Diva Cup Review: How Menstrual Cups Work & How to Pick The Best Cup

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A sterilizing cup and a Loulou cup—now one of my favorite menstrual cup brands.

My love for the Diva Cup means it’s time to review exactly how I’ve handled my period for more than a decade—most of which I spent traveling the world. I think all females, travelers or not, should consider using menstrual cups as there are very few circumstances under which the right menstrual cup is not a perfect alternative to pads and tampons . Even if you’re just in the fact-finding phase of determining how a Diva Cup works, and searching for unbiased menstrual cup reviews, this post is for you.

I started using a menstrual cup long before it became trendy, when you could only buy them at a co-op. I was in the throes of planning my year-long round the world trip back in 2008. My cousin implored me to buy a Diva Cup—one of just a couple mainstream brands available. I’ve never looked back. Her first words of advice to me, however, hold true now: Start learning how to use a menstrual cup months before you need it—there is a steep learning curve! That said, it’s worth it. Let’s dive into how a Diva Cup works, how the Diva Cup stacks up versus newer brands (I now use a LouLou cup most months), how to clean your cup (even when traveling), and advice to overcome the learning curve.


Review: My Diva Cup Verdict?

The Diva Cup is the most useful thing I pack when I travel. Using a menstrual cup gives me the confidence to go straight from a long bus ride to an epic hiking adventures. It never leaks. I’m never forced to schlep bags of tampons.

It just works.

The Diva Cup is one of the most useful things I took on my trip around the world, even though I had a rough start and nearly gave up on using a menstrual cup. It was messy and not good—I thought my menstrual cup was stuck inside. But within just one period cycle, I had figured it out. It started working after I spent a couple of days practicing (on low flow days). I’ve tested several brands over the years now, reviewing how the Diva Cup compared to others with different shapes and sizes.

There’s no single answer: Yes, Diva Cups work. But also, you many need a different menstrual cup brand. Let’s dive into why that might be the case.

What is a Menstrual Cup?

Diva Cup Review: Why menstrual cups are the best way to handle your period while traveling—plus what you should know before you switch.

Menstrual cups are eco-friendly “natural feminine hygiene alternatives” that sit inside you (like a tampon, but lower) and collect your menstrual fluid. Menstrual cups like the Diva Cup are made of medical-grade silicone, and each is about the size of a shot glass. When a menstrual cup is inserted correctly, the rim of the cup forms a seal against your vaginal canal. Once sealed, it takes care of business. The menstrual fluid flows into the cup, then you pull it gently out and dump the liquid into the toilet or sink. These cups fully replace tampons and pads.

The Diva Cup, specifically, falls under the larger umbrella of silicone menstrual cups. There are now many different brands as period cups have gone more mainstream—so many that it’s hard to know which menstrual cup is best for you. Every menstrual cup brand represents a different aspect of sizing, shape, and color, but they all work the same way.

How Do Menstrual Cups Work?

At its most basic, each menstrual cup is a small rounded cup made of pliable, foldable, and soft medical-grade silicon. All menstrual cups hold about an ounce of liquid—slightly more or less depending on the brand and size. Having a hard time imaging it? It’s about the size and shape of a shot glass, but with a small tale to help pull it out once inserted.

Menstrual cups like the Diva Cup work by collecting menstrual fluid inside the “shot glass” interior. The premise of the entire thing is that you fold the cup in half and insert it much like a tampon. Once inserted, the cup opens into the full circle again and then forms a seal. With a tampon, cotton absorbs your menstrual blood. Cups work because the seal ensures that your blood is collected in the cup.

Then you tug the base of the cup (or pinch the end and pull) while you are over a toilet, tip the cup into the toilet, and flush it all away. You then wipe or rinse it out and reinsert. In this way, you actually have only one thing that you need each month: your cup.

The only downside to using a menstrual cup is the learning curve. When I first used the Diva Cup, it took me until my third period using it to have no leaking and messiness … and I cursed it the whole time during my first two months. This hilarious Hairpin article is a good read. Or you can check out the many, many thousands of often frank and sometimes wince-worthy reviews on Amazon. Although it was rough going at first, a decade in and there isn’t a menstrual cup out there that I can’t make work.

Menstrual Cup Reviews: Which Cup is Best?

Women come in different shapes and sizes, but the nature of the silicon means that most brands tend to work for most women. Some cups have a wider circular rim to ensure that you can form a strong seal if you’ve birthed a child, while some cups are shorter for women with shorter vaginal canals. But generally, menstrual cups are similar in size and shape, and they all work on the same premise of creating a seal so that the blood flows into the cup until you can dump it into a toilet or down a sink.

