The DivaCup. Image by Beth Santos.
I’ll admit it: When DivaCup sent me one of their models to try out (Read our disclosure statement here.), I was skeptical. I’m not particularly adventurous when it comes to my nether regions: It took me years to even consider wearing a tampon or try a birth control pill. I tend to leave those options to the more “tried and true” methods my mother taught me, and a silicone cup that you shove into Little Beth was definitely not one of them.
Yet many of my friends, especially adventurous Go Girls like Erica, were insisting I give it a try. They lauded its portability and travel friendliness. And after remembering my days of using a squat toilet in Haiti during “that time of the month” I figured every possible solution was worth one shot.
Did I love the DivaCup right away? Not really. Could I love it? Absolutely. Here are 6 things you didn’t know about the DivaCup.
1. You really, really get to know yourself.
Forget all that “feminine discretion.” When you’re first trying out the DivaCup (and as I hear, through many future uses) you get really comfortable with yourself. I’m talking full hand in, feeling around for gaps, pressing on tissue, you get the deal. The DivaCup sits lower than a tampon, and creates a liquid-proof seal if you insert it correctly and twist. There’s definitely a process to it, and you’ll find yourself inserting it and taking it out a few times before getting it right.
I’m 28 years old, and using the DivaCup was possibly the first time that I’ve really examined what comes out of me during my period. Like REALLY looked at it. In a crude way, it’s kind of fascinating to have it all there in a little specimen cup.
2. It takes practice.
I would highly recommend not throwing the DivaCup in your suitcase and taking off for a year in transit without feeling comfortable with it first. There’s definitely a learning curve in figuring out the best way to insert it and the (moderately hilarious) process of removing it. (Hint: You have to “use your bowels.”) I’ve heard some horror stories about the bloody outcome of putting it in wrong, but luckily I didn’t have any experience like that.
3. You can pee with the DivaCup in.
Which apparently is news to only me (as per the comments below), who, being raised by a mother who exclusively used pads, didn’t know that you could actually pee with a tampon in as well. So if there’s anyone else out there like me, now you know.
And if this is old news to you, then think of an awesome feature that hasn’t been mentioned yet and share it in the comments!
4. It’s (mostly) perfect for every situation.
I say mostly because it’s best if you clean the DivaCup between uses, which means you might want access to a sink and some soap, and probably a private sink at that. This isn’t always possible in the world of a traveler.
The good news is, if absolutely necessary, you can wipe it clean for the time being and save a proper cleaning for a later use. I don’t know about you, but I might not be super crazy excited about putting a used menstruation cup back inside before giving it a good rinse, though.
Check the comments for some great insight on how to use a DivaCup when you have an outhouse available to you.
5. It hides easily.
Hidden so coolly you’d never even know it was there. Photo by Beth Santos.
Unlike my bright green- and orange-wrapped pads that shout “HELLOOOO WORLD!” every time I open the “special” zipper in my purse, the DivaCup comes in a cute little drawstring bag. No one would know the difference if they came across it laying around your hotel room or in your day pack. It’s as discreet as can be.
6. It’s possibly one of the most cost-effective purchases you’ll ever make.
Imagine never having to purchase pads or tampons again – for years. That’s what life with a DivaCup is like. If you spend $10 like the rest of us on supplies every time you have your period, you’re already saving $120 a year on a $35 cup. Not to mention, you’re not contributing a shopping bag’s worth of waste each month to the landfills, so it’s remarkably eco-friendly.
Is the DivaCup for everyone? Absolutely not. If you’re not comfortable getting intimate with your bodily fluids or not open to inserting foreign objects, the DivaCup is probably not going to be your best friend. But if you’re committed to finding ways to save the environment and your wallet, you might be really pleased with what DivaCup has to offer.