Getting Personal With the DivaCup

divacupWe’re never too shy about, well, anything here on FBG when it comes to reviews. We’ve peed. We’ve poopedtwice. We’ve armpit-sweated up a storm. So when we had the chance to try The DivaCup, a reusable cup that’s an alternative to pads/tampons and comfortable during workouts? Well, that seemed as normal as reviewing a workout DVD or a pair of new running shoes.

Or so I thought. I’ve not overly shy about my vajay. In fact, I heart her. I regularly use tampons and have gotten plenty friendly with my cervical fluid through this process. So inserting something as simple as a cup up there didn’t intimidate me in the least. Although, I was very, very curious as to how it all worked and if it worked.

The DivaCup is a really cool idea. Because pads and tampons are often bleached out and made with less than desirable ingredients—not to mention have risks involved—The DivaCup, which is made of silicone, lets you feel comfortable with what you’re exposing your body to. Also, it can be worn for up to 12 hours, and it’s way better for the environment because it’s reusable. So on the whole, lots and lots of good things about it.

But—without getting too graphic—I had a heck of a time getting it, ahem, situated. The DivaCup comes in two sizes. One for those under 30 years old and without kids, and one for those over 30 and/or women who have given birth. Seeing that I’m 31, I opted first for Model 2, but after not being able to get it to feel right (like a properly inserted tampon, you’re not supposed to feel it, but I could), I downsized to the smaller Model 1. Alas, I still felt it. When you insert it, you’re supposed to fold it a specific way, get it up in the right spot, twist it and then it suctions, which keeps it in place. Maybe my whole nether region is just small, but I could get it to section and rotate, but it just never felt right, so I only kept it in for a few minutes at a time. And removing it? Well, let’s just say that the suction did its job rather well, and it took a few tries. I tried to use The DivaCup a total of three times, but never quite got it. And, honestly, since Aunt Flo was in town, it just got pretty messy. Although it does come with a super cute little flowered fabric purse for you to carry it around in when it’s clean.

Now my experience does not mean that you shouldn’t try it. And next month, I plan to bust it out again because, like I said, I love the idea of it. Not to mention that I know people who use it and love it—especially when training for races and such. And at less than $30, it’s kind of like buying a box of tampons that will last for at least a year if washed and cared for properly.

So tell us, would you try The DivaCup? Have you used it before? Think it’s cool? Too up in your business? Have any tips for me? Let’s discuss! —Jenn 

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  1. I personally love the DivaCup! I’ve been using it for the past 4 years! My roommates in college and I bought them all together and we all think they’re awesome. Not buying tampons is the best. It takes a little time to get used to the mechanics- but it stays in for 12 hours so you only change it in the morning and night and no risk for toxic shock! Seriously, it’s the best.

  2. I use it and I love it! It took some getting used to, but now I don’t have to worry about leaks! I say just keep trying…You will eventually get used to it. 🙂

  3. I tried one of it’s competitors-free sample, and I’m right there with you. I constantly felt it. I even worked out with it in, while I could still feel it, to see if moving my body would move it on up there or something, and I actually injured myself. There is no greater pain, other than childbirth, than a bruised vajayjay. It hurt for days afterward too. I’ll be sticking to tampons myself.

  4. I felt mine for the first couple of days too, probably the entire first cycle I used it. But now I would not trade it and wish I would have found out about it 20 years ago! I love being able to leave the house at that time of the month and not have to carry around extra supplies.

  5. I’ve heard of these before but I’m not sure I grasp how it works. Where does the fluid go? Is it really like a cup and it just drips inside? And are there any leakage issues? It sounds interesting but I really can’t picture how it actually works. Sounds a tad messy if I’m imagining this correctly.

  6. Hi Aisha,

    Yep, the fluid is collected in the cup, and then you remove the cup and drain out the liquid. For the time I had it in, I didn’t have any leakage. But, yes, it can definitely be a tad messy.

    –FBG Jenn

  7. I, too, felt mine for the first cycle or two, but now I don’t even notice it’s there. I have no desire to ever go back to tampons!

