Friday, July 26, 2013

Diva Diaries: The Truth About Your New Menstrual Cup

Diva Diaries: The truth about your new menstrual cup

I recently made the switch to a menstrual cup after months of debating and research. Before I get into too much detail, here is your disclaimer that this post is about periods and vagina. If you have either of those two things, I suggest you stick around. You just might learn something.

I have been wanting to make the switch to a cup for some time now. I would vow at the end of each cycle that I would be sure to get one before another 28 days passed. Then life would go on and all the sudden my lady days would come around again. I would just reach for whatever was under the sink and make the same promise to my vulva all over again.

Then one day, while walking through a local grocery store, I saw the Diva Cup on the shelf. I had passed it many times before, but today happened to be the day my lady days were scheduled to arrive. I added it to my basket and headed home.

I was actually excited for my period this time because I would get to test out my new Diva Cup. It ended up making it's appearance the next day. I pulled out my contraption and read through the instructions. This step is a must for new menstrual cup users. There is definitely a learning curve and a period of adjustment. That's why I decided to write these Diva Diaries, to share how things really are when switching to a reusable menstrual cup. The stuff no one really tells you.

My Diva Cup

Day 1: 

I was really excited to give it a go. I washed my hands and cup and proceeded to fold my Diva Cup. I know there are many folds out there for inserting a cup, but I decided to keep it simple. I went with the suggested "U" fold, or as some affectionately call it, the taco fold. Luckily The First Mate was still sleeping, so I could have the bathroom to myself to figure this out for the first time. I squatted with one foot on the toilet seat and gave it a try. I inserted the folded cup and pushed it horizontally and up as far as it seemed it needed to go. The instructions also state to rotate the cup a full turn to ensure it is opened. This part was tricky, but there are little ridges on the cup, and that helped. I guessed that I had done it correctly, and cleaned up and got ready for work.

The "U" or "Taco" Fold
The "U" or "Taco" Fold
On the drive to work I couldn't really think of anything else other than my cup. I felt it, I knew it was there. I hadn't trimmed the stem because I didn't want to cut it too short and not be able to reinsert it in the future. I found myself doing funny wiggles and squats throughout my workday to get things adjusted more comfortably down there. 

All in all, on day one I removed and reinserted my cup 3-4 times because it just didn't feel quite right. 

Day 2: 
This was a bit better and I didn't mess with the cup nearly as much. However, while putting The First Mate down for the night I sneezed. I thought for sure my cup had just jettisoned itself out and accross the room. It was a truly uncomfortable moment and I resorted to social media for input.

I reached out to some other cup users in a private mommy Facebook group and got some great insight. It seems I was wearing the cup too low. I tried again to get it as high as I could get it. I'm still not convinced at this point a cup is for me. My doctors have always commented on my high cervix, maybe I'm just not built for it? I mean, my reach is limited. As I did my best pickle-jar claw inside my vagina, I was reminded of Punchy McShort Fingers. Maybe it wasn't really her fault. Finally, the cup was in, and it was better. My Facebook moms also assured me it takes multiple cycles to really get the placement down. 

Day 3: 
By day three, (I'm blessed with a 3 day flow) I was more confident and didn't mess with it nearly all day. I had gotten the placement right, but my technique is still sloppy. It takes me far too long to remove and reinstall in my bits. On top of it all, I have a nosy toddler who cares nothing about privacy. That made for some interesting moments. 

So all in all, after one cycle I am not in love with my Diva Cup. However, I will absolutely keep giving it a shot. I don't want to worry about moldy tampons or soggy pads. Another TMI bonus of a cup is no odor. Your flow never touches the air when using a cup, so there is no opportunity for odor to develop like with a pad or tampon. 

I'll keep you updated on my vaginal adventures each month if there is more to share. If you'd like to get your own Diva Cup they are available in my Ship Shop or through my amazon affiliate link here:

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