Hmm... I wanted to try this for a long time before I finally pulled the trigger and bought it. I was thrilled to try something that would be better for the environment, overall more inexpensive and cleaner/healthier for me. Also, I've been experiencing some unpleasantly heavy flows in the last few years (sorry, TMI) and I loved the idea of more protection.
I wanted so much to like this! I watched YouTube videos and read blogs for real-life experiences and tips. When I received it in the mail, it took me a few attempts to get it inserted, but then it really was not a problem. I use the 2nd type of cup due to my age and having had a child, and I realized there would be a steep learning curve to insertion and extraction. I use the push-down fold for insertion, and I've never had a problem with leaks or improper seals. I looove being able to put this in for up to 12 hours and just forget about it! And I love not having to worry about bringing tampons with me and smuggling them into the bathroom at work. I was always a tampon lover and figured this product would be a natural progression for me.
The first negative I noticed was that I can insert this to a point where I don't feel it, but there is a bit of a noticeable "heaviness" sensation that exacerbates my first day cramps. I could live with this, though.
My biggest problem has been with removal. I have never been able to take this out without an almighty struggle! The only success I've had has been by crouching in my SHOWER, and even then it takes quite a few tries. I have long fingernails that always seem to pinch me some place very "sensitive". Also, it's helpful to note that the stem is NOT used to remove the cup - you will never get it out by yanking on that little guy. Because of this, I trimmed mine down so it wouldn't poke me when I am wearing it. To remove the device, you must get your finger in between the wall of your vag and the cup so you can break the seal, then squeeze the cup a bit and pull... HARD. It helps to assume a squatting position to access the cup, and press down a bit to push the cup down to meet your fingers. All this while trying to "relax", because tensing up will make things more difficult. I've tried removing the cup at shorter intervals so that maybe it won't have "settled" so deeply or it won't be so full, but that hasn't seemed to make much of a difference. I won't even go into the mess that occurs when I succeed at extracting this little baby - it's difficult to keep your hand steady while getting this out. (Hence the shower...)
A tip I read and wanted to try was to buy the individually wrapped and packaged Summers Eve cleansing cloths. If you're going to be out and about ALL day and night, you can remove and dump your cup right over a toilet, wipe with the cloth, and re-insert right there. Would have loved to try it, but with my removal issues I'd end up having to fish my cup out of a public toilet and then burn it, LOL.
I will persist with this because it's such a good idea and lots of women seem to love theirs. Right now, however, I can't say I'm the biggest fan due to the removal hassle. Hoping I'm just a bit uncoordinated and will eventually get the hang of this. I seem to be in the minority here, so PLEASE try this for yourself to see what you think!
Love this and menstrual cups in general. My one qualm is that this brand is a little too long for me, and I switched to a MeLuna which is a little softer and shorter. In general though, really nice and comfortable as opposed to tampons. Also cleaner. Even if you don't have heavy periods, this sort of thing is really worth it for the convenience factor - I can leave it in all day at work without worrying about leaks or TSS, and then take it out and clean it when I get home. Piece of cake! Also really good for swimming, since even light tampons are sometimes too absorbent but I still have to have a little something there to, er, catch anything during TTOM.
DEFINITELY cheaper than tampons, especially if you have to buy a wide range of absorbencies like me. I no longer have to play the "light month or regular month or regular with a chance of super?" roulette game at the drugstore with this bad boy. I do still wear a pantiliner on heavier days just to make sure, but I've never had any problems - which is more than I can say for all those "oh crap" days from before I started using menstrual cups.
I did, however, take a lippie off because they really need to make more sizes for us petite ladies! Euro brands seem to have a lot more selection than North American ones.
