I had heard of reusable menstrual cups (RUMPs or AMPs are what others may call them) a few years ago and to be honest I was horrified at the thought of a cup mainly because I had images in my head of a blood bath while emptying it and I left my thoughts there and then a few months ago a friend told me she was a cup convert and I did start thinking well if it is working for her with no blood baths then maybe I will give it a try as to be honest I was fed up with using tampons the strings irritate me and I worry about Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). Tampons are not sterile and they are bleached.
DivaCup can be worn for up to 12 hours at a time and needs only to be cleaned 2-3 times a day with warm water and the DivaWash or a mild, unscented, oil-free soap.
Inserting something you have never used before can be a bit of a kerfuffle, but thankfully there is a website that shows every fold that is possible for a cup so it the traditional C-Fold or Punch Down Fold are not working just Google menstrual cup folds. I used the Punch Down Fold technique and that worked well for me.
The DivaCup is inserted differently from a tampon, it sits a lot lower, that was a little strange to get my head round to start with.
I managed to insert the cup first time but it would not unfold, I tried again and the same thing, I was starting to get stressed as I do but sat on the toilet for about 10 minutes wondering what I was doing wrong.
Persistence is the key and I refuse to give up with anything so after trying once again and it still not popping open I decided to kind of (TMI) swirl a finger around the cup. (ladies stop cringing, men, why are you still reading this lol)
IT WORKED! the cup popped open and suctioned in place.
I had it sussed, and I walked down the stairs grinning like a Cheshire cat. I have had no problems inserting it since either.
The first thing I noticed while using the cup is that my period is not as heavy as I had thought. Going through around 40 tampons per cycle because I would leak after 2-4 hours using Super Plus during the first 2 days. I did empty my cup every 4-6 hours mainly because I was paranoid of it overflowing but much to my surprise the it was only about a quarter full. After a couple of emptying I felt more confident and gave it longer, 8-12 hours at a time, even then it was not even half full. Plus the cup never leaked, I didn’t feel most of the time. I say that because I found going to the toilet made the cup go down a little and I could feel the stem but after I gave it a little nudge up it was fine again. My cramps were not as bad either.
Taking the cup out can be tricky as it suctions in but gentle movements while holding the stem left and right so it tips just a little helps the cup lose its suction and it will come out fine. Try not to be forceful or heavy handed with it as there is blood in the cup and you really do not want it all over the bathroom floor. When the cup is almost out I found tipping it backwards straight into the toilet proved to be the best non messy way to do it.
A quick rinse under the tap, or with DivaWash and pop it back it until it needs emptying again.
I am very pleased with the DivaCup it worked great with me and I can say to you now I am a reusable menstrual cup convert. I will not use tampons again. The DivaCup has taken what used to be two days when I would prefer not to leave the house to normal days for me. I feel more confident using it. I can do my usual activities, running, swimming, whatever I want. It has also made me feel confident at night time too and I no longer have to get up twice or more to change because I have leaked.
I love it, it works out a money saver too when I added up how much I spend on disposable sanitary wear per year. That’s tampons, and thick pads too for heaviest days.
This is just the first step to using reusable menstrual products and I am sure I will be writing about more in the future.
If you are thinking of buying a DivaCup they have 2 sizes available, Size 1 for women under 30 who haven’t given birth, and Size 2 for women who have given birth or who are 30 and older both cost around £25 and can be found in store and online in 23 countries around the world. Don’t forget to check them out on Facebook and Twitter.
Disclaimer: I was given a DivaCup to review, I was not paid or compensated for this post . All thoughts are my own and not influenced in any way.