How to Pick the Right Menstrual Cup

  1. Think about sizing first. Every major menstrual cup brand offers two-to-three sizes: teen, pre-childbirth/under 30, and post-childbirth. The sizing is not hard-and-fast though, it’s a recommendation based on what will likely best fist the circumference of your vaginal canal, as well as the length of your canal, and even the strength of your flow. So, adapt the recommendations to your own circumstances and knowledge of your own body. Only by comparing menstrual cups can you determine where each brand falls on the spectrum. Not sure about which one is right for you? Not all of us know if we have a long or short vaginal canal or a low cervix, so this post helpfully breaks down the options and which work for different women, and this site is a trove of information (overwhelmingly so).
  2. Know thyself and your sensitivity. It was slim pickings in the early years on brands, but now you can even select the firmness of your cup. All reputable menstrual cups are made from medical-grade silicone, but some are softer than others, making for a more pleasant experience as you’re wearing it. The Diva Cup is actually far firmer than other brands. Until I tried the Loulou cup, I didn’t even realize a soft cup could still just as effectively form the seal.
  3. Acknowledge you may need to try more than one brand. When readers email concerns, it’s usually distress that they simply can’t get their menstrual cup to fit comfortably, or to reliably form a seal.

Which Brands Have I Tried & Recommend

  • Diva Cup: The first cup I tried and one that has worked well for me for years (I use the larger size). The are an OG brand and have not tweaked the design at all. With they should. My key complaints with Diva Cups are that the stem is hollow, which makes fully sanitizing it hard, and the clear silicone turns a permanently unpleasant color no matter how well you clean it.
  • Loulou Cup: This company is a newcomer out of France and the cup is completely lovely. The first time I tried a very soft silicone cup it was a bust (looking at you Lily cup), but LouLou’s soft medium turquoise is a dream to use and more comfortable than any cup I’ve previously tried.
  • Lunette: Consensus seems to say that the Lunette works well for those with a short vaginal canal or low cervix. I have a long vaginal canal, so I give this recommendation based on my petite best friend, who has used this cup for more than a decade and deeply loves it.

I have tried other brands over the years, but as or 2020, I go with the Louou cup every month, and I have my older Diva Cup as a backup.

Best Menstrual Cup for Teens?

The rising popularity of menstrual cups means that the major brands (and some new ones) have released teen versions of the cups in just the past few months/years. Teen cups are usually thinner and shorter, sometimes also featuring softer rims and a gentler experience for her lady parts. They are designed for those sub 18, and there is no bottom number—if your daughter has her period and can comfortably wear one, then she can also safely wear one. Although Diva Cup has a size 0, I actually recommend the soft turquoise LouLou in size small, it will be a far gentler introduction to using menstrual cups. Other than that, FemmyCycle is pretty popular, too.

How to Use Your Cup (Washing, Inserting, Etc)

  • Try it out before your trip! You’ll be thankful that you’re in your own clean bathroom while you discover the learning curve of using a menstrual cup.
  • It’s not for the squeamish. Inserting and removing the Diva Cup means you to get a little more “invasive” than you have to with tampons, if you catch my drift. If you read cup reviews, this is a big factor for many people. You will be all up in your own business, to be frank. But you’ll also learn to understand your cycle better and get pretty good at using the cup without much issue.
  • That “twist” mentioned is the most important part of the process—that’s what ensures you have a good seal. That, and the holes at the top of your menstrual cup—you have to ensure the holes are clean between uses (just squeezing around the rim while under water cleans them out easily).
  • When they tell you it sits lower than a tampon, it’s SO true. Really low, make sure it pops open, then twist—it’s like magic. But, you definitely have to practice before it becomes second nature.
  • How to clean your menstrual cup. Pack a mild soap. Originally, I brought a small container plain, unscented liquid soap for use as a body wash and a cup wash. Now, I’ve use Cetaphil facewash religiously for years and it’s also a proven safe washing liquid for your cup, meaning you get a twofer by packing it. Or you can buy a mild wash from the company itself or handy sanitary wipes, too. Be sure to have a cleaning routine down pat before you leave—often that means having a sterilizing cup for a final deep clean each month. Generally, I lightly wash and rinse during my period and I give the cup a deep cleaning at the end before storing it for the next few weeks (unless I’m in a place with no potable water). Note: Using anything but mild products and water degrades the silicone, so it’s better to just wipe with toilet paper and use water until you get back to your mild soap if you’re out and about.
  • Buy at your local co-op or natural foods store, or online—at last check Diva Cups sell for less than $35 and the Loulou cup with sterilizer is under 40 euros. This is far less than the close to $200 annually women spend on feminine hygiene products.

