's causing you pain? If it feels like it's sticking out enough that you can feel it, then that pokey end could be stabbing some delicate anatomy.

MilesofMountains

@fondue with cheddar Mine feels like a not-quite-far-enough-in tampon when it's not far enough in. Maybe see if you can wiggle it in a bit more? Or trim the stem?

fondue with cheddar

@TheBelleWitch @Chesh Good! I thought it was just for seeing under clothes but I wasn't 100% sure.

@MilesofMountains The stem really doesn't bother me, it's the actual breadth of the cup on the bottom. It's not bothersome, it's just that I expected that I wouldn't be able to feel it at all. But again, maybe it's because I got the larger size?

down the rabbit hole

@fondue with cheddar It might be more comfortable once you start your period? I have the smaller size Diva Cup and thought I'd do the same "test run" type thing ahead of my period and it was uncomfortable and painful like a not-quite-in-all-the-way tampon, but I have no trouble using it when I'm actually on my period.

VerityStandingStill

@fondue with cheddar I'm pretty sure the larger size isn't to accommodate a heavier flow, it's for women who have had a baby because having a baby changes the shape of your junk. So that's probably the problem. I use the Instead disposable cups; they only come in one size.

fondue with cheddar

@down the rabbit hole That's cool, I'll see how it is when my period starts.

@VerityStandingStill What I read said both, that the larger ones are for ladies who've had babies and also those with heavy flows. If it doesn't seem to be working right once I get my period I figured I'd try the smaller size.

Stacy H@twitter

@fondue with cheddar OK, so no one has yet mentioned this. When I was a teenager, my friend super recommended this cup deal. I got one and was so pleased, but it JUST WOULDN'T GO IN. In retrospect, I think recommending friend was sexually active and I was not, because later in life I could get it in. HOWEVER, the suction was actually really painful, and also the stem was poking me even after I cut it shorter (I am really sensitive; even tampon strings bother me). It was recommended that I should wait until the vagina is bloody so it has some lubrication to go in, but my period is super irregular because of PCOS and I'll be all prepared to use it in the morning, but the flow is too light, and then suddenly I'm out shopping later and it'll become SUPER heavy and I don't have the opportunity to test out when I'm out in a public bathroom. (I have a similar problem with tampons...)
ARRGH SOMEBODY HELP ME PLEASE. I really want this to work so I can save the environment.

VerityStandingStill

@Stacy H@twitter Maybe try using the Instead Softcups? They don't have a stem or anything, and sit up a lot higher around your cervix (like a diaphragm or one of those birth control rings). The cup part of it is basically like a plastic baggie, so once you have the ring part in place, you can't feel it at all.

Also, whatever cup you use, try wetting it first. I find that it's a lot easier to put mine in after I've just rinsed it out - I don't dry it, I just kind of shake the excess water off in the sink.

@fondue with cheddar I hope you find a solution that works for you. I agree with @down the rabbit hole above that doing a trial run felt totally different than it did when I was actually on my period.

fondue with cheddar

Wow, so I've had my period for a few days and have been using my new cup. I haven't quite gotten the hang of it yet because sometimes it leaks, so I've been having to use a pad as backup. I think maybe I'm putting it in too far, because I think when it's in correctly it feels wrong and I just have to get used to it.

I'm not sure if I'll keep using it all the time, because it's pretty messy to remove, dump, and reinsert when I'm not in a bathroom with a sink within reach (I was in a lot of public restrooms this weekend, ugh). I may decide to only use it when I'm at home, or just keep wearing pads as backup (which I was hoping to avoid, but oh well).

What really surprises me is the volume of my flow, which is hard to estimate when you use tampons and pads. It said in the instructions that you will be surprised at how little your menstrual flow actually is, but I'm surprised at how MUCH it is! I've emptied the cup 8 times since Friday, and it's been 3/4 full on average each time (and I'm using the big cup)! I knew I had heavy periods, but holy crap!

YouCan'tBuyACarWithCookies

@fondue with cheddar Thanks for the update! I actually refreshed this page this morning thinking, "which size should I get? I wonder if the larger size worked out for a non-baby-having lady Fondue."

fondue with cheddar

@YouCan'tBuyACarWithCookies You're welcome! As long as your vagina isn't too tight, it might be the better choice for you if your flow is heavy. I don't know how the sizes compare among brands, so here are the details of the one I got from their site: "The diameter of the Lunette menstrual cup model 2 is 46 mm by 52 mm. The stem measures 20 mm. The volume of the cup is 30 ml."

kje
kje

This is the best.

