Should You Use a Diva Cup?

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Carpino, Italy

Dear Male Readers of Adventurous Kate: I love you, I appreciate you, you make up one third of my audience, but while I know you enjoy many of my female-oriented posts, today’s post is not going to be enjoyable for you.

If you’re a dude, I suggest you catch up on a hilarious vintage post instead: like the night I crashed Vanilla Ice’s stage or when I was an extra in a really bad German movie or pretty much anything on the newly redone Best of the Blog page.

Really. Today’s post is not for you. Have a great weekend and I’ll see you Monday.

It all began with a conversation I had last night while at dinner with my friends Beth and Gayle. Gayle was talking about her upcoming speaking engagement.

Kate: “That’s great. The more you speak, the more they’ll ask you to speak, and then you’ll start getting paid to speak.”

Gayle: “Do you get paid to speak?”

Kate: “Sometimes.”

Beth: “Did you get paid to speak at the Women in Travel Summit?”

Kate: “No, but I got a round-trip flight from Guatemala and a hotel room and some swag. And a DivaCup.”

Beth and Gayle: “What’s a Diva Cup?”

Kate: “You’ve never heard of the DivaCup?”

Beth and Gayle: “No.”

Kate: “It’s a reusable silicone menstrual cup. It’s awesome. It saves you so much money.”

Beth and Gayle: “….”

Kate: “It’s great! Seriously! It’s perfect for travel, great for the environment, and you’ll never have to buy tampons again!”

Beth and Gayle: “….”

Kate: “And you get used to it. It feels like nothing.”

Beth: “Do you have it with you?”

Kate: “Um, yes. Inside me.”

And so began a long, in-depth conversation about menstrual cups and why they rock. We had such a great talk, I decided that it’s finally time I talk about the Diva Cup.

Diva Cup

First things first: this post isn’t a paid advertorial — this is just a product that I use and like very much. I’ve been a Diva Cup user for nearly five years now. I started right before quitting my job to travel the world in 2010 and have been using one ever since.

Though, in the interest of full disclosure, I did receive a complimentary Diva Cup in my swag bag at the Women in Travel Summit. Nobody asked me for a review; nobody is expecting a review; I haven’t been compensated; I’ve never even spoken to anyone at their company.

San Blas Bay, Gozo, Malta

Why should I use a menstrual cup?

There are lots of benefits to using a silicone menstrual cup, whether a Diva Cup or another kind, both as a woman and as a traveler.

1) It saves you tons of money.

If you care for a Diva Cup properly, it can last for years. How much money will you spend on tampons and pads in that time? At least quintuple what you’d pay for a Diva Cup, and that’s if you’re being super-economical.

2) It’s good for the environment.

Think of how many tampons and pads you use in a year. Imagine a giant pile. Imagine women all over the world with equal amounts of trash. Now imagine if that waste never existed.

3) No more packing tons and tons of tampons.

Not to mention tampons of different absorbencies. Just one cup in its little bag and you’re good to go.

4) You won’t have to worry about finding tampons in a foreign country.

No more last-minute Googling to find out whether you’ll need to stock up on a large box before arriving in Sri Lanka, or Laos, or Nicaragua.

5) You can wear a cup for longer than you can wear tampons.

Menstrual cups hold a lot more liquid than a standard tampon does. Most tampon manufacturers recommend wearing tampons for a maximum of eight hours, while you can wear a menstrual cup for 12. You can also insert it ahead of time when you’re expecting your period to start.

Which brings us to our next item…

6) Zero risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome.

Toxic Shock Syndrome is a potentially deadly disease that can result from wearing tampons for too long, but it’s not a factor with a menstrual cup.

7) No excessive dryness before sex.

If you are your partner have sex during your period, you’ll be dryer than the Sahara when you pull your tampon out. Using a menstrual cup keeps things slippery in all the right places.

Myoli Beach, Sedgefield

Isn’t it gross?

Not really. Whether you use tampons or pads, you’ve been dealing with your period for a long time and you know what it looks like.

Is it difficult to insert?

I won’t lie — it takes a little getting used to at first. It will take several tries before you get into a rhythm, so please don’t be discouraged in the beginning.

Because your first few tries will be hit or miss, I recommend wearing a panty liner the first few times you try a cup.

How to Fold a Diva Cup

How do you insert a Diva Cup?

Take the cup, pinch the edges together, and fold it in half until it resembles a U, as pictured above. Insert the cup inside yourself as far as it will go, let go of the edges, and rotate it in a circle until it unfolds into its normal shape. This rotation forms a seal.

If you’ve pushed it in far enough, you won’t feel it, just like a tampon.

How often do you change a menstrual cup?

You can wear a menstrual cup for up to 12 hours, which is nice — you only need to change it twice a day. I change it once at night and once in the morning.

How do you take out a Diva Cup?

Reach in, pinch the bottom of the cup gently, and pull it out. Pour the blood in the toilet, clean yourself up, and wash the cup.

You can wash the cup with gentle soap like Dove or buy a bottle of Diva Wash, which is specially formulated for the Diva Cup.

Do menstrual cups leak?

If worn correctly, menstrual cups don’t leak more than a tampon, which is rarely. I do recommend, however, that you wear a panty liner with it at first, just in case it takes a few tries before you’re inserting it correctly.

Can you wear a Diva Cup or other menstrual cup while swimming?

Absolutely. And you can exercise, take baths, hike, or do anything else that you would do ordinarily.

Can you wear a Diva Cup during sex?

I won’t say that it’s impossible, but I would highly discourage wearing a DivaCup during sex due to the nozzle on the end.

Do you need to get sized for the Diva Cup?

No. It comes in two sizes: Model 1 is for women who haven’t given birth, Model 2 is for women who have given birth.

Are there other brands besides Diva Cup?

Yes, there are! Moon Cup, Lunette, and Dutchess Cup are some of the other brands.

I can’t speak to their efficacy, as I’ve only used the DivaCup.

Where can I buy a Diva Cup for cheap?

It’s cheapest on Amazon. $27.99 for Model 1, $28.64 for Model 2.

The Takeaway

The Diva Cup revolutionized how I handle my period during my travels, saving me quite a bit of money and helping the environment in the process. I highly encourage all female travelers to give it a try.

This is not an advertisement and I was not compensated for this post — I just love my Diva Cup and wanted to write about it. However, this post does contain affiliate links. If you choose to buy through these links, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, which will help reduce the increasing costs of running this site. Thanks!

Have you ever used a menstrual cup? If not, would you try one? Share away!