Starting this upcoming week, Paleo for Women is going to be embarking on Birth Control Week! Which will likely in fact last more than one week. Or one month. Did you know there are nearly two dozen different types of birth control?!
And we shall be talking about all of them!
September will be the month of Your Sex Life, Your Pleasure, Your Method. I want to help you find the most empowering, most healthful, and most delightful birth control method for you. This should be more than a bit of a blast.
In addition to the posts in this series, be sure to check out the book I wrote on the subject. Birth Control Unlocked: Your Body, Your Options, Your Guide is available here.
Following this will be explorations of menopause and conception and pregnancy and breastfeeding, Oh. My.
Beforehand, I would like to “kick off” the birth control series by introducing and advocating to you the wonders of The Diva Cup, which is a an alternative to pads and tampons. Each of these methods have their own pluses and minuses, but in my opinion, the Diva Cup’s pros sometimes appear lifesaving and far outweigh it’s cons.
The Diva Cup is a small, bendy 1 oz. cup that you insert into your vagina to capture blood flow. It is uniquely designed to suction to the walls of your vagina, so 100 percent of the time it is inserted correctly it does not leak. Most women do not shed more than 4 oz of blood per menstrual cycle, so the cup does not need to be emptied all that often– for some women just at morning and at night.
To insert the cup, simply fold it in half (like so), wiggle it up there, and rotate it once or twice in order for the suction to take hold. If you tug on the bottom afterwards and it doesn’t move easily, then it’s suctioned.
To remove, really get your fingers up there, disrupt the suction around the sides, and pull out (keeping the cup vertical!).
Pull out the cup when you go to the bathroom, pour the blood out into a toilet or sink, and re-insert. Over time, you can probably learn how heavy your flow is at different times of your period, and learn how to time your Diva-emptying for optimal cleanliness.
For women starting out on the Diva Cup, it might be wise to also wear pads while you get used to how the cup works. It takes a time or two, for example, before learning the difference between suction against the vaginal walls and just plain hanging out in there.
Moreover, I think most women on their first month of the Diva Cup go through an interesting and hopefully hilarious learning experience. I had more than one episode in a college library being stuck in a bathroom stall for fifteen minutes while yanking vociferously on that damned suctioned cup that just won’t budge, for example.
Step number one with the Diva Cup is don’t. panic.
But trust me, it comes out, always. We just all need to learn the shape of our vaginas and how to navigate them with the Diva Cup.
Diva Cup Cons
-It requires being intimate with your vagina and cervix, something that some women just aren’t ready for.
-It can be interesting navigating public bathrooms.
-You can totally get blood all over your hands from time to time.
-You can totally get blood all over the bathroom if you’re a bit of a doofus about it, ie, pulling the cup out sideways. Plus it’s just hilarious– life goes that way sometimes.
-The suction can make it tough to pull out once in a while, but gets easier and easier with practice. (Read: don’t give up!)
Diva Cup Pros
-It’s environmentally friendly (no waste!)
-And therefore is perfectly suited for camping
-It’s biologically safe (the company sells a special soap if you’re interested)
-It’s way cheaper in the long run (only 35 dollars up front… 3-6 months worth of other methods)
-It’s comfortable (and in my experience, completely undetectable once inserted)
-It’s hassle-free (once you get the hang of it)
-You don’t have to carry tampons or pads around with you
-You can sleep with it in
-You may spot a bit at the beginning as you learn the Diva Cup, but later will almost never leak
-So therefore it’s great for athletics
-There’s no string or bulkiness, so the Diva Cup makes bikinis and lingerie worry-free
–The Diva Cup sits high up against the cervix, so vaginal lubrication can still come through the vagina
–You can still have pleasurable and blood-free oral and manual sex!
In all cases, I recommend trying it. No harm, right?
So clearly I have a bias for the Diva Cup. I understand that not all women have the same experience, and I invite you to share your reasons and feelings about the Diva Cup below.
The reason personally that I love it so much is that it is empowering. More freedom, less fear of spotting and/or needing to change things. More benefits for the environment and your pocket. More intimacy with your own body. More pleasure. More sex. Huzzah! More life.