TheBelleWitch

I'm on DivaCup #2, because my dog ate DivaCup #1. Don't leave your DivaCup sitting on the edge of the bathtub!

Still way better than my in-laws' dogs getting into used tampons left in their guest bathroom trash.

fondue with cheddar

@TheBelleWitch Haha, the instructions said to keep it away from pets and I was like WHAT? And then I remembered how dogs love to shove their nose in your crotch when you have your period.

mustelid

@fondue with cheddar I knew the DivaCup was special when my dog didn't shove his head into my crotch while on my period. I feel like that should be a tagline: "DivaCup: It fools dogs!"

NeverOddOrEven

@TheBelleWitch
Oh my god; I used to use Sea Pearls (little sea sponge 'tampons') and was really digging 'em until I started finding them on the other side of the house with some very pleased cats.

fondue with cheddar

@NeverOddOrEven I considered trying those a few years back but never took the leap. How often do you change them? How are they with heavy or clotty periods?

NeverOddOrEven

@fondue with cheddar
Clots are no big, since it's a rough surface they just stick to it.
I had a moderate flow at the time and don't remember huge leak problems or anything, but its as much of a risk as traditional tampons. The upside is that using two at a time is just as comfortable as one.
DO NOT, however, try to cheat and buy cheaper sea sponges meant for your face. They are not nearly as absorbent and leak like crazy.

fondue with cheddar

@NeverOddOrEven Are you talking about big clots or little ones? Because I get some pretty big ones, the kind you totally feel coming out when you're wearing a pad. When I wear tampons they like to slip around the side. Wow...I am being so gross, sorry.

NeverOddOrEven

@fondue with cheddar
Nope. No apologies needed. Bodies! They all do involuntary gross stuff!
Not sure about larger clots. I've always had some that are definitely visible, but not exceedingly large or anything. Penny sized at best? If you're dealing with more than that it could maybe be a problem.

fondue with cheddar

@NeverOddOrEven Mine are exceedingly large, so I guess no sponges for me. I just bought my first menstrual cup so I may love it and never want to try anything else, but I always wondered about the sponges. I love the idea of them!

tandemkas

My issues with the DivaCup is a) expensive and b) really long. I use the same Softcup throughout my whole period which ends up being like fifty cents a period and supposedly you're supposed to be able to have sexy time with it in although I've never been successful on that front.

parallel-lines

@tandemkas You can...but the dude can definitely feel it so you have to proceed with some cation. One guy hurt himself on the rim of it #tmioverload

tealily

@tandemkas I've tried it. It works!! He may be able to feel it, though. My boyfriend prefers without, but it's good to have, in case of emergency!

tandemkas

@parallel-lines Right, I have tried it but it did NOT work for me. I believe my partner's exact words were "what is in you that is stabbing me?" I've heard other stories of people using it successfully and regularly so kudos to them!

liverwortlaura

@tandemkas this is where the sea sponges are the champion of all! most comfortable period sex everrrrrrr

This is my new username

@tandemkas Yes, I actually take out my Diva cup and put in a Softcup for sexy time. My fiance has not felt a thing. Perhaps my shape wedges it up there differently though?

calamity

I LOVE MY DIVACUP. I started using it as a virginal college student in 2006, and have never looked back. (Except for the winter break when I left it at school. After seeing the light of the DivaCup tampons, which I had used happily for 5 years prior, were MISERABLE.)

I am a pretty small person and, like I said, when I started using it I don't think anything much bigger than a tampon had ever been in my vagina before. So I was pretty clueless. Once I got the hang of the 360-degree twist, though? ZERO problems. Best $35 I ever spent!!! I will spend the rest of my menstruating life singing its praises in whatever venue possible.

MilesofMountains

It took me YEARS to try the Diva Cup, because I thought boiling it on the stove was gross, and a couple waaaay too evangelical people would not. shut. up. about it, which annoyed me. But it turns out it is really super amazing. It was amazing because I could wear it all day when out in the woods (as opposed to trying to change a tampon squatting behind a bush in bear country) and even though I have a heavy flow it was fine. And now that I have an IUD that makes me spot constantly, I don't have to deal with panty liners or the skin-crawling feeling of pulling out a dry tampon when my flow is too low. It only took me a few days to figure out how to use it, too.

