Dear All Betches Everywhere:
An open letter about menstruation. Read further if you dare. If you don’t want to read about a potentially uncomfortable topic I would suggest you stop reading now. Men especially. But women, you’re welcome…maybe? Whatever. Here we go…
A few years ago, one of my BFF’s informed me of a product called “Diva Cup.” Basically, that she started using it and that it is life-changing, once you get used to it. She uses it, has been for quite a while and apparently loves it.
Click the Diva Cup link above or just Google it if you want to learn more about specific details. Basically, Diva Cup is made for females as an alternative to using tampons or pads during menstruation.
It’s a silicone “cup” that you virtually insert inside of yourself and it captures the blood. Benefits are that you can leave it in for up to 12 hours, it’s a 1-time cost of under $30 and lasts for a few years apparently (instead of spending a lot of $ on tampons/pads) and sort of saves the environment (less waste) and your septic systems! Score! Win! Great, I’m interested… let me find out more! Headed straight over to Amazon.com to order this puppy and give it a try… and by heading straight over, I mean I contemplated doing that for approximately 2 years and finally did when I had an Amazon gift card over the summer and was bored because I didn’t have a real job. Whatever…
I tried this product, not one time, not two times, not three times, but FOUR freakin’ times. I think that should suffice as me giving it an actual try… and certainly not just “giving up.” Even though, that is essentially what I did…. every. single. time.
Maybe for some women, Diva Cup is the end-all, be-all solution to menstruation. It does offer some great benefits. The problem with those benefits, are that I don’t exactly give a shit about them. I mean – I tend to be on the eco-conscious side of things in life – however, I don’t really 100% care. Do you? Do you really think that not using tampons is going to save the world? OK, fine if you do. Next, I want my body to be 100% healthy and try not to willingly induce tons of toxins inside of it, but I mean – I’m not 100% convinced that TSS (toxic shock syndrome – from keeping tampons in for too long) would ever even happen to me. I have to switch my tampon far too frequently for that ever to be a problem… so in reality, there is not a specific cause that’s leading me to really want to use this product. So I’m having no or low expectations and just giving it a whirl.
All of my viewpoints are speaking from a “first time user” perspective…. and after the 4th month of trying Diva Cup, I still feel like a “first time user”…. which is already saying something. Yeah, things may get easier and you can get used to it after time passes. But this was not easy to “get used to.”
Inserting Diva Cup is not easy in my opinion, AT ALL. On the instructions paper (yes…) there are 2 diagrams of 2 different techniques to “fold” the cup so that it inserts into your vagina in an easier way. I tried both. Several times. And failed. Several times. It’s also worked. Several times. But then later failed. Several times. (I’ll get into that later…) It’s also bigger than a tampon… when folded. So like, enjoy shoving that up into your vagina. I was considering using lube, but then….what? no, Ashley – bad idea. What? UGH. Didn’t.
If you’re lucky enough to get the insertion correct, GREAT JOB! Woohoo! You got it in and this silicone cup is now up inside of your vagina – score. Basically your vagina eats this thing up and good the fuck luck trying to get that puppy out again…. (those were my first thoughts). But then the instructions go on further… saying, now you must ROTATE this cup 360 degress! UM….. WHAT?!?!
So there’s a little tube looking piece (you can see it in the diagram above) that would compare to a tampon string and would essentially help you remove your cup when you’re ready to do so. But it specifically states on the directions, do not use this to do your 360 degree spin. I tried, they’re right… basically that thing is not going to spin. So you have to reach your fingers inside and squeeze them up against the sides of your vagina to hopefully grab the cup and do a full “spin” of 360 degrees on the cup. On separate occasions I’ve either done the spin, or I’ve avoided the spin. Avoiding is a poor choice. Basically, you have to do the spin so that the cup “unfolds” and slides into the shape of your vagina and so that it can open fully to catch the blood. If you do not spin it could potentially stay sort of folded inside of you and either not open at all to catch or just sort of open and either way you’re going to get MAJOR LEAKAGE. Which IMO is a MAJOR PROBLEM.
Ok, so say if you complete this step (DOUBLE SCORE!) and you have your Diva Cup inserted. You’re a fucking all star if you’ve made it this far. Now starts my rant about the biggest product flaw that I see with this product. I wish I would show you what I mean by this ,so I think I’m going to draw it. So you can see exactly what I’m talking about. Otherwise, it’s confusing. Please hold….
Dude – This is my SOOOOO not technical and obviously NOT TO SCALE diagram. Hand drawn. LMAO — I actually can’t with this one, and I think I’ve truly out-done myself. I can’t believe this is what I think a vagina looks like. I’m probably way wrong, I don’t care though. This is what I want to tell you!!!
The part of the wall of your vagina still has blood on it that is never going to get caught by the Diva Cup because it just will never have the opportunity to. It’s below the Diva Cup opening. Gravity says that this blood will come out of you… so virtually every single time you remove / re-insert your Diva Cup, you’re going to still bleed out that amount of blood.
