Saturday, May 1, 2010

DivaCup; A Love-Annoyance Relationship of 3 years and counting

Alright-y.... it is time for another Overshare- so if you have issues with menstrual periods or ahem- 'moontimes', simply come visit another day :)

As we know, the absolute best Yogini companion is the DivaCup (or any other menstrual cup available out there). My first leap of faith in announcing my DivaCup cheerleading self resulted in some pretty awesome tips and discussion. We covered why using a menstrual cup will save you money and the environment (think 12 billion tampons in the landfill per year-ick!). The last post- sharing stories of how we've converted people over to the 'dark-side' of eco-menstruation. 

Although I still think the DivaCup is fantastically awesome, it's not all fluffy bunnies and happy asana-ing. In case there are others out there who have some similar thoughts pop up during moontime, I thought I'd put mine out there.

 DivaCup Eccentricities:
  • The gross disgusting squish noise it makes when I try to quietly and surreptitiously remove it. Seriously, I know this is TMI, but we don't have a fan in our current apt and in 540sq ft it's really not hard to hear what goes in there (ahem, we usually have music for serious bathroom business...). Could my body make a grosser sound?
  • The fact that I have to clean it, with an old toothbrush. And that I hide it WAY far back in a drawer to make sure I don't accidentally try to brush my teeth (UGH Goddess forbit) with it. Vomit, just a little in my mouth there.
  • Since I am no longer on the estrogen-pill schedule, *knowing* when I start my moontime has become a intuitive 'recognize the symptoms' game. Which means this month I had to run over to Pete's and purchase some gross organic cotton tampons. My DivaCup was hanging out in my bathroom at home.
  • Trying to remove the DivaCup when you have to pee is NOT fun. That is all I will say on the matter.
  • The beautiful 'rustic' colour transformation. Now boiling is done in secret, cuz there is no way Andrew will witness what has become of the cup.
  • When friends come over and need 'emergency' supplies... I no longer have any to share, which although leads to a 'join the DivaCup club' convo, doesn't solve their immediate problem.

Despite it's oddities, why I still adore my Cup:
  • In three years of use I have only bought tampons once (this month).
  • I *never* worry about leaking or anything at all for the entire day (I know some ladies do change a few times in a day, but I'm fortunate that my flow is medium).
  • I can practice Yoga, go swimming, anything I want without any worry whatsoever.
  • No little string as a telltale reminder for significant other ('nuff said).
  • No more chemicals or dyes are in close contact with my beautiful Vagina.
  • Because I have been using the DivaCup I have, to this date, prevented approximately 900 tampons from entering the landfill and saved over 400$.

Dear readers, I am sorry if this was a bit much for an Overshare. Maybe you also have some eccentricities to share?

Happy Beltane!

article copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. Huh. I have seen these in the store and wondered how they really were to use. Very interesting. I have to admit, it scares me a little bit. Dunno why.

  2. Part of me always feels so sad reading about people's love of the DivaCup because I have had NO success with such things! I haven't tried the actual DivaCup but one of its highly similar competitors and, even in the smallest size, found it unbearably uncomfortable. I had problems with the Nuva Ring back when I tried that as my main birth control so I'm starting to feel that my vagina just dislikes things being left in there (tampons aren't much fun, either, but bearable if I'm having a heavy flow).

    I want to love the Diva Cup, dammit!
    [/over share]

  3. @Jamie: awww, you should read my first post on this (overshare numéro UN). It accounts my first experience- maybe that will help? It's really worth the weirdness at first, BEST Yoga-menstrual thing EVER.

    @teacupdiaries; that IS kinda sad!! I also had some frustrations, and I do understand that it isn't for everyone. But I really do love it.... you can trim the tips... I've heard too that the mooncup isn't as comfortable... maybe DivaCup is your second try? :)

  4. I have to tell you - I love the overshares! The one about natural deodorant was really helpful, and now the Divacup... while I haven't yet tried it, I have seen it in the store and wondered... Thanks for the honest reviews :)

  5. As a typically squeamish male, I will confess to skipping over most of this post...starting with about the fifteenth word or so...

  6. If I see the word "overshare" or "TMI" on a blog, you can bet I'll read it AND join in! Heck, I just posted about my disastrous leg hair removal at 5 Seed. I have no shame! ;)

    I, too, hate the squishy sound. But I don't think B has ever noticed.

