DivaCup after Pregnancy?
December 18, 2012 9:56 AM   Subscribe

I had a baby and my DivaCup no longer seems to be working. Did that happen to you? What are my options?

I had a baby (c-section, minor dilation beforehand but nothing major), and after I gave up exclusively breastfeeding, my period came back (boo). I pulled out my trusty DivaCup for my first cycle and...it leaked. A lot. So I moved up to the size 2 for cycle 2. Same deal! What is going on? Is this a temporary setback or will I forever be unable to use my much-loved DivaCup? Did you find you were unable to use a menstrual cup after you had a baby? Did you switch brands and find one worked better than another? Please advise. The idea of going back to tampons afters years with a cup depresses me, but I refuse to wear the cup if it's going to constantly leak on me (even if I always wore a pad; the sensation itself is uncomfortable).
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I was previously a Diva Cup gal but had some post baby issues with leaking so I switched to SoftCup and it works great! They have disposable (12 hr) cups and a reusable and my local pharmacy carries them so they were easy to find. So far I've only used the disposable ones because I wanted to try it out before buying a reusable and so far so good! When my disposables run out I will definitely be buying the reusable one. I think they're a better fit because the cup is wider but not as rigid so it conforms nicely to accommodate your wider hips post birth. I would link to them but I'm on my phone and not that talented, I hope this helps!
posted by julie_of_the_jungle at 10:10 AM on December 18, 2012

I'm not sure if this is true of the DivaCup brand specifically, but I know their main competitor, The Keeper, makes two sizes, one for women who have never given birth, and one for women who have.

I'm not an OB/GYN so I can't tell you how minor dilation would affect things or why this is still important even if you had a c-section, but it seems like getting the bigger DivaCup would be the logical answer.
posted by Sara C. at 10:11 AM on December 18, 2012

I didn't start using one until post-pregnancy, so I don't know if it's leakier than it would have been. It only really leaks if I take too long to empty it on the first couple days (TMI perhaps, but it fills up 3-4 times per day for the first couple days. Yeah, fun.) It works great though.
posted by nekton at 10:28 AM on December 18, 2012

Could your first few post-pregnancy cycles just be that much heavier than usual?
posted by SuperSquirrel at 10:57 AM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

A friend had to stop using her cup after delivery because her internal anatomy changed shape and it wouldn't fit properly anymore. Maybe get checked out? You might have to switch to something else.

Also, if you haven't used your cup in so long, are you sure you're inserting it correctly? I honestly have to re-learn every month.
posted by windykites at 11:02 AM on December 18, 2012

Vaginal delivery or not, the birth canal gets larger in preparation for birth...so as others have said, you'll likely need a bigger size. I've had friends that love Softcup vs. Divacup tho.
posted by agregoli at 11:15 AM on December 18, 2012

The Softcups mentioned above work and fit totally differently from the Keeper/Divacup/etc. They go up near the cervix and cover it almost like a diaphragm rather than hanging out lower in the vagina to catch fluid. Based on their design, I think the muscle tone and/or width of your vagina shouldn't matter.

Also, I've seen several really thorough charts comparing different menstrual cups (diameter, length, squishiness, etc.) I found a bunch just now by googling "menstrual cup comparisions" but here is one good one. The MeLuna cup seems to be the widest one available, though I imagine there are other factors involved in leakage.
posted by needs more cowbell at 11:36 AM on December 18, 2012 [2 favorites]

Actually, scrap that, I suspect 54mm for diameter is a typo on that chart. There are several 47mm ones, though.
posted by needs more cowbell at 11:40 AM on December 18, 2012

There's a good livejournal community on menstrual cups, and other cup users have posted on postpartum issues.

Hope it's useful -- I don't have kids, so I can't speak to postpartum problems, but after a trial-and-error process (my problem is finding a cup that doesn't trigger urinary tract infections), I've come to love my Fleurcup!
posted by virago at 11:42 AM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

I had some leaking when I started using my cup for post-partum periods. Over the course of a couple cycles--maybe three? It stopped being an issue. I assume that either there was some loss of muscle tone during pregnancy/birth or I was just still a bit stretched out

If you've previously been happy with your cup, I'd wait a few cycles and see if it's still happening then. When I started having issues, I bought a Keeper, maybe? And found that I had the same issues with it that I was having with my Diva, plus I didn't like it nearly as much. Went back to the Diva cup, and a month or two later things were back to normal. I'd give it a little more time.
posted by MeghanC at 1:15 PM on December 18, 2012

I switched from a small Diva Cup (became poky and irritating and sat too low) to a small MeLuna (I think - a softcup, and glittery!) and it works MUCH better post-partum. So sometimes it isn't size, it's the shape.

(Vaginal birth, two second-degree tears, extended breastfeeding)
posted by geek anachronism at 1:44 PM on December 18, 2012

I had two regular births with minimal tearing. In each case I nursed for around ten months, then my period came back about 8-10 weeks later (which meant I went almost two years without a period for each baby. It was awesome). I was happily using a size 1 diva cup before having the first baby, and I bought a new size 2 as they suggest and had no problems with leaking or anything when my periods came back after each baby. Granted, it was at least a year postpartum, so maybe that had something to do with it.
posted by Mimzy at 5:03 PM on December 18, 2012

My Divacup leaked at first too, even after I switched to a size 2. After a few cycles it stopped. I don't know if I was inserting it differently or what, but the leaking did stop.
posted by christinetheslp at 5:31 PM on December 18, 2012

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