Have experiences, positive, negative, hilarious, mortifying, with the Diva Cup? Share in the comments! Would be an honor to hear them.
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I had an older model of this years ago and used it forever. It was wonderful and worked great.
I’ve been using Diva Cups since 2007, and I will never look back! I wish I would have been able to use something like this years ago. Seriously, give it a shot; I’ve only known one person who had a problem using it (her anatomy is, shall we say, tilted). Because the cup is silicon, you can insert it a bit before your period starts with no pain, really alleviating you of desperate trips to bathrooms, borrowing tampons, etc. I can’t highly recommend enough.
I love the cup!!! I used the Diva cup for a while but after giving birth to my second child it no longer fit me. The Moon Cup (wider and shorter) works perfectly for me.
I used the Keeper cup for many years and I loved it! It really took care of the heavy flow issues (due to Paragard IUD, maybe we can get to that in the next week!) Now that my flow is lighter (No more Paragard) I use cloth pads which I also love, but the cup ROCKS.
I love my diva cup, too – and for the same reason. I have the Paragard and was going through three boxes of OB super tampons a month (plus pads). I was shocked at how much I was truly bleeding when I starting using the Diva Cup, but it was also good to know. Now I don’t worry about leaking when I’m in a meeting or out camping.
I, too, would love a post on IUDs, especially the Paragard. Barring permanent sterilization,it’s my only long-term birth control option.
did you ever discuss the paragard? or detoxing from it or if silicone is in the device? enjoying reading this site and these older posts.
I absolutely ADORE the Diva cup. It makes menstruation so comfortable for me that a few times I have totally forgotten about it altogether and started having sex with it in. Oops!
I was already familiar with getting intimate with my private parts because of doing NFP/fertility awareness. Speaking of which, I -really- hope you do that particular method justice. It seems so many people will dismiss it as the rhythm method, and not bother to look at the science and actual stats behind basal body temperature, cervical mucus, positioning, etc. Really gets my goat when this isn’t presented properly 😀
I’m very much looking forward to this series–thanks!
+1 to introducing NFP
Add me to the list of women with fingers crossed for a good representation of different forms of NFP. (Maybe even a good discussion of NaPro Technology.)
Yes, yes, YES to Fertility Awareness/FAM. Even if you never actually use it for contraceptive purposes, I think it’s an empowering experience for women to understand how their bodies change throughout their cycle. It’s also a great tool for figuring out if certain symptoms (headaches, bowel issues, etc.) are tied to your menstrual cycle or caused by something else.
So true, Laney!
I love that you did a piece about the Diva cup. I switched to using a Diva cup about a year ago and I will never go back. . . for all the reasons you stated – so much more freedom, no hassle, much cheaper, seems cleaner, no waste.
I loved my diva cup….retired now as I am perimenopausal and barely bleed, but when i did it was great. EXCEPT, for the negotiating public restrooms. Stumbling out of a stall with bloody hand s to rinse a cup…egads you’da thunk I had murdered someone! And the time I was not able to rinse and sort of wrapped it in tissue to put in my purse and I used a tampon instead and the cup fell out as I was doing purse braille looking for money while standing inline at the grocery store…priceless. Ah, good times….
LOL. Similar experience. Fun times!
Yep, I loooove the Diva cup too! I would never go back to tampons. I used it for years while I had an IUD and never had a problem–didn’t even really realize they recommend against it. I have a tilted uterus and have no problem with it.
I’ve been using a disposable version but I totally hate them (but the shape is totally different, they’re soft cups: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000X29GY6/ref=oh_details_o06_s00_i01 ). I just wasn’t ready to sink that much money into something I might hate. So yeah, I don’t suggest softcups. Not at all.
I totally agree about the soft cups! I used them for a few months with no problems and thought they were great. UNTIL one day I sneezed and the cup shifted and the entire cup spilled. I do like hearing about other types though. Maybe I will try a diva cup.
I’d never heard of Diva Cups until this post, but I have also used the Soft Cups. I seem to be okay with it the first day or so, but then it actually starts to hurt. Ugh!
I have been wanting to try it. My sister tried it and didn’t like it but I never really understood why. I think it might have been too intimate for her!
