The Diva Cup Review. A Dixie Cup for Your Menstrual Flow.

Dear men,

The ladies and I are going to discuss lady things today. And quite frankly I don’t think you men are woman enough to deal with it. So please enjoy this video of a Monster Truck rally while we discuss Diva Cups.

 

Diva Cup LogoYears ago I was wandering around my local health food store looking for cheese making supplies.  The store is in a very old building in town complete with creaky wooden floors.  It’s the kind of place that, even though it isn’t very big, you can’t help but wander around.  It feels serene, and calm and cozy being in amongst all the bins of coconut flour and raw nuts.  

This particular day there was no music playing in the store and the only sounds  were the shuffling of feet, the sound of scoops hitting the bins and  those wonderful creaking wood floors.

And of course my screaming.  My top of the lungs, tonsil revealing, primal screech.

You see, as I was wandering the aisle of essential oils and organic soaps I came across a site so shocking that a bunch of terror got all mangled and twisted inside of me until it forced its way out through my mouth in the form of a scream.  A scream was better than a massive toot I suppose.

What I saw was the Diva Cup for the very first time. It had to be 12 years ago and these were not well known. I learned they were one of apparently many brands of “Menstrual Flow cups”.  Now, I had no idea these things existed and I can assure you my scream wasn’t a scream of excitement.  It was a scream of horror.

What is a Diva Cup?

Staring me in the face was a clear silicone cup that was meant to be pushed up your hoo hoo and extracted when it was full of your womanly deposits.  Basically you’re turning yourself into a human Dixie Cup dispenser, only instead of water or Kool Aid the Dixie cup is filled with the blood of your menstrual flow.

 

Diva Cup 1 & 2

It looks like the nipple of an overbred dog.

I immediately thought it would make a great post topic but couldn’t bring myself to buy the thing.  I just couldn’t.

Fast forward to 2014 when I heard a couple of people, for some reason, mentioned they had used and loved the Diva Cup.  I found this hard to believe, what with it being a silicone cup that held your period blood like a cherry cordial.  

So I went out and bought myself a Diva Cup.  I did so without screaming, all in the name of science.

The benefits of the Diva Cup are the low cost of $32 for almost a lifetime of use.  They were $25 when I first tried it in 2014 by the way. So that’s about the price of a few boxes of tampons/pads.   Even though they’re made from silicone which does not ever, ever biodegrade, the makers still claim it’s better for the environment than flushing/disposing of the thousands of bleached tampons we go through in our lifetime.

Read this post on the only kind of toilet paper to use if you need a reminder on why you shouldn’t flush tampons by the way.

Welcome to my menstrual Diva Cup adventure.

This is how it all went down.

Just days after buying my Diva Cup I felt that tiny little cramp in my gut letting me know I was a grown up lady woman.

Turns out I had just eaten too much Shepherd’s Pie.  But two days later the cramps were back and the main event was on its way.

Since inserting the Diva Cup involves pushing it into yourself with your fingers, I wanted to make sure I got in there before my fingers came out covered in uterine lining.  So into the bathroom I went, armed with the Diva Cup, a full sheet of instructions and very clean hands.

How to Use a Diva Cup

To insert the silicone cup you roll it up until it’s small enough to fit.  There are two sizes. One for women under 30 and one for women over 30. The over 30 cup is bigger.  I’m assuming the makers figure at that age we’re so stretched out down there you could drive a train though us because these cups are BIG.  Intimidatingly so.

But I rolled it up and got it where it’s supposed to be. Once you get it up there you grab the base of the cup and twist it 360 degrees.  This ensures it’s fully open and suctioned to your insides.  I managed to accomplish this on my first try and was desperate to tell someone about it but there wasn’t anyone around.

I wasn’t terribly worried about losing it up there but that seems to be a fear for a lot of women.  Not to worry.  It won’t get lost.

So there it was.  The Diva Cup.  In my vagina.  Wayyyy up in my vagina.  Turns out the Diva Cup is actually more comfortable to wear than a tampon.