VerityStandingStill

@MilesofMountains Yeah, spotting is one (more) area where cups have a clear advantage. I had to go off and then back on my birth control over the course of a few months, during which my cycle got all out of whack. <3 you cup for making that bearable!

tealily

Can anyone give more specific tips on the 360 twist? I'm having trouble with it. Where do you grab it? Also, so if it doesn't turn easily I need to take it out and try again?

Panzerschwein

@tealily So I twist by grabbing ("grabbing") near the top of it and, uh, twisting. I had tried grabbing near the stem, but could never get it to turn, so I went higher up and that did it. It did mean my fingers went farther into my vayjay, but we've be come a lot better acquainted since I got a Divacup so it was fine.

So if you're having trouble twisting, try grabbing higher up (but not the rim, and be carful not to squeeze it) and seeing if that helps. If not, you might need to try again :/

Hurricanoes

@tealily My understanding is that different anatomy gives different results (unsurprisingly). Some people never twist it and it never leaks. Some people's specific shape makes it difficult to twist the cup around.

To twist it, give a firm pinch at the bottom of the cup (above the stem) and rotate (like you are turning a key). You may find you don't really need to go around a full 360--if the cup moves smoothly/freely, your work is basically done.

Alternatively, I am a fan of just kind of swooshing an index finger around the outside of the cup. If it feels like it has unfolded all the way, and nothing is caught on anything, I am generally good to go. Sometimes (TMI?) i find my cervix gets caught and hangs over the edge, which of course leads to leakage. Then I usually need to pull it at least part way out to re-angle it so cervix-friend is inside the cup.

maxine of arc

@tealily If it doesn't turn easily, it probably hasn't opened all the way. Taking it out isn't the only way to get it open--you could try some kegel exercises or just pushing it in further to see if that helps.

I don't usually bother with a whole 360 twist, personally. I check the bottom of the cup with my fingers to make sure that it's a circular shape and not flattened and maybe give it a 180 twist, but man, I've got crap to do with my day besides sitting around and rotating my menstrual cup, and I've never had any leakage problems. You do have to grab the bottom of the cup to do it, not the stem.

tealily

@Hurricanoes You don't have trouble fitting in your fingers and the cup at the same time? I'm assuming the cup is in its final position when you turn it.

Hurricanoes

@tealily Hmm, no, I've never had much trouble--I don't need to feel all the way up the length of the cup to tell if it is folded/caught somewhere, so it is sort of just feeling up a little further than I would hold it to pull it out, I guess? And copious bleeding=automatic lubrication, which helps.

Perhaps you would be more comfortable with a different brand of cup--maybe this one is giving you trouble because it's not a shape that plays well with your shape? Not that that's what you want to hear if you just invested in the first one!

kickupdust

@Hurricanoes I do the swoosh around too! and then I usually find that if there are flattened spots pressing outward on the vaginal wall opens things up enough for the cup to pop out into place. then I do a slight twisty twisty to confirm that everything's good.

tealily

@kickupdust These are wonderful tips!!

kickupdust

@tealily oh good!

Beatrix Kiddo

Are there any 'Pinners who've had their tubes tied (or something similarly permanent) and are willing to write about it, whether as its own article or here in the comments? I'm interested and have questions!

MissFae

LOVE my cup! (I use a Ladycup which I liked a whole lot more then when I tried the Diva because it's softer. Also, it comes in colors and mine is yellow so I feel like I'm birthing sun rays every time I take it out)

I went to Vietnam for a few months and while all my female coworkers were complaining about not being able to find any tampons or good pads, I felt like a rockstar.

Also, I would pay for mine all over again simply for the fact that when I wake up in the morning when I know my period is heavy, I don't ever have that telltale BLOOP feeling which means I need to run/waddle quickly to the bathroom before damage is done!

Panzerschwein

@MissFae omg the BLOOP feeling that is exactly what it is.

