I Tried a Diva Cup Last Night…

Warning: this post may be TMI.  After all, it’s talking about using a Diva Cup.  If you’re not familiar with the Diva Cup, it’s a menstrual cup made of silicone.  That means it’s going to be discussing vaginas, menstruation, and all manner of things related to one’s lady parts.

Not disturbed?  Then read on!

I Tried the Diva Cup...

So, as the title states, I tried a Diva Cup last night.  I’ve been making an effort to have a greener period ever since my beloved Cozy Bums started carrying Bummis Fabulous Flo pads.  (No worries, a review will be coming up on those later.)  Since my period has decided that it should be here all the time to make up for all of the years when I’d have it quarterly or less, I’m getting a lot of use out of “feminine hygiene products.”  And that’s when I discovered that single use, disposable products do not agree with my lady parts.

I sent my husband out to the drug store last night to buy a Diva Cup.  (And he, being the awesome, wonderful husband that he is, went out with a complaint.)  He came back with this.

I Tried a Diva Cup Last Night...I took it out of the package and cleaned it according to instructions.  Then I went for a bit of privacy in the bathroom and attempted to put the Diva Cup in.

I was sure that there would be some trial and error, but it shouldn’t take more than five minutes to put my brand new Diva Cup in place and move on with life.

Ha.

Nope, my husband ended up putting Norton to bed because I was in the bathroom long enough that it would have generated comments from an individual less understanding of my foibles than my husband.  My dearly departed mother would have knocked on the door and asked, “Did you fall in?”  I fought the good fight with the Diva Cup for 40 minutes.

I sat down on the toilet and read the instructions.  This doesn’t sound so hard, I thought.  Fold, insert, turn to make sure it’s all open, and you’re done.  I was confident.

I tried the “u” fold.  For the uninitiated, that’s when you press the edges of the Diva Cup together, and then fold in half.  Then comes the fun of trying to insert it.  If you’re a skillful cup user who is comfortable with handling her own lady parts, it’s a simple process that takes about as much time as using a tampon.  I, however, am not a skillful cup user, and I don’t spend much time handling my lady parts.  But still, I dutifully tried.

I winced as I scratched the labia with my short but perpetually sharp fingernails.  Still, though, I found the vaginal opening and guided the Diva Cup into place.  Okay, this is working… I pushed back, keeping the cup at a horizontal angle as per the instructions.  Of course, as the cup went in, it started to unfold.

Actually, “unfold” is not a good choice of words.  That implies something gentle, like a flower coming into bloom.  I’d say “explode” works better.  I felt a pop as the Diva Cup started to go back into its normal cup shape like it’s supposed to… and lady parts are delicate.  That “pop” felt more like a really hard thump… only in was a vaginal wall instead of knocking a knee into a table.

I gasped, fished that sucker out by the stem, and found that pulling that cruel little torture device wasn’t completely open.  Nope, the Pear of Anguish opened up even more on the way out.

This was no environmentally friendly menstrual collection system.  Nope.  It was clearly a modern day twist on a medieval torture device.  I wasn’t going to be defeated, though.  The Pear of Anguish would not beat me down.  So I tried again.  And again.  And again.  I tried for 40 minutes.  I tried sitting.  I tried standing.  I did deep breathing to relax.  I even tried in the shower so that I could attempt whatever methods of contortionism I would require for proper fit.  Of course, I tried a different fold, like one where one lip of the cup is pressed down (and looks kind of like an iris) for a smaller surface area during insertion.

Either way, though, I had the same result: it would hurt when starting to unfold, I couldn’t get it in enough, and I couldn’t turn it.

In the end, I decided that I was too frustrated and too sore to give the Pear of Anguish another go.

I crawled into bed, feeling a burning and discomfort internally, and more than a small amount of irritation that something so “simple” could be such an utter disaster.

Obviously, I can’t return the cup because of where it’s been.  I’ll give it another go when I’m over my humiliating defeat.  And I’ll also look around and see if I can find some kind of an after-market Diva Cup applicator or something to help me get that sucker up where it goes.

Have you used a menstrual cup?  How long did it take you to get comfortable with using it?

If I haven’t scared you off of using the Diva Cup, you can find it at these fluffy affiliate links: Diaper Junction, Lagoon Baby, Nicki’s Diapers

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.

Comments

  1. Shannon says:

    Haven’t ever tried the Diva Cup, but I love my Softcup! No trouble getting it in.. and they make disposable and reusable ones!

  2. The Sckoon cup works really well. I used it last month for the first time and, once I got used to putting it in, it was really comfortable (with no “popping”).