After using a menstrual cup for over a decade now, I swear by it. Within a year it had shortened my period from eight days to four, and lessened my cramping/PMS symptoms to a number of hours now, not days. It’s worth the awkward transition and it’s just plain healthier for your body. I’ll never go back to pads and tampons.

5 Reasons to Use a Menstrual Cup

wearing the cup
Yep, you can swim with a menstrual cup!

1. You can wear your cup for 10 to 12 hours.
Life can get busy, and it’s handy when at work or while traveling to have longer stretches between finding a bathroom. As a long-term traveler, using a Diva Cup meant I was safe on the neverending 10+ hour bus rides, and on long, long days trekking across Nepal. Unlike reports, you can actually get TSS from a menstrual cup, but it’s incredibly rare. Most menstrual cup brands are safe to have in for up to 12 hours, but recommendations say aim for 10 hours.

2. You can wear it before your period.
Menstrual cups don’t dry out your lady parts like cotton-blend tampons, so you can start using at the first signs of your period (although period panties are also a great option!). If I knew that I might start my period in the middle of a 10+ hour bus ride, I could use my Diva Cup before my period even started. Bottom line, it saved me from potentially embarrassing situations on treks like bleeding through clothes.

3. You can swim with menstrual cups, and really any activity.
You can live your best life with a menstrual cup, truly. You can swim, cycle, travel, dance, hike, bike, run, camp—there is no limit. Each and every one of those activities is possible to execute without worrying about if you’re going to embarrassingly bleed on yourself. Using my Diva Cup liberated me from trying to plan major outdoor activities on non-period days—I knew I could head out on a six-hour bike ride without searching for a bathroom, or wondering all day if I was leaking.

4. Reusable products mean always having what you need with you.
Whether that means heading to work or school, or leaving on a long travel day, you can easily have everything you need with you. My cup was the only thing I had to bring on my round the world trip (well, soap too).

Diva Cup

5. It’s green travel and oh-so good for the environment.
Waste is a huge issue for countries all over the world at every level of the socio-economic spectrum. This is doubly true for travelers visiting countries without effective waste management systems in place. In the west, we sometimes overlook that single-use pads and tampons don’t breakdown easily, and they clog toilets and landfills. A menstrual cup and period panties allow you to lighten your eco-footprint just a tad—your period business won’t linger in faraway rivers and forests long after you leave. Menstrual cups are reusable for up to a decade and there is nothing else you have to buy to use with it. Plus the non-BPA medical-grade silicone is far safer for your lady-parts than the surfactants, adhesives, and additives used in tampons and pads.

Diva Cups are brilliant and anyone comfortable with their body should give it a try. But beyond anyone, I consider it essential for women travelers, truly  :-)

And don’t take my word for it—look around online. There many women have gone on the record about their love (and learning curve) with menstrual cups. And very important is that once you get a Diva Cup, or any menstrual cup, you are now a part of a community of women who have already figured it out; they’re normally right on with their suggestions so head to the internet if you need advice. Your new cup will come with very explicit tips and pictorial instructions too! There are tricks to help it work better, and some brands are better for petite women, teens, or women with specific vaginal canal issues.

Shoot me an email if you have any other questions, or better yet, leave a comment. And if you’ve tried the Diva Cup, share your experience in the comments! If you haven’t tried it yet, just go poke around the Diva Cup page, read the reviews, see what it’s all about.

159 thoughts on “Diva Cup Review: How Menstrual Cups Work & How to Pick The Best Cup”

  1. Great post. I use Intimina Lily Cup and what a change it has been. No more mess with tampons, money saved, so much more relaxed. Menstrual cups deserve more attention because they are a game changer.

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  2. I just discussed switching to the cup with my daughter. She’s 22 & a virgin. She hasn’t used a tampon since 8th grade & is hesitant about whether or not she can. Also I’m 44 & seems like my flow gets heavier every year. The first 3 days are a nightmare. I fill up the overnight pads within 3 hours. Do you think I’d be a good candidate for the cup? I worry about leaking those days so much I usually stay home other than work & thank God I work 3rd shift!!!

    Reply
    • Hi Heather! I definitely think your daughter is a candidate for the teen sizes. Since she is still a virgin and doesn’t use tampons, consider using the teen size despite her age (they will say to use the smallest adult size after 19 years). The hardest part for her might be getting used to the process of inserting it since she doesn’t have much experience there, but I definitely think she would can easily learn.