OhMyGoshYouGuys

@MissFae I need to try some sort of cup. Getting that "bloop" feeling at the office is becoming a more regular occurrence. Trying to walk casually to the ladies' room when things are about to get "Carrie" is not easy.

iceberg

@OhMyGoshYouGuys "when things are about to get "Carrie"" <3

(yep, since post-pregnancy I have like, war-crime level flow)

OhMyGoshYouGuys

@iceberg Any idea on why this happens? I'm sure it's different for everyone but I've never had kids and am approaching 30. My Gyno says it's normal, but that's not the answer I want.

annev6

I have used and generally liked the Diva Cup. However, it proved to be a logistical nightmare for me for a couple reasons:
1. When I first used it I had a roommate and a very small place. I did not want to be the roommate who was caught boiling the thing she keeps in her vagina to collect her period blood on our stove with the same pot we used to make spaghetti. I realize there is soap and boiling water involved, but I just didn't want to have that conversation with my roommate. I now live with my boyfriend and want to have that conversation even less. I realize I could (maybe should) buy a seperate pot for the Diva Cup cleaning, but that stresses me out even more because then there's a whole pot in the house and I'd have to be like "Hey don't use this pot I use it to clean the tiny shot glass I fill with mentrual blood every month."

2. I have kind of a nutty schedule that puts me in public restrooms a lot (work, other work) where the toilet and sink are not together in a private area. If you don't have access to that every 12 hours for sure, you're in a pickle, because you can't rinse your cup out after you empty it. And I refuse to put an un-rinsed thing back inside me because apparently I have a lot of issues.

But, if neither of the aforementioned is an issue for you, it's an excellent device and I would recommend it.

ayo nicole

@annev6 I use Softcup, which is the same idea but you don't have to boil it (I live with dudes and could not ever do this) and you can empty it without removing it. You should look into it based on these concerns!

annev6

@ayo nicole How interesting! Thank you! I will definitely look into that! Sounds like it'd be right up my.... vagina.

Also yeah, that conversation, what would that even be?
Roommate: Ohhh! What are you cooking?
Me: Nothing, it's just...
Roommate: What is that?!? Is that a condom!?
Me: No.. no...it's it's this thing I use instead of a tampon. I'm cleaning it because I just finished my period and this is how you clean it.
*Roommate dies*

twinkiesandwine

@annev6 Just use it as an opportunity to convert your roommates to the Cup! I started using the cup my freshman year, living in a dorm where the only burner was in a common area. Fun conversations! (All girl floor though).

mustelid

My boyfriend in college referred to my DivaCup as "Dracula's shot glass"

BornSecular

Perhaps not the best article to read while eating taco soup for lunch. Urk.

Briony Fields

I....kind of love my diva cup? I've been using it for over 10 years now, sometimes with tampons as well. One thing I don't love about it is that when I put it in, my cramps become so much worse. Not sure why this is, normally people say the diva cup reduces cramps...bah! So I usually save it for day 2/3, when the cramping has gone down.

twinkiesandwine

@Briony Fields This is my only tiny qualm with the cup. I am lucky enough not to be plagued by cramps every period, but some days with the cup in I'll get hit with a bad one (last month this happened). I just switch to a tampon for the day and that usually sorts it out.

Ellie

Does anyone else still like tampons? I feel like they are in popular disfavor. When I was a teenager, I hated my period so much because I thought about it all the time and I just wished I could forget about it when I wasn't in the bathroom, and thought that would never be possible. But after about 10 years it finally became so - I forget I have my period all the time when I have a tampon in and it's awesome. I think plastic applicator tampons are the greatest feat of engineering ever. None of the blood on hands, unsanitary, same pot you cook with etc. issues with the DivaCup faze me at all, I'm totally unsqueamish, but I have historically had some difficulties fitting stuff down there and I just feel like it would be a nightmare trying to shove and twist around a stationary object.. I feel really environmentally guilty though, which I probably deserve.

Amanda@twitter

@Ellie If those are the reasons you like tampons and you are not grossed out about blood/sanitary things you would LOVE the diva cup. I too had a history of having a hard time fitting things in there but the "origami" of it is not really that complicated and it gets a little easier as you wear it in. When I was using tampons I felt like I had to think about them all the time because they would leak and they have to be changed all the time and I would forget to put extras in my purse, but the Diva Cup has made all of those problems go away.

shantasybaby

@Ellie I say there is no reason to not like tampons! I've tried to convert to Instead but I just do not care for poking around up inside myself. And no matter how much I washed my hands, I would get hellacious UTI's after each period. No thanks. Plastic applicator, keep a few in the bottom of my purse at all times (I do carry a large purse) and it's all good.

