Putting in the diva cup
June 12, 2006 6:19 PM   Subscribe

Lady Mefites: If you use the keeper of the diva cup, can you give me advice on how to get it in?

I purchased a diva cup (the smaller one) a few months ago and have tried on multiple occasions (I tend to forget about it when I'm not having my period) in various positions to put it in, but have actually never been able to get it in successfully. I don't think the diameter is the problem (if it was a, um, suitably-shaped object of the same diameter it would be fine), but the shape... So can you tell me how you find it easiest to put in? What position (even if its inconvenient away from home) is the best? Do you use one hand to hold your vaginal opening open? Do you tuck the lip of the cup in? So you aim towards the back (ass direction) and then in? Thanks a lot. I really wanna get away from disposables.
posted by bread-eater to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Yeah, hi. Divacup user here. Apologies if this sounds too weird to anyone, but hoping it helps you.

I find it easiest to insert while sitting--it can be done standing, maybe with one foot up on a stool or the side of the tub or something, but the potential for making a mess is a little higher. Sitting is best.

Pinch the cup into a U shape--i.e., flatten it, then curve it into a U and hold it that way.

Insert it, holding your labia open with your other hand if you find it easier, with the rounded part of the U facing down/toward your perineum. As you slide it in, let it open up inside your vagina. Guide it in until you really can't guide it in any further. The tip of the cup will be at the opening of your vagina, and may almost feel as though it's protruding.

Then, pinch the tip and turn the cup inside yourself. You should feel the slight suction of the cup opening inside you. The turning of the cup promotes a "seal" and also ensures that the cup is in fact open, and ready to catch your menstrual fluid. This is a key part of the process, don't skip it if you value your clothing.

Removing it is also simple, and best done sitting (I almost lost a bathmat by standing). Reach in, pinch the tip of the cup, and gently and slowly twist it a bit as you pull down, releasing the suction. Then simply tip it into the toilet and empty the accumulated fluid.

If you're lucky enough to have a toilet and sink right next to each other, you may be able to wash out your cup and reinsert it without even having to get up.

This must be Divacup day on the internets--I just had a conversation about it on another board.

I adore mine, by the way, and would be happy to answer any questions this might raise.
posted by padraigin at 6:36 PM on June 12, 2006 [1 favorite]

Love my keeper! To add to the good advice above, sometimes you can feel a bit of suction as the cup positions itself around your cervix. That's how I know mine is positioned correctly. This may not happen until you've been using it for a while though. Mine has changed shape slightly (it's now a circle with one slightly dented area), and will only stay positioned in one way now. I assume it's been inside of me so much that it's conformed to my internal anatomy.

I just recently discovered the Lunapads site, where you can buy other alternative menstrual products.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 6:44 PM on June 12, 2006

ditto on insertion techniques to Padraigin, but another thing: I was not comfortable with my diva cup (and boy, do I hate that name) until I trimmed off the stem. It kept poking me in unpleasant ways. I found the idea to trim it down and some useful tips from the dames on the boards at Bust
posted by eve harrington at 6:46 PM on June 12, 2006

Response by poster: thanks everyone for the comments so far.

padraigin: this may seem like a minor detail, but i'm really having trouble, so i'm wondering about which way you put your arms/hands when you're sitting: between your legs, or around and under on the side (assuming you lift your bum up from the seat while you do it).
posted by bread-eater at 6:52 PM on June 12, 2006

[Not padraigin] I do it from the front, the same way I used to insert tampons. But I do it standing, not sitting. Standing just seems easier to me.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 6:58 PM on June 12, 2006

Hey, you know, sometimes it's hard to figure this stuff out without being able to see it. I remember looking at the cutaway diagrams in the old tampon boxes and thinking "What the fuck?"

I sit on the toilet, legs spread pretty wide, and do everything from the front. Hunching over a bit helps, as it tilts your pelvis to an angle that makes for easier and more comfortable insertion.

You might have better luck, at least at the beginning, if you try it standing, with one foot elevated. Or, maybe lie down in the tub and practice there?

My learning curve with the Divacup wasn't bad, because I'd used the Instead cups in the past. But my learning curve with those was just ridiculous, and I remember getting really stressed out about it.
posted by padraigin at 7:01 PM on June 12, 2006

Good advice all - I might add that if you relax your jaw and let it drop, you will also relax your vaginal muscles, making it easier to stick that puppy in there. I also find that I need to push it further in than I want it, then twist it as I pull it back to a better position if I want good suction. Amazing, the personal info I'm willing to put out there. . .
posted by dirtmonster at 7:32 PM on June 12, 2006

Best answer: Folding Techniques from the Divacup LiveJournal group.
posted by hooray at 7:45 PM on June 12, 2006

I'm a long-time Keeper user and I found it much easier to use once I trimmed off the tail. It did take a few cycles to get everything sorted out so things were comfortable and leak-free.

You may want to insert it in the same way you would a tampon (meaning standing up, sitting down) so you at least have a starting point that feels comfortable/normal. Folding the cup in the way that padraigin describes will make things much easier.

Here's the major thread at Bust (the board eve harrington mentioned) about Diva Cups and Keepers. I also saw this link to a LiveJournal community about menstrual cups that may also be helpful.

Once you get the hang of it, you'll never go back!
posted by melissa at 7:50 PM on June 12, 2006

whoops. Hooray beat me to posting the LiveJournal group. I'd never seen it before so I'm glad someone else thought it was okay too.
posted by melissa at 7:52 PM on June 12, 2006

you may not want to trim the tail until you're sure you're comfortable getting it out. for me, the tail's generally not long enough & i find i have to sorta kegel it out.

as for getting it in, folding it in half and inserting while standing is easiest, i find. also definitely rotate once it's in to make sure it's in properly - it should rotate pretty freely.
posted by judith at 11:27 PM on June 12, 2006

I also use Padraigin's method when inserting my Mooncup. I do not make a real U shape, but more a 7-shape: when I fold it I fold one side just below the other (I hope that makes sense). I also cut the tail off, but that's something you'll feel once you're comfortable inserting the thing. I always do it sitting on the toilet.

There is a Yahoo group about this: MoonKeeperDivas.
posted by davar at 12:21 AM on June 13, 2006

Some women find it helpful to rinse it in hot water before inserting. The heat softens it up a bit, and being wet lubricates it.

Also, before you get the hang of it, you might want to practice inserting while you are in the shower, so you don't have to worry at all about making a mess.
posted by clarissajoy at 5:25 PM on June 13, 2006

Response by poster: For those of you still keeping an eye on this thread, I'm happy to announce that I put it in this morning and has had it in the entire day and feel great. The different folding techniques really did it for me (never succeeded with the U-fold), and I did it sitting down, hands between legs as some of you suggested. The stem was poking into me so I had to trim most of it off. Getting it out is a little problematic, not that I can't grip it, but when the thick lip of the cup comes out, it hurts even when i HAVE released the suction (someone in one of the forums linked mentioned this problem too). but anyway, i'm happy for now. i'll try manoevering a bit to get it out so it doesn't hurt. thanks to all of you!!

posted by bread-eater at 7:01 PM on June 13, 2006

Good to hear that it worked! For what it's worth: it always hurt a little when I remove my mooncup. I always thought it had to do with stitches from childbirth (3 years ago already), but it is entirely possible it is something else. :) For me, it is not a big problem since I do not need to change my mooncup very often. I hope you'll enjoy your divacup!
posted by davar at 12:26 PM on June 14, 2006

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