    My biggest problem is that I DO have some leakage issues. Mostly very minor - barely something I notice. But every now and then, for reasons I can't understand, I'll have some serious spotting (which is easily protected with a Lunapad that I wear just in case). And even less frequently (thank goddess), I have a really bad leak. That's thankfully only happened twice since I started using it last year. But it's annoying!

    I still use it faithfully every month and love it. Wouldn't trade it for anything.

  7. Overshares are great. I'm not game to post them on my blog, as everyone from the Dean of my Cathedral (!!) to my mother's best friend reads it. But I appreciate yours.

    I've been using a Diva since about early mid 2006 (from memory). Still using the same one - none of this nonsense about "replacing every year".

    Yeah, that rustic colour sure is artistic, hey wot?

    I don't have a problem with noises (maybe I've mastered the art of quiet removal) but I do wish there were more women's public bathrooms with washbasins in them. YES I KNOW you can supposedly just wipe the cup with paper and reinsert, but I much prefer to wash mine in-between.

    I use an old toothbrush too, and just keep it in a special toothbrush container from the $2 shop. More plastic, I'm afraid, but when I think of the landfill I'm saving, I figure it is worth it. The toothbrush case also keeps the toothbrush nice and clean.

    Re knowing when my period is due. I just wear the cup a few days beforehand. I've never been able to take the Pill or any hormonal contraceptives due to other medication, so I've got real good at knowing the bodily signs (i.e. I'm shitty to live with and hate everyone). The cup is safe, and I just check it every few hours or so. I don't bother overnight of course.

    I'm never going back to tampons. Horrible things! :-( Sure, you do have to be comfortable with touching yourself "down there" with a cup, but you have to with tampons too. Same diff.

    Thanks for your overshare :-)

  8. today is my first day trying lunapads! going well so far. for me i dont think the divacup would work because i don't like tampons, i'm like teacup diaries with not feeling comfortable having things in there for long periods of time. so i hope the lunapads work out. i think my biggest struggle will be cleaning by hand because waiting till i do laundry would be too long.

  9. it's ok to have over-shares. and do you know that you don't have to take your diva cup out to pee?

  10. Another reason I appreciate this post: I just went off the pill in December after 8 years and have had, to put it mildly, very irregular cycles. It has been hard. It's nice to know other women are going through the same thing : )

  11. @JL: I hope it works out!!! keep me posted :)

    @Dr. Jay; lol, good job for commenting!

    @A Green Spell: haha- I KNEW you'd be in for overshare! It is interesting that you have leakage- but then I've read that lots of women do. It's super cool that lunapads are working for you!

    @darharja: I KNOW isn't that 'switching over every year' deal sound like a way to make more money?? sigh. I am a little nervous about this- I'm not sure how many people I know read this space.... lol.

    Also- I agree about the TP in public washrooms deal. UGH- I need to wash it! or at least rinse it out.

    @Julia- that's great!! Are you going to blog about it? I kinda wondered what they would be like to clean... good luck!

    @JenP: haha, yep I know. :)

    @Jamie: oh I hear you. I went off the pill after 7 years because of medical reasons (who knew that prolonged synthetic hormones can deplete your cervix lining and cause perpetual spotting???). What has been interesting is that I'm now much more intune with my moontime changes. which is kinda cool.
    and I'm not ingesting synthetic hormones anymore :) Yay!

  12. It took me a good six months of using Diva Cup before I figured out how to keep it from leaking. I read every forum out there it seems for help, but in the end I think every body is unique and I just had to figure out what works with mine. I'm still not crazy about the putting in and taking out. Beats the hell out of tampons no matter what.

    I'm confused about why you take it out to pee?

  13. Yay for oversharing... the squishing noise is annoying but why on earth are you trying to take it out when you have to pee? Why not just pee then deal with it?

    Anyway, living in a very humid country has done no favours for my mooncup which has sadly been retired after 2.5 years due to weird grit on the inside seemingly from a breakdown of the silicone due to improper storage in high humidity.

    SO, replacement is on the way and it's BLUE! I can't wait, the colour change was not rocking my boat and I promise to take way better care of this one, I already have a special box filled with those silica baggies from old vitamin bottles and the beloved's camera gear all ready to welcome the new cup to her new home in the heat!

