I am super excited to share this blog post about my experience switching from tampons to a menstrual cup by DivaCup.
I had been hearing about a menstrual cup a lot in the past few years and had always wanted to try one but was quite honestly a little intimidated. Over the years, I have tested different natural tampon brands with not much success. These products, unfortunately, did not stand up to the regular brands I grew up using.
In the interest of reducing waste and finding a natural alternative that actually worked, I finally took the plunge and decided to give it a try thanks to my friends over at DivaCup!
So what is a DivaCup and how does it work? High level it is a reusable and silicone menstrual cup. You insert the menstrual cup into the vagina during your period and it catches your period blood (not absorb).
You may have heard a lot about menstrual cups like myself and have been contemplating making the switch or maybe this is all new to you and you want to learn more. You may be wondering:
-what are the benefits?
-does it hurt?
-is it sanitary?
-how do you insert and remove it?
-can you feel it?
Well friends, although everyone will likely have a different experience using it for the first time, I am happy to say that I was sold after day 2! So here is what you need to know:
- Overall experience: I was a little skeptical at first mostly because I had no idea what to expect but honestly, I had a great first experience with it. They say it could take a couple cycles to get use to it but I actually found that I got the hang of it on day 2 (the second time inserting it as well). DivaCup also has so many great resources which I will share further down, but this definitely put me at ease when trying it for the first time.
Day 1: I boiled my diva cup and let it cool. The first time I used it I could feel it a little bit when inserted but nothing painful or uncomfortable. I also had the slightest bit of spotting and figured it was probably more so to do with me not inserting it properly. I removed it only after about 3 hours and decided I would try again the next day. DivaCup also sent me their cleanser so I just washed it and let it dry.
Day 2: Although the first day wasn’t bad, the second day was considerably better. After trying to insert it and remove it the day before I knew what to do the second day so it took no time. I wore it for a full 12 hours and I had no pain and no leaks.
From Day 2 and on, I used it as instructed with no issues.
- Inserting and removing: This is probably what terrified me the most but they provide such good instructions that I honestly had a relatively positive experience. It took a couple tries the first time using it as to be expected but again, it was quite a simple process.
- Washing/Care: They have a cleanser you can actually purchase to clean your Diva Cup. Personally, I am extremely sensitive to soaps and scents so if you’re like me then I recommend their cleanser. I didn’t have any adverse reactions when using it!
As mentioned before, you boil your DivaCup before using it for the first time and then again as needed. You don’t have to do it before every cycle but since I am a germaphobe I probably will. Otherwise, when you remove the DivaCup, you just dump the contents in the toilet and wash it with the soap before inserting. Simple as that!
- It saves you money! Although you have to purchase a DivaCup up front because its reusable, it will actually save you money in the long run. No more buying, or forgetting to buy, tampons and pads.
- It’s free of chemicals! Regular tampons and pads are bleached and contain a lot of harmful chemicals which we are putting inside our bodies. According to the DivaCup website, their menstrual cups are free from:
- colours and dyes
Using a chemical-free product can support your long-term health and can also help women who experience irritation from pads and tampons.
- It makes you more in-tune with your body and your reproductive health. Since you are physically seeing how much you are bleeding each cycle, it helps you track your flow. This information can be helpful to health care professionals.
I noticed that when I use tampons, I become quite complacent when it comes to my period. I am not really paying attention to how much I am bleeding and if there are any changes in my cycle. When I started using the DivaCup I definitely felt more connected to my body.
- Its environmentally friendly! Have you ever thought about the amount of waste produced when you use pads and tampons? There is the box, the applicator, the wrapping, and the tampon itself. Think about how much this adds over a cycle and even a lifetime.
- It’s leak proof. Need I say more? Remember in high school when you would ask your friends to do the discreet (or not so discreet) check to make sure you didn’t bleed through your pants? Now that you’re older you may feel silly doing that but we all still have those moments of panic!
I purposely left it in for a full 12 hours on the second day of my period and was at complete ease the whole time and experienced no leaks.
- It can be inserted for up to 12 hours. This is great for multiple reasons. Firstly, you can wear it overnight. Secondly, it reduces your risk of toxic shock syndrome, if you happen to forget to change it after 4-8 hours like regular tampons. Thirdly, you have more time to be out and can likely wait until you get home to rinse and reinsert it (although there are ways to clean it in a public restroom).
If you are still a little bit hesitant but want to learn more or recently purchased one and need support, then head over to the DivaCup website and check out all their amazing resources.
Find out more by visiting:
- The DivaCup website, which has answers for all your key questions.
- Their Youtube channel for instructional and educational videos. I personally found the video below about inserting and removing helpful.
- Contact their customer support line at (866) 444-3482
- Thoroughly read the user guide that comes with the DivaCup