Oh hey, it’s your sister 🙂 Finally figured out how to use it and it’s awesome. Try it!
I have a similar one called a Femme Cup that first got back in 2008. I’ve been using them ever since! I changed cup once as I moved countries and frankly didn’t want to bring it. And I absolutely love it! I was introduced to it by my friend Rach and she soon had everyone she knew using them. It’s brilliant, it’s green, it doesn’t dry me out and I feel so safe using it! And as you say, you cannot feel it! Get one!!
So glad you posted about this. I am a huge fan of the cup. My only regret is that we didn’t have these when I was a teen (I’m a few years from menopause)! It is comfortable, convenient, has saved me money and so much waste.
I agonized a bit over which size, brand, etc. to buy. In the end I just went for what was available where I live (the Diva cup) and it was fine. I had trouble getting it right at first. I can only emphasize that you need to practice and hopefully with time it will become second nature.
By the way, my anatomy is “tilted”, but I managed to make it work.
There is no reason, in this day and age, to be squeamish about your own personal parts. NFP/fertility awareness is the most amazing thing I ever learned from a book, and really improved my quality of life (especially my sex life). Hormonal birth control messes up your mind, body and libido to an extent that is vastly underestimated. I know, I know, evil pharma 😉
I’m looking forward to the rest of your series!
I’ve been using the Moon Cup for a few years, love it and it saved my sanity! I have some kind of allergy to pads and tampons, I used to get the worst rashes in the area every month ever since the first time I used them and have tried pretty much every brand on the market to no avail. My mother kept telling me that cups were useless and didn’t work, but I was desperate so I got one anyway, and I’ve been itch- and painfree ever since. I’ll never switch back. My only issue with it is that I keep forgetting it, and menstrual cramps have been a little bit worse with it than without. On the other hand they last for a shorter period of time than before and it’s nothing compared to the allergy. So I approve!
I’m really glad you posted this, Matilda! I have super super (did I mention super?) sensitive skin so I tend to break out from pads and tampons. Doesn’t matter how often I change them, or whether I use Light, Regular, or Super, it always seems to irritate my skin. I definitely will consider giving this a try, just for the chance that it might not bother my skin.
I just bought a Diva Cup a couple months ago. It was a total lifesaver during my last flow, which was much harder than normal. I’m still getting the hang of fitting it properly as my cervix is tilted towards the back. Any tips for that?
I love my Diva!! Been using it over 7+ years. My flow on day 2 is so heavy that I used to need to change tampons every 30 minutes. Now I can make it 3 hours. On my normal days, I only have to change maybe once or twice. Soooo convenient!!
Thank you for posting this Cori. This gives me hope to actually try it out. I too will have to change my tampon every 30 minutes a couple of the days of my cycle.
I made the same switch when I started having crazy heavy periods (on the pill, mind you, sometimes lasting 20 days) – Acupuncture made the periods much better, but I switched health plans and now can’t afford it. I currently use the Diva cup, and i have one day where I need to empty it every hour or so, but it is so much better than tampons! Once I got used to it, I now feel when it is close to full (gets heavier, I think? I’m not really sure) and get to the restroom in time. All in all a huge improvement on pads! I did cut the stem off of mine, as it irritated my skin some – haven’t had any problems with it since.
LOVE my Diva Cup. As soon as my teens are old enough, I will definately get them onto it, too. I’ve had mine for a few years now, and before that I had a Keeper Cup. So simple. You get the hang of bringing a couple of wet papertowels into the bathroom stall with you–1 to clean the lip of the cup, and one for your hands afterwards so its not so obvious as you head over to the sink to wash. And so you don’t get bloody fingerprints on your clothes. I’m sure I’ve saved many hundreds of dollars not having to buy pads and tampons. Far more hygenic and much lower case of toxic shock. And of course, as mentioned above, no strings attached!
Thank you for this idea! I was considering the cup but was so worried about the clean-up. Maybe keeping a small pack of disposable wipes in my purse would be a good idea as well.