    @ teacupdiaries - I also had some issues with overall comfort at first and by the end had trimmed the stem right off. So I did some more research on diameter and length this time and part of the reason for choosing this new one - apart from it's BLUE! - is that it is shorter than the others so I am looking forward to seeing how that works.

    @agreenspell - perhaps the size / suction thing is not quite right with yours either? When it's time for a replacement it might be worth looking around at dif brands... i was amazed and kind of thrilled at the range of differences from company to company. I guess we are all shaped differently on the outside so why not on the inside too and it's not a huge space so even seemingly small increments in size could go a long way.

    wow - let the oversharing continue!

  14. YES- trying a new version may be a fantastic idea to help with leakage! I think it's kinda cool that it's another colour actually, perhaps the nice discolouration won't be as obvious?

    about the pee-thing. Ok, really it's because there are time when we need to *other* bathroom things, and I really really really hate leaving it in for that. pushing is pushing, and I kinda was embarrassed about actually over-oversharing that little bit. so i just briefly put the pee part. lol.

  15. aahh, i understand, we'll leave that there then... :)

    for anyone doing the shopping around thing, has a pretty good selection of all the cups out there with the dimensions and then you can search and go to each site to find out more if needed - they all have english translations somewhere and even if they are sometimes a bit off, you can get the general gist. LadyCup is where I'm getting this new one from, they have all kinds of colours... lunette also had a lovely soft blue but it was a bit pricier.

  16. What a timely post! My (first-ever!) DivaCup arrived the other week, and I should be getting to try it out sometime in the next week or so. So, I shouldn't be too nervous, right? I'm happy knowing that I'm finally doing the "right" thing, for myself and for the earth.

  17. this post is also timely for me! I've been considering it for a while, and only have recently come to the decision that i MUST purchase one- I spent $12 on 2 boxes of tampons last week (on SALE too!) and sadly reflected on all the waste and money. I WILL buy one. (next paycheque, cause I just had to pay for my teacher training :-o)

    Good to hear both sides of the story!

  18. I love oversharing! :) I also love my DivaCup, rusty color and occasional leaks and all. I figure, my husband knows I get my period, so he may as well learn to get comfortable with it and not treat it like some huge delicate female secret. (See: the time I bled out all over the sheets. The mattress pad is forever stained. There, I think I just beat you in the gross TMI department.)

    I think if more women learned to be comfortable touching our bodies and talking about the details of what goes on with them, we'd all be healthier and happier. I've got one more month left of pills, then I too will be learning to listen to my body for her signals. I'm excited!

  19. Not at all...and I'm so glad you DID share! How else are we to know the *truths* about these things? THANK YOU!

  20. i did it! I just ordered one. What's another $37 on my credit card?!

  21. I also love my diva cup, although being pregnant, then breastfeeding and then quickly becoming pregnant again, I have only used it a couple times in the past two years. But, I have had mine since University and it

  22. I use milton tablets (which are used to clean babies bottles here) to sterilise it.

    I use the mooncup and I have to empty it twice a day due to my ridiculously heavy periods. I hate having to empty it away from home due to all of the information you mentioned, but mainly as I seem to end up looking like a horror movie extra.

    Oh well, still wouldn't go back to tampons! Thanks for doing the math on how much money and tampons you have saved - Ive been using it a lot longer and as I am heavy I get through a lot!

  23. Wow, popular post. :) I just got my cup last year. It's def more convenient and less wasteful than icky tampons. I highly recommend using Luna Panties as a pantyliner. I just wear the panties, I don't wear the liner with it. I find it less bulky and more comfy than the Luna Pads. I got the Hipster ones last week and they are super cute, fit really good. I have the Bikini ones too. I find the Bikini style a bit baggy in the bum though and I have the Small and X-Small sizes. They are expensive, but if you are wearing them once a month they should last years and years and years!

  24. I started using the DivaCup 2 months ago and I definitely used your blog as my main reference for 1) how to get the thing to work right and 2) building up the courage to try it in the first place! I'm now obsessed and I'll never go back... I think my boyfriend thinks I'm crazy because whenever I get my period I tell him how excited I am to use the DivaCup and he's just like "umm, ok honey, that's nice."

    Of course it has its drawbacks (my biggest issue is how annoying it is to use in public bathrooms), but when compared to using tampons and pads there is absolutely no contest. I'm a convert!

