WARNING, THIS SHIT GETS REAL!
Abby's lane not only turned me on to diapers but they introduced me to the Diva Cup. One great thing about being pregnant is that you don't get your period. About 9 months after Orion was born I started to wonder when I would be getting my period. Almost as soon as I asked this question, my period came. After 18 months without a period, I had forgotten how much it can suck. I was still breastfeeding and felt really exhausted but thankfully it only lasted for 4 days.
I had become interested in alternatives to tampons while I was in college. I had used a sea sponge for a few cycles and cannot remember why I stopped using it. I wouldn't say that I hated tampons but I do see them as wasteful and expensive. I also hated removing a dry tampon and am a bit freaked out that they can cause micro-abrasions. I just knew that I would rather use a tampon than a maxi pad. I had never heard of a menstrual cup such as the Diva Cup.
I had been waiting until I got my period before buying the Diva Cup. That first period it didn't get much use. You need to wash the Diva Cup with plain old hand soap and we had none in the house. When my husband went shopping, this was the one thing he forgot. When I had contacted Stephanie at Abby's Lane, she told me she has been using the same cup for 7 years! She washes it with hand soap during her cycle and between cycles uses an antibacterial soap. During my cycle, I remove and wash the cup in the morning, once in the afternoon, and then before bed.
The first time I inserted the Diva Cup, I instantly felt like I had to pee. Now, I do pee a lot and always have, even before being pregnant because I drink crazy amount of water (my favorite beverage). It felt like it was pressing on my bladder. I asked a friend who I know had been using and loving the Diva Cup. Her advice was to insert it higher and to be sure it was rotated 360°. Now I will insert it as high as I comfortably can, turn it 360° a few times just to be sure, and then have myself a little pee and I am all set.
The first time I attempted to remove the Diva Cup, I did have a bit of difficulty. It was mostly me freaking out that I couldn't get it out but once I calmed down, it came out. So my first bit of advice is to remain calm, take a deep breath, and push. Also, have a bit of toilet paper in hand when you are removing the cup because it can get a bit messy. And you might want to give yourself a bit of a wipe before you stand up to head for the sink to wash out the cup. If you have issues with the sight of blood, this might not work for you. Even after flushing to toilet, I am sometimes left with some red in the bowl but I don't mind and I do not double flush. Maybe I would if I was having guests over but whatever, I am not grossed out by anything my body does.
I have used the Diva Cup for 4 cycles and I love it! There is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to the insertion. When you are first getting used to the cup you may want to fortify your panties with a liner. Before, when I would get my period and use tampons, I left like everything in my body was trying to escape through my vagina. Since using the cup, I have not had this feeling! Sometimes I don't feel like having anything in my vagina but I hardly notice the cup. On the last day of my last period, I forget it was even in.
Now that I am using the cup, I don't have to worry about forgetting to bring tampons when I leave the house when menstruating. I have enough I need to carry when going out these days, it is nice to have one less thing to worry about. This $32 investment has already paid for it self! I am saving money, saving resources, and polluting less. I recommend giving this silicone cup a try for 3 cycles and see if you don't become a Diva.