  8. I’ve used Instead softcups before, they are smaller and shaped somewhat differently. I went back to tampons because I just could not get over cleaning it out in the sink! I’m not even that squeamish but it’s just NOT practical, especially if you’re traveling or not at your own house when you need to refresh.

  9. I tried the Instead and just couldn’t get it positioned right. My hippie side really wants it to, but just can’t. I also have an IUD, and some of the cups suggest that they are contraindicated for those with a device, due to the possibility it can be pulled out by the suction. I suspect the risk is tremendously low and they are just CYA, but it’s also been a nail in the coffin for me. I’ll stick to tampons.

  10. I’ve used a Diva Cup for the past few years and love it. It works great for me, and sometimes I forget that I’m even on my period. On nights when I have a heavier flow, it occasionally leaks, but usually I notice immediately and wake up.

    Would recommend a try to anyone.

  11. I’ve been using Instead Softcups for about 12 years. I love them. Unlike the Diva Cup, they are disposable. Now, Instead can be worn for up to 12 hours, so unlike tampons you aren’t changing them constantly and creating a ton of waste. I see it as an environmental happy medium, you use less than tampons, but I dig that I don’t need to rinse it out all the time. Anyhow, I love, love, love, Instead! I never feel it, I work out in it all the time and I can have sex at that time of the month! It’s the best!I recommend you try out Instead Soft Cup and see how you like that alternative.

  12. I used the Diva Cup for several years. I am allergic to adhesive, so most pads are a problem. Tampons are extremely drying. The Diva Cup IS messy – when you have to take them out and rinse them it is something best done in the handicapped stall, for example. However, I did save a lot of money on the product. In my case, you know how all the literature out there says that women commonly menstruate about a couple of tblsp of blood each cycle? I would do that in an hour on say 3 of the days of my cycle, and the rest of the time, I might fill half a cup a day. I HAD to empty the cup very frequently. That was still better than tampons, although I would sometimes have to wear pads as a backup.

    I had a hysterectomy 5 years ago, but if I were stilly having a cycle, I would still be using the cups.

    One word of caution – when you’re boiling them to clean once a month, do NOT forget that you’re boiling it! I accidentally melted one.

  13. Just ready through all the comments – you can break the suction by pushing on one side, if I remember right. The biggest problem I’d have is when I had it folded for insertion and didn’t get it inserted far enough and it would snap open, it sometimes hurt.

    I also used the Instead softcups. They weren’t practical for my heavy days, but for spotting or the tail end of the cycle, it worked. It was also really great for those days that were light enough for sex, but too heavy to go without. Again, though, I had horrible, lengthy, heavy periods, which is why I had the hysterectomy!

  14. I have heard of the Dive Cup before and thought it was a little interesting if not a little weird. I am not sure if I will ever try it, but I am not opposed to the idea. It might be fun, but I don’t like messing up there in my vagina unless necessary…but maybe, just might try it. If I do I will definitely get back at y’all and let you know how it went.

  15. I cut off the weird stem thing almost immediately. That was the only thing keeping it from being immediately comfortable and easy to use. Used it for 3 periods now and will never not ever go back to tampons.

  16. I have the Diva cup and like you, I love the idea! Ive used it quite a few times and really like it. It takes a little getting used to. I had trouble getting it out. Lots of suction! It leaks occasionally, but that’s a trade off I’m willing to put up with. Go Diva!

  17. I use the Diva plus reusable cloth pads from Glad Rags as a backup on heavy days and alone on light days, and love them. I had tried the Instead previously, but it always felt a little too large for my body and would sometimes seem “stuck” behind my pelvic bone and be hard to remove. I almost always spilled it when trying to get it out to empty it. And then sometimes it would pop loose and leak badly, six hours of flow all at once. Probably because I’m smallish pelvis-wise and have a tilted uterus, plus a wicked heavy flow for three days out of six or seven.

    It took me a few cycles to truly get used to the Diva and figure out what worked best for me as far as insertion and removal methods, but now that I’ve got the hang of it, it’s a breeze and it’s no yuckier than changing bloody pads or bloody tampons. Less yucky for me, actually, because I tended to overwhelm tampons in short order and disposable pads often shredded, bunched or just plain couldn’t take my flow, which resulted in the lovely stained panties. And these are wayyyyy more comfortable than the disposables when working out, they offer far, far fewer chafing horrors if you happen to be a runner.

