Saturday, June 23, 2012

The DivaCup Expert: Dispelling Fears

Not to sound all pretentious but I figure I have a right to feel a bit like a DivaCup expert... For currently unknown reasons, the past 4-5 years I've had to use the DivaCup for about 50-60% of my daily living. Yep, that means every two weeks, minimum 10-12 days a stretch. 

(Image from
I am very close with my DivaCup.

There are a lot of reasons why women are nervous about using the DivaCup (or some other form of menstrual cup). I asked on twitter and facebook what some of those reasons were. 
Here are a few:

1. It looks strange and complicated to care for; too overwhelming!
It may look complicated but the DivaCup isn't difficult to care for and is much less of a hassle than constantly remembering to buy and bring tampons.

To clean: Empty your moontime in the toilet, rinse it out with warm or hot water. With a cleaning solution (I know it's probably just  marketing, but I use the DivaCup wash), use your fingers or a (new!) toothbrush to scrub it out. Re-insert. You can also boil it for 10min after each cycle.

I only do a thorough cleaning twice a day. Honestly, if my hands are clean the cup isn't touching any bacteria in between empties it should be fine. 

2. It looks kinda big... does it feel weird?
In order for the DivaCup to work, it needs to be open and catch anything coming down. It also comes in two sizes, one for under 30yrs no children and one for over 30yrs or with children. Because it's silicone, it's very soft and flexible. Once you have it in, you really can't feel a thing. Of course, you need to work out a system for insertion that works for you, which is usually the biggest adjustment. I wrote a couple blog posts on that topic though, if you wanna go take a peak :)

3. How the heck are you supposed to get it IN THERE?
Fold, insert and twist. It's not difficult once you get the hang of it, but you have to be sure that it opens. 
A few tips:
- the first time; try it while you're not on your period. Although it might be trickier because there's less liquid to help it in, this way you can 'test run' it without the stress of absolutely NEEDING it to work. 
- it cannot get lost in there. No really, there's an end to that tunnel- it's called the cervix. You are ok. 

Step one: rinse it out with VERY hot water. It helps warm up the silicone so it will open more easily.
Step two: fold in half, but lightly- not a crazy full half fold (you can try the fancy fold, but it's never really worked better for me). Insert
Step three: Holding on to the bottom, give it a little twist. Overshare- I usually end up wiggling around a bit to help it open. 
Step Four: this is key- using a finger, check to make sure it's opened. Since you can't feel it you might not know if it's opened or not. Which can result in leaking. Just a quick check and you're good to go!

4. How the heck are you supposed to get it OUT?
Another weird adjustment, but it's not difficult. You just give it a push. If you've never had children (like me), it was a weird learning what muscles to push with. But as long as you don't have to pee, just hold the little bit on the end, push with your muscles (mula banda!) until it's out enough for you to pinch the bottom of the cup and remove (usually with a twist). Tadah!

5. What about public washrooms? 
The DivaCup holds WAY more than tampons: that  means you don't have to change it as often. I only change it every 3-4 hours on my heaviest day. You will be very surprised when you see how little your moontime creates. For 10 of the days I need to use the DivaCup I empty every 7-12hrs. You can usually find a private bathroom during that time frame. 

However I have had to empty it in public washrooms. It's actually not that complicated:
  • I wash my hands before entering the stall (using toilet paper to open and shut the door). 
  • Remove cup, empty into toilet. If you have to pee, place on toilet paper on top of toilet. Reinsert. 
If you have clean hands, the only thing the DivaCup is touching is air between insertions- so no place for it to get contaminated. It's just a bit more awkward that's all. 

This has only had to happen about a handful of times in the 4-5 years I've been using the DivaCup.

6. What about leaking?
If you insert it properly and have the right size, you should be good to go. :) Checking really is the best way to make sure you got it open.

7. What about the price? It's kinda expensive.
In about 6 months the DivaCup will pay for itself and then it will save you  money. I have saved over 500$ at this point!

What does the DivaCup give you?
  1. An entire moontime free of bringing your purse to the bathroom with you.
  2. No more worrying about having enough menstrual products each month.
  3. No more worrying about a string during swimming for the summer.
  4. No more leaking at all, even while practicing yoga.
  5. Thousands of menstrual products kept from the landfill.
  6. Money saved each month (hundreds of dollars over a few years).
  7. No more chemicals and bleach exposure to your most sensitive inner regions.
  8. Actually, you barely have to think about your moontime AT ALL for the entire day.

You couldn't PAY me to go back to tampons. 

article copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. 6 years and counting with my Mooncup (as they call them over here). No going back although I do keep a pack of tampons at home "just in case", although in case of whatI don' t know!!!!!

  2. @Rachel- wee 6 years!!! you know, i keep some organic "vagina rockets" as i've started calling them for friend emergencies.... :)

  3. love love love mine and also got my sister in it too! (she was hesitant at first but a huge fan now). Lots of my friends are also on it. i also have a few moon pads for lighter days at the very end.

  4. 10+ day long cycles sound awful! I've never had that, but I still really appreciate how much menstrual cups minimize the impact menstruation has on my life. I have a small Lunette and a small LadyCup (the Lunette is slightly less comfortable but holds more, I can't even feel the LadyCup but would need to empty more than once every 8 hours on a heavy day). I've been pretty happy with them and have been proselytizing a bit. :-)

  5. Last month, I completed my first year of using the DivaCup. I've converted a few, but others are having trouble believing that I haven't experienced a single leak since I made the switch.

  6. You know how I feel about mine! Can't stop loving it!

  7. I am also on my 6th MoonCup year and will certainly never go back to tampons willingly! Recently I have also been making my own resuable pads from towels which are great! That said, when traveling in places where water, soap and flushing toilets are not available (and there are many out there!) I do sometimes have to revert to disposable solutions which always makes me eco-guilty.

    1. You can use your cup when travelling. You will always have drinking water to clean the cup and your hands with. You can use anti-bacterial hand cleaners to clean your hands before and after and just emptying the cup into the earth / toilet hole is way more eco friendly than the tampon too.

  8. Thank you very much for this post and the one you linked to in the post about your first use.

    I've had my DivaCup for about six months and have been really scared about using it. I tried it a couple of times, and panicked, which made things difficult. I use the LunaPads, but still haven't been able to stay calm enough while putting in the cup to successfully insert it. I'm absolutely terrified that it's going to get stuck or lost in there. I'm glad for you post, as it's honest and open. Now I feel less panicked about trying it again this month. I also know not to panic if it takes me a few "pushes" to attempt to get the cup out and it helps to know that it might fully open at random moments.

    Thank you so much.

  9. Just chiming in with my whole-hearted agreement! I've been using mine for the past three years (upon your recommendation in a post from way back when ;-)

    Thank you thank you - it truly has made my life during period-week so much better!! :-)

  10. Just tried mine tonight for the first time! I bought it three months ago but the first two periods I had were both while I was traveling and I wanted to try it in a comfortable and relaxed environment. Also I have to say, I have tried using tampons over the years, and they have always been uncomfortable and leaky, so I have resorted to pads for 95% of the time. This diva cup is beyond confortable! It took maybe half an hour to adjust but now I can't feel a thing! Going to sleep in it tonight and see how it works. I am excited to not have to worry about leaking at night anymore!


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