Why?  Because it stays in place.

Have you ever noticed that after wearing a tampon for a while it tends to decide it’d like a good look at the world?  It slowly starts working its way down towards the door until it’s just a strong sneeze away from flying out of you.  

The Diva Cup doesn’t do that.  It’s obedient.  The Diva Cup stays where the Diva Cup is put. More on that later.  You really can’t feel it at all.  There’s no itching, or pulling or attempts at escape.

So far so good with the Diva Cup. Did I mention it has handy measurements on the side of it you can see exactly how much fluid is in there?  Because it does.  Incredibly useful for anyone who likes to keep track of how many ounces of blood they shed a month.  These are probably the same people who keep their scabs in a jar and have a laminated bowel movement chart.

You can wear the Diva Cup for 12 hours at a time at which point you have to take it out … and empty the reservoir.  This is where the Diva Cup lost me.  Removal was difficult.  Very difficult.  I’m sure it gets easier with time but it was slightly painful and kind of like pulling a turkey out of your nostril. 

In fact, when it finally popped off I’m pretty sure my nose whistled. 

But that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was emptying the blood streaked cup of woman goo into the bathroom sink and rinsing it out.

I know this is where a lot of you will be thinking “How awful for Karen that she’s so out of touch with her womanness that such a thing bothers her. A woman’s period blood is a miracle of life to be revered and marvelled at.”.  

I know there are those of you thinking this because that’s exactly how other women who reviewed the Diva Cup describe the experience as.  They liked the cup dumping.  It fascinated them.  You know what fascinates me?  Magic Tricks.

I couldn’t bring myself to put the cup in again and instead put it back in the box and slipped it to the back of the cupboard.

The one other caveat to the Diva Cup that even those who love it say is an issue, is public restrooms.  If you need to empty your cup while at the mall or your favourite local restaurant  you’ll  need to dump the cup in the toilet, pull up your pants, get yourself back together with one hand because the other hand will be holding the blood stained Diva Cup.  

Once you’re back together you’ll need to dart to the sink and wash out your cup in the public restroom sink, all the while your face getting hot and your pits getting sweaty worried that someone will wander into the bathroom to a horror show.

Is your cup rinsed?  Good.  Now it’s back into the stall to reinsert the Diva Cup.

I just couldn’t handle it.  But I have to say there are many of you who will be able to handle it.  You’ll think it’s great and life changing like the other women on the Internet.  Like the 10,000 people who reviewed the Diva Cup on Amazon with almost 5 stars. The women who say they couldn’t live without it.

To you I say, you’re more woman than I.  I have no doubt you also would have handled donating blood far better than I did. It’s a bit blurry but as far as I remember my blood donation involved a prayer circle and a stretcher. You can read about that proud moment in my life here.

Do I recommend the Diva Cup?  Yes.  That probably surprises you but it just wasn’t for me.  I  know it wasn’t for me because I got gaggy and almost fainted.  So there’s that.  I know that other women won’t be bothered by it at all.

And to you women I have one more thing to say.  Please don’t try to change my mind.  Please don’t try to convince me I didn’t give it enough of a shot.  Much like Brussels sprouts, it won’t matter how many times I try it  … I’m never going to acquire a taste for menstrual cups.

As luck would have it I am currently moving out of my Diva Cup years and into my coffee cup flying across the room and exploding into shards as it hits the wall because I can’t sleep and am so tired years. 

I resisted the urge to use my Diva Cup as a change purse and eventually threw it out.

I now buy my cheese making supplies online.

The Diva Cup Review. A Dixie Cup for Your Menstrual Flow.

