readers not interested in reading about specifically female body parts, stop reading now and wait until tomorrow’s post to check back in with us…
other readers who are interested in learning for the sake of learning (whether male or female) and who don’t get squeamish about female body parts and women’s health, read on…
do you know what the above is a picture of?
it is a picture of two popular menstrual cups on the market today! the first menstrual cup popped up in the 1930s and was created by a midwifery group, but they did not become very popular until the 1980s. they can currently be purchased in a variety of colors, firmness levels, and sizes (usually based on whether or not you have given birth vaginally). some are made from rubber, but most are made from silicone.
i have used a vaginal cup for my periods for the last 5 years (maybe even longer… i can’t remember…). i use the diva cup, pictured above on the left, and came across it through the recommendation of one of my good friends.
some reasons why i would absolutely, without-a-doubt, recommend using the diva cup for your periods, and FAQ about menstrual cups:
how much does it cost?
the cost of a menstrual cup is a one time thing. when i bought my diva cup it cost about $40 or $50. i have been using it for at least 5 years, which means that a menstrual cup is a much less expensive option for dealing with menstruation.
how long can you use a diva cup?
most menstrual cup manufacturers recommend buying a new one every 5-10 years, depending on your cup’s current state and based on the type of cup you have. mine is still going strong and looking much the same as when i purchased it (except the color is no longer clear–having been slowly dyed red/brown over the months). after your period every month, you boil your cup (i boil mine for a few minutes) in water and dry it and put it away until the next month. this is a very easy process and it is important that you do this… this ensures that the cup is fully cleaned and no infections occur.
how do you use one?
it’s a rather interesting science experiment, actually, and much more “hands on” than using a tampon or pad. the cup is rubbery, flexible, yet firm. you squeeze the top of the cup together so that it is flat and then fold it in half. this folded end is the end you insert part of the way. once partially inserted, you spin the cup in both directions to be sure that the folded portion has opened back up to its circular shape (otherwise you’ll have a leak!). once you’ve done this, you push it further inside until no part is outside. now, don’t panic about this part… one of my friends told me that she was actually worried that it would get lost and she would never find it again! it barely moves once inserted and is super easy to remove once you have a few months of practice. once you remove it, you empty it and reinsert (i also rinse mine between insertions).
is it as safe to use as a tampon?
yes! from everything i’ve read, seen, and experienced, it is! unlike tampons, TSS is not associated with its use and it can be worn up to 12 hours.
does it hurt to insert or remove?
once inserted the diva cup is as invisible to you as tampons (more so actually, since there is no string), but yes, the first month of use it did hurt to use it. it hurt a lot, in fact! so much that i almost gave up… thinking, “this can’t be right!!!” but after speaking with my friend, who told me that the next month it would be pain-free, i decided to stay the course. she was right! from the second month on, it has been a pain-free process. my guess about why it was so painful the first month is because of the fact that your hands have to get more involved in the process than with tampons.
important fact #1:
there is no waste or trash associated with the cup! this is the main reason, actually, that i decided to try it! i was super frustrated with how much trash tampons leave behind and determined to find a less wasteful way to be a woman today.
important fact #2:
diva cups are great for traveling! you don’t have to pack anything except the cup… no extra tampons just in case. they are awesome for car trips, too, since you simply empty them out, reinsert, and keep on truckin’.
important fact #3:
for those of you who are interested in knowing more about your body than before, i highly recommend a menstrual cup! using the diva cup and actually being able to see what’s going on down there (in liquid form) has made me much more aware and in tune with my natural self. the actual insertion and removal process adds to this understanding.
important fact #4:
if you’re curious to know your partner’s true feelings about all aspects of your female self, you’ll certainly get some insight into that when they see your cup sitting out by the bathroom sink to dry. chances are, it will give them a little bit of pause, but soon after i bet they’ll shrug their shoulders and keep on with what they were doing. :)
if you have any other questions about the diva cup, let me know! i love to discuss this topic!