Product Review.
The Diva Cup. A 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.

 

Diva Cup LogoA couple of years 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, no holds barred, primal screeching.

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.  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.

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

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

Then last week 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 last week I went out and bought myself a Dixie Cup.  I mean Diva Cup.    I did so without screaming, all in the name of science.

The benefits of the Diva Cup are the low cost of $25.   They seem to last for years.  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.

Welcome to my menstrual Diva Cup adventure.

And 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.

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 its 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 and you 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 is difficult.  Very difficult.  I’m sure it gets easier with time but it was slightly painful and kind of like pulling a a turkey out of your nostril.

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.  The women who say they couldn’t live without it.

To you I say, you’re more woman than I.

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 woman 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 it.

Wanna buy a Diva Cup?  Get one here for $25.

 

213 Comments

  1. Amber says:

    I once went to a workshop on having a green period at a sustainable living festival in Fort Collins, CO. We learned how to make pads out of old rags and terry cloth. One of the instructors talked at length about how wonderful the Diva Cup is, and that one should never throw the contents of the cup away. She said she always collected her menses to use as fertilizer for her plants, and as a result grew the best, biggest tomatoes in the area. Needless to say that put me off tomatoes for quite a while. To each her own, I guess.

  2. Fifi says:

    O.M.GEEEEE!!!
    Ok Karen , so now you have a Diva Cup (gross!) sitting in your cupboard….I you are the type of gal who is probably going to repurpose it, so as not to waste a good (?) thing….how bout a slug trap for your garden?……….or if you had a pair of these, they would make a good strapless bra for someone with small pointy boobs (I don’t mean you lol)……or a seed starter…..or plant a tiny succulent ( ew LOL) and hang it from a macramé plant holder……how very chic !
    Why why why did I open this post during my lunch ??
    Why have I never heard of this either? I thought women talked about this kinda stuff……maybe no one I know uses this ??!! As for Moi……..I happen to like tampons !!!!!
    The name for this product is sooooo wrong……what real Diva would use this, surely not Beyoncé !!??? They should come up with another name for it….any suggestions? I got none….. I am speechless and wordless ;-)

  3. Ruth says:

    As heavy and as lengthy as my menses are, I doubt I could stomach it. Then again…. I don’t have the stomach for tampons or pads either, so I guess I am just going to be stuck between a rock and a hard place, until 55 shows up (15 years to menopause… oh joy).

    However, I must say that I am a bit intrigued by that 12-hour duration. Intrigued… not sold, but definitely intrigued…. If I ever come across them, I may just buy one to use at home.

    One question… can you sleep in it? (I never get proper sleep on my heavy days due to bathroom trips for changing, so THAT would be the selling point)

    • Another Ruth says:

      Cups are much better for heavy flows than either tampons or pads. You might not get the full 12-hrs during the most “torrential” part of your monthly, but it holds more than a pad. And yea, you can sleep in it! If you make sure it’s empty before you go to bed, it will give you the most leeway.

      Many women report less heavy flow and less cramping once they switch to the cup (this was my experience), but of course there’s no way to know if it’s causal.

      As other comments have mentioned, there is a learning curve–the first time you use a cup it is really weird and awkward. But if you think back to when you learned about pads and tampons, that was really weird too! I find it’s much cleaner and less trouble than other options; give it a try!

  4. Gwen says:

    Coincidentaly, I too bought my Diva cup at my local health food store while looking for cheesemaking supplies but the similarity ends there; my health food store is very ‘judgy’ and my Beava cup cost $40. Additionally, after years of giving up too easily, I now apply a 20 hour rule to any new endevour. At first I had the same negative issues as others have posted here but after giving it my full committment, I now love it. My biggest complaint is the squishy noises but I suppose they’re no worse than the alternative crumpling paper wrappers.

  5. Teddee Grace says:

    A diaphragm always served the same purpose for me short term. No big deal.

