Trying Out “The Cup”

I’ve been meaning to try out the Diva Cup (I will henceforth refer to it as simply “the cup” because I can’t bring myself to say “diva” in reference to myself at all) for quite some time, but every month I would mean to, and then my period would come and go and suddenly I had three weeks to deal with it, and then another period would come and go, and, well, you’ve all been there. However, two things happened in the last month which really motivated me to just get it: 1) My go-to tampon brand of choice has gone missing, and 2) I received an amazon gift card from an aunt for Christmas. Suddenly, I was tampon-less and with some extra funds. So, I just went ahead and ordered one off amazon, and it was in my possession within a week. This doesn’t mean I was eager to try it out, and sort of forgot about it until my period surprised me at my mom’s office. In the bathroom there, all they had were pads. Now, a little personal history: I haven’t used a pad since my first period 9 years ago. I get why people use them, and there have been times when I’ve wished that I did too, but I just can’t get over the diaper thing. Needless to say, I was super grumpy about it, and the second I got home I waddled upstairs, ripped open the package and got out my new cup.

I didn’t know exactly what I was expecting, but I was sort of taken aback when it was just a little cup (plus a fancy pouch and a “diva” pin, which you can imagine I put on immediately). I spent a fair amount of time playing with it — it was all malleable and clean for the last time ever. After reading the instructions quite carefully (there are several methods of insertion) I gave my hands and the cup a good washing and headed to the bathroom to figure it all out. Now, my aforementioned tampon brand of choice was O.B. tampons, which, as you may or may not know, do not have applicators, so I’m pretty used to using my fingers. However, using the cup means getting real close and personal with yourself. And by “yourself”, I mean your vaginal walls. Putting it in the first time was kind of hard, and I had to try it a few times, but it didn’t take as long as I would have thought. Your hands get a little bloody, especially during the heavier days, and so I had to do a little pants-around-my-ankles hopping back over to the sink, which was embarrassing. I mostly couldn’t feel it after I’d put it in, but I don’t think I quite put it in far enough and the tip at the bottom was sort of irritating (this continued to be a problem for me, and the instructions say you can cut it if you want, but of course I haven’t. It’s hard to remember to bring scissors in the bathroom with you).

I proceeded then to do a lot of things that tampon commercials say you can do on your period: sit on white couches, try on pants at a store, dance with your lady friends, and play sports (OK, OK, I didn’t do that last one). I was mighty pleased with myself, mostly because the thought of not buying tampons all the time was making me giddy.

I had two main problems with the cup. Firstly, putting it in takes a lot of practice, which frustrated me because I  like being good at things right away. The instructions/cup bible said that with practice the insertion/removal process should take a matter of seconds, and I’m really hoping that’s true because I didn’t always feel like I quite got it right. Sometimes I did and I really didn’t feel it, and sometimes it felt like I hadn’t put a tampon in all the way. This is probably because I didn’t trim the damn tip, but I assume I’ll get around to that. There was one particular night it was like I totally forgot how to do it and had to put it in and take it out like a million times, so that sucked. [I just realized while writing this that you’re supposed to rotate it once it’s in, and I don’t think I did that at all. Good thing I read the directions so many times. That might explain it] Secondly, it’s bloody. Like, you have to interact with your blood in a way that other methods of period-catchers (sorry, crude) don’t really require. I’m squeamish about blood in general, even my own, but I think I’ll get used to it (right? RIGHT?). All in all, the point is that I’m just not accustomed to it yet, and I need a little more practice, but I’m pretty optimistic about the whole affair.

The best thing, though, is that this is it. I just have this one thing for months and months and I don’t need to buy anything else, really. I’m excited to feel like I’ve beaten the system a little, like I don’t have to be a slave to the overpriced cotton-stick industry, and like I’ve sort of taken control of my body in some little way, or something. In general, I’m a fan of anything that requires people to experience a heightened level of contact with their bodies than is usually encouraged (or discouraged, as the case may be with periods) and it’s an exercise in body comfort that I’m willing (almost eager) to do every month (more so than most other kinds of exercise). Overall, I was pleased with the whole thing, and I’m looking forward to getting better at it, because I think in a few months I’m going to be in love.









For another person’s experience (and, frankly, the inspiriation for this post), read this.

One thought on “Trying Out “The Cup”

  1. Not gonna lie, I’ve been a part of the Diva Cup Cult for some time now, and putting it in / taking it out / cleaning it is still awkward and a little bit gross. Risk of spillage or splattering is incredibly high and subsequently unpleasant. Nonetheless, I am proud of you, Elisa!

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