I tried one of these once and didn’t like it. Maybe I should give it another go, especially as I just kicked the hormonal b.c. and am trying to get an IUD. I say “trying” because my doctor refuses to insert it herself (based on no recent research that I could find) and instead referred me to Planned Parenthood, which doesn’t take my insurance. Grr. Currently looking for a new doctor.
Ok, so based on this blog post I decided to give the Diva another try. The first few days of my period I wore it with a pad for backup until I learned how to insert it properly. It leaked a little bit during jiu jitsu, but that doesn’t surprise me; I think I’m going to use a combo of a cup plus cloth panty liners (I ordered a sample from Party In My Pants: partypantspads.com) for grappling.
However, I remember why the Diva was a no-go for me before. On the last few days of my period, it got REALLY uncomfortable. This time I Googled it rather than giving up on it, though. I think I might have a low cervix. Some women suggest trying different cups if that’s the case. I ordered a small-sized Lunette brand cup (which online reviewers with low cervixes suggested) and will have to see if that works.
Thanks for the push to try it again, though! It’s totally going to be worth the learning curve. I always found tampons uncomfortable and hated the smell and feel of disposable pads. Not to mention how awesome it is that you only need to deal with the cup a few times a day. Before my cervix moved down and made things uncomfortable, I actually FORGOT I was on my period for almost an entire day. Win!
Embarrassed to admit this but I’ve actually owned a Diva cup for years and haven’t gotten up the courage to try! Lame I know. I too have a tilted cervix so I’ll be curious to see if anyone has tips. Also, my flow has gotten super heavy/clotty (sorry if TMI) after my 2 kids and with age and frankly I’m worried the cup won’t be able to hold my flow…. But then I’ve read countless stories of people having lessening of flow and less cramping once they go to the cup.
I’ve had mine for 5 years now. I too wish I knew about it earlier!
I tried the fold that they recommend with the directions – it didn’t work for me at all. If you do a search you can find a list of other ways to insert/fold it, which is really helpful to try (I think it used to be on LiveJournal, not sure if it still is). I used to have awful cramps with tampons and would have to stop by the bathroom every couple hours to change them out.
With the Diva cup, there are days I can go the 12 hours without worrying about it. At the beginning of my period, my flow tends to be heavier. I’ve gotten to know when I need to go empty the cup; when it overfills is the only time I’ve had it start to leak. Now when I have cramps it usually means I’ve got a big glob coming and I’ll haveta hit a restroom sooner than later. TMI, right? My boyfriend thinks so. I tried to show the (empty, clean) cup to him and his reaction was “Keep that thing away from me!” Silly boy.
I’ve been using a Mooncup since 2004, and haven’t looked back! I always use a panty-liner along with it, as I do have frequent leaks during the first couple of days of my cycle, but other than that it’s just the most perfect thing in the world!! I especially loved it when we went to Africa for two months… no big boxes of ‘supplies’ to pack and carry!!
I have a Keeper (the natural rubber alternative to Diva) and I love it EXCEPT: I got a paragard IUD about a year ago and now my insides are much more sensitive during my period than they used to be, so sometimes I find the Keeper too painful to wear without lots of Advil. The paragard gives me more cramping in general and the Keeper seems to exacerbate it. In practice, this means I stick to tampons for the first day or two and then switch to the cup when the inflammation has lessened.
Personally I can’t say that the cup really altered my flow, and I’m not sure how that is possible… At the beginning I did have the feeling it was pressing on my urethra, so I consciously made an effort to empty my bladder all the way, since not doing so can result in infection.
As for the tilted anatomy, I found that I could not use the cup as shown in the diagram. There is definitely a learning curve for getting the right position, and this took me several cycles. In the end, it worked best having my cervix actually inside the cup, i.e. the cup is kind of sealed around it. Since I (obviously) can’t see inside myself, the thing that tipped me off to this was that the cup volume was reduced by a good third, with the cervix being in it taking up space. So I do have to empty it more often. However it is the only way it works for me without leaking.
Whatever your unique shape, you really do have to keep practicing for a while. Be patient and it will happen.
I’ve been using a Diva cup for over five years and I love it! I’ll never go back to tampons.
