Yes folks, it’s another post full of TMI. Especially for the guys. I know that at least one of my readers will be happy, but others among you may wish to go and read something else instead.

Why not join the hockey pool while you’re waiting for normal service to resume? You have until 7pm EST today to make your first picks.


I first read about menstrual cups (specifically the Moon Cup) on an advert posted on the inside of a toilet door in Heathrow airport. I remember the occasion because it made quite the impression; I was in my late teens, and my nose wrinkled with disgust as I read the text. When I came out of the stall, one of the girls I was travelling with said “did you get the same advert as me? GROSS!!!” I had to agree – crazy dirty hippies!

However, I am now well and truly converted. A growing unease about the environmental impact of disposable products, combined with my discovery of green bloggers such as Ruchi, convinced me to look into the Diva Cup a few months ago. It took several posts by Ruchi and other trusted bloggers to get me to the stage of reading the product’s testimonials and FAQ pages, and I gradually realised that it wasn’t such a scary thing after all. So off to London Drugs I went*, and after reading the instructions very thoroughly, I made the switch.

And I aint going back.

Seriously, it’s an amazing, life-changing product. You put it in, and just forget about it for the day. I’ve never had to empty it more than twice a day, and never at work or while out and about – just once at home before leaving for the day, and then again before bed. I no longer have to worry about having the right number and kind of tampons stashed away at home, at work, and in my various bags. I also don’t have to worry about disposing of used tampons in friends’ houses or other places with no sani-bins. I can vouch for the safe and comfortable use of the cup while running, cycling, swimming, circuit training, doing yoga, and skiing**. And you know what? No string. On the one occasion that I got caught out without my Diva, I broke out the aforementioned handbag tampon stash, and found the string to be more inconvenient and gross than I’d remembered, and much worse than using the Diva.

It did take a bit of getting used to. The first couple of days were a little uncomfortable, but once I got the hang of inserting and (especially) removing it, I had no other problems. You really do need to read the instructions – there’s a right way and a wrong way to put it in. If it doesn’t open up fully, it will leak – but luckily I was using back-up that night (I highly recommend doing this until you’re comfortable with the cup). I also had a couple of spills while learning how to remove the cup – maybe wait until a lighter day before using it for the first time! I will confess to standing in the bath to remove the cup until I was sure I’d got the hang of it, somewhere near the start of my second cycle.

Is it gross? The first time was… different, but I got used to it very quickly (again, starting to use the cup on a lighter day might help to mitigate that initial reaction!) Now that I’m used to it, (and because I’m such a biology geek), I actually appreciate having a more detailed insight into my cycle, not that there’s any real practical benefit to this!

As I mentioned above, it took multiple positive reviews over a period (ha!) of years for me to even consider switching, so I’m not expecting anyone who reads this to go rushing out to the store THIS INSTANT. But I do hope that I can be one influence among many for someone who’s already somewhere along that same path.

Viva la Diva!


*For Ruchi’s benefit: the French text on the bilingual packaging says “coupe menstruelle” (menstrual cup, obviously) and “protection d’hygiène féminine” (feminine hygiene protection, duh.)

**Not until Day 3, obviously. Incidentally, the Diva is also fully compatible with moaning, whining, lying on the couch, eating chocolate, and trying to calculate the maximum tolerated dose of ibuprofen.

About Cath@VWXYNot?

"one of the sillier science bloggers [...] I thought I should give a warning to the more staid members of the community." - Bob O'Hara, December 2010
This entry was posted in blog buddies, environment, personal, TMI. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Divangelising

  1. Bob O'H says:

    Well, I'm not rushing out to the store this instant – it's closed. Even if it was open, I've no idea what the Finnish translation is. So it could be a bit awkward asking for one.

  2. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    And even more awkward to explain why you need one, presumably.

  3. Mermaid says:

    You know, there was one included in one of my race bags one year (obviously a 'women only' race) and I never did try it. I am sure it is still around, but not sure what 3+ years of sitting on the shelf will do to the reliability. Hmmmmmm, may have to think harder about it. Wonder if it is up to the challenge of an Ironman? I can certainly see the advantages in that situation!

  4. chall says:

    cath> since I am changing jobs soon… hopefully no more stalls. Not to mention no more nasty microbes that can give you aweful infections and scary sicknesses.and it isn't TMI. really. 50% or more of the population have them. Bloody days I mean, not diva cups (yet) ^^

  5. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Mermaid, I'd imagine it should be OK… the FAQ page may tell you? Chall, very true, but we have to protect those poor sensitive boys, you know (Bob is obviously more robust than most).