  3. Leela R. says:

    Oh no! That doesn’t sound good at all! I’ve been using a Lunette now for my last three cycles (just started up again last night in fact), but I never had that kind of trouble. Somewhere before I started using mine I read somewhere to pinch the cup with your thumb and the length of your index finger and then use your index finger to help keep the cup closed when you insert it. Your finger will get a bit messy but with experience you can slowly draw your index finger down as you insert it and the cup will still stay closed while inserting. You can also try twisting the cup while inserting and I find that it goes in fast and opens just in the right place. Don’t know if any of that made sense, but hopefully this or some other advice will help you out! I really do love using the cup now that I have the hang of it. Hang in there, you’ll get it eventually 🙂

  4. Theresa L says:

    ouch! …I think I’ll stick with my cloth pads and the occasional tampon on my heavy day…usually when using cloth pads your period shortens in length and is lighter. after 2 months mine went from 5 to 3 days and didn’t feel the need for a tampon (at least not until after baby #2-and I’m hopeful that after a few cycles it’ll return to pre-baby normal)

  5. Oh no! It sounds like it might be the wrong size? I have a Diva Cup #1 and love it. There was a learning curve. A girlfriend of mine (who has a baby already) tried the 2 but switched to the 1 because the 2 was too big.

    • Maybe? It’s definitely not working. I gave it another shot this morning… and my lady parts are not happy.

  6. hayley s says:

    Same here! It actually took me a while to figure out as well, but I eventually got it– I think the biggest thing for me was to have it wet first (in the shower) so it slid in easy, then push it up/back just a little once it is in.

  7. It did take a while to get used to! I found that having it wet can help it go in better…. I would make mine into a squishy “u” (as tight as I could make it), stick it in, and then gently twist it. When you take it out, you have to “break the seal” by pressing in a bit on the top lip or side of the cup. Then, you can take it out… Don’t pull by the little tab thingy! I hope that makes sense! The learning curve is large, but then seriously pays off- you can go 12 hours with a diva cup… It’s so nice to not have to worry about!

  8. Keep trying! It took me a few times to get used to putting in the cup. Once you get the hang of it though, it’s second nature.

    This might sound silly, but try putting a little lube on the cup when you are first learning to put it in. It’s easier to slid in faster.

    Also, figure out which way your cervix tilts. That way you know which way to aim for easier insertion.

    Once you do get it in, make sure to twist slightly to form a good seal.

    Good luck!
    Heather Johnson recently posted…Overweight and Trying to Get Pregnant: Drugs Level the Playing Field?My Profile

  9. Wow, never had much trouble with my cups (Lunette and Diva). I love them! I agree with a previous commenter – maybe you should try the smaller size?

  10. Jen5253 Range says:

    Here is a great link that shows different folds to try!

    http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/453392.html

    I do the “C” fold and kind of twist it as I put it in and let it unfold, and then I’ll push in on a side and the bottom and push it up more.

    Also, I found that the stem poked me, so I flipped it inside out. I just reach in and push on a side to break suction and then pull it out and dump it straight into the toilet. Since the sink is right next to the toilet, I can reach over and rinse it out before putting it back in.

  11. Give your ‘lady parts’ a rest so they aren’t sore to begin with. Then make sure you are relaxing when putting it in. It helps to sit on the edge of the toilet/tub and take a few deep breaths the first time. And don’t put pressure on yourself to get it right. Just casually try a few times and if it doesn’t go leave it to try again later when you’re not frustrated. 😉 Once you get the hang of it, you won’t believe how easy it is!

  12. I have been using the Diva #2 for about 4 years and there is nothing else I would ever use. There is for sure a learning curve and I watched a bunch of youtube videos and looked at tons of blogs about how to insert. One thing that I don’t do is twist, I have found that it is too uncomfortable and just not necessary. There is a “suction” type sound that I listen for and I know that it is in the right spot. I also make sure that it is wet when I put it in and that helps with a smoother insertion. I would say give your lady bits some time to recoup but for sure give it another try.

  13. Try using softcups! Not painful at all! Once you get them in once they are a piece of cake!

  14. Shelby B says:

    Have no fear my dear. You are not alone in this!! I personally have a Sckoon Cup because of how soft it is! I tried and tried for what seemed like hours and did get a good suction once. I asked their customer support if I was doing something wrong and was told it takes 1-3 cycles to get the hang of it!!

  15. Jamie Martin says:

    Could you try inserting it with some lube or something?

  16. I feel your pain! The first time I tried the Diva, I ran into all kinds of similar issues. I actually set it aside for a couple months, because I got frustrated. What I have found works, is if it open while only partially inserted, if you press on the side (so the seal is broken) you can usually complete insertion without having to pull it back out. Same applies for when you’re removing, press the side to break the seal, or the vacuum will feel like it’s trying to suck your uterus right out. I also removed the stem, that things was just a pain, and I find it works better without, because when you grasp the bottom and pinch to remove, it helps break the seal. It also makes the ‘spin seal’ when inserting easier. I think cups in general have a couple month learning curve, but once you get past that – oh, that thing is my best friend now!