I wish someone told me about menstrual cups earlier...They need to be broadcasting this a lot more on TV like they do for pads. This little cup has drastically made me feel so much better about my lady days. Yes, it still stinks when aunt flo comes to visit, but now with this cup it feels soooooo bearable. Pads that are soaked DO NOT feel good at all. It feels like a big old diaper when the pad is full. And not to mention how cold it gets too now that flo has left the building on right onto your pad..yuck..and gross...I can't rave enough about menstrual cups. The only brand I've tried is the diva cup. It's easy to insert and pull out, easy to clean, and most of all the perfect size for me (post pregnancy). I just wish someone told this to me a lot sooner for my high school/college days. Oye vey. Those days were painful. Leaks..gross pads...ugh..Since I've bought this cup, my menstrual days aren't that bad to tackle anymore. I still hate them of course, but at least this cup has made me comfortable throughout these messy periods. I still do wear a very thin pad just in case for those very heavy days. But honestly, the amount of little drops here and there that show up on the pad are nothing compared to fully absorbed pads that make you feel gross. Menstrual cups are great! I highly suggest you try them out. I was afraid at first thinking it would get stuck up in there and I'd have to pry them out or something with forceps, but no...it's really easy to take out and insert back in. Just remember to breathe, take it easy, and relax. Nothing's gonna come out of there if your muscles are all tensed and your body is all hard. Breathe, relax, and take it out slowly. Best advice I can give ya..
Menstrual cups are definitely game-changers. When I wear my Diva Cup, it's almost as if I don't even have my period...what a miracle!
First, why they're better than pads/tampons:
Some people are "grossed out" by the fact that menstrual cups have to be dumped and rinsed out once in a while. But which is more disgusting: having a damp, bloody pad sit in your underwear and having to wrap it up and throw it out, having a bloody dangling tampon string in your underwear and having to wrap it up and throw it out, or wearing a cup with nothing in your underwear and just rinsing it out? Pads are highly susceptible to bacteria growth, because they are damp and can sit in your underwear for hours. Not to mention, they're wet and uncomfortable, and you have to watch what clothing you wear with them. Tampons can cause toxic shock syndrome because they not only absorb blood but also healthy fluids and mucus membrane from your body. Cups simply sit low in the vaginal canal and collect blood as it falls. It doesn't leak because it works using suction and is made of soft silicone that shapes to your body as it moves.
Now, my experience with Diva Cup:
I am 19 and have never given birth, so I ordered a model 1 size. My first cycle with the cup was a little difficult. At first, it was frustrating to insert the cup - but then I remembered how difficult tampons had seemed at first! I kept trying and experimented with different ways to fold the cup - I learned that the "push-down" fold works best for me. Once inserted, the cup adjusts and settles, and it feels as if you're wearing nothing at all. Perfect! The cup leaked a lot the first few times I wore it. Because of this, I wore it with a panty liner and didn't wear it at night. After doing some investigating online I realized the cup must not be opening up all the way, which prevented a tight seal and made room for leaks to occur. I watched some helpful youtube videos on common causes of leaking cups, and found some tips to help it open properly and avoid the leaking. My second cycle with the cup was perfect! By then, I could insert it easily and used the tips and tricks I learned to make sure it opened properly once inserted. There were no leaks, even on my heaviest days. Now I can sleep, swim, and work out with the cup, without worrying about leaks. I once wore the cup for 12 hours straight on one of my heaviest days and didn't have a single leak. The best part is that I can put the cup in and forget about it all day - no more running to the bathroom every few hours to check/change pads and tampons, and no more worrying about whether I have enough pads/tampons in my purse. No more buying/disposing of pads and tampons, and no more limitations on what I can wear when I have my period. Again, when I wear the cup it's as if I don't have my period at all - and for most women that's a miracle!
I stumbled across the DivaCup in 2011 (in my late 20's at the time) and gave up using traditional/conventional feminine products. The DivaCup is superior to tampons and pads and is 100% worth the investment ($25-$40). The company states that you should replace your DivaCup yearly but that is not the case. I have had my same cup for 3 years now because I have been taking good care of it (once your period ends soak it in peroxide and boiling hot water for 10 minutes).
I LOVE my DivaCup so much, I wish I would have found out about it sooner. More girls and women need this product in their life! It's so amazing! It holds my blood which means you don't have to change it often (I change mine in the morning and before bed time). The other day I started my period while over at a friend's house. She uses tampons and the thought of inserting one freaked me out knowing how bad tampons are for a woman's vaginal area (they have to be changed often, at least for myself, they seem to leak often which sucks, and dry out the vaginal walls). Why the hell are women shoving bleached cotton up their vajayjays for decades still?!?!
