We love Diva cups. They’re awesome, and they can change your life.
We’re at the end of our period series this week. We’ve talked about the shame that we often feel as teens about our periods; how to help guys understand periods; when to call the doctor; sex and your period; and more. We have a few more things to wrap up, but this is the last big post.
And for the last one, we wanted to dedicate a post to something that so many of our commenters have sworn by, and that we’re passionate about ourselves: Diva cups.
(and this post contains affiliate links)
A Diva cup (or menstrual cup) is a reusable silicone cup that is inserted in the vagina to catch menstrual blood.
It replaces pads and tampons. It can be worn for up to 12 hours. Then you just take it out, dump the contents in the toilet, rinse it out, and reinsert it. Once it’s in, you really don’t feel it. It molds to the shape of your body, making leaks far less likely. And it saves a ton of money over its lifetime, because you don’t have to buy disposable products!
It’s Rebecca here on the blog today, and I first heard about menstrual cups when I was doing research for zero waste living. I thought, “that’s interesting!” Also, a lot of people said it helped with their cramps because they weren’t putting chemicals anywhere near the you-know-what, and it helped with leaking. Since I both cramp and leak, I thought, “Woo hoo!” So I decided to give it a go.
It did take a little bit to get it working and figure out how to make sure it’s fully opened inside the vagina. But once I understood how it worked, I’ve used it ever since.
Now menstrual cups aren’t for everyone. If you don’t get the right size, they can be irritating (which is why they come in different sizes). And you can’t be squeamish and use them. You have to be comfortable reaching up inside the vagina to squeeze the cup (to release suction) to remove it. But as long as you can do that, or as long as you’re willing to try to learn, I think they’re wonderful.
Common Questions about Diva Cups
How do you get Diva cups in?
You just squeeze in half vertically (so that it makes a U-shape), and then you insert it, wiggle it around a bit so that it vacuum seals, and then you’re good to go. But there are lots of videos that give you tips on how to do it right, like this one:
How do you get Diva cups out?
You put one finger in enough to break the vacuum seal, and then you pinch the bottom and pull it out. It sounds a lot more complicated than it is! Really, just push in until it’s not stuck, and pull it out. It’s easier to get out than in, because after it’s been in for 12 hours it’s warm and more pliable from your body temperature. Again, there are lots of videos to give you tips on this.
How do you change them in a public washroom?
You take it out, dump the contents in the toilet, wipe it off with toilet paper, and put it back in.
How often do you clean it?
Every single time you’re home, you rinse it when you change it. And then after every period, you do a deep clean with boiling water and a toothbrush. It doesn’t take very long.
Can you feel menstrual cups when they’re up there?
You shouldn’t be able to. If you feel anything, it’s often the knob at the bottom, but you can snip that off and it doesn’t harm the cup. When it’s inserted properly, you feel it less than you feel a tampon.
You just get the size that’s right for you, and it works!
Model 2–For Women 30+ who have been through childbirth
Model 1–For Women 19-30 who haven’t given birth
Model 0–For young teens
Can teen girls really use Diva cups?
There’s nothing anatomy-wise that means they can’t physically use it, but some girls certainly will be squeamish, and you don’t want to have a girl insert it and then be too squeamish to take it out, or to tell you if she’s having a problem.
(And if you do have trouble inserting a tampon or a diva cup while still a virgin because you’re too tight, it’s wise to get checked by a doctor before marriage to make sure you don’t have a thick hymen or vaginismus).
But many girls don’t have a problem with this at all, and will find it very empowering. And a lot less worrisome, since you don’t leak.
Why not ask your daughter and see what she thinks? We talked about them in our older version of The Whole Story course, too–our puberty course for girls. We don’t say that any girl SHOULD use it or should feel badly if they don’t want to. We just presented it as an option so they know it exists.
We personally recommend these for older girls more, simply because they do require care. You do have to change it every 12 hours, and it is a more complicated procedure than just tampons or pads.
There are lots of girls in the diva cups forums who use them at 13 or 14, though, so see what your daughter wants to do!
You're telling me WHAT goes WHERE?!
Talking about sex with your kids doesn't always go smoothly.
That's why we created The Whole Story, our online course that walks parents through the tough conversations and does the hard parts for you!
We really think menstrual cups are a revolutionary way of handling periods.
In fact, there’s a concerted effort underway in Africa to help women and girls use them, because they’re easier to clean and run less risk of disease spread than pads, and they’re reusable. Pads and tampons are very expensive for most people, and are the #1 reason that girls miss school. Getting women and girls comfortable with using menstrual cups can change everything. The wife of the Ugandan President has done a huge effort to change Uganda in this regard, and has been rather successful, even taking them into refugee camps.
When we were in Kenya, we brought several dozen to introduce to the staff at the children’s home where we were working, and the women were so excited about them because of the thought of how much money it could save them. This really is a big blessing! So I had a great time explaining how to use them!
We also brought a lot of flannel over to show them how to make reusable pads, too! (Especially since they can make and sell them as a business when they graduate)
Reusable menstrual products just make sense.
They’re better for the environment. They tend to be much more comfortable. And, in the long run, they’re far cheaper!
And so many swear by menstrual cups.
So if you’ve always wondered, and you’ve never taken the plunge–maybe now’s the time to try!
Do you use a menstrual cup? How do you find it? Let’s talk in the comments!
Blog Contributor, Author, and Podcaster
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