Most likely 99% of you are freaked out and intimidated by the idea of a menstrual cup, so was I! But fear not, it’s NOT THAT BAD. Think it’s too messy? Worried about sticking a silicone cup up your vagina? Not messy, if you do it correctly. After the first 2-3 times you’ll have it down pat – I mean come on, was your first time using a tampon smooth sailing? Probably not. Why aren’t you worried about sticking a toxin filled tampon up your vagina? Don’t get me wrong, for the last ten years I’ve been using tampons, so I’m NOT judging you. I just want to shed some light on a topic that isn’t talked about enough and get you “vagucated”.
There are tons and tons of different menstrual cup brands out there, I chose to go with the DivaCup which seems the most popular. I bought mine at a local CVS but you can find yours online at Walmart, Target, Thrive Market, Walgreens or Lunapads for ~$28-$36 depending on which model you choose. There are two different types of DivaCups, DivaCup Model 1 is recommended for women under 30 years old who have never delivered vaginally or by c-section. DivaCup Model 2 is recommended for women over 30 years old and/or for women who have delivered vaginally or by c-section. On the DivaCup website it states that the model 1 is ~0.3 cm smaller. It’s important to get the correct model to prevent leaking.
The average woman uses 20 tampons per cycle, that’s 240 per year). Now that doesn’t seem like much, until you figure that the average women menstruates for 40 years. That’s 9,600 tampons you use in your lifetime (not including if you also use pantyliners!). Can you even imagine a pile of 9,600 tampons? Now think of how many women you know, quickly off the top of your head. Let’s say 25 for arguments sake, that’s 240,000 tampons. As of July 2017, there were 84 million women between the ages of 10-50 (average age of getting your period to menopause) – you can do that math!
I took a small Instagram poll to see how many of my women followers have tried a menstrual cup. Surprisingly 15% of the women who participated have tried one! I was sure that number would be 0-1%. 53% of women voted that they were interested in using one and learning more about it, which hopefully ya’ll are here reading!
I got a flood of messages with most of the same questions so I’ll answer and list them here:
1. WHERE DOES IT GO? AND HOW?
In short, up your vagina. Just like a tampon. There are two ways to insert, see the below photo. Your menstrual cup will come with detailed directions on exactly how to use it!
2. IS IT MESSY?
No, it’s not messy if you’re doing it correctly. Once you’ve inserted your DivaCup, you’ll wash your hands…hopefully just like you’d do with a tampon! When taking out your DivaCup you can either do it on the toilet or in the shower which most women find easiest. You’ll gently squeeze your cup to release suction and dump your menstrual flow into the toilet, wash your DivaCup and reinsert.
3. DOES IT LEAK?
Again, no. Not if you’re using your cup correctly. It’ll take a few tries to get used to the technique of inserting it. But I’m sure you didn’t use a tampon correctly the first time either. Depending on your flow or what day of your period you’re on, you can change your cup every 12 hours before Toxic Shock Syndrome becomes a risk. Personally, I have a heavy flow the first few days of my period so naturally I’ll empty my cup more often on those days. You’ll start to learn exactly how much blood collects since you’ll be able to see it rather than it being absorbed into your tampon or pad.
4. HOW MUCH DOES IT HOLD?
The DivaCup holds one ounce (30ml) of menstrual fluid. I was really surprised seeing how much blood was actually in the cup after each time I emptied it. Women on average lose about 30-50ml of blood their entire cycle. On the last few days of my period there was only enough blood to cover the bottom of the DivaCup. On the last day of my period there was only a little bit of blood on the inside walls of the cup. Which, if I had been wearing a tampon I would’ve had to rip out a dry one…yeah, you know what I’m talking about!!!! The worst. A regular sized tampon holds 5ml of blood. A super plus tampon holds 12 to 15 grams of menstrual blood before it’s completely saturated.
5. HOW DO YOU CHANGE IT IN PUBLIC?
Since you’re able to go up to twelve hours before emptying your DivaCup, you can plan ahead. For example if you know you’re going out to dinner or out for drinks, check your DivaCup before you leave the house, empty, reinsert and go out. You’ll be surprised at how little is in your cup at times. However, if you absolutely need to change it while you’re out, I’d reccomend carrying some wipes in a baggy and for the time being just wiping your DivaCup down in the bathroom stall before you can get home and give it a thorough cleaning.
I would like to add that I’m not a doctor or a health care professional and it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before doing anything health related ☺️ Naturally, there are always risks to anything you stick up into your girly parts!
**This is not a paid review nor am I endorsed by The Diva Cup in any way…I just love it!
Xo Mama Fusco