  6. Katie says:

    Here in the states there’s a disposable one in with the lady-diapers section in the grocery store. It says to throw it away, but I’ll rinse it if I’m in a bathroom with my own sink and stick it back in for a few days’ worth of use, but can also throw it away if I need to…and I do at the end of a cycle. I forget the the name right now, but I’ve got a box at home! They’re more expensive than tampons, but not $25. Like 8 for a box of 10, or something?
    I think they’re fantastic, but don’t use it all the time…

  7. Amie says:

    I’ve been using the Diva Cup for 6 years now, and I love it. It does not hurt like tampons do, nor can I push it out while going for a big #2.

    In public restrooms, I dump it in the toilet, use toilet paper to wipe out the cup, reinsert, wipe hands on tp, and exit to wash hands. I rinse it when I get home.

    I also sterilize it every couple months in a pot of boiling water, because I keep it in my purse between flows.

    It is fantastic, economical, and helps ladies get more familiar with a very natural thing.

  8. Kirsten says:

    Bahahaha! Hilarious! Love it!
    The first time I heard about these I wanted to puke at the idea but a couple years later after seeing it on a popular mommy flash sale site and reading up on them I decided to give them a try.
    I’ve been using one for a couple of years now and love it! No more running out of tampons or having to make an excuse to stop by my purse on the way to the bathroom every few hours! But my very VERY favorite part is sleeping through the night normally! No more worry of leaking on the sheets or the feeling of wearing a soggy diaper sized pad keeping me up! love it!
    I did find insertion/extraction a little difficult the first month but by the second it was no problem and didn’t gross me out anymore.
    And I don’t recall ever having to change it in public because you can wear it for so long. If you’re worried about it just empty it before you go out and you’re good for another 12 hours. But I have heard of women just bringing a bottle of water in their purse to rinse it off in the stall.
    Thanks for the laughs!!!

  9. jane says:

    There’s a version called Instead that’s disposable. Also smaller. And easier to wear. Sole drawback was was someone asked you for a tampon; you handed one over … and they said what the blankity blank is this?!

  10. Amy says:

    Laughing. Laughing so hard.

    I’ve sent this post to my girlfriends, so they too can enjoy the hilarity.

  11. Leslie says:

    If these had been invented when I was a teen I’d maybe still be a ballerina. My mom wouldn’t even tell me about tampons.

  12. Safetydog says:

    Thank you so much for trying this product and telling us about it! Intellectually, I agree that this sounds safe, hygenic, natural, convenient, etc. I try to be in tune with my wonderful female processes. The flow isn’t a problem. It’s the actual insertion and removal that gets to me. I’ve gotten light-headed using tampons or watching child-birth films. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank goodness I am past the point of needing this product.

  13. Traci says:

    I won’t try to convince you Karen, but I will give some tips for other people on the fence or thinking about trying the diva cup. Before I tried it I found a bunch of message boards dedicated to the thing. Yeah, message boards plural–this thing is life-changing and once you get it you want to shout to the hills and tell everyone. What I learned is that most people take at least 2 cycles to get the hang of it, so you’ve got to commit to giving it a good try to reap the benefit. There are multiple folds for insertion that aren’t in the instructions. Look them up b/c one might work better for you. You have to break the seal before taking it out. Push in the side with one finger to break the seal then pull it out and immediately dump in the toilet (that helps lesson the ick factor). Wash in the sink or if you are in a public restroom wipe with a travel wet wipe like these http://www.natracare.com/p102/en-GB/Natracare-Products/Everyday/Organic-Cotton-Wipes.aspx . Then just put it back in. If it gets stuck, the key is to relax and if you are really having trouble just squat down low to the ground and it will come right out. Also the sizes are for if you’ve given birth. No kids go size 1, yes kids go size 2.

    Like I said, the learning curve is steep, but when you hit that moment where you forget you have your period you’ll be a convert for life. And that’s coming from someone who has long, heavy awful periods.

