Top 5 Reasons You Might Hesitate (& Why You Shouldn’t!)
1. You’re worried about it being messy and difficult to change in public washroomsWhile it can be messy when you’re still learning how to use a menstrual cup or disc (it’s designed to collect blood after all), it won’t always be! We often recommend practising insertion and removal in the shower while you’re still learning.
According to our resident pelvic health expert, pelvic floor physiotherapist, Keri Martin Vrbanac, there is no harm in practising even when you’re not on your period. “You never want to put a tampon in when you're not on your period because you don't want to remove a dry tampon. You're leaving fibers and such behind and it's just not great. But the cup isn't going to do anything to damage the tissue, whether you put it in if you're on your period or not.”
The great thing about a menstrual cup is that it collects and doesn’t absorb menstrual flow. Menstrual cups can safely be used for up to 12 hours without the same risks of toxic shock syndrome (TSS) that are associated with tampons. Plus, they’re more eco-friendly, comfortable and can be cleaned conveniently with just a Shaker Cup and DIVA Wash.
2. Insertion and removal and finding the proper positioning sounds intimidatingEveryone’s anatomy is unique. And it will take some time to make sure that it feels secure and comfortable to wear. On the other hand, we’ve also heard that it can be quite intuitive!
Menstrual cups and discs fold down to the size of tampon, so the insertion shouldn’t feel any more difficult. (The softness of the 100% medical grade silicone may even mean it glides in more easily than a dry tampon!)
Some of the best news you’ll receive is that the vaginal cavity is not connected to the rest of the body—so there’s no place for it to go. The vaginal canal is on average 15 - 37 mm (0.6 - 1.5”) wide, and the vaginal cavity (or the number you get when you measure your cervix height) is between 45 – 55 mm (1.8-2.25”) long. And Keri, our pelvic health expert, confirms this.
“Menstrual cups are incredibly safe. There truly is nowhere for the cup to go, so the cup will never be lost.”
First time menstrual cup users will just need a bit of time, privacy, and trial and error to experiment with positioning—it's no different than when you were learning to use a tampon!
3. You’re worried that it will hurt and/or be uncomfortable to wearKeri says, “typically with insertion and removal, one of the biggest reasons why people experience pain is because of the stress associated with what they're doing.”
“There's a direct correlation between stress and the pelvic floor. For example, when we are nervous and usually when we're using the cup, especially initially, stress translates to the pelvic floor. Your pelvic floor becomes tight and it's harder to get the cup in or out.” Taking a deep breath and learning to relax during insertion and removal can make a world of difference!
Once in place, the DIVA Cup or DIVA Disc is so comfortable that you won’t notice it’s there. DIVA Cups of different model sizes, as well as the DIVA Disc, fit better for different people, and our Consumer Experience team can help you find the correct size for your personal anatomy.
4. You’re worried you’ll feel dirty or that it will smellChanging your menstrual cup or disc can be done quickly and with minimal mess. While sometimes you might end up with a bit of menstrual fluid on your hands, you’ll learn to navigate quickly rinsing it off or wiping it off on some toilet paper.
The benefits of seeing menstrual fluid are that it can give you indications of how healthy your flow is. A bright red flow is healthy, but some brown blood near the beginning or end is also very normal. The consistency can also tell us things, and so it’s worthwhile to get in touch with this incredible monthly report card.
Menstrual blood, as well as vaginal discharge, shouldn’t smell fishy or have a strong odor to it. You may notice a slight metallic scent, but nothing more recognizable with a menstrual cup vs a tampon.
If you experience a strong, or fishy vaginal smell, don’t hesitate to check in with your healthcare provider.
5. It’s expensive/feels like too much of an investmentPurchasing a menstrual cup or disc is a one-time investment and lasts up to several years with proper care!
If you think about it, right now you’re buying pads and tampons monthly. Each package costs around $10 - 15 and you might be purchasing pads, tampons, overnight pads, AND liners. While you may not go through all of these in one cycle, you will have paid for your DIVA Cup or DIVA Disc within 3-4 cycles of what you would’ve been spending on disposables. A menstrual cup vs tampon is the more environmentally friendly and cost-effective option, lasting 20+ additional cycles!
This summer, check out these additional and specific reasons to make the switch; swimming/water sports and beach days, hiking/backcountry camping/sleeping in a tent, attending festivals or concerts, or if you’re travelling.
This four-part series will cover the specifics of each of these activities, whether you should choose a menstrual cup or disc for it, and some expert tips to make sure your period doesn’t interrupt any of the fun. Stay tuned!
- Barnhart, Kurt T., et al. “Baseline Dimensions of the Human Vagina.” Human Reproduction, vol. 21, no. 6, 14 Feb. 2006, pp. 1618–1622, https://doi.org/10.1093/humrep/del022.