I would always recommend using a light panty-liner or thin pad each and every time you’re using this product. Which sucks and is a total fucking bummer and completely defeats the purpose of the whole process at all… am I right?
The purpose of a tampon is to avoid wearing a pad / diaper. Keep it all inside so there’s less chance of a mess on the outside. Diva Cup in theory should keep it all inside and let you go for much longer extended periods of time without having to change tampon or have it pushed out if you use the bathroom in any other way…. so that’s cool. Except it does not.
Further, using this product is fucking gross because it gets you DIRTY. For example, when you do use Diva Cup successfully (me, every time). Or say even if you somewhat use it successfully. You eventually finally have to remove it. Removal will be 100% messy and gross. Aside from that, it sort of will sound like suction cup or plunger when you’re removing it. Think about making that noise with a product that’s coming out of your vagina. And immediately you’re going to want to die / vomit. You pull it out of yourself and try not to get blood all over yourself – your hands, your toilet seat, your floor? WTF, not okay. Then it’s going to be a total fucking murder scene. This thing is going to be full of blood, so you then…. dump it out into the toilet. Great. Now there’s excess blood / tissue, whatever the F is left on it. VOM DOT COM. So what are you instructed to do? Clean it out. So yes, you have to physically go to your sink and rinse this out. Aka more touching with your hands. And you should use a mild soap obviously nothing that will irritate the inside of your vagina because then… other problems when you put it back in there. Worst.
My biggest fear / concern is what if you’re out of your own fucking home? Are you going to change this thing in a public restroom? The noise factor is already a problem here for me. Not okay. Next, when you’re finished removing.. oh let me just flush and go out to the sink and clean out my bloody Diva Cup… which takes a minute or so… and oh, now let me get back in that bathroom stall there and re-insert my Diva Cup.. in whatever awkward position I decided to get into to actually figure out how to get this cup inside of myself. Hopefully on the first try, sometimes on the third try, though. And if there’s a line in this restroom, I’m sure all of those other women waiting in line will totally understand what you’re doing… NOT! They’re gonna be like wtf does this weird girl think they’re doing?! Playing with her period? What is she like a 3 year old toddler playing with finger paint? UGH. Ew. I rest my case. Except, unfortunately for you, I’m going to keep writing.
Diva Cup failed me. Every time I tried it. And I always got it in wrong. Which is painful. I always felt it. Tampons I never, ever feel. Maybe because I shove it far enough up there or just a normal amount because I’m normal? … and I never feel it. This thing I feel when I’m sitting on the couch, I feel when I’m working out or walking around even. Not 100% feel it but most of the time I did. Maybe I was hypersensitive to knowing it was there. But with a tampon, I don’t forget that I have my period. Like I know in about 2.5 hours I’m going to have to change that thing. Just inherent knowledge… and I never felt it. So Diva Cup, I’m just NOT A FAN.
I don’t want to ever have that feeling where I’m like OMG I’m sitting in the middle of a meeting or somewhere that I’m not close to a bathroom or worse, where I won’t be able to access a bathroom for an extended period of time and feel a leak. Like any girl that has ever felt that…. which is EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU!! KNOWS! That it is THE WORST FEELING EVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! If you think it’s not, you’re a fucking liar and I don’t think you have actually ever menstruated.
Further, I have no reason to ever try to use this product ever again. I do not recommend it if you have no particular reason (environmentally friendly chick, allergic to tampons chick, TSS aware chick). Those girls, I think maybe you’d like to try it out and this could potentially be a better solution for you… that is, if you’re willing to deal with all the downsides of it. But maybe those aren’t that bad of downsides since you’re usually downsides are WAY worse than these anyway… so I guess, Good luck!
One way I think this product may be super helpful is in this scenario: Say you know you’re going to get your period tomorrow. Like you’re a very regular period betch and you know exactly which day you’re going to get it. Unlike myself, when I go to the bathroom some random day and I’m like, “Oh nice! Got my period, sickkkk!!” Ruined another Cosabella thong, but hey at least I got it… better start heavily medicating with Advil to subside the pain. Also, that must definitely have been why I have been such a bitch the past 2 days. Now it all makes sense. Random tangent – sorry. So yeah, if you do know yourself very well, it could be great for you to insert the morning that you know you’re going to get your period to avoid the potential underwear stain if you’re super against a pantyliner or pad or maybe you ran out of them. IDK?
Disclaimer: If you do want to try this product for yourself, YOU MUST WEAR A PANTYLINER OR PAD. I repeat, you MUST. Otherwise, you will 100% leak / stain / ruin beautiful / expensive underwear and I’m not about that life for you, me or anybody!
Disclaimer: If and when you do want to try Diva Cup for yourself, think back to my blog post that you read about it and remember that I FUCKING TOLD YOU SO.
If you have any tips or great success stories that you want to share with me… please, please be my guest. I’d love to hear about your fantastic experiences. Maybe I’m doing something totally wrong and you can change my life and I can try doing Diva Cup your way and I’ll love it and live happily ever after.
Until then, I’m team tampon. Signing off as I live out the rest of my menstrual cycle. Until next month, betches…