I love my Mooncup (UK-made version of the diva) and have been using one for around 7 years now. After years of that awful painful dragging pain from tampons it’s made my periods at LOT less painful. Once I’d got over the fiddly bit I felt very liberated. I still wear a pad as some days I have a quite heavy flow and I’m always forgetting to empty it (which just shows how comfortable it is!). I changed to cloth pads at around the same time so I’m doubly comfortable!
A little tip I found to make removal easier is to bear down slightly, which lowers the cup slightly. It means if you have short arms and a dodgy back like I do you don’t need to be quite so much of a contortionist!
Just one warning though…if you boil your to sterilise it, ALWAYS set a timer. I forgot about mine once and the pan boiled dry and my cup ended up a sad melted mess in the bottom of it :(.
Re: “-The Diva Cup sits high up against the cervix, so vaginal lubrication can still come through the vagina
-You can still have pleasurable and blood-free oral and manual sex!”
Love and have the Diva Cup for a couple years, but have I been doing it wrong?? Are other people having sex with this thing in? (I am petite but maybe I’m not ‘shoving it in’ far enough!)
No– I said “oral” and “manual” not “intercourse” 🙂
I have a love-hate relationship with the Diva cup. I’ve been using it for 5 or 6 years so obviously I can’t quit it! But after all that practice, tips and tricks, graduating to the post-baby size, it still leaks on my heavy days where I need to empty it every 3-4 hrs. Bummer. I may try one of the competing cups when it’s time to get a new one.
One of the reasons I love the cup is because if you DO have really heavy flow for a few days you CAN just empty it every 3-4 hours. I had a moment when I thought, this thing is annoying I am going to use a tampon, ok so tampon in, went out to lunch and an hour later my jeans were SOAKED in blood. Ha, learned my lesson. I would much rather empty cup ever 3 hours than do that! You may just have really heavy flow for a couple days an be using it just fine.
Ditto on heavy days!! My first two days I will have to empty it more often (3-4hrs ish too!) otherwise I’ll have leaks, and on those days I back it up with reuseable Party-In-My-Pants pads, but then after that I’m good with not worrying about it till evening. Still better than soaking thru a super tampon in 2 hours and having to carry more around!
On an athletics note: I love that I don’t have to worry about that little string going places/appearances it shouldn’t when I’m trying to get a workout in!
I’m really looking forward to Birth Control Week (or Month!) on Paleo for Women! And I really really hope you go into detail about the Fertility Awareness Method (and distinguish it from the Rhythm Method). If you like the Diva Cup for the empowerment, awareness and connection it gives to all you females out there, you’ll love the Fertility Awareness Method!
Yes! I love my Diva Cup. I’ve tried to talk to my friends about it, but none of them are comfortable with being, well, THAT comfortable with themselves. I personally have found it empowering to be so connected to my cycle! The only drawback I’ve found is that I definitely feel pressure on my bladder sometimes, so going to the bathroom is a bit of a hassle. And yeah, being in a public bathroom can be slightly embarrassing – same with boiling my Cup! I’ll never forget the look on my boyfriend’s face when he saw it floating in the water! LOL
I LOVE my Diva! I have not had a period since we switched to paleo, so I have no comparisons yet (was pregnant and now nursing). But, before we switched to paleo, I had terribly heavy periods. Ones where I’d flood through the biggest tampon on the market plus an overnight pad within an hour on my heavy days. Ones where I definitely could not go anywhere for at least the first day, if not 2. Then I switched to the Diva. Then, I could go an hour before I needed to dump my cup, and I can go out and about (as long as I’m near bathroom facilities and have a backup pad in place. That kind of freedom really is helpful. Especially when you have a bunch of kids who need to go places. I also experienced much less cramping after I started using my Diva.
I’m looking forward to seeing how things are with my next cycle, since we’ve followed a paleo diet for a little over a year now.
Also, another fan of FAM! It is because of FAM that I was even willing to try the Diva. 🙂
LOVE my Diva Cup! I would also get super dried out with tampons/pads and just hated my period. Now, barely notice it. And as an added bonus, I barely have cramps anymore. Don’t know if they’re related, but I’m not questioning it! Would NEVER go back. And when I was post-partum, used cloth pads – another awesome product.