  14. Tina Marie says:

    Karen – this article is Pulitzer worthy! God how I love you! Refreshing, hysterical and informative!

  15. Marion says:

    BAHAHAHAHA, this is exactly what I needed to read this morning! Thankfully I’m alone in my office right now so I didn’t have to muffle my laughter. I have friends that swear by their diva cups (they’re a bunch of hippy, vegan, home-birth advocating feminists) but I’ve been to scared to buy myself one just yet. I might after reading this though! Excellent review. Also, I’m loving the comments from other ladies!

  16. Jen W says:

    I’d heard of these things years and years ago….and thought it was the most horrible and disgusting invention ever. Then about 6 months ago we were going on a backpacking trip, and I expected to be reminded of my womanliness while on the trip. I had to either get used to the idea of carrying around my used feminine products (there aren’t any trash cans in the woods) in a bag in my pack……or try the Diva Cup. Well….the cup was the least horrific of the two choices…so I gave it a try. I didn’t end up having to use it on the trip…but I’ve used it every month since…and am a 100% believer now. (also, in cases where you think a public restroom “changing of the guard” might have to happen..take baby wipes/alcohol wipes…..works to clean it and your hands…..better than in and out of the bathroom stall for sure) :-)

  17. Sia says:

    I would like to know how a person comes up with an idea like this.

  18. Luanne says:

    I had been curious, and up until now, just assumed I’d never know. My curiosity is sated.

    This had pretty good shock value. And all I can think of is how I wanted to share around the frozen yoghurt tampons post, but didn’t. (Maybe because I’ve tried the yoghurt remedy without the aid of freezing and a tampon.) I think that I’ll just enjoy my tearful laughter at the Diva Cup all on my own, though. And just hope that people I know run across this post.

  19. Mary Werner says:

    Would rather drive a monster truck. Thanks for the alternate view but was so fascinated by the comments that I read every one!

  20. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    OMG! Thank the Lord I don’t have to mess with that anymore. I’ve never, ever, heard of this. Thanks once again Karen for enlightening my morning. And look at all those comments!
    And what about, “people who keep their scabs in a jar and have a laminated bowel movement chart”? Where do you get this stuff??? You are sonething else, keep it comin’!

  21. Tanya H says:

    Loved my Diva Cup until after baby #3. Think he wrecked me /:

  22. Nancy says:

    ewww…glad I don’t have a uterus any more!

  23. Debbie says:

    I have one and have a love/hate relationship with it. I agree – the insertion and removal of it is really gross. But only having to deal with it twice a day is great, and they don’t leak. Also, don’t forget – if you pee, no wet string hanging around.

  24. Erika says:

    I have no words for how disturbing this sounds.

  25. Kitten Caboodle says:

    No. Just no.

  26. kari says:

    Great post. I too, have one in the back of my cabinet. Will try again, just b/c of you. Thanks so much for the laughs, I blew coffee when you wrote, “It slowly starts working its way down towards the door until its just a strong sneeze away from flying out of you”. Good times!

  27. Jacqui says:

    OMG, that was a three snort read! I so enjoy that nothing is sacred to you Karen. Keep up the good fight to keep us informed. Love it

  28. Louise says:

    OMG, am I the first one to comment?! Is that because everyone else is cowering in horror? I guess that’s because the rest of you are “so out of touch with (your) womanness that such a thing bothers (you).” Actually, this article, although PRETTY YUCKY, was very informative and I appreciate your courage, Karen, in conducting this experiment. I’m sure, because of the drawbacks you mentioned, I would have come to the same conclusion. But it’s certainly more fun to read about YOU doing it! You are a hoot!

