If you’re not a fan of TMI posts then this is NOT for you!
A while ago I started to stumble across more and more posts of a menstrual cup on the internet and it got me thinking about changing my monthly routine for something that saves me time, money and is environmentally friendly. The first cup I considered getting was the Diva Cup, after a personal recommendation by a friend and a bit of research I was suddenly clicking checkout on my superdrug order. I decided before I posted anything I would try it for a few months so I could give an honest opinion from a bit more of a knowledgable stance (ha ha, I like to kid myself). However, I did decide to vlog the first time using it, and no – don’t worry, you won’t be seeing me naked sprawled across my bathroom floor trying to get it in any time soon, but it’s a good laugh (over on my YouTube Channel if you’d like to see!)
So without further adieu let’s get cracking.
What is a menstrual cup?
It’s another form of sanitary wear, the kind that in sex ed class would make you cringe at the thought of sticking a cup up you so you carried on in life without a moments hesitation up until now. It’s reusable – so saves the environment and your pocket! Can last up to 10 years dependant on brand and you can say goodbye to the risk of TSS because it is extremely minimal in comparison to tampons (always be clued up on the symptoms just in case!). It’s made out of a silicone formula, so it’s super pliable and not the rigid hard plastic cup I envisioned all those years ago.
How does it work?
You simple pop the cup inside your vagina (with great difficulty on the first go, might I add) and it creates a suction, catching the blood and mucus as it falls and collects it in the bottom of the cup. Upon removal, you simple discard the fluid in the toilet, clean and repeat again.
Now the two basics are out of the way – let’s get into the nitty gritty.
I was drawn to the Diva Cup more than the other menstrual cup brands simply from friends recommendations. I haven’t tried any other brand but they all work quite similar. There are two models, I got model 1 as I am under 30 and haven’t had a child yet. Most brands have different models which is fab because we all know that a ‘one size fits all’ kind of slogan will not work on our vaginas. The diva cup comes with a carry bag which is perfect for a bit of discreetness in your bag or bathroom.
There are two ways to insert it, the most comfortable way for me is to pull one lip back into the base of the cup for a gradual slope:
The other way is to fold the cup into a ‘C’ shape:
Once I had wrestled with the damn thing on the bathroom floor for an hour it nestled into place and my immediate thought was “where the **** did it go?!” Your natural suction takes it right into place which is a fab thing for no leaks. Not so great for removal until you figure it out.
It suggests to turn it once inside you to solidify the seal and prevent any leaks. This was super hard to do for me so I found a technique which helped me along, just popping a finger gently up beside the cup and . slowly twisting the edge to the side until I could feel it swivelling round.
After an hour and a hand looking like I had butchered someone, I was finally ready to start my day. I wore a panty liner just in case of leaks and thankfully by the end of the 12 hours there were none. Totally pant proof which is fab because I can wear my nice comfy Calvin Kleins on my period now and chuck the God awful granny pants away.
I was loving life… until I needed to take it out. Let’s just say it needs your undivided love, care and attention to get this sucker out.
Once you’ve got the knack it’s as easy as pie. Getting the knack, however, is a different story. Since then I think the first day of the period is the hardest to get back into the swing of things and then it’s a piece of cake for the rest of the week! You have to break the ‘seal’ by putting a finger up and pressing on the side of the cup and you should feel the suction break. Then its one embarrassing kegel exercise from there on, you’ll be able to feel when it is making its way out – at that point I grab the stem of the cup tight just so I can have a breather and not lose it into oblivion again. As I said, once you have the knack for it, it really is easy. My first few tries took me around half an hour to take out but now I can easily do it in under 5 minutes – it’s all practice!
The many benefits of the cup include; no leaks, hypoallergenic, reusable, no dryness, comfortable, good for the environment.
The cons; slightly more difficult to insert and remove compared to a tampon, messy, more expensive out cost originally (but saves you money over time).
Towards the dwindling end of my period I normally just wear a panty liner as it seems such a big fuss to take in and out for the smallest amount of blood. Also what helps the cup to come out at the end is the blood in the bottom almost weighing it down, so less blood means a lot more bloody pushing and flailing around on the bathroom floor.
As the months went on it became the best decision I had ever made. For some reason month 2 was the hardest but I persisted and it all fell into place and I absolutely love going the whole day not worrying about leaks, the horrible feeling of your period and TSS is completely at the back of my mind. It’s so useful if you are busy or work full time too, your period doesn’t bother you for the whole day and if I didn’t have cramps I would probably forget I even had a period! The benefit for the environment was a huge pull for me as I am trying my best to go plastic free or at least reduce my plastic consumption. Since seeing the sea turtles in Kefalonia I decided that I need to change!
So now I’m packing up all of my period supplies I had left over and will be donating them to a homeless charity nearby so others can benefit from it.
If you have any questions please leave them below and I will be sure to answer them!