      For you, YES! Look at the different sizes, some cups hold a bit more than others (I think the Diva is one of the largest capacity cups), and this could be a great way for you to extend the time between changing pads. If you fill that much so quickly, it might be that you still need a pad on to catch any overflow, but it would give you extra hours between needing to change I suspect. It also shortened my period within a year (I believe because of fewer chemicals and better flow).

      For both of you, the cups come in different sizes and even slightly different shapes, so if you have a low cervix or things like that, then a cup that looks great might not work (Diva cups are longer than others, so I love mine but when with short canals don’t always find it as comfortable). Try a couple but I think you and your daughter are perfect candidates and will love it once you find one that fits your body. My cup completely changed my relationship with my period and I would never go back! Hang in there and try out a few if the first isn’t right, and it will for you too. Above in the posts are some links and youtube channels that can help you choose the best cup to start with for each of you (it may very likely be different brands for you and your daughter!)

      Reply
  3. I just used the cup for the first time after use I was very irritated with a foul odor and pain, I clean in between but the side effects came after use. Is this normal for the first time. I’m scared to retry it again

    Reply
    • There should be no extra odor at all—have you cleaned the cup with unscented, very basic and non oil-based soap between uses? I would also be alarmed to use it again if that was happening. I am not sure what cup you have, but I would be sure that you are using a name brand one that is made of medical grade silicon and then be sure that you are not using any perfumed, colored, or scented soaps to clean it.

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  4. So this may be a crazy question. But for my understanding. The maximum hours to wear it is 12 hours. So if it is cleaned after you take it out at the 12 hour mark. Can it be reinserted?

    Reply
    • Yes, you can definitely re-insert and use it once it’s clean. The cup is usable for about a decade, you should wash it every day when using, and I usually give it a deeper clean at the end of every period before storing it for the month.

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    • Yes definitely, many teens successfully use menstrual cups. BUT! You’ll want to be sure that you use the smaller size (most leading brands like Moon and Diva have a small size for younger women, and another size for those over 30/post childbirth), and the brand that better fits the length of her vaginal canal (she will not likely know this, so it may take guesswork, trying a few things, and doing some research ahead of time). Know that every cup has a different diameter across, as well as a different length. I think this guide does a terrific job detailing and showing just how different the sizes can be (and note that as cool as the collapsable Lily cup looks, I didn’t find it very effect, nor did my teen niece I bought it for). She may also need some support getting the hang of it, but it’s truly amazing once you know how to use it and would make having a period at school a lot easier.

      Reply
      • Diva Cup actually released a third size this year geared specifically for teens, so it’s their smallest diameter and length yet and lacking some of the thick rim that was a problem for me with their usual size 1. I’d definitely recommend checking that one out.

        Also, I found the Lily Cup Compact (the collapsible one) my favourite of the 5 different cups I’ve tried over the past few years. The extremely soft silicon was really what made me like it so much, despite having another learning curve for using a cup that you can’t really “push” up into place. That having been said, INTIMINA listened to feedback about their Lily Cup Compact and released a different version (completely different design) geared towards teens and first-time users.

        Have patience, and be willing to invest some time researching. It might take a couple of years and two or three different cups to find the one that you enjoy using the most. I know that sounds like a long time, but keep in mind that you only have a few days out of every month to try out a period product. It might take a few periods to get really comfortable using a cup, another six periods to determine what is and isn’t working for you, and another six periods to try out another cup.

        There are a couple of YouTube channels that you might find helpful, like Put A Cup In It and Precious Stars Pads. They review and discuss pretty much every menstrual cup on the global market.

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    • No, very big and resounding no to that. The mainstream menstrual cups are not meant for full intercourse and that would not work. Other things, sure! It doesn’t leak when it’s in properly, there’s no hanging string like a tampon—you’d be fine!

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  5. This is my fourth cycle attempting to use the cup and I’m so irritated! It is a total fail for me and I really want the freedom of wearing one! When I try and “spin” the cup I pinch the walls of my vag and it leaves me hurting! ??? I’ve watched video and after video after video and they all say the same thing. I’m 42, 3 children, and I need help with this! It seems to not go in far enough. When I do manage to get the “suction” and it pops open, I stand for a while only to feel it is coming out.