    • Louise says:

      Ooops, I guess I’m NOT the first one to comment on this! I see what happened; I opened my window with this article, then wandered away for hours and hours. When I came back, the window didn’t show any comments because it was still showing the results of when I opened the window. Sorry! (Hangs head in shame)

  29. yipee says:

    Me and Diva have been best friends for many years. Couldn’t live without it. I’ve never had to do anything in a public restroom, you can keep it in for 12 hours people. In the a.m. when you get up, and then in the p.m. Why would you be in a public restroom at these times? I highly, highly recommend it. I even buy it as gifts for friends because they’re too pussy to try it on their own. They always end up keeping and loving it.

  30. Melody Madden says:

    I laughed so hard I cried when I read this post …… Big thanks Karen

  31. Ev Wilcox says:

    These things were around years and years ago. The were so hard that is was next to impossible to squeeze them small enough to insert! I did think it was a great idea, but not for me! And it hurt, coming and going! it was messy and awful. When you pulled them out, of course they spilled and ewwww! I imagine they are better engineered now. Gives me the shudders though! How brave and modern of you to share, Karen!

    • Claudia says:

      I thought it’s an interesting product to consider, especially bearing in mind all the waste we produce… So, a few years ago, I thought I’d give it a try. Being over fourty and having given birth I thought I needed a “normal”, not a small size. And I thought that I HAD rolled the damn thing quite as small as a tampon. But it didn’t feel that way and I discarded it at once… (Maybe I should’ve tried the small size, but, well, I hope I won’t have to cope with THAT problem for very much longer…).

      BTW: Hilarious intro, Karen!

  32. Oh. My. Gosh! I’m so happy I don’t have to even think about stuff like this any more. The doctor asked me if I wanted hormone replacement and I asked if I’d still get my period – the answer was yes and I said, “not bloody likely.” I’m kinda removal-challenged to start with. Tried contacts for several years and had no trouble getting them in but the only way I could get them out was to flush my eyes with eye drops and squish my eyes in every direction until I wrinkled the contact into a removable ball. So I can just imagine the contortions involved with removing a dixie cup from my hooha.
    This post and the comments had me alternating between scaring my dogs with my shrieks and being slightly grossed out. You rock, Karen.

    • Missnicoleo says:

      “not bloody likely” ahahahaha
      I totally thought they were gross too, but all these comments have changed my mind! Thank you TAODS readers!! and Karen for being the guinea pig.

  33. erin says:

    Kudos for being braver than I! Did you know they make DISPOSABLE cups? If the whole Diva Cup argument is “yay, saving the environment from your tampons!” then WHAT’S THE POINT? (They’re called Softcups. I don’t get it. Do you throw them away with the Dixie cups at the water cooler, or in the bathroom? Also, they sort of look like stretched out condoms. Yup – I’m confused.)

    • Christina says:

      For me, it’s not so much the environment, but putting nasty, nasty chemicals directly on (and in) the most chemical-sensitive part of the body. The Softcups make me squeamish, but not as much as sitting on BPA and BPS and who knows what else for 5 days straight.

      I have a feeling if the law gets passed for companies to have to disclose what is in sanitary products, that Softcup and Diva Cup sales are going to go through the roof.

      • erin says:

        And this is why I love the Internet. I have no idea why, but I’ve never though of it this way. I try to be conscious of what I put on/in my body otherwise…must research this. Thank you for the perspective!

  34. Terrt says:

    Hilarious read to start the day, thanks for the chuckles

  35. Teresa says:

    When I saw the title of the post a huge smile grew on my face because I get to tell you this story. I used a Diva Cup successfully for a few years and really liked it. Except for the first time. I put it in. After wearing it for a couple of hours I started to worry about what it might be doing in there (specifically had it wiggled its way up into my uterus – yes I realize how stupid that sounds). I tried to remove it but I was so panicked and tense that I couldn’t relax the muscles enough to get my fingers on it. At all. Much to my horror I had to enlist the assistance of my husband. And pliers.

    ~takes bow~

  36. Erica says:

    Hey Karen, now you have something to hold yogurt in lieu of the yogurt tampon LOL.