Thank you for this article. I have always wondered if the Diva Cup worked.
I miss using the diva cup 🙁 I am allergic to pads.
My cervix has always sat low and I could feel the diva cup when I wore it, but it still worked. Since having my son I have prolapse and cant wear the diva cup or tampons because my cervix just pushes them both out.
So I have to put up with getting a rash every month from the pads.
Experimenting with mama cloth now, but it is pricey!
I love this site and I am excited for this series!
I switched to the diva cup after having a terrible experience. Hubby & I are always outdoors & several years ago slept in a friend’s hunting camp, it was late & I decided to just put in a fresh tampon & go to sleep. I awoke to a mess. The only girl in camp, no bathroom & no running water. It was awful. I was fed up with leaking & changing things every 4 or 5 hours so I started doing research & found diva cup. I have to agree it takes some getting used to and maneuvering to figure out how to make it fit for you, but soooo worth it! I am short and it seems my insides are too. I cut most of the stem off and that made it infinitely more comfortable.
Thanks to the cup my ban on camping while on my period has ended. As long as I can find some privacy & wet wipes I only have to worry about emptying it twice a day, which is an awesome relief over tampons especially when you are away from civilization! And as someone else mentioned if you think your flow will start soon you can put it in ahead of time with no problems, so I dont have to worry about dragging supplies with me everywhere I go.
Lastly, I am beyond thrilled when I think of all the waste I’m not making. Not only do you have the actual pads or tampons but think of the packaging that goes along with it!
Add me to the list of folks who love their menstrual cup. I’ve been using a DivaCup for five or six years now and it’s definitely made my periods easier. I don’t have to worry about being stocked up on supplies or making sure I pack enough pads or tampons when I’m traveling. I just grab my cup and a pantyliner for each day of the trip and I’m good to go. I don’t have to worry about how heavy or how light my flow is going to be because one cup takes care of it all. I can also tell when my period is coming to an end because the contents of the cup change–fewer clots, less sticky, thinner and lighter in color. Once I get to that point, I know that I’ll be done in under 24 hours.
I also swear that using the cup helps “get things going” for me. I used to spot for days and days before the actual flow started and then I would bleed for a solid five days. With my cup, I spot for a day (basically until I get my cup inserted) and then bleed for maybe three. I can’t imagine that that tiny amount of suction from the cup would actually do anything to change my bleeding pattern, but I’ve experimented over the months with using and not using the cup and the results are the same each time. But even if I can’t explain it, I’m not going to complain!
I know your blog is aimed toward women, but might I just say that I am totally thankful to be a man? I have no clue how you ladies deal with this stuff. You can’t get enough respect.
Thank you! High five! On the other hand, I never had to hide an erection behind my textbooks in high school.
I tried the Diva Cup when my period returned after the birth of my second child. I LOVED the Cup at first, but I have a pronounced tilt to my anatomy, like some of the commenters above. I found it difficult to achieve suction without *really* rummaging around in there. Between the rummaging and the removal, I exacerbated my vaginal prolapse pretty badly – i.e. I widened my vaginal opening and there is now spongy tissue protruding from it. I reluctantly switched back to tampons and it’s been much less frustrating.
Perhaps I’ll give my DivaCup another try. I used it for several years, but the damn thing just would not position properly, and perpetually hung out as low as it could get, waiting to make a break for freedom. Additionally, I use NuvaRing, and quite frequently have spotting outside my “off week”, which meant at least once a month I’d find myself playing “how many silicone objects can I cram up there?” Not an enjoyable pastime, especially if you play grappling sports. Eventually I just fell back to pantiliners, the occasional tampon, and (I’ll be honest) black panties.
Seeing all these testimonials makes me think that perhaps I just never did get it suctioned on properly. Thanks, ladies!
I strongly prefer the Keeper over the Diva cup. I’ve had both, obviously, and found that the diva was a bit more flimsy and likely to flop around and get blood everywhere during extraction. Also, I distinctly remember the Diva cup leaking in between changes. The keeper is firmer and therefore I believe it is easier to insert, extract, and perhaps also clean.