    I have no problems taking care of the cup at work. I either rinse it out in the shower after a morning run or if you’re having to deal with it in a bathroom stall, just bring a baby wipe or similar along. You can pop an individually wrapped Playtex Sport Wipe or something in your pocket on those days and no one is the wiser. Tip the fluid out into the toilet, reinsert, clean up with the baby wipe, get on with life. I’ve done this in high traffic public restrooms during conferences with women lined up out the door, no problem.

    I usually hit the pads with a little ProWash and often rinse those out in the morning shower, too. I’m lucky in that I have a locker/shower/restroom all to myself in the mornings and can even do a bit of impromptu sink laundry if really necessary, but you could still manage just fine so long as you have a fairly private shower or restroom stall. Glad Rags has a “wet bag” that you can put a pad in to transport it home for laundering without creating a mess.

    I often forget I’m wearing the Diva and I rarely have even a tiny amount of leakage. The cloth pads are mostly there for overnight, vigorous and general peace of mind for those busy days when you forget to empty it for eons. If you do feel it, it’s definitely worth trimming the stem a little if that’s the bit that’s bothering you. I also found it really helps if you follow the recommendation of rinsing the cup before inserting and things are a lot neater if you get it in before your flow truly kicks in. Also, I found inserting it higher was more comfortable. Initially, I think I was so worried about not being able to get it out easily that I wasn’t putting it in high enough to get it seated properly. Or it might be worth trying a different design, like the Moon Cup. I think it’s slightly more petite.

  18. It took me about three months to get used to it… but I wouldn’t give it up now!

    For me, I found that I had to put it in part way, let it balloon out a little so that the air fills it, then push it in the rest of the way. I also found that “bearing down” after I put it in was a great way to determine if it was in far enough. It shouldn’t pop out of you once you’ve got it in there. If it does, it needs to go further in. I also always give it a spin to make sure it’s sitting nicely against the vaginal wall.

    As for removing it, I just push against one side of it to break the seal before I take it out. It is messier than tampons, but nothing a little soap and water can’t fix. Overall, the awkwardness of the first three months are totally worth it to get a product this awesome working for you.

  19. I have used it for about 8 months now, and I also love it! I was definitely put off by emptying the cup at first, but I find that if I do it in the shower, it’s a lot less off putting. And since it only needs to be emptied twice a day, the other time I just do it while I’m on the toilet and wipe it really well with toilet paper, then wash it in the sink. So clean up for me isn’t much of an issue.

    I’ve never had a leaking problem, but I do notice that if I don’t clean well *down there* before I put the DivaCup back in, it will leave stains on my unders.

    The suction. It’s hard to get used to when removing the DC, I’ll admit. I’m still not quite used to it. When inserting it, I try to do a low, low squat and that seems to open things up enough to get it in there comfortably.

    As with anything, you have to look at the good and bad and decide if it outweighs the alternative. For me, I love the DC and will never go back to using wasteful, chemically treated products. It can be a little awkward, true, but it’s worth it for me.

  20. I highly recommend using it even when you are not on your period. Use a little bit of Coconut oil and try using it for a little while here and there. It’s good to use any time of the month – especially at the ovulation time – halfway through your 28 day cycle as there is extra secretions. It does take some time getting used to it but it well worth the effort. I don’t recommend trying it while on your period because you are more sensitive at that time – practice before or after!! You won’t regret sticking with it :o) I’ve had mine now almost 10 years and I’ll NEVER NEVER go back to pads or tampons!! I also have 3 daughters who haven’t begun menstruating yet but they also will be encouraged to use the cup when ready!! Before that though I will have them using natural products because of the harmful chemicals in the rest of the ‘stuff’. All the best and keep trying!!! :o)