    Reply
    • Hi Veronica. I am so sorry to hear how frustrating it’s been! A couple of thoughts:

      • Keep your nails trimmed for the first bit, and when you try for the twist, slide up from the point at the bottom. You shouldn’t be pinching yourself at all—the cup should be low enough inside of you that your fingers go up to about then end of your nail bed, no further, and you just pinch the tip of the cup and spin.
      • Is it actually coming out when you stand or does it feel like that. If there is no real seal, then it will feel like it’s sliding around, and that’s not good. I have to say, when my cup is in, I can bear down like I am going #2 and even if it feels like the cup is being pushed out, it’s never at the point that it would actually come out, it’s just bearing down and pushing out the first half-inch or so of the cup’s base.
      • Have you tried keeping the cup lower. (and perhaps higher, but if you are pinching your vag then I think it’s likely pretty high up in there). I don’t know which cup you have, but the stem might be too long actually. I had a friend who had to cut the stem of her Lunette because when her cup was positioned correctly (which is really, really low compared to a tampon), the stem brushed her panties and was uncomfortable. That’s how low the base should be, without the stem, the base of the cup should likely fall just at your opening.
      • This may not be the right cup for you. I use a Diva Cup and it works because I have a very long vaginal canal (the Diva is one of the longest cups) and it’s one of the widest. My friend with the Lunette couldn’t wear a Diva because she has a very short canal and it would stick out way too far, and not just the stem but the cup itself. If you know your body and perhaps—and this is a bit much but a good way to tell—the size of partners that are comfortable for you in intercourse, it can help you pick the a cup that will fit you better.
      • The last stage—when the cup is low and in place and you’ve done the turn—is to run your finger up the side of the cup (and up into your vag) until it reaches the rim, then give it a small push. It’s sealed when the cup walls stay firm and have very little give.

      I hope that helps Veronica. My suggestion, before investing in yet another cup that might not work, is to try your current cup again, but don’t even attempt it on your heavy day. In fact, if you have a day during ovulation or some such when there’s a bit of lubrication and discharge, that may be the perfect time to try at least inserting it without any mess. Because cups are not drying like tampons, it’s fine to wear for a couple hours even when not on your period. And eventually if you are game to try a different one, this site has some great breakdowns of the different sizings.

      Reply
  6. I’m 48 and am having some pre-menopause issues with my periods like soaking through the biggest tampon I can find AND a pad within 30-45 minutes. Horrible! Well I bought two diva cups back in March (SkoonCup and Lena) and haven’t had a period since and now it’s June. Finally I’m having a period heavy enough to use the cup for the first time. I have been really scared about sticking that thing in me but I was so surprised at how easy it was. Now I’m having trouble keeping the darn things in. They want to pop out while peeing! I’ve got to master the “seal”. Either that or I have one large loose cooch ewwww. I do not do Kegel exercises so looks like I will have to start. I never been up close and personal with my vajayjay but now looks like I’m going to have to go exploring.

    Reply
    • There really is such a strong learning curve, and it’s easiest to really get the hang of it on lighter days, so hopefully as this period starts to lighten, you can practice turning it and seeing what the cup feels like when sealed. There should be tension on the cup wall when it’s in right. I would also check some of the menstrual cup websites to look at the diameter differences of the cups you got. Years back the Diva Cup was the biggest, it was a tad longer and perhaps the teensiest bit wider at the mouth, so research your two cups and see if there is a difference, so you can be using the larger of the two (it’s perhaps not the lack of kegels, but rather it just gets looser as you age, it’s why most cups have sizes for pre-babies, and those either over 30 or post-babies. Best of luck! I hope the cups help you have a more sane period experience.

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  7. First time using a menstral cup and sometimes it feels like I am leaking all over my undies. But nothing! Am I feeling the blood empty into the cup? It’s a strange sensation and sends me running for the loo.

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    • Hi Anna, I know exactly what you mean as I have had that sensation too. I’m not sure what it is, but for me it’s not regular, but rather once a period I will be sure that I put it in wrong and go running as well. For me, I double check before I leave the loo that it’s formed the seal just by pressing the side of the cup gently with my finger while it’s inserted—if you’ve turned the cup while inserting, and then get pressure back on the wall while it’s in, I have learned to trust that. On heavy days I use a pantyliner just in case, and then trust that it’s doing its thing!