  17. Mackenzie says:

    I haven’t tried that one but I have the ruby cup. It was difficult for me to get used to and occasionally still does the popping or exploding thing you mentioned. A little bit of lubricant can really help at first when you’re getting used to it. I use both hands to keep it folded until fully inserted so it doesn’t explode before it is in place. Hope this helps! Don’t give up

  18. Anastasia says:

    I prefer standing up in the shower versus sitting down.

    & on another note, Perimenopause, ain’t it a wonderful “gift”? The things no one told us about being a woman!

  19. There definitely is a learning curve, so don’t give up. I would suggest relaxing, though it’s a lot easier said than done. I find that the more relaxed my whole body is, the easier it is to insert the cup. I used Softcup prior to using Diva cup. It was a pretty good gateway cup to get me used to using cups. There is no “popping” with the Softcup like the Diva cup. Also, you might try using another brand. I’ve heard some women have luck with different brands.

  20. Angela Britz-Robertson says:

    I’ve been using a Diva Cup for 7 years now, and LOVE it. Do as others have suggested and try it in the shower – everything will be wet and you’ll likely be more relaxed. Also, I know the directions say it doesn’t need to go to your cervix, but for my body that is the only way I get a good fit. And don’t be alarmed if you feel it flick your cervix (TMI, but isn’t the subject?). The most important part for me is making sure it is open all the way – sometimes I have to rock the base back and forth to get the cup to open up all the way, but in 7 years the only leaking I expeirenced was from my IUD strings getting in the way.

  21. Sounds like maybe the wrong size. It should not be any more painful than a tampon. What ever position is the easiest to insert a tampon is the best position to be in at least until you are used to it.

  22. I am glad I am not the only one! I have and sometimes use my Diva cup. Some days it fits just fine, but on my heavy days (maybe things are more soft and swollen inside?) if I can get it to open, it will not stay in there causing intense discomfort. I have thought maybe trying a smaller one, or one of the softer styles? My uterus is tilted backwards and maybe that is part of my problem? My daughter’s is to though and she uses her Diva cup without any problems at all.

  23. You actually can return the Diva Cup by phoning the manufacturer, and they will refund you. But I think you can still make it work! You can try a little bit of lube on the cup to help it slide in better. As for the “pop” it is supposed to open up inside, once you get it in far enough, you dont even feel the pop.

  24. Standing work way better and there is a total learning curve. It took me a few tries to get it right and even now I sometimes have a fluke day when I just can’t get it in right.

  25. Standing work way better and there is a total learning curve. It took me a few tries to get it right and even now I sometimes have a fluke day when I just can’t get it in right.

  26. Cat Carter says:

    Thank you for this! I have been really wanting to try one but this is not a cheap experiment to make. 😉 All I’ve heard is glowing positives. “It went in like a dream” “nothing to it” type crap. Refreshing to hear someone post about it honestly like this. I’ll still try it myself, but I feel less compelled to scooch the budget around to rush to get one. Very excited to start my Mama cloth which will be coming any time now. 🙂

  27. Jessica W says:

    I’ve used the Instead cup for years. Absolutely love the convenience! It lacks the stem for removal, but is softer, easy to insert, and once you get the knack of removal (which didn’t take me long at all) is easy to use all the way around. Only issue that bothers me is that it is disposable, not reusable.

    Looking for something for my 12 yo daughter, and the Instead cup just seems a bit large for her. Hoping someone has suggestions for ones around her age.

  28. I really like my Diva Cup and I tried other methods of folding and they worked better than the U-fold. No complaints ever since I found “the one” method of folding! I do the “origami”- look it up on Youtube.

  29. Chelsea says:

    I used the diva cup pre-pregnancy with minial issues. I had occasional days that it wasn’t up far enough and that can be painful. Seriously, putting it in you feel like you should have an adult video in the bathroom with you because of how far up it goes. I know they have two sizes, perhaps you got the larger size and/or have a smaller vagina? My only other suggestion is that I folded mine in quarters before putting it in, fold it in half and then a little more. There is a definate thump or chirp as it opens, mine did that too, chalked that up to normal, but if you have it up far enough it shouldn’t hurt. To get mine fully popped open, into place I did a bit of a hula dance after getting it in and hearing it pop. It moves a little to get into the right location and make a seal. When I pulled it out, I pinched the sides in a little, which makes pulling a full cup out a bit messy, but prevents the painfullness of trying to pull out something larger than what you put in. I’ll admit there’s a learning curve to it and it’s not a simple one. Honestly if I wasn’t so stubborn about spending $40 on a product that wasn’t going to save me money I probably would have just given up and thrown it away.

