The PERIOD Series: Why Bare Marriage Loves Diva Cups!

by | Aug 24, 2020 | Uncategorized | 21 comments

How Diva Cups Menstrual Cups can Transform Your Period
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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!

Menstrual Cups in Africa

Demonstrating how a Diva Cup sits inside

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)

Cutting the flannel for the pads

Making flannel menstrual pads

Making the pads on their manual sewing machines

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!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Blog Contributor, Author, and Podcaster

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8. Check out Why I Didn't Rebel, or follow her on Instagram!

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Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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21 Comments

  1. Abby

    So, I bought a diva cup 1 a few years ago and could never get it to work. I felt it constantly and even when I tried to break the seal to get it out, it maintained the suction and hurt badly. Do you have any advice on this? Is there a different brand I could try or should i shoot for the smallest one?
    I’ve been using menstrual discs ever since – they fit like a diaphragm but are disposable. I would like to move toward something more cost-effective/non-disposable. Any tips?

    Reply
    • TigerGirl

      There are brands of reusable dica, such as Nixit.

      Reply
    • Laura Grace

      You can check out Put A Cup in It to compare lots of different kinds of cups — how they fit, how firm or soft they are, how much they hold, how they’re shaped, etc. I chose a really soft one that’s fairly narrow. And you also have to make sure that it’s high up enough! If you can feel it, it isn’t inserted properly.
      But yes, if you prefer discs, there are reusable discs now!

      Reply
      • Cari

        Yes, different sizes and there are cups with different shapes and depth and you need to find one that works with your cervix. I used the diva cup for years and it was never perfect but I liked it so much better than tampons or pads…BUT I found a gal online that shows each cup and I ended up buying the Salt brand (which is bell shaped and not oblong like the Diva) because my cervix sits low. The gal online tells how to figure this out with your finger and when you can touch your cervix you measure by knuckles …and it will let you know if you need an oblong cup or a shorter more bell shaped cup. Once you figure this out you’ll never go back.

        Reply
        • Francie

          Hi Cari, which gal is this that shows you how to know what kind to buy??

          Reply
          • Cari

            You tube : Red Herring
            She compares and shows you every type of menstrual cup out there. Her videos are super helpful. One of her videos explains how to check to see if you have a low, med, or high cervix. 😊

    • Ruth

      From what I’ve heard, Diva cups are one of the ones that use a stiffer silicone. When I was buying one, I opted to start with a softer one, and bought a Luna cup. It’s supposed to be quite a bit more pliable than the Diva cup, and might help. 🙂

      Reply
    • Kya

      Check out the website PutACupInIt.com! There is a 9-question quiz you can take about your period, and they will recommend a cup for you at the end. (Their Facebook group is also a great place to troubleshoot cup issues and questions but be warned, it definitely isn’t a Christian group.)
      Diva Cup worked for me until I had my daughter, but when my period came back postpartum, it leaked like crazy, even though I sized up like I was supposed to. I tried another brand that was only a marginal improvement, and then someone recommended this quiz to me. It recommended the Saalt Soft cup, so I ordered one, and it has been PERFECT. More comfortable than Diva and no leaks! Definitely try the quiz if your current cup isn’t working for you.
      There are reusable disk brands out there, but I’m not terribly familiar with them. The website I recommended has info on them, too, though.

      Reply
  2. Leann

    Luckily I’ve had very few periods in the last 2.5 years – thanks babies! But have read so much about these since then & think I’m definitely going to try one day!

    Reply
  3. M

    It took me about four cycles to get the hang of a menstrual cup, but ever since it’s been A-MAZING. Mine leaked slightly a few times at first because I didn’t have it in right. So if you try one, give it several cycles to get used to it, and try a different size/brand if needed. They’re so much more convenient than pads or tampons, plus they’re better for your body, the Earth, and your finances.