      Reply
  8. You mentioned Nepal and a this “laaj pacheko” Nepali girls decided to leave a comment♡

    btw Cups are the best, I’m a new user and I found it very comfortable

    Reply
  9. I was just thinking…I wonder if creating suction inside your body is such a good idea. If you did that on the surface of your skin, it would likely cause bruising. I don’t know how strong the suction is, I am just hesitant about how much circulation is cut off, etc…

    Reply
    • Interesting, I can see why you would be concerned. But understand that the rim of sits inside your vaginal canal, and the opening faces up into your uterus so that it can collect blood. It’s more like creating a seal where the rim of the silicon cup is resting firmly against the walls, but not suctioning like it would be if you sealed a cup to your arm, for example. There are also tiny holes along the rim of the cup that allow airflow. I find it a much more gentle and pleasant experience to insert and remove a cup than a tampon, which also works by sealing using cotton, but is more drying and abrasive if your flow is not heavy that day.

      Reply
  10. I have 3 cups (Diva, Lunette and Lily Cup). My favorite is the Lunette, it just somehow fits me a bit better. I’ve been thinking about picking up a Lily Cup Compact to carry around in my purse instead of tampons. Anyone knows if the Compact feels much different than the Lily Cup? Does it collapse once inside or holds its shape well?

    There are so many cups out there now, and I found some as cheap as $2 on amazon. There is this article talking about menstrual cups being medical device on peachruby.com/blogs/how-tos/beware-of-menstrual-cups-regulatory-claims , and I checked for the $2 cup and turned out that $2 cup was no good. So, be careful everyone.

    Reply
    • I don’t love the compact, I found it just didn’t seal right. I used the size B, and I have successfully used a larger Diva Cup for a decade, but I’ve never made the Lily Cup compact work on my heavy days. Good luck!

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      • Thanks for the info. I was hoping for good news, but now I’m hesitant. I saw Softcup and that’s small. Maybe I’ll try that.

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  11. I love the Diva Cup! I’m 51 with 4 kids and there isn’t a tampon around that I don’t leak through. The cup collects everything with no leaking (once you master the art of insertion).

    And an additional benefit … I’m a runner and have light bladder control issues so have been using Poise pads and Impressa bladder supports. The Diva Cup provides better bladder support than Impressa and I no longer leak urine when I run. It’s heaven!

    Reply
    • Thank you for sharing your story Shirley! That’s amazing that it gives you the added support for your bladder too, I hadn’t thought of it like that, but it makes sense since it’s so firm once it’s open! :)

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  12. I was interested in menstrual cups, so I decided to try one. I bought it a month ago and couldn’t get it to work properly, so I decided to wait and watch more videos on folding techniques. Now I am on day three of using it, and so far so good. It is something new, and taking it out is still awkward, but I do like the convenience of not having to change it every four hours. I highly recommend doing research on it before hand and watching insertion and removal videos. Try it out before a period so you get the hang of it, and hopefully you will be satisfied with it.

    Reply
    • It can be really tricky at first, but once you find the folding technique that works best for you, it’s such a better alternative to the other options out there. Hope that it’s smooth sailing for you from here on out!

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  13. It is uncomfortable especially for me, who hasn’t had sexual escapades yet, much less children.. So to me if you are fairly tight down there, it wouldn’t be very comfortable fit..I’m in my early 20s gave it a try, I didn’t like it, it wasn’t the mess or anything that turned me away from it was just how it fit, since I haven’t been very sexual with my body as of yet, it just feels kind of awkward and distracting. Though kudos to those who like it and get it to work well. I might try it again when I’m older.

    Reply
    • Sorry to hear that it didn’t work well for you. They have smaller cups too, and one called FemmyCycle actually has a teen size that might work better for you. I understand that it can be a little odd at first to use one, it’s a bit more invasive than using a tampon. I hope you find one that fits in the future, they work really well once you have a good size and fit for your body.

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  14. Yup, it’s the best little invention ever in my opinion! And I’m not shy about telling everyone I know or meet all about it – my friends get all the TMI details and advice, and I feel a little crazy but I rave about how it’s not only way more convenient, safe, etc., but also how fascinating it is to actually SEE your period. I take all my friends to the tampon aisle to show them where it is, and advise any women standing nearby to try it out. Also, when at REI I have been known to give the full sales speech to women standing awkwardly in front of the Diva Cup box. LOL. It truly is the best though – for travel, for hiking and backpacking, for swimming and boating, for pool parties and days at the spa, for white pants/shorts/skirts any day of the month or year. Just yes. :)

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing your own experience Erin. I have to give you mad props, I have never yet pulled someone over in the shopping aisle, but I do see the merits. I wish everyone was shouting it out from the rooftops. Such a fantastic way to handle the period and I’ve yet to meet anyone who tries it for a few months and goes back to pads and tampons. It’s just better in every way. Cheers and thanks for popping into the site! :)

      Reply
  15. Hi!
    First of all, thank you for this article!
    It comforts me reading that is was difficult at the beginning… (I’ve just bought it and used it on one period).

