Let’s talk feminine hygiene.
I finally got with the times. I was one of those ladies who began wearing tampons later than everyone else. Pads were my go-to for many years, then I made the transition. Then I discovered organic tampons and pads, and that started a new wave for me. Now, I’m trying the DivaCup.
There are two versions of the DivaCup. Size 1 is for women who have not given birth or are under the age of thirty. Size 2 is a bit bigger, and is for women who have given birth or women over the age of 30. If you have not given birth and are over the age of 30, then I don’t know what to tell you.
When I looked at all of the feminine products I was packing for my trip to Mexico, I knew something had to change. I love that the DivaCup supports my “pack light” initiative. So here is my play-by-play for the DivaCup.
I sit on the toilet, and open the box. Inside is the DivaCup, instructions, and a pouch to store it when not in use. The instructions say to wash hands and the DivaCup thoroughly, so I head over to the sink sans underwear.
Back on the toilet, I continue reading the instructions for insertion. I fold the DivaCup twice, insert, and turn it 360 degrees (more like 720 just to be sure!). I make sure the stem isn’t sticking out and then I compare the illustration to how it actually is in my body. I mentally evaluate if I can feel it or if it is uncomfortable. Yes, I can feel it. No, it is not uncomfortable.
I eat a slice of king cake, and text #CountryBae.
I still feel it. Surely, this isn’t right.
I google “are you supposed to feel divacup.” The answer is no 😂.
I go back to the toilet, and try again. I definitely didn’t insert it correctly the first time because it was starting to slide out a bit. I remove it and notice that it caught a droplet of blood. I reinsert. I can still feel it, but not as much as before.
I eat another slice of king cake, and text #CountryBae.
I walk around for a moment, and realize that I don’t feel a thing. VICTORY!
I start getting ready for bed and decide that I don’t want to sleep with this thing inside of me. I decide to remove it. I’m supposed to grab the stem of it and sort of wiggle it out, but it has slid in a bit, so I have to use my kegels to push it down a bit in order to reach the stem. I grab the stem and gently pull until it is out.
The first time I pulled it out, I briefly felt a bit of soreness. It wasn’t painful at all, but it definitely felt like something had been in there. After using the DivaCup for a few periods, I have learned what techniques work for me. Firstly, the “push down” fold (pushing the diva cup inward and folding) works better for me than the “U” fold (simply folding it twice). I still wore a panty liner with mine because I was afraid that it would leak even though there is a suction. It didn’t leak at all. I didn’t have any problems with spilling because my cup never filled up all the way. On my heaviest day, it didn’t even fill up 1/4 of the way. No person’s period is the same, and my definition of heavy may not agree with another person’s definition of heavy. I also learned that my menstrual cycle is a bit more tissue-y and clotty than I knew. Now that I’m actually seeing the blood instead of it absorbed through a tampon, it’s interesting.
Since I have been having a light flow, I really don’t need to change it often. I remove, wash, and reinsert it twice a day – once in the evening and once in the morning – just to be sure.
I like the fact that it is environmentally friendly and I don’t have anything to throw in the trash. Like the fact that I don’t really worry about odorous smells coming from my pelvis since the blood doesn’t interact with the air like pads.
As as far as cleaning goes, I wash it with the branded Diva Wash that is recommended, and I rinse it under hot water for 15-20 seconds. After each period, I boil it and store it in the plush pouch that it came with. That’s it. The instructions recommend replacing it annually.
The only cons I have is that it became discolored quickly since it’s translucent Also, it developed a smell. It wasn’t my normal vaginal smell. I’m thinking it came from the soap that I used before purchasing the branded soap. It’s not a strong or unpleasant smell; it’s just not my natural scent.
There are several brands of menstrual cups on the market, but I purchased the DivaCup because it was the only one readily available in store. I’ve learned that there are some that are smaller and perhaps comfortable, and someone mentioned one that can still allow intercourse with use. There are others that must be disposed after each period. Since my flow isn’t heavy, I may look into getting a smaller cup in the future.
Some reviews say that cramping decreased, but I didn’t notice any changes. Still, it has been a pleasant experience. I doubt I will ever go back to tampons again. I wore it while swimming, and loved it some much more than using a tampon. This is such a good option for a long travel day.