Warning: This is not a post for the men on my site...Unless you're that close with your mate that you get her something this awesome or in my case have my husband proof read a post about my experience with the DivaCup- thanks babe! BTW- my husband added the warning :)
Have you ever forgotten that you have your period in the middle of it? Been so comfortable and unaware of your protection that you have to remind yourself that you are having your cycle. Well, this happened for the first time in my 20 some years of having a menstrual cycle while trying out the DivaCup. It was truly a product with outstanding results.
The Diva Cup is a reusable menstrual cup that collects rather than absorbs your menstrual flow and only needs to be emptied around every 12 hours. The reasons to ditch tampons and disposable pads are numerous; health, comfort, environment and cost savings to name a few. To read my more in depth thoughts and findings on this subject refer to this article about alternative menstrual products.
I will admit that prior to my green mission I had not heard of reusable menstrual products and if I hadn't committed to this and experienced the ease of cloth diapers, I may have been grossed out by the idea of reusing menstrual products, but as I realized with cloth diapers- you are dealing with the "ick" factor no matter whether it is throw away or not- so do yourself and the planet a favor and make the switch.
I never liked tampons- like ever. I found them uncomfortable during use and even after my cycle, and even found that my cramps were much worse if I used tampons. I became a pad user early on in my cycle. Disposable pads were by no means comfortable but they were the best choice (that I knew of), so I went with them. When I finally found out about eco friendly menstrual products I decided to go with cloth pads since that was my comfort zone, and I was thrilled that they were comfortable and did not chafe like paper pads did. Though I love my cloth pads, I was still intrigued by the idea of a menstrual cup. So with curiosity, I decided to give the DivaCup a try.
The DivaCup seems to be the gold standard of menstrual cups- it is widely available and has a large fan base. It was designed by a woman, who like many of us, was not thrilled with the available options. She found the idea for menstrual cups, and together with her daughter came up with the design for the DivaCup. It is made from medical grade silicone, comes in two sizes (size 1 for under 30, pre-childbirth and size 2 for 30+ and post-childbirth). I will admit that I was hesitant to get the size 2- I am 33 and have two children (by cesarean) but size 2 was the recommended model so I went with it.
When I received the DivaCup I was excited, but then my excitement morphed into a case of nerves- I mean, I was about to put a cup in my...well.. you know... I wondered how comfortable insertion would be, and how it would feel once it was in place, most important I hoped that I could get it back out! I assure you it took a leap of faith, and caused a certain amount of anxiety.
Well, as far as insertion- that was a piece of cake- I prefer the push down fold over the u fold, see the illustration below. It went in easily- I did fumble around trying to make sure it was properly in place and open- that took a few tries to get right but now that I've mastered it, it's very easy. The first time I put it in, I was nervous about removal, so I tried to remove it immediately and struggled- uh oh.
push down fold
The removal is actually very simple- you almost birth it out- we have muscles in there, you know! Use them to push, and the cup will come down far enough that you can easily pull it out. That probably sounds scary, but trust me, no one can be as nervous as I was about it, and if I can get over it you can too. This may seem like I spent hours but all of this occurred within about 5 minutes.
OK, so we have covered my fears, the insertion, the proper placement and the removal- kind of- the full instructions come with the cup and can also be found here, it is very simple to use but like anything new you need to learn how it works.
How did it feel? Ummm, it didn't. I really couldn't feel it once I (quickly) mastered the insertion and placement. I absolutely could not feel the cup, nor could I feel my flow, or the ick of disposable "protection". How liberating is that- a first for me!
When it was time to remove and empty (once I practiced the removal) it was simple, comfortable and much cleaner than I thought- I kind of pictured a horror movie but my flow was neatly contained in the cup, was easy to flush away and rinsed clean. It was kind of cool to see how much I actually produce during a cycle- with tampons and pads you never really know but with this I saw exactly what my body was doing and in a way that was really interesting and cool (weird or science experiment?).
I am so very grateful for having found this product and for DivaCup for offering this review and giveaway. If I had daughters I would be so thrilled to show them that there is a better, healthier and more comfortable way from day 1 instead of 20 years down the line.
Ready to try the DivaCup for yourself? Visit the store finder, buy it online, or help spread the word and availability of menstrual care alternatives by asking your local store to carry the DivaCup and enter the giveaway below!
*DivaCup provided me the DivaCup for review but did not compensate me for my review or opinion. All opinions expressed are purely my own.