Amanda@twitter

I have one of these and the only thing that squicks me out is the idea of boiling it so I don't do it! Do you dedicate a pot to it? I wouldn't dare do that when I had roommates and even though now my roommate is my fiance who has to deal with gross things from me all the time I still can't bring myself to do it. I put it in a solution of about 5-10% rubbing alcohol and water and close it in a cupboard for a few days. I have heard doing this can break down the silicone but it's worked for me so far.

fondue with cheddar

@Amanda@twitter I washed mine before boiling it, that way you're sanitizing it but not actually cleaning a dirty thing.

Hurricanoes

@Amanda@twitter At some point a few years in to using it, I just started rinsing it out and letting it dry, not really because it grossed me out to boil it, but just because I was lazy. I don't know if this is really unwise medically or something, but 8 years in, no ill effects. I believe you can microwave them as well (in water, of course), so you could just have like a tupperware or something that could live under the bathroom sink if it weirded you out to use kitchen things.

mustelid

@Amanda@twitter I uh, never thought about it? I mean by boiling the water I am sanitizing the cup, and also the pot. And then I wash the pot with soap and water like I would anything else.

Once Mr. mustelid walked down and was like "what are you making" and I said "I'm sanitizing my DivaCup," so he knows I do it. He hasn't told me to get a dedicated pot or anything.

par_parenthese

@Amanda@twitter I don't boil it at all either -- I put it in a peroxide solution with tea tree oil, overnight. Bonus is that it keeps it from getting stained or smelling.

fondue with cheddar

@Hurricanoes I figure if you can use silicone sex toys without boiling them without getting nasty infections, you can do the same with the cups. I don't know that I'll continue doing so because I've only just gotten mine, but I did boil it initially because it seemed necessary.

nonvolleyball

@Hurricanoes I also do this (because I'm lazy). occasionally I'll give it a little massage with hand sanitizer (which I think you're technically not supposed to do but, you know, whatever--I also have an IUD; I'm a Diva Cup rebel!). I've had it for like eight years now & no problems whatsoever.

I'm also not prone to yeast infections (knock wood) so maybe it's a good idea if your ladybits tend to be persnickety...but I don't think it's strictly necessary.

Judith Slutler

@Amanda@twitter I bought a tiny adorable red mini pot because I don't want to freak out my roommates by boiling it in a communal pot.

Hurricanoes

@fondue with cheddar Yes! My rationalization exactly.

@nonvolleyball I would high-five you, but I'm too lazy :)

But yeah, if I were use my cup and have an infection around the same time, I would boil to discourage re-infection.

fondue with cheddar

@Hurricanoes Yeah, boiling after an infection definitely sounds necessary. Or I guess if it develops a smell.

cherrispryte

WAIT I HAVE A QUESTION. I thought I understood this, but maybe I don't?

Is a menstrual cup like a hat for your cervix or is it like a cork for your vagina? I always thought they were cervix hats but now I am slightly confused?

mustelid

@cherrispryte Combination, kind of? The Instead Soft Cup is more like a hat for your cervix -- the flexible ring goes around your cervix. A Diva Cup/Moon Cup/Keeper sits a little lower in the vaginal canal rather than being all up around your cervix. But it catches the blood rather than just blocking it, and then you dump it out.

nzle

@cherrispryte Definitely the first -- it suction-cups around your cervix and keeps the, uh, stuff coming out of there in it until you break the seal to empty it.

Nicole Cliffe

A cork in the kitchen and a hat in the bedroom.

stonefruit

@Nicole Cliffe And on the street?

honey cowl

@mustelid This makes A LOT MORE SENSE to me, why the softcup didn't work for me when I tried it. Apparently I ... have a really extralong vagina? Gynecologist has confirmed.

#toomuchinformation

NeverOddOrEven

Anyone had problems because of um, unique? anatomy and overcome them?