The DivaWash should be purchased along with the DivaCup to ensure that your cup last. It's a great natural product that cleans the cups well, but is still gentle. I've even stopped using Summer Eve's feminine wash and use the DivaWash for my daily 'down there' cleaning purposes. It's Ph balanced and a great product! Worth the cost ($8.99) and last a long time because it has a high concentration. I've had my same bottle from 2011 and am just now running low on it! Even if you do not have a DivaCup, you should definitely purchase this product if you use feminine washes (you can use this product on your face and body also).
The only con of the DivaCup, which is not a con, more of a learning curve is to give yourself at least 3 months to get use to inserting the cup, twisting it to make sure the cup creates a seal, and more importantly learning how to take the cup out without making a mess...I've mastered the DivaCup and will NEVER go another period without using it (unless I have to e.g. after giving birth). Love this product!!!!!!
Back when I was in college (about 12 years ago)I had a roommate that started using a reusable sponge instead of tampons. She used to rave about it, I did some research on that sponge and wasn't compelled to buy it, it did hold a lot more than a tampon and it was safer but you still had to take it out and wash it every 4-6 hours, that to me made it not worth it, at the time I thought I had a heavy period and having to wash out a sponge full of blood in between classes in a public bathroom was just too much for me.
Fast forward to about 4 months ago when someone on one of the MUA boards brought up the Diva Cup. I hadn't heard of this but thought it was probably like the sponge and ignored it (plus a lot of women were commenting how disgusting it was). I got my period a few days later and it was especially heavy, I ended up leaking only 2 hours after putting a new tampon in, leaked right through my jeans and even onto the seat of my car (new car to boot). While scrubbing the blood out of my car I decided it was worth looking into alternatives again to see if anything would work better.
Enter the Diva Cup. I looked on ebay and saw a newly listed extremely cheap ($10 with shipping) type 1 diva cup and purchased it although I am in my early 30s now I wanted the smaller version. Once it arrived I practiced using it a few times (while not having my period), and I did panic a little the first time I had to remove it, I wasn't prepared for having to break the seal and got a bit nervous when pulling wasn't doing the trick. After a few days of practicing I felt pretty proficient and waited until my next period to use it. This product does have a learning curve, and you do have to experiment with insertion and extraction techniques, but once you get it down it is pretty easy and not painful at all.
Usually the 1st and 2nd day of my period is the worst, it starts with some spotting and then quickly goes full blown heavy flow with a few clots as well. After using the Diva Cup through the first few days of my period, I realized I did not have as heavy a flow as I thought, in fact, I probably have an average flow. The tampon leakage issues was usually related to a blood clot getting stuck at the top of a tampon and rendering it useless, allowing blood to flow around it and leak. With the Diva Cup, this doesn't happen, and even on my heaviest days i can usually go 10-12 hours between emptying and washing it. Meaning I wear it overnight with no leaks, no running to the bathroom, etc, and then in the morning I wash and reinsert and then don't have to pay attention to it again until I get home in the evening. This to me is PRICELESS. On top of that, it is more comfortable than tampons, I don't feel it in there, and there is no dryness, no irritation, no soreness, no urine-soaked string. In fact, I feel so clean down there when using the Diva Cup, it's as if I don't have my period at all.
I'm glad I'm helping the environment by using a reusable product, but really that is not a factor in my decision to stick with the Diva Cup. The lack of leaks, the lack of tampon irritation, and not having to check it or change it throughout the day is why I love it. I honestly will never go back to tampons if I don't have to, it has been such a great experience and has made my periods so much easier to deal with.
A few days after I received my Diva Cup in the mail, the ebay seller accidentally sent me another one! Lucky me! It is still in its original packaging tucked away in a drawer and ready to be used when my current one starts wearing out or if I lose it. I definitely recommend women give this a try, and don't give up if the first few times don't go perfectly.
I've been using one of these for several years. I started out giving it less lippies on price because initially, it seems expensive. However, I don't see how with regular use and proper cleaning that you'd need to buy another one so it's actually a great deal. I have a couple of very heavy days in the month when I don't use this because it either can't keep up or leaks, but I really love it the rest of the time. I find the fit comfortable and I don't worry about leaving it in for longer periods (no pun intended) of time like I do with tampons. Someone must have really drilled that whole toxic shock thing into my head because I'm pretty paranoid. This solves that issue. Yes, it can be messy but lots of women use tampons without applicators, so this is a good alternative. Plus, I feel better about less paper waste.