Anyway, that’s one lady’s opinion. I’m sure that different menstrual cups work for different women. We’re all different. 🙂
I’ve used the keeper in the past, but found that it pulled my cervix down and pressed against my bladder so I had to urinate more frequently than i really wanted to. I’ve discovered Sea Pearls which are reusable sea sponge tampons. They fit perfectly and don’t leak! You do have to rinse them out, so the murder scene can happen often, but they are reusable and very comfortable. Cleopatra used to use sea sponges as tampons!
I like my diva cup. However, it sometimes makes me feel like I have to pee all the time. Like, if I’ve been wearing it for more than a day. Weird.
Been using the Diva cup for a couple of years now, and love it. Bit of a learning curve but once you get the hang of it, it’s so simple and convenient. Something odd happened when I first switched from tampons to the cup – I started passing a lot of uterine tissue, and several times what looked like a cast of my uterus. Really freaked me out.. looked it up online and it’s happened to other women who switched as well. Not sure why.
I tried to use it at first when I was just 14 and never really got the hang of it, so I quickly abandoned it for the easier-to-use tampons. It was always in the back of my mind, though, since I knew my disposable period products were horrible for the environment and probably toxic from the bleach. I would try to use it every now and then for years, but it hurt to insert it and it wouldn’t seal properly, so I would always give up. I finally forced myself to use it on a camping trip, and I’m so glad I did! It works so much better than tampons, and since I have a heavy flow, it saves me a lot of annoying trips to the bathroom. I realized that my problem when I first tried it was that I was using the “punch-down” method instead of the folding method you show here.
I just started using the Diva Cup this cycle and like a lot of you REGRET not hearing about this before! I’m also adopting the paleo eating lifestyle which is how I came to learn about this product. I am in love! I’ve had heavy periods and horrific cramps all my life. This is the first cycle where I wasn’t changing tampons and pads every two hours or searching for the painkillers and hot water bottle. The deciding factor for me was #1 finding out what tampons actually are and what is used in making them (bleach?!), #2 That news story about the moldy tampon and #3. Getting up in the middle of the night to change your tampon then getting up the next morning and realizing that all you did was insert a tampon without taking the first one out first! I do admit that using the cup for the first time is a series of tiny missions (one time it’s perfect and others it’s “uh-oh” ) but it is so worth it. But I notice that if I insert it correctly, I don’t notice the stem. If it’s in wrong, it let’s me know. I only probably have a few more menstrual years left, but at least I’m experiencing them with a huge amount of comfort.
I have found this to be very helpful in getting it to insert properly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nt6L-POE-b0
I am new to using the Diva cup. My cup came with a bottle of Diva wash, but are there any other soaps you would recommend?
I suffered through 10 years of hell with tampons and pads (wohoo periods at 9! Lol) —then at about 19 I had my copper IUD put in and met the Diva Cup.
I would of NEVER survived the hemorrhaging I went through with that damn IUD without the cup, hands down. I was changing it every 45 mins to an hour the first two days or so. I had always been a heavy bleeder as a young girl, but this IUD even put me through the wringer. Thanks to the measuring lines on the Diva I knew I was losing quite literally hundreds of mls of blood. Yeesh, anemia anyone?
I had a couple hiccups along the way with the cup vis-a-vis fitting it and figuring out the correct soap but love it. I’m a total klutz so I tend to drop the cup everywhere and sometimes, depending where that happens to be I have to replace it.
As for the IUD—NEVER AGAIN. I just won’t. The cramps and the heavy bleeding…all for what? I ended up conceiving with it in place anyway.
Just curious, have any of you dropped the cup into the toiled while pulling it out or emptying its contents? Cause I’ve seen it slip out of the reviewer’s hands despite its dry state, what about the times when it is covered in slippery lady fluids?! o_O
This is hilarious. No, I haven’t. But have had to learn over a series of various incidents how to navigate public restrooms. That moment when you pull the cup out and do not know how much blood is coming with it… haha. Always an adventure.
I have loved my Diva Cup to death since I first started using it in 2008. It’ s been around the world on 4 continents with me and makes managing my cycle so much easier. Kayaking, rafting, rock climbing, skiing, and living large the Diva Cup has made my day many a time.