I've never got mine to stop leaking, but otherwise I'd be such a believer.
Gynos have always had trouble finding my cervix, with some very uncomfortable manipulating of the speculum involved, and I realize I'm not a straight shot but still haven't figured out how to make it work.

does it need saying

Ok, I have tried the softcups, but I don't seem to be able to use them. The always pop off of the pevic bone when I stand up. Is there anyone who has used both and can say that they are/aren't similar? I don't want to spend the dough to find out, oh hey that won't work for you :(

par_parenthese

@does it need saying They're not REMOTELY similar, or at least not for my anatomy. I can't use softcups for the same reason -- they're either not *ahem* in there at all, or they pop back and forth off of a bone which is seriously unpleasant. Yuck no thanks.

But I could seriously sell Lunettes, which is the brand I have. They have pretty colors now, too, which makes me want to get another one. I've had mine for ~40 periods which works out to about a buck per flow SO FAR which is amazing. And I can't even feel it when it's in. It has seriously made my period 1000% less annoying.

does it need saying

@par_parenthese
Since it works on suction are there ever any slippage issues?

par_parenthese

@does it need saying Like has it ever slipped out? No. If anything, it "slips" UP as the day progresses. I literally cannot imagine it coming out accidentally. It's bigger around than a vaginal opening so it's kind of snuggled up in there.

does it need saying

@par_parenthese Thank you so much! I am totally hitting Buy Now as we speak.

Briar

@does it need saying I have a light blue Lunette, which I adore. I don't turn it or anything, just fold it and then press against the side to pop it open. Only time I've had leaks is when I've left it in for like... 3 days. Such laziness. I like the softer ones because I can't feel them when they're in. Seriously, since BC and this thing, periods aren't the 1/4 of the month that I used to dread so much.

Blushingflwr

@par_parenthese I have a DivaCup, and yes, sometimes there are. Mine fits best if it is up a little higher in my vagina, and if I don't get it in the right spot, it can be a problem. I also was wearing mine yesterday and had a coughing fit so hard that it got knocked loose. It didn't fall out or anything, but it definitely came out of proper alignment.

dovethena

I LOVE my diva cup! I tell people there are three products that have changed my life: my menstrual cup, my Paragard IUD, and my pStyle!! (Seriously, if you have never used a pStyle, it is AMAZING!) I travel a lot, often to less developed areas, and the combination of the above three products have made it that much better!

@dovethena The pStyle looks kind of awesome.

BosomBuddy

I am loving the article and comments. They've kept me laughing for a while now, and I mean that in the best possible way.

Pocket Witch

I really the idea and the convenience of a menstrual cup, but I have this problem where inserting anything, even a fingertip, into my vagina hurts so much I get lightheaded. I've been to a gynecologist, and nothing's actually wrong. So now I'm out of ideas, but I really hate dealing with the murder-scene-in-my-pants every few weeks.

Blackwatch Plaid

@Pocket Witch Sounds like you may have vaginismus. While there hasn't been much progress in treating it (that I know of, anyway), some people have had good results using a dilator kit like this one: http://www.vaginismus.com/products/dilator_set

stonefruit

I had a The Keeper for several years, and it was intermittently okay and awful. Awful at the start (late-in-life deflowering club, represent), got better after said deflowering, and then just leaked all the time. Eventually it led to me getting all itchy in my nethers, so I quit.

I think last year I read about the SoftCups on here and my life hasn't been the same. I am in love with them. But the thing is, they also still leak sometimes!

I've come to the conclusion that my anatomy is shaped funny, and that I will be keeping the pantyliner manufacturers in business for quite a while.

every tomorrow@twitter

@stonefruit I think there are some people whose bodies are just arranged in a way that Does Not Work for cups. People love them so much and my experience with it was just awful and leaky and it made my cramps worse and I hated it.

Decca
Girl Named Jack

@Decca Ben Dover. ohmygod.

does it need saying

@Decca Just read that, and she is a seriously talented lady.

Bittersweet

@Decca Holy cow, that is the funniest thing I've read in a long time. Seeing as I can't even manage to make OB's work properly, I think I'll give the Diva Cup a big ol' pass.

lucy snowe

@Decca Oh I laughed hard. Thanks for that!