After ten plus years of use I can most highly recommend a Divacup and my reasons for this are the following:
1. For hygenic reasons.
Tampons are dangerous (google it if you didn't know) and pads smell so bad I could never get used to it. I even smell it on other women. Strongly.
The discomfort of pads is undeniable and a tampon can not be removed until it's saturated and is not good for scant bleeding. Divacup can be removed and inserted at any time without discomfort so you can use it when bleeding little or a lot.
My periods are very regular so I put it in when it's due and never have to wait for stains again.
No string hanging out and tickling.
If it's placed right you can not feel or see it.
Safe for swimming etc.
Needs to be changed only every 12 h and holds a lot more than a tampon. I used to need double protection for nights and still bleed through, but the Cup lets me sleep all night.
4. Ecology. The amount of unrecyclable garbage a woman generates in a lifetime.. The Divacup is guaranteed to last ten years. I've had mine for a bit more i think and it has not changed, just as new.
5. Economy. Getting one will save you a lot in the long run.
6. No more tampons rolling around my handbag. A small thing, but one I appreciate.
The only three small cons I can think of is
1. Initial cost. But it saved me soooo much money in the long run.
2. The washing felt messy and inconvenient at first, but doesn't bother me at all now. Disposing used pads or tampons was worse when I think back.
3. You do need to learn how to put it in. I didn't need any practise as the instructions included told me all I needed to know. But I know some women are grateful they gave it a few tries.
I believe future generations will look at tampons and pads as positively medieval..
The DivaCup is a silicone cup worn vaginally during a menstrual cycle. I became introduced to this type of alternative feminine products when I developed an allergy to bleached feminine products such as tampons and pads. I was miserable until I switched to cloth menstrual pads. I resisted it for a long time because it was so weird...pads that you wash? But I made the switch it was heaven! No more rashes...no more misery!
But pads can never replace the convenience of tampons but that the bleached tampons on the market was intolerable. They gave me the most painful cramps that trumped the worst of menstrual cramps. The unbleached tampons are inferior; however since the alternative, hippie-natural cloth pads worked wonders, I decided to go that route. First, it was sea sponges, which was weird and not worth the trouble. Then a rubber menstrual cup that changed my life; however, I developed an allergy to the rubber so that was out the window and back to square one again. Several years later, I came upon the DivaCup made out of hypoallergenic silicone; my life changed again!
If you have not tried the DivaCup, then you do not know what you are missing- convenience, no more accidents, no bloody sheets at night, no stained underwear, no worrying about frequent changing or fear of TSS.
The DivaCup is so small that it is easily hidden in your hand; and you can carry it easily in your purse or backpack. It comes with a small cotton drawstring bag to carry it in. It only needs to be changed every 12 hours so if you insert it at 6:00 am, then you don't have to change it until 6:00 pm, then again at 6:00 am and so on. What I love best is that stained underwear and bedsheets have been eliminated except of course at onset. You can always wear a cloth menstrual pad to catch that. After you get used to it, it's so quick and easy to insert and remove. Of course, the washing it out is gross at first; but it's a small price to pay for all that you gain. If you don't have access to a sink to rinse it out then you can wipe it out with tissue after dumping the contents into the toilet. i just always make sure to locate those restrooms that have a sink in the room. A plus is since the DivaCup stays in the vagina due to suction that the suction constantly pulls the menstrual fluids into the cup thereby possibly shortening your cycle. It comes in 2 sizes: Model 1 for those under 30 and have never given birth, and Model 2 for those who had given birth or are over 30. However; you know your body best. I'm 49 and never given birth but have always been "tight" so Model 1 works best for me. I have a friend who is 26 and never given birth but is a big boned woman so Model 2 works best for her.
I just love the clean feeling from using it. It is pricey- about $40 but it's reusable and can possibly last for years so I don't have to worry about buying products every month. I just keep it in the little bag in my underwear drawer. When I think I might start I just drop it in my suitcase or backpack. Try it, you'll never go back to tampons.