    HOWEVER, I was wondering how do you sterilize the cup when traveling?
    I love to travel too, but after I bought my cup I realized that BOILING it on the road is the one thing I could consider a downside.
    I’ll truly appreciate to hear (read) about your experience on is matter.
    Thanks a lot, Elsa.

    Reply
    • Excellent question, I actually don’t boil my cup very often, once a year, maybe twice. I find that the other methods are better for the cup according to some, and better for cleaning on the road. The Diva Cup site says to boil, but the Keeper, the other huge brand, actually says that it’s not good for the cup long-term (http://keeper.com/learn-more/cleaning-your-cups/). My method has always been to carry a small jar of mild, fragrance free soap and use that only on my cup. And if I am in a shared housing situation like a hostel, or even a hotel where I can’t get to the kitchen, I will boil a cup of water (looks to others like I am making tea), add a bit of soap, and let it soak. Even that doesn’t have to happen all of the time if you are regularly washing with the mild soap. Silicone doesn’t harbor bacteria easily, so make sure the air holes on the top are clean and after that it’s *super* low maintenance. :)

      Reply
      • Thank you very much for your useful advices!
        The link doesn’t work but I googled it and found the article!
        There’s nothing better for abolishing doubts than the actual experience of someone; thank you for sharing yours.
        Love, Elsa.

        Reply
  16. Third month using the diva cup….. first 2 months i wore a pad i was so scared i would leak, and i did until i learned what to listen for sometimes you dont hear or feel that “pop” so i decided to use rubber gloves each time just to get a better grip of the cup when twisting it, i twist it until the bottom rounds out a bit more and after turning It i pushed it in and pulled a little till i feel a suction. Then i know i wont leak , first time i was in the bathroom putting this on i was in for almost an hour, frustrated trying to find which fold is best, im sticking with the c fold, and im in and out of the bathroom in less then 5 minutes. The freedom i have now with the cup is amazing, fishing for hours on a pier no bathroom,… im ok, driving four hours away on my 3rd day of my period…. im ok…. my husband laying his head on my inner thigh while watching tv… no problem ,no period smell… im thoroughly sold and will not go back to pads or tampons.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience Elena. Like you, I had a lot of issues those first two months while I figured out how to twist and pop it out. You describe to a tee what I do as well, with the little push and twist until you can feel that there is some suction. I am so glad that it’s working for you now!

      Reply
  17. I am about to set out on a 5 month trip to Southeast Asia and Australia. The bulk of my trip will be spent in Thailand. I am really interested in trying the Diva Cup, I have heard so many amazing things about it. The question I have that no one seems to be able to answer is if it is safe to clean with water in developing countries. I know in many places over there the water is unsafe to drink, does that make a difference in cleaning/ the use of your Diva Cup? Is it safe to clean it with the water there?

    Reply
    • Good question. The water will be safe to clean it with in Thailand (in most places, probably not if you are in a rural village), you can usually brush your teeth with the water in Thailand and be fine so the same is true for the Diva Cup (but you’ll drink filtered water). If I was in a sketchy situation with no running water I just wiped it clean with toilet paper. Other than that, I cleaned with water and soap and never had issues and I’ve used it in 40+ developing countries. You are only changing it twice a day usually for 5-7 days, so the instances where it’s sketchy are few, and you can use bottled water if the tap water is truly gnarly (rarely). Hope that helps!

      Reply
  18. I tried the Diva cup and it is the most convenient female product I have every used. I will never buy tampons or pads again. The diva cup is a little pricey, but it save you from buying any other product every again. I didn’t t have to worry about embarrassing leakage. I did not need to wear a pad to prevent leaks from a tampon. I admit it is difficult to use at first, but once you learn the proper insertion method it is very easy. I wish this was invented years ago.

    Reply
    • Thank you for sharing your experience Stacy! I know it’s so overwhelming for some people to think about the switch, but once you’re used to it there is just no going back. :)

      Reply
  19. Thanks for the awesome article!!
    The one thing I’m a little concerned about is how I’m going to wash it.
    I will mainly be staying in hostels with shared bathrooms, where the sink is open to everyone.
    How is it you avoided washing it with onlookers?