  25. I like the update, it probably gave some people that last push the needed to get their very own DivaCup. I got mine and used it for the first time last month. Your prior posts had me so curious and excited I had to try one. I love mine, didn't really have any issues with using it for the first time but I did use all tips I read on previous posts here. I think the best tip is to relax as you put it in, it seems to make it much easier to slip into place. A friend of mine got hers recently too and she's still having a little trouble but once you get the hang of it you will never go back! Thanks for the overshare.

  26. Oh yeeks - Eco Yogini, you're a star! The number of comments on this post is a little bit overwhelming.

    But it is starting to make me think I need to talk about my Diva on my own blog too. Maybe it's time we women stopped the silence and actually discussed these things, in "overshare", as you call it. I guess the Dean of my Cathedral can look elsewhere ;-)

    So - should I talk about my Diva as well? What do you think? Or am I tramping on your turf? I'm game if you think I should discuss it in a post!

  27. Yay for new DivaCup converts!!! seriously, if it's really weird the first time, or first cycle- that is absolutely NORMAL (at least, I hope so, cuz it was for me haha). it gets easier as you figure stuff out. There are fabulous tips in the comments section of that very first post (I think it's on the side- DivaCup an Overshare).

    @Jen(DarkPurpleMoon) hmm tablets eh? I used to clean my retainer (yep I am THAT cool) with denture tablets haha. sounds pretty similar, would be convenient.... but my Diva Wash, although a bit frivolous, has actually lasted the 3 years....

    I think Vegan Burnout has a fantastic point- we really SHOULD stop being embarrassed or shy about our bodies- it is something that women all (or mostly) experience for a quarter of their lives between a span of thirty-odd years.

    Which leads me to believe that YES Daharja, you should most certainly blog about the DivaCup! I support that completely, and I do think that if the Deacon isn't aware that women menstruate... well.... :)

  28. The Diva Cup is amazing. Maybe the most amazing thing ever. And I definitely never ever remove it just to pee... so maybe that would make your life easier? And, maybe this is waaaaay too much TMI, but I have a cadre of friends who swear you don't even need to remove it for intercourse. so.

  29. potentially random question, has anyone been able to use the cup while having the Nuva Ring in? I usually have a day or two overlap after I put the birth control in and wait for the bleeding to stop. It's awkward enough with a tampon, not sure if I'll be able to get the cup in! If worst comes to worst, it will definitely reduce tampon waste anyhow!!

  30. Well, here's my 2 cents, since the lovely EcoYogini is the one who inspired me to hop on the cup wagon. I've inspired another friend, who's inspired her teenage daughter and her friends, so look how much waste we're saving now.

    One thing that completely surprised me (after having 2 babies, nothing about the blood and goo was particularly surprising), was how I never ever have cramps anymore. Could those have possibly been connected to tampons? If so, that's kind of creepy.

    Between cramp-less and only changing cuppy twice a day, I sometimes forget I'm even having my period. Now that's a major selling point!

    I am forever indebted, sis...

  31. @dragonfly: That's a good idea - I'll have to try another brand someday. I use the Size 2 (I think that's what it's called) in the Diva - for those who've had a baby or are over 30. (I always wonder what that designation implies! Ha ha.)

    It may be that another brand might work better.

  32. great post:) I'm like teacupdiaries. I have been using cloth pads for almost 21 years, have given birth vaginally to 5 kids, used a diaphragm and tampons but cannot seem to use a cup with any comfort:( I have both a diva cup and a keeper. Maybe I'll try again.

  33. @Callah: you know, I'm not sure! I think I saw something over on the Conscious Shopper about that... but I think it should be ok- as long as you had room i guess...

    however- maybe it would be a good opportunity to try lunapads?

    anyone else?

  34. As for the cup and Nuva Ring problem, for the year I was on the ring, I just left the ring in for four weeks (instead of three) and then put the next in, skipping the one week out, and thus skipping my periods altogether. Loved that.

    Love cups, too. Started with a Keeper eight years ago, recently switched to Divacup and have never looked back.

    Oversharing on these issues is a definite must. Heck, that's what the internet's for, right?

  35. not sure if anyone mentioned this already, but you don't have to remove it when peeing.

    Not sure why / how it works, but i used it for the first time today and before I realized it I successfully peed as usual, without removing anything.

    i also googled it and it seems its okay (and expected) for us to pee w/o removing it.


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