- it's comfortable to use while playing sports
- you can leave it in for up to 12 hours before emptying it
- it can lessen the cramps associated with menstruation (have I ever mentioned how awesome menstruation is? Women are so lucky. So. Lucky).
For months, I've been meaning to make the switch, but the timing has never worked out. I finally remembered to pick one up at the start of my most recent cycle, and I plucked up the courage to give it a shot, I mean, how hard can it be, right? Right? I figured I'd pop it in, and write a review that went something like this:
"ZOMG, I cannot believe how long I lived without the Diva Cup! It was *so* easy to use, and it works so well! Every woman should have one, why, I'm going to lobby the Harper government to hand them out to every girl as she transitions into womanhood, I mean, it's just so great! So. Great! Long live the Diva Cup, Diva Cup forever!"
Of course, everyone had warned me that making friends with my Diva Cup would take a bit of practice (and patience), however, I was confident we'd hit it off instantly. Sadly, my love affair with the Diva Cup has gotten off to a bumpy start.
When it came time to try out the Diva Cup, I got myself settled into the upstairs bathroom, the kids were downstairs
watching TV playing harmoniously together, mommy needed a little privacy to wrap her head around what was about to go down (er, go up?). Like most women, I had my fears about how things would work out. I was worried that once inside, the Diva Cup would float upwards through my innards, like my vagina is a portal to some sort of blackhole and the Diva Cup would get lost for years, never to be seen again until I cough it up like a hairball. The wonderful instructions that accompany the cup kindly explained that my vaginal walls are only 3-4 inches in length, proving my 'lost in space' fears to be unfounded. As an aside, the Diva Cup instructions also pointed out that the average monthly total flow output is in the neighbourhood of 1 to 1.4 ounces -- just enough to fill a shot glass! Total!! Is it just me, or does that estimate seem, well, a little low? Judging from the apparent carnage I seem to suffer through every month, if I were to estimate what my average monthly flow output is, I'd put it closer to a liter, not unlike what must ooze out of a severe gunshot wound, but perhaps that's just me.
So there I am, Diva Cup in hand, I've reassured myself that it's not going to get lost, but now I'm starting to freak out about how big it is. Prior to this moment, I had been mentally preparing myself for the size/fit issue, but I've birthed four babies, one of whom was so big he practically walked out of my vagina with a cigarette in one hand, a bottle of JD in the other, and he was all 'sup, bitches? to the midwives, so really, I've got this, it will be OK. But there I am, doing the Diva Cup origami as is kindly suggested by the Diva Cup instructions, and no matter how I fold the damn thing, it's just so fucking huge!
The Diva Cup instructions, which are starting to get on my nerves, kindly suggest that I should 'relax' my vaginal walls before inserting the cup, and I'm starting to feel like maybe I should have taken her out to an expensive dinner beforehand and told her she looked pretty, because I can tell she's as nervous about this as I am. So I take a deep breath, and shove it all up there, but the cup unfolds before I've got it in place, and the idea of pushing it up further while it's unfolded kind of makes me want to cry. I withdraw, apologize profusely to my vagina, and read the bloody instructions again, which suggest it's completely normal for the cup to unfold while it's being inserted. Oh, well isn't that great, I was kind of hoping that it would unfold after I was done launching it up into my nether regions, but I guess that's too much to ask. I take another deep breath, apologize to my vagina again, who is now about as relaxed as a virgin on her wedding night, and we give it another go, this time with moderately more success. I manage to launch the cup further up into my nether regions than the first time, but I don't feel it unfold. No worries, I'm actually quite OK with that, let's push on, shall we?
I'm not quite finished yet, because now I need to rotate the cup 360°, which at this point, is about as appealing as a root canal performed by a drunk monkey. So I grab the cup's stem, twisting it slowly, beads of sweat dripping off my brow, and I think I can feel my vagina quietly weep each time the cup moves (not that it was particularly painful, but my vagina at this point was decidedly unrelaxed). After the cup has been rotated, I tentatively stand up, and take a few steps. While having the cup in place certainly wasn't uncomfortable, I could feel the sensation of something being up there, quite frankly, it felt like I had a thighmaster launched up my hooha. To say I had the gait of a cowboy who had just rode in on the Pony Express is an understatement, every step I took was more bowlegged than the last, as my brain worked overtime to convince my vagina that it was playing host to an uninvited guest. At this point, my vagina and I decided we'd both had enough, issuing the Diva Cup its eviction notice. My vagina and I both released a sigh of relief as the cup signalled its exit with a defiant 'pop'.
With what I have to assume is the worst of it out of the way, I will give the Diva Cup another go next month, things can only get better, and besides, I like a challenge. The idea of using the cup is so appealling, perhaps the next time we attempt to make friends, I will buy my vagina a box of chocolates and a dozen roses to help her relax beforehand.