Success! More reader mail! We asked a question about the Diva Cup in one of our recent posts and reader Dee was kind enough to share her experience with it. Thanks, Dee! You’re the best. By the way, everyone is welcome to write to us. Our email address is to your right. Don’t act like you don’t see it.
I first found out about this magial contraption when I was touring with my former hippie rock band. This was long before I owned one, though. At the time, my band was poor and living in a van, and we had been touring for weeks on end. I got my period and wasn’t prepared and the entire band (and yes, I was the only female) was crashing on the floor of a UVM residence hall, miles from any pharmacies, and even further from any of those awesome 24-hour CVS pharmacies they have in the US. We’d all had a few beers, and nobody could drive me to one so I started asking around for supplies, a task I’ve always loathed, even with women I KNOW, let alone women I DON’T know.
A few tries produced nothing, and then I asked this girl Jenny (I even remember her name!), and she said, “Sorry, I use a cup.” I was dumbfounded. Because I’d had a few beers, I was like, “What do you mean, a cup?!” and she explained to me about this hippie-dippie device, whose benefits include not having to stick bleach or chemicals up your vag, no leaks, no need to change it every 4-6 hours, less material waste and less cramps. I was intrigued, but immediately forgot about it, and some other girl finally found me a pad (yuck! I hate pads – FIY, Melissa, I slept with tampons in all the time before I got the Diva Cup and my cooch is fine!).
Years later, I was talking with some staff members at the summer camp I worked at, and some guy said that he’d heard of this thing, the Diva Cup, which enabled women to have sex when on their period (don’t get excited, ladies & gents, you can’t – he was wrong). Intrigued by THAT idea, I researched the thing, immediately remembering my long conversation with Jenny at UVM. I found out that he was wrong about the sex-on-period thing, but liked the idea of being less wasteful, and since I had just had my first yeast infection, I liked the idea of not putting bleached tampons up there, and since I was POOR, I LOVED the idea of a one-time only fee of under $40 (at that price, if I didn’t like it, I’d just chuck it!). I tried about 12 natural product stores in Montreal before locating one in my size (finally found it at McGill’s Shag Shop, located at their downtown campus, but you can also buy it at the MacDonald campus). My first few periods with it weren’t the best, because you have to figure out how to put it in properly for YOU; all women are shaped differently. I suggest wearing a pad with it until you know you’ve got the hang of it.
For those of you whose interest I’ve peaked, here is a little more detail:
The Diva Cup is made of surgical-grade silicone. It comes in two sizes – pre & post baby. It sits very comfortably in your lower vaginal canal, and doesn’t have a stupid string on it that gets stuck around your thong. You never have to carry tons of female supplies with you, and provided that you’ve inserted it properly, you never have leaks. Seriously, I’ve been using it for three years now and how many leaks have I had? Zero. That’s right. Not one. You don’t have to change it a million times a day, either – you can wear it for 12 hours straight. I change it at night and in the morning. It can hold most women’s entire menstrual flow (as in the whole week), so no need to worry about it overflowing, though you wouldn’t want to experiment with leaving it in that long – ew. You can wear it overnight! You can go get a brazilian wax with it! It’s just changed my life.
That being said, here are one or two slight downsides:
You gotta be really comfortable with sticking your fingers up your bloody pussy. It’s no big deal, you’re gonna wash them in a second anyway, but if you’re one of those people who can’t use a tampon without applicator, the Divacup may not be for you. Also, after a serious shit, it might take a few minutes for it to settle back into its normal position and feel uncomfortable during this process. But whatever. At least you don’t have a shit-coated string hanging out of your vagina for the next few hours, right?
In closing, I would like to thank that random hippie at UVM campus who changed my life. Jenny, you may not have had a tampon for me that night, but you are awesome. I’d also like to point out that I don’t wear Birkenstocks, I am not vegan, I don’t have dreads and I shave my legs.