    Reply
  4. Becky

    It is a great idea, and I wish it had worked for me. I never had luck with tampons, but I gave it a try during the first year of my marriage. I could never even get the thing in, no matter how many different folds or videos that I tried. I know now that it was due to my vaginismus, but at the time, it caused a lot of frustration, and I ended up throwing it out. Maybe I’d have better luck now that I’ve had a few kids and PT and everything, but I just haven’t been able to bring myself to try again. I did use cloth pads before I was married, and would like to go back to that, because I really do think I cramped less with those than the disposable kind. It’s just finding the time/motivation to finish sewing them.

    Reply
  5. Bethany Persons

    Can anyone help me with this? My youngest child is about to turn 1, and my period came back about 5 months ago. For the first time in my life, tampons increased my cramping, so I decided it was a good time to try a diva cup. Well, it caused just as much cramping, if not more. I didn’t have issues with insertion or making a seal, it just felt like all the muscles down there were activated by the presence of something in my vagina. I would like to find a reusable option, but I am not interested in buying all of them in the search, esp if it turns out the problem is my pelvic floor or something like that. Thanks in advance for any tips!

    Reply
    • Bethany Persons

      Forgot to mention, I have four children, 6 and under.

      Reply
      • Elsie

        I don’t have any advice about the diva cup but there are companies that sell reusable pads. There’s also companies that sell period underwater that absorbs menstrual blood like Thinx. I haven’t personally tried any of these but it’s great that there are different options available. Tampons always made my cramps worse too and I couldn’t get the diva cup to open inside me or stay in place. I gave up after spending 20 minutes squatting on the bathroom floor and panicking because I couldn’t get the cup out. But that was a few years ago so maybe I’ll try a different brand of cup at some point. Hope you find something that works well for you!

        Reply
  6. Teressa

    I was so thrilled to discover menstrual cups 6 or 7 years ago! I feel so much cleaner that time of the month compared to using pads. There was about a 3 month learning curve till I had really figured it out, how to fold it most comfortably to insert (there are actually a few different ways). Now I’ve had 6 babies, and after the last 3 I almost couldn’t wait for my cycle to start again…ha! My oldest daughter has started her cycle and uses cloth pads; I was never sure if the cup was ok for young teens to use, what with the hymen. I remember using a tampon for the first time at a youth retreat and it broke the hymen– not that I knew what it was then; would/ could a cup do that?

    Reply
  7. EOF

    I tried the diva cup years ago but had trouble getting it out, so I gave up. Now I’m in love with the period underwear. My cramps are almost nonexistent since using those regularly.

    Reply
  8. Melissa

    So what if you are over 30 but haven’t given birth?? Can you not use a diva cup??

    Reply
    • Rebecca Lindenbach

      Just figure out which one you would be comfortable using/would fit your needs! These are based on the things that increase a woman’s flow and her relative “stretchiness”, so a woman who has given birth may require a larger one and be more comfortable with a larger one than a woman who has not had children before. But it’s all a matter of personal preference/comfort!

      Reply
  9. Anitra

    Using a cup helped me realize just HOW MUCH fluid I lose when menstruating, and has given me data I can bring to my doctor.
    As someone with a really heavy flow, a cup has also made it possible to have a “day at the beach” or any water activity where bathrooms aren’t easily accessible. Even with a tampon, I couldn’t guarantee leak-proofing for more than an hour or so. (I also wear it overnight, which has made nighttime leaking a rare worry. Before the cup, I could guarantee that I would leak at least once onto my pajamas and sometimes onto the sheets. )

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I really do think that’s one of the overlooked benefits–now you can say, “Hey, I really am heavier than normal! I’m not just complaining!”

      Reply
  10. Nisha

    I’ve been using a cup since I discovered them at university over 20 years ago. Never looked back. They are brilliant and you never run out of products at an awkward time. So easy to use once you get the hang of it (twist it around once to get the seal) and good to go for the whole day. My teen is a bit nervous to use a cup but I got her a set of cute reusable pads and she loves those. Says she likes them better than disposable pads because they don’t leak and they don’t have adhesive that catches in awkward places! 🙂

    Reply

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