After hearing about it on the fantastic Sex is Fun podcast (which is very awesome, but also ending soon apparently, which gives me a sad face), I decided to check out the Diva Cup.
For those of you who have never heard of it slash don't want to clickety click around on the above linked site, here is the very basic gist of it: the Diva Cup is a tiny silicone cup that you insert vaginally and then it collects your menstrual blood. You empty/clean it every 12 hours or so. (Seriously, that's even almost a tweet-able synopsis. It's over only by 6 characters.)
Since I didn't want the first time I tried this thing to be also when I was bleeding, I gave it a test run today. I put it in just before starting my workout at Curves. Thought process being that the workout is fairly low-intensity; also a bit beyond "everyday" movement, so it would be a good test of how the Cup was going to work while I'm moving about and such. If something felt odd once I got into the workout, I had the option of going into a bathroom and discreetly trying to figure shit out.
So far, it's been a total success. Bear in mind that I've only tried it once, and only had it in for about a half hour. Also that I wasn't actually menstruating, which definitely changes a lot of things. So these opinions are quite preliminary. I'm sure I'll have tons of hilarious stories once I actually use it during my period. But here, so far, are the good things about it:
1. Size: It's very small. I don't know exactly what I was expecting, but the actual Cup is maybe only an inch and a half diameter, maybe 2 and a half inches height. It's really sort of cone shaped, but maybe "Diva Cone" didn't quite have the same ring to it. Once it's inserted it's not completely unnoticeable. It's made of silicone, so it's bendy but not pliable to the point where you don't feel it at all. I would say after about 10-15 minutes, I didn't notice it as much. One would hope over time that it would be even less perceptible.
2. Price: I was a bit worried because the website talks about the initial price being like...upsetting or something. A hurdle to be considered. So I was expecting it to be quite more expensive. Mine was around $35 dollars after tax, which I thought was very reasonable.
3. Easy: It came with a little two-page instruction book which was very thorough but also very concise, which is a fucking rarity. It's not intimidating at all once you get over the whole, "eww my blood's going to pool in this little cone," thing. Insertion was pretty easy, but I did have to wiggle it around a bit before I got it to work properly. It doesn't go that far into your vagina - that wasn't the issue. To insert you fold the open end into a sort of "U" shape, and once I had it in I had to push on the side of the cone to get it to pop back into the "O" shape. Removal was a bit more difficult, but I feel with more practice that aspect will get way easier.
4. Longevity: Again, this hasn't actually been road tested yet, but it was a major selling point for me when I was considering buying it. The idea that I only have to "check" this every 12 hours is awesome. The idea that I can sleep naked, wear underwear without bunchy pads, and not worry about toxic shock (which is super rare but is one of those things they print in like BIG SCARY FUCKING LETTERS inside every box of tampons, so you're always thinking about it), is even more awesome.