253 Comments

  1. Mandy says:

    I have been using the Diva cup for 6 years and love it. Soooooooo convenient. Ditto with what the other ladies have said so far who have used one. When it comes to removal the trick is to release the suction before removing by simply pinching the bottom slightly. Otherwise yes, it will feel like you’re trying to turn you uterus inside out. Measuring you’re menses can be handy, especially for ladies with a heavy flow. It might sound gross re removal, but not as gross as constantly disposing of old pads and napkins. I rinse and repeat twice a day, same routine as brushing your teeth. It’s very comfortable so it doesn’t feel like you have your monthly at all. If you can feel it after insertion then take it out and try again. I have a friend with a very heavy flow who needs to empty several times a day, but she swears it is better than wearing leaky pads that feel like napkins. If you’re worried about public toilets then carry a spare cup in your bag and a little plastic baggy for your original cup to be rinsed out later. No different to carrying around extra pads/tampons. I could not recommend this product more. Having said that, it is not everyone’s cup of tea. You do have to be comfortable with your own body and fluids. It took me a year to decide to use one after a friend had recommended it to me, then wondered why I had waited so long.

    • Darcy says:

      “it’s not everyone’s cup of tea” …lol

    • Laura C says:

      I’d like to see a U.S. TSA agent see that sip lock baggie. Just sayin’.

    • Vanessa says:

      I’ve had mine for 7 yrs and it’s brilliant! Best thing ever when camping and traveling bc it can stay in place for so long and remain comfortable. I found it to be equally as gross as tampons (since those are really covered sponges :S) but over time, no mess. It does get soo much easier to use (it took me 3 cycles before getting used to it). Definitely recommend!

  2. Hayley says:

    I am SO with you on this one! I’m all for natural products, composting, reducing carbon footprints, blah blah blah…But pulling a cup of clotty, bloody, uterine excrement out of my lady parts and cheerily sloshing it around my sink is the grossest thing the hippies have come up with. I have NEVER in the 22 years of having periods have understood the “it’s so wonderful to be a woman” part of bleeding out the cooch. Then again, I am one of the rare females who is also repulsed by babies. I’d like to opt out of the whole reproductive business and just keep the pleasure part! ;)

    • Maria says:

      Haley? Exactly! Laughed myself silly, thanks Karen :)

      • Maria says:

        Well, not exactly repulsed. They’re adorable, until I decide that they should, nay, MUST return to the people that made and birthed them. :)

    • Lynne says:

      I’m with you all the way Hayley. Actually my friends and I often joke about that brochure we received at school when approaching the fateful day. “It’s Wonderful Being a Girl”. Not. It might have been wonderful for the sponsors of that brochure (Kotex, I think) because they envisioned the next 40 years or so of gleefully selling you ever more expensive feminine hygiene products – but for those of us actually afflicted with the annoyance?, not so much.

      I’ve always looked at those Diva Cups somewhat askance – imagining that my experience would probably follow the general trajectory of Karen’s. Pardon the TMI – but I always had heavy periods with heavy cramping and the heavy aspect only increased over time becoming a real pain in the patoot over the last 10 years of it. I would probably have been dumping those cups a darn site more frequently than twice a day.

      No thanks. I was squicked out enough as it was.

  3. TucsonPatty says:

    I am laughing so hard and reading the comments and laughing and want to see you pull a turkey out a nostril and I think I bought one of these once and if I tried it I now am old enough I forgot the horror you had. I think it might be a reminder of childbirth or something when you pulled it out????
    This is the funniest thing ever and I am so impressed you plowed through the trial and ERROR!! for all womankind.
    I’m kind of a hippie/granola type, but I’m glad I don’t do those womanly bodily function things anymore.
    Yay, menopause!
    Karen, you are the funniest and bravest person I know! You are my hero! (ine!)

  4. Bee-Naz says:

    Oh Karen…. I was laying on my living room floor to relieve my back pain and was in full on giggle fits at this post! My boyfriend was silly enough to ask and promptly left the room when I started explaining! He should have known better…

    I’m glad you tried it. I have had mine for years and love it! I actually had more problems with inserting/removing mine than you seem to have had but I was determined to not use tampons anymore so I didn’t give up.