  6. Liz says:

    hmm, interesting. I've been thinking about giving it a try for sometime but haven't yet quite psyced myself up for it. I wouldn't have thought it would work for swimming, that's exciting to hear. Just still not sure if I'm brave enough.

  7. Natalie says:

    Just this morning, I made a mental note to put a Diva Cup on my Christmas list. Is that weird? Meh. The $45 cost is off-putting to my grad-school budget (abundance of other products left behind by moving girlfriends is a second reason).@Mermaid: Crack that thing open and give it a shot. I'm jealous you got one for free 🙂

  8. Ambivalent Academic says:

    Can you use it with a NuvaRing? I've thought about getting one too (gawd, I effing HATE tampons/pads)…but it seems like these things would not play well together. Anybody know?

  9. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Liz, like I said, I can vouch for Day 3 onwards! Natalie, it's a little unusual – depending on who's going to be getting it for you! It is an initial expense, but how much do you spend on tampons and pads in an average year?Oh, and welcome by the way!AA, the FAQ says "The DivaCup is worn low at the base of the vagina and is away from the cervix, it should not interfere with your Nuvaring®.There is a possibility that the NuvaRing® can become dislodged while using any kind of internal feminine hygiene protection. Consequently, we recommend that you consult your physician before use of any kind of internal feminine hygiene product, including a menstrual cup.Many of our customers use The DivaCup and the Nuvaring® simultaneously and have not reported any problems." I have no personal experience with this though…

  10. ruchi says:

    Congrats on becoming a Diva Convert!! And thanks for the French translations … next time a customs official catches me red-handed with mon coupe menstruelle I'll know what to say!!

  11. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Um, did you really just say red-handed?! LMAO! Nice one!

  12. The bean-mom says:

    I'm glad to hear the DivaCup is working out for you, Cath. I, uh, don't think it's for me, but nice to hear it *is* finding a market! (my little sister swears by it, too)

  13. Anonymous says:

    AA, I am confused. Why would you use the Nuvaring and the Divacup together?-Rainee

  14. Ambivalent Academic says:

    Because I start about 4 days after removing the Nuvaring and continue for aabout 5 days in total. You can only leave the Nuvaring out for 7 days in total. You do the math.

  15. Laurie says:

    I love the Diva Cup and tell everyone I know about. Glad to know you are also a convert.

  16. Alyssa says:

    I've heard so many wonderful things about it, and anyone that has ever used it seems to swear by it – but I'm still not convinced to the point of actually trying it! LOLI do like the idea of it, and not having to cart around tampons everywhere. Perhaps one day I'll convert!

  17. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Bean-Mom, it's definitely not for everyone!Laurie, likewise!Alyssa, well, keep looking out for good reviews and maybe (like me) you'll reach a tipping point!

  18. Crystal says:

    ahhh you do love me cath :)you know- i have always wondered about those cap thingies but never knew anyone who ever used them so i couldn't ask- but now i do! i appreciate the detailed review and info. now- anything that makes my period less of a pain in the ass is a good thing for me. since i'm on the pill sometimes i even just skip it all together but hat's not good when you have baby fever like i do and every month secretly wish/ convince yourself that you are preggers…anyway so yeah lately i have been having periods every month and frankly tampons freaking suck. i think i may try a diva. 🙂

  19. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Go for it!

  20. Nina says:

    Thanks for this info! I read about this somewhere else on some blog and have been thinking about it … Haven't seen it in Europe though, so my upcoming trip to Canada might be a reason to convert. I really love the idea, but am a bit afraid of the ehm, technical details. But your post is a step forward to conquer that fear

  21. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Could be! When are you coming over?

  22. Jess says:

    For ambivalent academic and anyone else who's wondering, you can use it with the nuvaring (I've done it) but you should just be careful removing it and make sure the ring doesn't fall out.

  23. redzils says:

    I'm late to the conversation, but wanted to tell Mermaid that I ran a marathon with my diva cup in a month or so ago, and it was fabulous. I was totally unaware of it, for all 26 miles.

  24. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Thanks for the info, Jess and Redzils!

  25. stepwise girl says:

    Catching up on posts… I say hurrah for the diva cup. Same experience for me: takes some adjusting but now it is really really my preferred option. I wish more places had a sink in the toilet, but in most cases it's still fine – because you go a full day on it.

  26. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Isn't it great? It's been really cool to hear how many other women are already using it. And I heard via Twitter that Crystal has been trying her brand new Diva cup for the first time this week! w00t!

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