  37. Darlene says:

    All of these comments are just TMI for me –

  38. CheekyMomma says:

    Thanks for doing this, Karen! I have wondered about the Diva cup for a while now…I might actually try it! I actually used Instead cups for years but after my daughter was born they didn’t fit so well…what was that about trains again? In any case, the Instead cups are disposable but the same concept. That part would at least eliminate the public restroom washup issue. If you were so inclined. And forgive me if someone above commented on Instead cups – I didn’t read all the comments.

    • Karen P says:

      I used Instead cups for years too until I could no longer find them in stores. Guess they just didn’t have enough sales. I would totally try Diva Cup because I think it is healthier for the hoo hoo than tampons, and I like that I don’t have to worry about changing it out as often as with tampons. With Instead you could have sex while it was in and your partner wouldn’t even notice, but it was more like a cap than a cup. Danni (#48.) says you can have sex with these too… so that would sway me to try it out right there even if I hadn’t used something like it before ;-)

      • CheekyMomma says:

        They now apparently go by the name “Softcup.” Again, if you were so inclined to begin again. ;)

        http://softcup.com/

        • Kim from Milwaukee says:

          Ok, I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t have sex with one in because I’m sure he would ask me what that FANG was that poked his wang!! Maybe you all cut off the stem but I never did since it helped to pull the cup out….

  39. Mary Kay says:

    OMG – ummm NO!

  40. Reg says:

    Very funny, but I wish I had opted for the Monster Truck rally.

  41. Laura N. says:

    I’d rather use washable rags like my grandmother had to use.

    • Mary Werner says:

      I was going to say this! Totally agree. Even drying the rags on the clothes line would be less embarrassing than the washing up bit.

  42. Elizabeth says:

    Oh for goodness sake, you empty it in the toilet not the sink.
    I have had one for years and would never go back to tampons. I heard about these well before I bought one and my first thought was eew no! but a few years later I decided to try it and never looked back. I’m not trying to change your mind I’m just saying you may get that box back out eventually.

  43. Susan says:

    Yesterday’s post made me cry – and today’s post had me crying-laughing .

    I could never use tampons – couldn’t imagine trying to put a plastic dixie-cup up me!

  44. Lea says:

    I used one while living in Scandinavia where most public bathroom stalls are equipped with small sinks and a handheld bidet. So cleaning up in private wasn’t an issue. But I tipped the contents into the toilet before rinsing my Diva Cup in the sink. They don’t leak or dislodge either. Great device!

  45. Laura K says:

    OMG Karen, you had me laughing so hard I was crying and couldn’t see to read anymore. Hilarious!

  46. TeePee says:

    Now, This made me laugh. AND I’m a guy. I dated a gal once that loved this product. Swore by it! And yes, she cussed it out once or twice. She also did not use deodorant (two showers a day) did not wash her hair for 3 weeks (cause Sting of the Police doesn’t wash his hair either. I asked her to start after 3 weeks ) and was a total, fulltime Vegan (for ethical reasons). She swore by this product and never did go back to the conventional method. I loved that gal, she was a hoot! AND I did check out the Monster Truck rally.

  47. Su says:

    all I can say is so glad I had my inner woman stuff removed a few years back…

  48. sue says:

    Enjoy your posts, especially ones like this, where we all chat and share what we think. When my periods were ending, I had a VERY heavy flow and had to worry about leakage all the time…and finding a bathroom. This sounds like a smart solution. Every woman is different regarding how comfortable she is about dealing with her body and what is happening. I stopped using the pill because I didn’t want to mess with hormones and used a diaphram. Some women don’t want to get that, “up close and personnal” with their bodies, and that’s O.K. But, while some aspects of this sound messy, I think I would use it.
    Oh, and Karen, dump the contents in the toilet, not the sink. What were you thinking?

  49. jainegayer says:

    I now have a “visual” stuck in my brain of my hoo hoo being a Dixie cup dispenser!!
    Karen, you crack me up!

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