    I don’t however dump mine in the sink. That may gross me out too. I empty it into the toilet followed by a quick flush and proceed to rinse it in the sink. There was a bit of ‘Eww’ factor to begin with I guess but it doesn’t even phase me anymore. Also, since I can wear it so long without ‘issues’ I have only had to ever use a public restroom to remove, rinse and re-insert a handful of times. The times I have I simply took some wet paper towel into the stall with me and gave it a good wipe then rinsed properly when I got home. All that said, it is NOT for everyone. I’ve had girlfriends thank me for converting them and others who vow to never try it. At the end of the day, my hoo hoo is way happier for it. No more yeasty problems for this hoo hoo!! ;)

    Either way, the giggle fits were wonderful. Please don’t ever stop being you! :)

  5. AbracaDebra says:

    One word; Hysterectomy!

    At the age of 30 I was bleeding so heavily on a monthly basis that I couldn’t leave the house! My bloody “woman goo” ran down my legs and that was with tampons and pads at the same time! My Gynecologist finally agreed that this was abnormal. After the total hysterectomy, TV commercials for tampons and pads were reminders of my past life, and I never missed them! However I’m not certain how the Canadian healthcare system manages situations like this!

    • Cred says:

      Yep, this would be covered by OHIP in Ontario. If doctor considers it a abnormal health condition and recommends a hysterectomy. My mom had the same problem and had a partial hysterectomy (just the uterus was removed) when she was 43. Because they left her ovaries, she didn’t require hormone replacement.

      • Lynne says:

        Yep, one of my best friends had a hysterectomy in her late 30s for the same reason. She’d always had problems and they reached the crisis stage after her third child.

  6. SeaDee says:

    Hysterical. “…keep their scabs in a jar”! “…laminated bowel movement chart”. Made me laugh out loud Karen!

    • Debbie says:

      The concept of saving scabs in a jar was probably funny to me at some point in my life. Until I saw it in person. GASP. My friends Grandma use to save all of her scabs in a jar. Devastating for a 10 year old to see. She also reused her mouthwash. Use. Spit back in the bottle. Use again.

      • TucsonPatty says:

        Oh. My. God. That is the funniest thing I’ve ever heard of!! Used mouthwash sounds just as disgusting as I can’t even thing of what! Too funny – and I now have to look at it with one eye closed!

  7. michele says:

    Oh MY Goodness!!!

    This kind of post makes me SO VERY GLAD I am post menopause!!

    ***that, and the freedom to have sex without worry of more kiddos***

    LOL

  8. Amber says:

    And, yes, the vaginal canal opens and the cervix widens with age, whether you’ve had kids or not. We all get bigger after 30. Hence a larger size, to prevent leakage.
    I’ve never tried it.

  9. Debbie from Illinois says:

    Oh I am so happy I am 54 years old and done with all that CRAP! Lol!

  10. Lisa says:

    I agree you Karen – and with Sara.
    And I’m adding: Gag

  11. Crystal says:

    kitchen tongs?

  12. Carole says:

    You kill me girl! Thank GOD I’m finished with that stuff!!! Thank you baby Jesus! No more, no more! Hallelujah! Karen, your day will come ….and it will be pure bliss! Think about – no Dixie cups!

  13. Pati Gulat says:

    This is HILARIOUS ! I’ve heard of the Diva Cup but by the time it was invented I no longer HAD a period ! But I don’t think I would’ve tried it anyway ! Once again Karen, you are more woman than I ! LOLOL

  14. Stephanie Hobson says:

    Oh. My. Gosh!
    Freaking hysterical.
    Favorite line, “kind of like pulling a a turkey out of your nostril”.

  15. Alisha says:

    Bahaha! Best post ever. I got one a few years ago and won’t ever go back. If someone needs to empty it in a Wal-Mart bathroom then they’re not thinking things through. Chances are it can wait! (Am I the only one that empties it into the toilet before washing it?) In 5+ years I have never cleaned it in a public washroom. But damn, it really IS comfy! And there’s never any leakage which is impossible to say with tampons and pads.

