Having your period can be an irritating, uncomfortable event. Paying for tampons and pads, concerns about toxic shock syndrome and worries about tampon bleaching can all add up to a fairly unpleasant menstruation. But, we have another choice: the Diva Cup. This miraculous device is a silicon cup that is inserted into your vaginal canal, collects all the menstrual flow and can simply be emptied every 10 to 12 hours. There is no threat of toxic shock, no harm to your body, no discomfort, no trash produced and no leakage! Using one only takes a little adjustment.
Locate a store near you that sells the Diva Cup. You can do this by going to Divacup.com and selecting "store finder" on the upper right hand corner. Enter your zip code or city and state and press "go." A list of local stores will come up. Choose the one that is the most convenient to you.
Choose your size. The Diva Cup comes in two size options. Model 1 is for women under 30 years old and who have never given birth or had a c-section. Model 2 is for women who are over 30 and/or women who have given birth or had a c-section. The second model is approximately 0.3 cm larger, but makes a great deal of difference in avoiding leakage.
Buy the Diva Cup for about $35.00. It may seem like a lot, but you will make up for the cost by never buying a box of tampons again!
Rinse your hands with warm water and soap.
Clean the Diva Cup with warm water and soap or the special Diva Wash (a product designed specifically to clean the cup).
Fold the two sides of the Diva Cup together, and then fold them again until the rim of the Diva Cup is in the shape of a 'U."
Grip the Diva Cup, maintaining the folded shape, with the "U" shape facing away from your hand.
Sit or crouch as you normally would if inserting a tampon. Relax your vaginal muscles.
Gently pull back your labia and slowly insert the Diva Cup into your vagina. You may have to moisten the rim of the Diva Cup to make this process easier.
Once the Diva Cup in half way inserted you will feel the cup unfold in your vagina.
Continue to insert the Diva Cup until the stem is about 1/2-inch inside your vaginal opening.
Now, grip the stem and rotate the cup slightly one direction or the other. This will insure a good fit and prevent leaking.
The Diva Cup can hold 1 ounce of blood, which is about the total about of blood produced during your entire monthly cycle. Nevertheless, when 10 to 12 hours have passed you should remove the Diva Cup for emptying. Begin by washing your hands thoroughly.
Next, sit or squat, as before during the insertion and relax your vaginal muscles.
Grasp the stem of the Diva Cup and gently pull it out of your vagina, squeezing or pinching the base of the cup once the tip is out. This will release the seal. Tip the cup slightly on an angle when you remove the top of the cup.
Empty the Diva Cup and wash it out with warm water and soap (or DivaWash) until it is clean. Pay special attention to the 4 small holes in the rim of the Diva Cup. Make sure that water is flowing through them before your pronounce the Diva Cup clean.
If you are in a public restroom and you cannot use the sink to wash out the Diva Cup, you can use a dry or wet cloth to clean it out before reinserting it.
Phaea Crede is a NYC based comedian and writer. You can see her perform monthly with her sketch troupe "mixtape '98" at the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre, also monthly as the host of the comedy show "Delusions of Spandex" at the Parkside Lounge, and at random times with her improv team "Hot for Gym Teacher".