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Skip this if you're not interested in reading details about my bicycle bits.

I'm trying the DivaCup - my first menstrual cup. I'm on DAY 3, and I wanted to write some speculation on my experience so far.

I bought a model-1 cup, even though I am over 30. DivaCup has a separate model, only a fraction of a centimeter bigger, for vaginas over 30 or those who have had a kid. But, as some of my exes can attest, I've always had what some have referred to as a "toddler-tight-twat." Don't think too hard on that, just don't. My crotch-doctor has always needed to use the children's speculum during my examination.

When I bought it, I was really excited. I'd planned on finally giving it a try since last month, and it actually took me a whole month to finally remember to buy the thing. I got it the day before my period started. I excitedly gushed (oh god, no pun intended) about it to Charles, having already done a fair bit of research on it.

Then I got nervous, because I knew my period was gonna start the next day, and I had flashbacks of using tampons.

I'm not a tampon user. I've always worn pads. I've tried tampons with absolutely no success. They've all seemed too long, and really uncomfortable. Getting the applicator up there isn't so much the problem, though it seems really long, but it's the dry-ass piece of cotton that gives me trouble. Diagrams for tampons show that you shove a rod up there, then essentially double its length! My chute is NOT that long, dude. Even just pulling the applicator as I shoot the bullet in (so it replaces the applicator, not going further in) doesn't feel right. And it freaks me out to have cotton, all stringy and linty, butting up against my cervix. It's making me clench just thinking about it. Not to mention... pee-string.

So I have no clue why I decided the cup was gonna be a thing, but I did some research, and felt convinced. Plus, NO CHANCE OF TOXIC SHOCK. No leaks, no toxins, no cotton, no strings (naked time), and apparently, no feeling.

So I'm giving it a try.

The first day was pretty rough. I knew I'd be getting way more intimate with myself than I have on any other menstrual day, but it was still rough. I had to clip my nails on my dominate hand (I keep the left hand clipped for violin purposes, but always kept the other side kinda long). I followed the directions precisely, but I felt the fuck out of that thing, when I stood, crouched, bent over, walked... I pulled it out and tried again. A little better, but still awkward. Again. And again... and then I looked up some tips. At this point I started freaking out, trying not to rage-cry. Oh, and the suction-breaking? Nightmare! I couldn't get the suction to break, and I had the most awkward-feeling pull-outs. Ugh!! So I read the internet. I snipped the stem a little bit. That's much better. Can still feel it a little, but it's better. An hour later, I stopped feeling okay with feeling it all the time. I pulled it out and tried again. I brought my phone with me to keep looking up troubleshooting. After more reading, I snipped the whole stem off. SO. MUCH. BETTER.

I'd kept looking at some "wish I knew this" stuff about the cup, and day two went really well. I had a few failed attempts in the morning, and an unexpected emptying mid-day, as it had decided to birth halfway out while I peed. This was especially awkward, because my landlord was over doing an apartment inspection, and I was trying to race him while he inspected the attic. I had to do a really fast empty, wash, insert, and weirdly, that was my best, most flawless insertion to date. I didn't feel it at all after a few minutes, and thought I must have pushed it in at exactly the right angle and depth for it to settle nicely. When the landlord left, I decided to shower (something that seemed really futile when I wore just pads), and it was awesome. It was so awesome, I didn't bother getting dressed after. Such a bizarre thing - being naked on my period.

I'm at work now. Thankfully, it's settled into a comfortable position, because it didn't start that way. I had the worst time trying to insert it. You have to fold the cup to insert. Can you imagine shoving a cup up there when it's open? Nightmare land! For some reason, I had a difficult time keeping it folded until I got it to the other side of my pelvic bone. Charles could hear me scream as it popped open too soon, heard me curse at the fucking thing, heard me start losing it. I almost gave up and threw on a pad. I decided I would try to adjust it when I got to work. I could feel it inside me, and it wasn't settling. But as I said earlier, it did finally settle, and thank fucking crap, because it was non-stop phone calls at my desk before I could even take off my coat.

The internet says most women only lose about 2oz of blood, etc. The cup holds 1oz. I decided to keep track. I'm up to about 4.5oz. My first two days were pretty heavy. Yesterday morning and this morning, the cup was near empty, though I'm thinking maybe that's just an overnight thing? Regardless, I've gotta say, this NO LEAKS perk is AWESOME!! Do you know how long it's been since I woke up with sheets not spotted with blood?? I don't remember if that has EVER happened! I've been afraid to sit down on the seat of a friend's car or couch or floor or anything, because of fear of leaks. This is amazing! This alone has me sold.


Here's a list of things I wish I knew on DAY ONE that someone else might find useful.

  • Snip the whole stem off. You're meant to tug it at the base when you remove it anyway, and it's not a far reach.
  • Bear down (like you're pooping) in short bursts when you're inserting (even while you're pushing the cup in). It'll help ease things in.
  • Bear down in longer bursts when you're trying to pull it out. If it's out of reach, this will help it come within reach so you can grab it. Go slowly.
  • Experiment with where in the insertion is best to release the fold, where it'll be easier to turn and adjust and prod to get the fold to open all the way. Then you can keep sliding it in.
  • A little air in there is fine. You need air for the cup. If there's too much, it'll come out eventually, but you can give it a gentle squeeze to poot excess out the side, like burping a break bag, with hopefully less yeast.
  • Feeling it a little is okay, and it'll eventually be undetectable once gravity and muscles work their migration magic. It also softens as the body warms it (you could rinse it under warm water to help that too).
  • Peeing and pooping is gonna be a little weird sometimes. Your cup might start to prairie-dog if you put too much force into it. If you feel it shifting, you can hold your hand against box to keep it from taking a dunk while you do your butt-stuff (or just take it out and let it rip). It also can hinder insertion if you've got a particularly giant log knockin' at the back door.
  • Probably gonna get a water-based lube for next month (edit: an excellent idea, and really helps to get it into the correct position on the first try).
  • Naked time.

    Other tips:
  • If you're in public and need to empty in a stall, you can wipe the cup clean enough with toilet paper.
  • Related to public toilets, but not specifically for the cup, you can combat auto-flush toilets with a conveniently placed post-it note over the sensor. Cuz fuck a splash-ass.
  • If you just toss it into the sink from the reach of the toilet, clean off the bloody splashes when you get to the sink.
  • If you're having trouble with suction, or getting it to open up inside, you can expand the little holes in the sides at the rim. I used a gritted reamer file, but whatever's clever.
  • If you have a monthly massacre (super heavy flow), you might want to keep a panty-liner on hand just in case.
  • Cups can lessen period cramps, even endometriosis-sized cramps, but don't expect them to magically vanish.
  • Enjoy that naked time.


Mar. 22nd, 2016 04:48 pm (UTC)
You're so brave for trying this! I too am a pad-only person. (I don't like them, but I like tampons even less -- like you, I feel them.) I don't expect I'll ever change from pads though.


That made me snicker out loud! :)
Mar. 25th, 2016 02:29 pm (UTC)
I'm really relieved to know more people than I thought still use pads. Makes me feel less weird, since tampons are all the rage these days.
I felt brave, I'll tell ya, because even the slightest nerves tighten those muscles up. And I was SO nervous the first couple times.
Mar. 25th, 2016 02:45 pm (UTC)
To be fair, I haven't given tampons much of a chance. I tried them once when I first started getting my period (decades ago...) and gave up on them after that first try, so it's possible they might work better for me now. Still, while I don't like pads, I'd rather deal with them than try tampons again.


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