    • ktr says:

      I have using one for about 2 years and the only time I’ve had to empty it in a public restroom was when I got stuck overnight in the airport. I had brought baby wipes with just in case I had to change the cup in a public restroom so I just emptied it in the toilet (like I always do) and then wiped it out with a baby wipe and reinserted it.
      I’m lazy so I only change mine every 24 hours. No risk of TSS so I figure it should be ok.

      • Deb says:

        Ok, question about the TSS. Why is there no risk of that, since professionals (whoever they are) indicate leaving a tampon in for extended periods can cause TSS. I thought about that. I always thought TSS was more from toxins in “old” blood, not the tampon itself.

  16. ruth says:

    What Sara said.

  17. Auntiepatch says:

    I wish I had known about these 20 years ago.

  18. Jen Morris says:

    I love mine. Haven’t bought feminine hygiene products since 2008. I tip the contents of the cup into the toilet, reach over to rinse and then reinsert (I can reach my sink from my position on the loo). If I’m in a public toilet I tip the contents into the loo and then give it a quick wipe with TP and reinsert.

    Face it, any which way that you have to deal with your menstrual flow is gross – this way I only have to deal with it twice a day instead of every few hours. And I can swim too, without worrying about what time of the month it is.

    • Kristin D. says:

      Precisely! It was beautiful, while I needed it. I’ve now had an ablation, so I no longer have periods, woo hoo!!! But, I did like the Diva Cup. I did once get it stuck behind my cervix, instead of popped open around it, which required the assistance of my spouse to retrieve it…now you know I have the very best guy on the planet for my very own. BUT– I thought the sizes were in reference to whether or not a person had had a pregnancy/birth or had not, without regard to age? Am I wrong?

      • Cred says:

        I know that is the case for The Keeper. Both my kids were delivered c-section so I use the smaller one.

      • Kelli says:

        Kristin is ablation just not a GODSEND!??? So happy I had it done…literally life changing for me. And no messy cleanup! :)

    • Maggie Pitts says:

      1) I also do the quick wipe with TP if in a public washroom.
      2) Don’t necessarily believe the size recommendation; I was happier switching to a smaller size even though I’m over 30 and have had a child. The larger size felt a bit like I had opened up an umbrella inside me.
      3) If some days I don’t feel like using the cup (I love it, but sometimes not in the mood on light days), I use reusable luna pads. I highly recommend also their “buncha farmer” stick stain remover if they still have it. It’s incredible. https://lunapads.com/

    • Right there with you, Jen. I got one in 2006 and haven’t looked back. Unlike Karen, I had a bit of a learning curve at first and it took me a few days to really get the hang of it, but it was worth it.

  19. Amber says:

    Ah. Yes. The Diva Cup. I used to manage the Health and Wellness department of my local co-op. My first intro as a newly fledged manager for the cute and innocent young guys who worked for me: “Ahh! What do we do!?!?! She wants to return it because she says it doesn’t fit!!! What does that MEAN??? Ahhhh!!!!!”
    Other fave moments with The Cup:
    ‘I use the blood to fertilize my plants!’
    ‘I don’t like the overflow.’
    ‘I don’t need it. I just clench.’
    My fave moment at the co-op: “I quit.”

  20. Janet says:

    As I was reading this post, I started sweating remembering the ONE time I tried it and thought I might die trying to remove the damned thing. Honestly. Might. Die. I had an absolute panic attack picturing myself having to go to a walk-in clinic to have it removed and Oh the embarrassment! Never again. So glad you didn’t try to convince me ;)

  21. Laura says:

    Ditto, baby!

  22. Lucy says:

    My naturopath/midwife recommended the Diva Cup to me. I’d seen it around but never DARED to try it. However, I really trust and like my naturopath/midwife so I went for it. And I’ll never go back to tampons. One small step for woman…

    Glad you reviewed it

  23. Laura Bee says:

    Kudos to you for trying it & making me laugh until I almost peed. You are a treasure.

  24. Shel says:

    OMG I am laughing so hard! This is one post I have GOT to forward to all of my lady friends. And maybe even to some of my man friends that I don’t like so much.

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