As I promised, here's an update as to using the Diva Cup during my actual period. I started late last night, so today marks the official first 24 hours of using the Cup. Here are updates in all their glorious details.
I first put it in around 9pm last night. Insertion and taking it out are still quite tricky, but mostly because I'm never really sure if it's "open" or not once it's in. I fold it into sort of a "U" shape for insertion, but once it's in it has to be back in cone shape. It's difficult to tell if this has happened or not. Again, I think most of this can be attributed to newbie jitters and once I get the hang of using it this will be less intensive of a process.
I still put on underwear and a pad. I was going to bed, and since it was my first time using the Cup in an "official" capacity I didn't want to take any chances if there were leaks. Also had a moment of completely irrational fear that somehow it was going to get lost in my vaginal cavity overnight. Yes, I know that it's impossible to "lose" things up a vagina, but the thought still happened.
In the morning, no spotting or leaks. I was a little surprised how much farther up my vagina the Cup had moved overnight. I'm not talking like it traversed ridiculous distances inside my vagina, but I had originally inserted it where I could easily feel the tip of the cone just outside the vagina (if I pressed on the outside of my labia, I could actually feel the silicone Cup on the inside). By the morning, I had to insert my finger probably an eighth of an inch or so to find the tip of the Cup.
Another totally irrational thought came to me. Maybe even though there wasn't any spotting or leaking, the cup would still be overflowing with menstrual blood. Yes, I've been getting my period now for at least the past 13 years. Yes, I know that the average blood loss over the entire duration of a period is only 30-40 ml. Still, for some reason I was envisioning this teeming, sloshy cup of blood that I was about to take out of myself. The actual amount was...maybe half of a thimble's worth. I do want to note that this was the first day of my period, which always tends to be lighter. I of course will keep you posted as to how things progress throughout the week.
Here's your TMI moment in this blog: I usually poop in the mornings and I chose to take the Cup out before pooping. This comes from the times that I've used ben wa balls and forgotten to take them out before pooping, and accidentally squeezed them out. (There's not a good, succinct way to express the emotion I feel upon hearing ben wa balls hit the bottom of the toilet bowl, but it's not a happy feeling.) I was, perhaps irrationally, afraid that the squeezing from pooping would squeeze out the Cup, and I didn't want that to happen.
Anyway. I took it out and rinsed it off/washed it out. The instructions that came with the Cup told me to dump the blood into the toilet, but I thought if I had to wash it out anyway, I might as well just dump the blood into the sink and do the whole process in one area. Reinserted (again, with lots of fiddling trying to figure out if it was in correctly).
Wore it all day at work. The wearability factor has gotten a lot better over time. I think it helped to be wearing it during an actual work day as well, so there was a lot going on to sort of distract my mind from the tiny silicone cup inside my vagina. I had taken it out and rinsed it around 6 in the morning. By 5pm, there was maybe about another thimble's full of blood in the cup. (I did also wear a pad during the day, just in case.) Although I did again think about having to be extra cautious with removing the cup in case blood spilled everywhere in the bathroom. Maybe the mental anxiety will be something like the insertion/removal that will get better over time as I use it.
All in all, it's still way on the plus side of things.The overwhelmingly obvious positives of using the Cup during menstruation so far include not having to deal with either the positioning, changing, or disposal of a pad or tampon. For those of you who know, you know what I mean.