  21. Where are you feeling it? High up? Vaginal opening? I found initially with mine that I used to wrap it in a C-shape (when folded) *around* my cervix, rather than over it. And so it would be uncomfortable, and leak like crazy. If the cup doesn’t open up properly after insertion, and feel completely open, and spin around easily, then you’ve probably still got it folded around your cervix. I have a very short vagina, and this used to happen to me all the time! One day, in frustration, I put my finger in all the way to the top of the cup, and found my cervix at the side! So after that, the trick for me was to pull the cup out a little bit and jiggle it in/out a little, which would normally get it over the cervix and it would then open up nicely & spin. Then you can just push it back up a bit. The brand new cups (I’ve just replaced mine) are a bit stiff – try boiling it in water for a few minutes before first use. Usually they soften up in a couple of days. And if the little thing at the bottom is rubbing on your vaginal opening, you can trim it a little bit shorter (but not so short you can’t get a grip on it). Despite the fact you *can* leave it in 12hrs, those with very heavy flows wont’ be able to – I’m a 1-2hr gal my first day. Really, once you’ve figured it out, it’s magic. I’d never ever go back to disposables now, and I feel cheated out of years of easy periods!

  22. I love, love, love my Diva cup..I’ve been using it for almost a yr now and so wish I’d had the nerve to try it sooner!! It has been a revolutionary experience!! My periods will never be the same!!
    I still feel the cup when it’s inserted..but it’s more of an awareness that it’s there..not much different than when I used to use tampons. I found that once I’ve inserted it, using your finger to feel around the base of the cup to make sure it’s opened properly helps. I then give the cup a full turn to get the proper seal. And I’m good to go for the rest of the day!! I also found that if it’s up a bit too high, if you “bear down”, or push as if you’re having a bowel movement, it helps push the cup far enough down to get it out.
    I have NO problems with messiness or odors like you have with tampons or pads!! Especially, if it’s emptied properly and cleaned/rinsed well before putting it back in place!! I love that I can insert the cup in the morning and I’m good to go for the rest of the day!!
    It always bothered me having to worry about changing pads or tampons everytime I went to the washroom. The amount of waste was crazy!! But now, no waste and no worries!!!
    I can’t say enough how much I love this and have been telling all of my friends and relatives about it!!!

  23. I’ve used it for a few years and absolutely love it. The first cycle or two, it took some getting used to…like you, I couldn’t quite get it to work. Stick with it though, and you’ll get the hang of it. What I found worked best: disregard the directions on the box for insertion and do what feels right. Try different things. For me, if I put it in while standing up (like in the shower), I can feel it. If I’m squatting, it won’t even go in right. I have to be sitting down on the toilet seat to get it to go in at the angle I want.

    I usually fold it loosely and then pop it halfway in, let it expand, and then put it the rest of the way in. Rotating it never worked for me (it just spins and spins), so I just try to find the place where it feels most comfortable.

    Experiment with it, especially on your lighter days. It’s quite useful, but it does take a little while to get the hang of it.

  24. I’ve been using a Diva Cup for about a year and a half now. I love it and I will never ever go back to tampons (or pads for that matter).

    I was a bit nervous when I started using it (as far as the mess goes). I used tampons at first when my period was heavier, and when my period was much lighter I tried using the cup. It definitely was difficult the first two cycles, but I got used to it. I find the rotate to suction method a little iffy. Some advice I found on a forum is to let the cup open up before you’ve inserted it all the way, and push it up. I’m not sure if that translates very well, but it works for me. To remove the cup, I pinch down one of the sides and pull it out from the base of the cup (not the stem).

    I often forget I am even on my period – I don’t feel a thing and I don’t need to worry about getting to a bathroom as often as I did with tampons. The comfort is also key for me as an active cyclist. I also feel like my period is much shorter? But this could be some sort of illusion. It also makes travel much easier because I don’t need to worry about having enough supplies.

  25. I love love love my diva cup. The thing I found that works better about getting it into position is to twist it until it pops out and makes the cup shape and then half stand up and push it ALL THE WAY up as far as I can. The post that you grab to pull it out will be irritating if you don’t really shove it up there. I even snipped a couple millimeters off the end of mine. I’m sure all vaginas are different so they made the length the best they could. It works best for me to get it into position while I’m in a standing position kinda crouched over. To take it out I just squeeze mine from the bottom of the cup as well as my stem stub while it’s still inside to pull it out. There are grippy ridges on the bottom of the cup so I assumed that was meant to be gripped. The blood usually doesn’t overflow except if I’ve left it in for a while and have very heavy flow. Mess… eh… I wash my hands when I’m done. If (ans that’s a big IF) there’s too much blood on my fingers to touch my clothes when I’m done I just wipe off with TP and then wash my hands. Best thing ever. Saves money. Happy planet. Perfect.