OxfordComma

@Decca : Oh, God, I was ugly laughing!

honey cowl

@Betty Bair What about us long-vagina ladies? Like I could never reach my cervix if I tried, nobody has fingers that long. (I feel soooooo awkward typing this at workkkk)

Greenlight This Duh@twitter

I chuckled and did a victory shake with my right fist upon reading that first sentence. Thoughts as I was doing it:
1)Only on The Hairpin.
&
2)This is why I read The Hairpin.
&
3)Keep on keeping on, The Hairpin.

paper bag princess

I do not have a Diva Cup, because I have a Mirena and I have no use for one and also would be scared of suctioning out my IUD.

However, I felt this was an appropriate place to share the best compliment I have ever received. When I got the IUD inserted, my doctor told me, her voice full of admiration, that my uterus was a "straight shooter" and made a hilarious hand gesture indicating how easy it was to get up in there. I gleefully repeat that story whenever I can.

Amphora

@lizzle That's adorable! And every time someone brings up Diva Cups and IUDs I have to chime in and warn everyone to be VERY CAREFUL OMG because I had one up and disappear on me (the IUD, not the cup) and it was really not good.

emjb@twitter

I like to empty it out in the shower. It's like reenacting Psycho, plus you can wash it out immediately and put it back in, with no worrying about blood on the floor of the bathroom. I never change it at work because there is *always* someone else at the sink and no way to wash it there. I have never done the 360 twist, and never leaked either, so apparently that works for me. You do have to keep your nails short and filed smooth, though, ouch.

celeec4@twitter

@emjb@twitter YES to the Psycho reenactment! It is weirdly fun.

This is my new username

@honey cowl The diva cup is actually meant to sit below the cervix. When I first started using it I had a hard time digging it out because it got wedged waaay up there because I didn't actually form a seal. You can use a combination of using your muscles to push it back down and fingers to pull it to get it out if that ever happens.

SeaMoney

I love my lady cup. (Since when is Diva Cup the Kleenex of menstrual cups, I wonder?) This reminded me that I wanted to clean mine!

Can we please talk about where and how we store our Diva Cups when they are not in our vaginas? Like when you are traveling and about to start your period or in your home? The fabric bag it came in did not seem adequate? And plastic bags seems to find ways to get moist. What do you DO?

Hurricanoes

@SeaMoney That little fabric bag was damn useless and came apart pretty quick. After 8 years of use I have gotten pretty un-finicky about all things cup related (see above dropping in toilet, giving up on boiling, etc), so at home I let it dry on a counter edge or reasonably clean spot in a bathroom cabinet and then just kind of forget about it in the back of the cabinet for a month. Traveling, it floats around in my toiletries bag, communing quietly with my toothpaste and contact case until I need it, or gets packed amongst undies and a few cloth pantyliners.

TARDIStime

@SeaMoney I still have the bag that my JuJu cup came in - it's the greatest bag!
It's satin with satin lining and totally durable and pretty and I just keep the cup+bag in my handbag and then the day before I'm due for Shark Week I store it up my twat.

tundrapunk

I still have an ancient Keeper that I can't bring myself to throw away because it was so expensive. (Do they even still make Keepers?) I stopped using after a year because I could never get it to fit right, it frequently overflowed, and because not being able to boil the natural rubber made me wonder what terrible things it harboured. I am a huge advocate of lady cups and was devastated that I couldn't make it work.

Amphora

@tundrapunk whaaat I totally boiled mine and it was fine!

Amardine

I reallllly like the idea of this but generally have two worries:

1 - for ladies who are prone to getting yeast-y (fun times!), does this make things worse/better??

2 - for ladies who get crampy - worse/better??

I have a major love/hate relationship with the pill, for the above reasons.

suyumbike

@Amardine 1 - Haven't noticed a difference for the worse, at any rate. 2 - Cramps are gone! Before, the first day was horrible, but now I don't even need to take painkillers. Caveat: This is just my personal experience. I just wish I had discovered the cup about 10 years ago...

par_parenthese

@Amardine 1) Same as @suyumbike; no difference. You could give it a dip in colloidal silver solution, which is supposed to be good for yeastiness, before you put it in? 2) Mine are way better. I still definitely have cramps, but it's mostly the HEY I'M YOUR CERVIX AND I'M OPENING PAY ATTENTION TO ME kind which, shut up, asshole, have two ibuprofen. Whereas I used to have cramps that were so bad I'd have to stop mid-sentence and close my eyes as this wave of pain radiated from my uterus up to my mid-back and down to my knees. So.