  30. Oh man, that sounds awful! For what it’s worth, I really didn’t like the DivaCup (and I learned recently that you can sell those things used on Cloth Diaper Trader! Score!) I’m actually not sure why everyone talks about the DivaCup, because I found my Lunette to be VASTLY more comfortable and easier to insert. So if the Diva doesn’t agree with you, try another brand. They really do differ. Also, Tara had issues with the size 2 cups (even though she’d given birth vaginally twice). She had the best success with the size 1 Lunette (and their sizing instructions are actually based more on your physical features than whether or not you’ve given birth) so that might also be something to think about. Good luck next time!
    Carolyn recently posted…Made In Canada Baby Giveaway Event – Ends 7/6/14My Profile

  31. Daniele says:

    I have the Sckoon cup and I found it pretty comfortable– even thought it doesn’t quite open up completely. It still keeps a good seal and is easy for me with my short fingers and long canal to get in and out. There are some really good reviews of various cups online and are worth checking out if you are serious about a cup. I also heard that Sckoon has great customer service, though I’ve not had a reason to test that out.

  32. I have been using the divacup for years and love it!!! I always make sure to wet it before putting it in and cut the tip off for comfort. I will never use a tampon again. I only have to “empty” mine once a day except heavy days then it’s only twice a day. And the benefit of being able to put it in when I think my period my be coming later in the day is priceless. It was a learning curve at first but you will learn to love it!

  33. Damn it, Suzi… I was laughing so hard and the DH was all ‘what’s so funny?’
    Oh hell no, hunny 😉

  34. The Diva Cup was not my favorite, and it does take a good couple of months to get the insertion right and fit comfortably.

    I can remember if it was mentioned in the Diva Cup instructions or the instructions of the Skoon Cup (it is much softer and does not feel uncomfortable like the Diva – which I cannot sleep with while it is in), but after you do the “u” shape and insert (I no longer keep long nails), gently twist and slowly release until the bottom of the cup is fully round.

    I hear from other cup users (and based upon personal experience) that the Diva is not the softest and the material does not “warm” and soften to your inner lady part as it claims. The Skoon and Luna are much more comfortable.

    You could also call customer service and ask for a refund…because those babies are not cheap 😉

    • Yeah, I don’t even have long nails. 🙁 I can’t really grow them out because they’ll split and peel… but even still, they are SHARP. I’ve accidentally scratched Norton and drawn blood before. Oh, I hope they’ll give me a refund, then! (Or send me a smaller one for some kind of blogger PR or whatever.)

  35. i tried the cup but it just wasn’t for me. It hurt my stomach.. so i use cloth pads. I know. I know. “I’m a paddy girl” 🙂 lol

  36. I use the Sckoon cup and LOVE it! The first few times it didn’t work so well, leaked, I had it in crooked. But it never hurt. You sure you have the right size? I always insert it well (after rinsing with cold water). I just don’t know how I lived without it! I love how much time it saves me, no extra trips to the bathroom and I don’t even feel it, ever. Sometimes I forget it’s there and have to check, lol.
    Anastasia @ eco-babyz recently posted…How I’ve Learned to Embrace Technology for My KidsMy Profile

    • According to the site’s instructions, I got the right one… I’m over 30 and have 3 kids. However, I also find that I sometimes have issues with getting a tampon in comfortably, so I probably should have gone smaller?

  37. Chantal says:

    I found it hard to put too. 3 month of test hadn’t change it. I discovered that my cervix is at angle and the stem keeps hurting me inside. Have cut it, no change. The only time I can keep it without beeing hurt is during sleep. I now use it at night without any problem and use mama cloth during the day

  38. LOL! I think I had a similar experience at first. I have been a cup user for about 7 years, the Diva being the one that I’ve used the longest. It’s not the easiest cup to use because it doesn’t always pop open but it still works if the side is caved in a bit.

    I have a Lunette and Sckoon as well and like them both for different reasons. The Sckoon is much softer than the others.
    Regan recently posted…Confession: I’m Obsessed with Cloth Diaper LaundryMy Profile

  39. I guess, nothing is easy on the first time. Diva Cup may have been difficult to use at first, but once you’re used to it, you’ll be forever comfortable every time you have your period.
    Diva Cups recently posted…Pretty Woman Menstrual Cup ReviewMy Profile

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  1. […] been happier with having a greener period.  Even though my attempt at the Diva Cup was a rather unpleasant fail, I’m still happier with avoiding the “feminine hygiene product” aisle at Costco […]

  2. […] to have a greener period.  And a more comfortable period.  Sure, some of my attempts have been a momentous fail… but using Oko Creations mama cloth has been the closest I’ve ever been to having a […]

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