A common mistake that women were taught since a young age is that the best period products are the most basic ones – pads and tampons. Well, it seems our mothers and grandmothers were wrong because according to experts, tampons and pads are not that hygienic as we thought they were. In fact, they can cause a number of problems, such as urinary tract infections and the very dangerous toxic shock syndrome that can lead to death.
Aside from health risks, menstrual pads aren’t the most discrete solution when you want to wear your favourite white pants, and can often result in blood leaking out and ruining your clothes. And tampons are also not the most comfortable solution for those days for many women.
If you’re wondering what’s the most hygienic product to use on your period, you should start considering getting yourself a menstrual cup. Since recently, this product has experienced huge popularity among the ladies, and it’s not even surprising, knowing the advantages it offers.
What Is a Menstrual Cup?
A menstrual cup is a small, flexible and funnel-shaped feminine hygiene product. It’s usually made of silicone or rubber and catches and collects menstrual blood, instead of absorbing it as the pads and the tampons do.
The best advantages this revolutionary product offers is that it can be worn for up to 10 hours since it has the capacity to hold much more blood than pads and tampons. In addition, menstrual cups are eco-friendly and toxic-shock syndrome safe. Some of them can be worn even during sexual intercourse.
While many women haven’t heard of them until recently, the truth is menstrual cups have actually been invented and patented in the 1930s, but they didn’t have commercial success until the 1980s. Since then, a lot of brands have made the most of their efforts to satisfy the ladies’ different needs and preferences, and the demand for menstrual cups continues to grow.
But like any product on the market, some brands of menstrual cups are better than others. Currently, the Diva menstrual cup is the preferred choice of women across Australia, and here are the reasons why that’s so.
How Does the Diva Menstrual Cup Work?
As mentioned, menstrual cups are usually made of medical-grade silicone, and most of them are about the size of a shot glass and have a small tail that serves for pulling out the cup once it’s inserted. The way of inserting it is similar to inserting a tampon. But, unlike the tampon, which sits on the cervix, the menstrual cups are placed lower, just below the cervix.
The main thing that makes the Diva cups stand out from the other brands is that they are slightly longer, which makes them the perfect period solution if your cervix is high in the vagina. And this is usually the case with most women. Once you insert it, the cup opens and forms a seal that ensures that your menstrual blood will be dripping into the cup, and can be worn 10 to 12 hours.
The greatest advantage of wearing this menstrual cup is that you’re not limited from performing any physical activity you want. The innovative design of the Diva cup allows you to swim, dance, run, enjoy a good hike and even perform gymnastics without worrying that your menstrual blood will leak all over your clothes and make an embarrassing mess.
How to Choose the Right Cup?
The greatest myth about menstrual cups is that they are one-size-fits-all. Every female body is different and it’s important to get the right size. The vagina can change a lot through a woman’s life and becomes more relaxed as the body ages. For that reason, the Diva cup is available in 3 sizes, depending on your current life stage:
- Model 0: For the girls new to the world of periods which are younger than 18;
- Model 1: For the ladies between the ages of 19 and 30 who have a medium menstrual flow;
- Model 2: For the ladies over the age of 30 and/or for those who have a heavier menstrual flow.
At this point, you should know that just because you fit into one of the age groups, it doesn’t mean that the specific menstrual cup is the right fit for you. There’re some other factors that you should also consider when choosing the right menstrual cup, such as your fitness level, whether you have given birth, whether your cervix is high or low in the vagina, etc. If your cup feels uncomfortable, slips out, or leaks, that means that you have chosen the wrong size.
Applying the Diva Menstrual Cup
Applying a menstrual cup can be a very frustrating and annoying experience in the beginning. But don’t worry, once you master it, it will become a quick and easy task that you’ll do intuitively. Here’s the basic guide on how to apply your Diva Menstrual Cup:
- Make sure you wash your hands before inserting;
- Relax your body, because stress tightens the muscles and complicates the process additionally;
- Press the sides of the cup and fold it, creating a U-fold;
- Push the rim down with your index finger, creating a triangle;
- Gently separate your labia with your free hand while sitting on the toilet or standing with one leg up on the bathtub;
- Gently push the folded cup into your vagina, the same way you insert a tampon;
- Rotate the cup for 360 degrees, so it opens up and creates a seat;
- The Diva Cup will sit below your cervix, immediately stopping the leakage. Note that if it’s placed correctly, you won’t feel the cup inside you at all.
When and How to Remove the Cup?
Once you insert the menstrual cup successfully, you’re ready to go and be carefree for at least the next 10 hours. But this is not always the case, since every different lady has a different menstrual flow. If you’re part of the ladies that experience heavy flow, you might need to empty your menstrual cup at least 6 hours after you inserted it, to avoid leaks.
That’s why it’s recommended to empty your cup more often when you begin using it, so you can get to know how the cup works for you, and when you should empty it.
When it comes to removing the menstrual cup, a lot of women find this process difficult. But don’t worry, the Diva cup is designed in a way to make the removal process as simple as possible. As long as you don’t stress out, your muscles will be relaxed, and the process will be a lot easier. Here’s what yo need to do.
- Again, the first step is to wash your hands. Touching your sensitive area with dirty hands can be a cause of infections;
- Gently separate your labia while sitting on the toilet or standing with one leg on the bathtub;
- Pull the stem of the cup gently holding it with your index finger and thumb;
- Pinch the base of the cup and gently pull it down. Make sure you’re not pinching the stem instead;
- Now when your cup’s out, empty it into the toilet.
How to Take Care of Your Menstrual Cup?
The menstrual cups are inserted into the most sensitive area of a woman’s body, and that’s why they should always be hygienic and taken proper care of.
Starting from unpacking your new menstrual cup, make sure you boil it for 5 to 10 minutes before the first use. Once you start using it, keeping it clean should become a routine, just like washing your face is.
The cup should be washed only with mild, unscented and oil-free soap. To make this easier, Diva invented their revolutionary Diva Wash – a cleanser that is 100% plant-based and naturally scented to protect the silicone of your cup and the PH balance of your vagina. Remember, you should never wash your menstrual cup with bleach, anti-bacterial soaps, baking soda, rubbing alcohol or any similar liquids. Also, washing your cup in the dishwasher is strictly forbidden, and obviously nasty.
When your period ends, after you wash your Diva cup properly, it’s time to store it. Make sure you always put it in a cotton bag, and keep it away from perfumes or anything scented.
Even though the Diva cups are reusable, after a period of use they need to be changed. Under normal circumstances, the Diva cup should be replaced every 12 months, although many women report using them for a lot longer than that without any problems. If you spot a bit of staining on the cup, know that it’s normal. But if you notice extreme discolouration, or experience irritation while wearing it, then it’s time to dispose of your menstrual cup and get yourself a new one.