Amphora

@Amardine in answer to question 1, it can make things worse if you get lazy about cleaning it. So it's only a problem if you're A Gross Person (not that I know from experience cough cough)

@par_parenthese

"HEY I'M YOUR CERVIX AND I'M OPENING PAY ATTENTION TO ME kind which, shut up, asshole, have two ibuprofen."

I just LOLed.

shantasybaby

@Amardine I've only used Instead and I didn't have any yeast problems but hella hella UTI problems. My anatomy doesn't like to have fingers in it (sexually or otherwise) so popping in and out a cup was just guaranteed UTI (of course, just my experience.)

T A@twitter

@Amardine 2) no difference

chickaboom

@Amardine i have a history of yeasty problems and the cup took some adapting, figuring out how often to change and being really careful about how i cleaned it — i was getting a lot of general yeasty discomfort for awhile. but i also changed soaps, which i think was more the issue.

TARDIStime

@Amardine Can't speak for 1).
Can speak for 2) - better. Much better.

TARDIStime

@par_parenthese You posted that you clean your cup with a mixture of eucalyptus and something else upthread. I can find that thread so I'm asking here cuz I know it'll email you - what's your recipe?
Mr TARDIStime finds the cup concept a bit squicky and using his kitchenware + our stove for my menses would be taking things a little too far, I think. Both for him and for me, really...

par_parenthese

@TARDIStime It's peroxide and tea tree oil! I just take a little glass jar and fill it about 1/3 of the way up with peroxide, then the rest of the way with water and put 8 or 10 drops of TTO in it, pop the cup in and let it sit overnight. I can't remember where I found the idea but I liked it much better than putting it in a pan on the stove and being terrified that I'd forget about it and end up melting the silly thing.

frealtho

After years of hearing the cup-evangelizing, this thread finally inspired me to go over to amazon and order one. Funny thing? It gave me the option to post on Facebook that I had just bought "Instead 12 hr Feminine protection cup, 24 ea". Tempted.

OxfordComma

AHmazing.

I still try using the Diva Cup every period, but it just sits...funny.

Maybe I do need a smaller one...

Also,
this was some of the best laugh-cackling I've done in *ages*.

Bless you, 'Pinners.

T A@twitter

@OxfordComma They come in different shapes and sizes. Experiment!
http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/648061.html

ShannonRTW

Oh, oh this was precisely what I needed to bring levity to my Sunday evening. I haven't laughed that hard in ages--@OxfordComma's description of "laugh-cackling" is spot on. I tentatively tested out a Diva Cup years ago because I was leaving on long-term travels for a few years and didn't want to cart around tampons, and though the first few months were a disaster, I can be found happily pirouetting in bathroom stalls and hole-in the ground toilets all over world now. ;-)

And to that end, if you're traveling abroad and you're on the fence -- just try it out!

ShannonRTW

Oh, oh this was precisely what I needed to bring levity to my Sunday evening. I haven't laughed that hard in ages--@OxfordComma's description of "laugh-cackling" is spot on. I tentatively tested out a Diva Cup years ago because I was leaving on long-term travels for a few years and didn't want to cart around tampons, and though the first few months were a disaster, I can be found happily pirouetting in bathroom stalls and hole-in the ground toilets all over world now. ;-)

And to that end, if you're traveling abroad and you're on the fence -- just try it out!

twinkiesandwine

I remember during my last ride on the crimson wave I was think about how much The Hairpin needed a Diva Cup Ode; thanks for reading my mind!

I've been using one since my freshman year of college and I'm 2 weeks from graduation, so that's a fun little full-circle. And honestly, I do not think I've bought any tampons or pads in my whole college life. Budget friendly!

Rosy

I used my Diva Cup for the first time today.I can't feel it for a while but then the pointy end starts to protrude and it HURTS. I know the instructions say to keep at least a 1/4 inch end on the cup but is it okay to cut it shorter?

micheleleann

@Rosy this is my first cycle using a diva cup too. For the first couple of days I thought the soreness was just something I had to get used to. But as I continued reading around on forums and such, I read a lot of girls saying they cut it clean off! I did that last night before putting it back in, and omg the difference is amazing!! When I changed it this morning, it took a little extra fishing to pull it out, but I think I have the hang of it now. I can't even tell it's there anymore!

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