However I’m in a huge conflict currently. For the past four years I’ve had a copper non hormonal IUD and last week found out I was pregnant! Such the shock of my life in a position I’d tried to never put myself in. Other than possibly being part of the miniscule population that can still get knocked up with a copper IUD my diva cup may have played a role :..(
All the health professionals involved were totally baffled : “can you feel your strings?” me: “yes” them: “are you sure?” me: “yes”. Them :” you haven’t had it very long have you?” Me: “only 4 years!” them:” who put it in?” me: “this clinic!”.
Low and behold pregger and IUD on ultra sound.
So as a word of caution and something very important to discuss with your ob/gyn, and your partner is the possibility of Diva Cup/IUD interaction. Even if in a serious committed and caring relationship back it up.
My IUD while still “in” was according to the doctors sitting very low and in doing so was less effective. The only thing I can think of is that Diva Cup suction might have played a role despite as careful as I tried to be.
Now for the conflict of if I wan’t to combine the two ever again. The idea of “going back” is horrible, and messy and expensive. But the thought of hormonal birth control is even worse 🙁
This posting is only intended to provide awareness of this possibility and not provoke any kind of debate. However, if you have had a similar experience I would be interested if you care to share.
@annomys I am one of those that can not tolerate hormonal BC, nor could I handle the IUD. If you can’t use the IUD any more, my husband and I have had great success with the Fertility Awareness Method and we both use the Kindra iPhone app to help with it. Yep there are a few days each month we use condoms, but it’s been great so far.
Hope that helps.
I haven’t used the Diva Cup specifically, but I have used the Lunette Cup (size 1 or “pre-vaginal birth/teenager” size) and the Sckoon Cup (size 2 “post-birth/older woman” size). They were both used during the same period, which was my first postpartum period at about 10-1/2 months postpartum. I had bought the Lunette a month or so before being pregnant but never had a chance to use it. I think I would have loved the Lunette at that time, but since I got the smaller size (being pre-pregnancy at that time), it didn’t quite fit me postpartum. My cervix is much, much lower than it used to be, so the bottom of the Lunette was either right at the opening or sticking partly out. It didn’t affect the function of the cup at all, but it was slightly uncomfortable if I was up and walking around. That’s why I bought the Sckoon Cup in size 2 (slightly shorter but wider diameter and softer material, plus USA made and comes in colors–I got a teal colored one). It was much more comfortable, so I think the wider diameter was more important for my sizing, and I think the size 2 Lunette would work as well for the same reason (larger diameter, thus helping it stay in place in my more relaxed postpartum vagina, must do Kegels!!). Lunette is made in Finland, and it’s an awesome cup (plus comes in several colors. I got a pretty blue called Selene). I also bought a Yuuki Cup (even shorter than Sckoon but wider diameter like the Sckoon; only comes in clear) because it was a great deal on Amazon and came with a sterilizer cup to use in the microwave (awesome!). I haven’t had a chance to use that one. It’s made in Europe (want to say Czech company?). There are so many brands of menstrual cups, it will blow your mind. They are mostly basically the same with slight variations in size (both in width and diameter) and a couple different shapes (more straight-walled like Diva Cup or more bell-shaped like Sckoon/Lunette). Diva Cup is one of the longest cups, so there are a fair amount of women who find it uncomfortable, especially if you have a low cervix like I do now. Google menstrual cup comparisons to get an idea of what works for you, and most companies will ship to US. Ruby Cup is another one I considered because they have an awesome program where if you buy one of their cups, they will donate a second cup to a school girl in Africa (I think Kenya?) so she can stay in school during her period and not have to worry about getting supplies which are hard to obtain there. Many girls miss about 20% of their school days or even drop out completely due to not having menstrual care supplies.
Another great benefit to menstrual cups is that they last for years with proper care (wash every time before you insert it and sterilize it with boiling water or a steam microwave sterilizer like you can use with breastmilk pumping supplies at the end of each period). Theoretically, they could last for more than the recommended 10 years because they are made of the same medical-grade materials (most medical grade silicone but some are medical-grade TPU) that are used in permanent surgical implants.