  26. I just started using DivaCup 2 cycles ago. My period was originally 9-10 days long, and I experienced heavy bleeding and cramps during my cycle. After using the DivaCup my cycle shortend to 5 days, after 2 days of heavy bleeding (filling the cup to brim and having to empty about 3 times each day), my period was unexpectantly lighter the last two days. I dont have as many issues as I had with pads and tampons- smell, disposal, cramping, chaffing. I love it. The best way to insert for me is in the shower, in a deep squating position, and using the “U” fold. On the very light days I use Sea Sponges as well since I produce very little blood those days.

  27. I had problems with my cup being leaky and uncomfortable until someone suggested I investigate insertion methods (U-fold) and just where my cervix was positioned on any given day. I have to adjust placement of the cup throughout my mense dependent upon how low or high my cervix is and make sure that when it is lower it is actually centered with the cup opening instead of being pushed aside by it.

  28. I’ve been using the DivaCup since I was 17.. and I’m 23 now. I love it. I agree that the first cycle is a learning experience. But once you get the fold right and learn how to properly suction (and break the suction) then it’s amazing. I use the U fold method over the toilet and to remove it I just squeeze with 2 fingers to break the suction.

  29. I have been using the DivaCup for almost a year. And I LOVE IT!!!!!!…It does take a bit of getting used too and you can shorten (cut) the stem off a bit. If you put it in too high you can feel it as well…And it can hurt..To get the cup out you do some small pushes if it won’t come out, but I just gently squeee to break the suction and slide out and dump..No mess…I hope you will try it again..I have really heavy,heavy,heavy cycles…And I can wear the DivaCup for 5-6 hours before a dump…And the Diva Wash is also AWESOME…I just bought more. 1 bottle lasted me 11 months. Hugs and take care…

  30. I’ve been using the Diva cup for 4 years now and it has been fantastic, would not go back ever! Pads and tampons (could never wear tampons as they dried me out to much and always seemed to leak anyway) are way more messy (not to even mention smelly!) than the Diva cup. Yes it did need a bit of getting used to inserting the cup but now I forget I have my period and I do not need to plan my life around when I will have my period. Also haven’t had cramps since using the Diva cup.
    Stick to it try it out for a couple of months before you give up. Also, I have removed the stem useless pokey thing that was uncomfortable, now I just softly pinch the underside of the cup and it comes out without a problem. I only once had a leak after not inserting it quite right. I do have to empty it more frequently as I have a heavy period and yes, the disabled toilet is great!

  31. There are now loads of brands of menstrual cup on the market and they all vary slightly in shape, size and softness. The Diva is the longest available and are uncomfortable for many women. The best option is to investigate other brands as well and decide what would suit you best.

    I have used both the Divacup and UK Mooncup and both of them had their good and bad days with me. Often they were wonderful and I can’t feel them at all, and sometimes they just refuse to position right and leak and feel uncomfortable – for those days I use my backup – cloth pads!

    The website I’ve listed will lead you to an awesome resource for cup info.

  32. As a person who always felt a little uncomfortable in a tampon but preferred it to the alternative of feeling like in a diaper I was very skeptic. I decided to try after reading all the reviews. It is awkward to put in and take out but compared to how ofter you have to do it 2 times in 24 hours I defiantly would forgo ever using another product again. I don’t really have to do the rotation part to know its in and popped open so I don’t and so far haven’t had a problem. Maybe for the first couple minutes after I insert I feel awkward but after that it never bothers me

  33. Don’t worry! It gets easier! I got my first DivaCup at a promotional event for $5 (can you say deal!) and was so excited to try it out, since I hated both pads and tampons and this sounded like a life-changer. The first attempts, though, were met with nothing but pain and failure and I packed that little cup away for several years. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I’d been trying to insert it through an unbroken hymen with a very small opening.