    Reply
    • Glad you’re planning to use it on your travels! It’s actually not so tough on the road — easier than I expected. I also stayed in hostels with shared bathrooms, but you will find that there are often at least one bathroom in the place with a private setup. Or a handicap stall. And guesthouses in Asia will have small private bathrooms as the norm because they are retrofitted as communal living spaces. And if there is truly no discreet way to get to a sink, you can wipe it with toilet paper and clean it next time. I did this on hikes and places without a sink. Because it can last 10-12 hours (after your heavy day), you aren’t changing it every time you use the bathroom, like you would usually do with tampons. I usually change it three – four times on my heaviest day, then twice a day after that and it’s never been an issue. Hope that helps assuage your concerns! Between the long time it can stay in, and the ability to just wipe it clean with TP when needed, you will manage for sure. Also, if I can’t find a way to boil it, sometimes I would boil a cup of water, take it to a more secluded area and then let it soak in boiling water. :)

      Reply
  20. Love this idea! I am planning a 2 month trip to SE Asia, and this seems like a great solution to my monthly needs. Only problem I am having with buying one is how do I determine what size to buy?

    Reply
    • There are some helpful guides that list out the sizes of the cups and their lengths (I linked to them at the bottom of the post), but those only really help if you have an understanding of your vaginal canal. In general you are choosing two things, the width of the cup so that it will open wide enough and form a circular suction in your vaginal canal, and the length — these two things vary with each cup. For shorter statured people, sometimes they have a shorter canal and the Diva Cup is too long. Petite friends have reported that they prefer the Lunette. I love my Diva Cup and they tell you that if you’ve had a child or are over 30 you need the model 2 (which is a bit bigger circumference). I have the model 1 because I bought it before I was 30 and it still fits well. Think of your relationship with tampons as a guide (can you use them, can you take a super, etc). Then go read on some of those forums for more tips on selecting the right brand and size. They have a LOT of great info. You may have to buy more than one if the first is just not forming a good suction, but I promise it’s a good investment to figure it out! I would never go back. :)

      Reply
  21. to my surprise we finally have found a solution to my long vacation trips off home. i did not expect that there is something that could be done for my time of the week. great work. thank you.

    Reply
  22. I’m travelling in a few days and I was wondering if it was comfortable or anything to change your cup on the plane?
    How was it getting through security?
    I’ve read a few things online and I’m starting to get a bit worried

    Reply
    • It’s made of medical grade silicon and therefor not a problem in security checks. None at all. As for changing it on the plane, no one knows what you do in the bathroom — there is a sink, toilet paper, and a toilet, you have everything you need right there. It’s a cinch on the plane. As easy as any alternatives.

      Reply
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    Reply
  24. Hi! I’ve been thinking about getting the Diva Cup for a while now for my travels, I’m just worried about the risk of infection with the bad drinking water in parts of Asia. I’m heading to Nepal too (as I know you mentioned in the article). Was it okay for you to use the water to wash your Diva Cup? Any other travelers use it while traveling in developing countries?! Thank you! :)

    Reply
    • That’s a good question Amanda. I used the local tap water in nearly every place I visited. But I did sometimes just wipe it out and wait until I could use clean water. That’s one of the great things about the cups — they tell you that if you are in a pinch, you can just wipe it clean with toilet paper and then wash it later. Usually you will be staying in places with at least running water, so if you have to use a sketchy bathroom, you can wait and wash it later. I know a lot of travelers who use the same method and have never had an issue.

      Reply
  25. I’m glad your experience been better than mine. I was initially very enthusiastic about the cup, even though – like you, and everyone else who uses it – there was a learning curve. Even once I figured it all out, though, the cup fell far short of expectations (and it’s own claims, frankly). I have a heavy flow, which is why I wanted to try it. I loved the idea of only dealing with it twice a day. That is emphatically NOT what happened. I have to empty my cup six to eight times a day, and it’s a difficult, messy process (particularly in a public washroom). I’ve gone back to tampons – they’re just much easier.

    Reply
    • I am sorry to hear that it didn’t end up working out for you. I agree that doing it up to eight times a day would be a lot to handle considering the increased mess. I know some women report using it has lightened their periods, but it sounds like even a little lighter wouldn’t make a difference or make it worth it. Thanks for weighing in and sharing your personal experience with it! It’s important to recognize that even if you really want it to, it just might now work right for all people.

      Reply
    • One should last so long as you don’t lose it, they are made to last for maaaany years. I had mine for 6+ years now and it’s still fine. I actually just bought a new one last month because I needed the bigger size, but not because there was anything wrong with it. For boiling, I usually do it once a month. After every period I wash it really well with the mild soap and then boil it vigorously for 5 minutes. You can do it as often or few times as makes you comfortable. If I couldn’t get a stove for a couple months on the road, I didn’t sweat it. Good luck!

      Reply

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