    The next time I tried it, three years later at a friend’s urging and without a hymen, it was messy and awkward, but not nearly as painful. The taking out was painful and made me panic a little, but you’ll learn a good way for yourself. Personally, I slide a finger up alongside the cup and push in to break the suction, and then kind of squeeze on one side to remove. Sometimes this causes the cup to overflow, but if I angle it properly it falls into the toilet.

    I also cut off the stem completely because I am able to reach two fingers in to grab the base and pull it down far enough to remove, and I find that helps a lot with my own comfort, but I realize not all women can do that. Also, I have never been able to get the cup to not leak… when I’m standing and walking, it’s fine, but something about when I sit down and recline makes the suction break. So I wear a backup pad the first few days (not to advertise, but I really love the Infinity for comfort for this) as a precaution.

    TMI, I know. But you asked!

    tl;dr – Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it!

  34. I absolutely love my DivaCup! I’ve been using it for a about 2 years now and I will never go back to pads or tampons! I did feel mine at first but after a few cycles, I not only figured out how to get it in and out easily but I didn’t feel it anymore.

    My first cup was a Keeper (because that’s what was available at the store) and I liked it because it was made of gum rubber so it was “all-natural.” Also, it’s a little shorter than the Diva. Ultimately I switched because I got an IUD. The Keeper is more firm than the Diva and therefore has more suction, which I worried about. In fact, it’s so firm that I never was able to figure out how to pinch it to break the suction – I’d normally just pull it out without breaking the suction first. With the Diva I have no problem breaking the suction before removing it and so my IUD is still right where it needs to be.

    One more thing and then I’ll stop – I’m an avid runner and I’m in the military so I end up doing lots of different types of work outs. I’ve never had a leak while working out and after the first few cyles, I’ve never felt it during my work out. Also, it got rid of the horrible chaffing that I had to deal with when wearing pads and I LOVE not having to worry about changing a pad/tampon every few hours when I’m deployed.

  35. I LOVE my cup! I have a LadyCup and it’s awesome. Life is 1000 x better now. I couldn’t imagine going back to pads or tampons.

  36. I have used Instead Soft Cups for about 14 years and absolutely love them! I need to try the Diva Cups to see how they compare. I think they’re a fabulous idea! My Instead cups have been this girls best friend for almost 2 decades! I say if you haven’t tried these or the Diva cup as an alternative to tampons, you should try them for yourself!

  37. I couldn’t get the Diva to work for me either, however Softcup kicks butt. It isn’t reusable so it’s not as environmentally sound but it certainly is awesome for someone with a heavy flow like mine and you can actually wear it comfortably during those intimate moments! Love the idea of the Diva as well but after trying it 3 times I think I just give up.

  38. I did a lot of research on menstrual cups after finding out how LITTLE tampon manufacturers regulate the cleaning process. (I know a man that visited a plant and they let him feel the cotton w his bare hands as they were making tampons. This was post bleaching-eeeww!) I am 33 and have had a baby vaginally, but I know I’m little. After MUCH reading, I chose sckoon and went with the littler size. It is PERFECT! There are DEFINITELY differences in size/shape between brands, so do your research . Changing it can be a little gross…def not something you can do in a public restroom…but I am beyond thrilled with my decision!

  39. You should give menstrual cups another try. They are the best. I used the diva cup and didn’t like it but someone told me to turn it inside out and use it that way. So next month I will be trying that. That being said, my favorite menstrual cup is the Lunette! Very comfortable, a little smaller than the diva cup.

  40. Hi Jenn,

    Thank you for your wonderful review. Like many new things, The DivaCup can take a few cycles to get used to with fit and positioning. Our team would be happy to offer you some tips for insertion. If interested please reach out to our team at We can certainly help a Diva out with some useful tips!

  41. Love mine! I bought it to help with my period for my first half marathon and it worked great! Once you get over the gross factor and know how it can be situated “inside”, you should be good to go! Warning, if you have a heavy flow – you’ll need to empty a lot sooner than 12 hours!