Okay, so I bought The DivaCup… now what?!

Congratulations on making the switch to The DivaCup!

You proudly walked out of that store with your new cup in hand, head held high, excited for your period to arrive. Or you quickly stuffed the box into your bag and scurried out hoping no one saw you.

Whichever experience you had with purchasing The DivaCup, congratulations!

Tomorrow when your period is due to arrive, you will open up that shiny new package, take out The DivaCup and experience immediate period bliss… that is the hope anyway.

The truth is for many first time users, finding success with The DivaCup can take a few days, or even a few cycles and that is really okay. In fact, it is more common than you think. Unlike tampons, The DivaCup is inserted differently and makes you get up close and personal with your vaginal health.

We spent some time chatting with our Consumer Care Team (who are menstrual cup gurus) to find out what advice they’d offer to first time users. They gave us lots to draw from and we’ve put it all together for you below.

DivaCup
Read the User Guide!

First things first, read the User Guide. While you may be able to get away with putting together your new closet organizer without reading the instruction manual, The DivaCup’s User Guide is one you do not want to ignore. Plus, your vagina deserves the best and the best is what The DivaCup can give it. The User Guide not only explains how to insert, rotate and remove The DivaCup, but also gives lots of assurance for first time users.

Before trying The DivaCup, be sure to thoroughly wash the cup (and your hands) with warm water and the DivaWash or a mild, unscented, oil-free soap. If you have longer nails, be sure to clean them well and trim them back a bit.

Use only during Menstruation!

Many of our Divas are so excited to try the cup that they decide to try it while not on their cycle. This is a bad idea for many reasons. The cup is regulated for use only during menstruation, meaning a key element of success is menstrual flow. If you find yourself saying, “What’s the harm in practicing beforehand?”, stop! If the cup is inserted when not menstruating, the vaginal canal is often less lubricated and the cup will not glide in as easy (and will be quite uncomfortable). The cup will also not open as easily which can lead to difficulty with removal and an overall unpleasant experience.

Relax! No really, relax!

You may be wondering what people mean when they say, “Relax your pelvic floor!”. Enter a pelvic health physiotherapist. A pelvic health physiotherapist will not only show you how to relax your pelvic floor, but also teach you how much your pelvic floor muscles matter to the rest of your anatomical make up.

For many first time users, inserting The DivaCup can be tough, because it is different, and much bigger than a tampon. Add tense muscles to the mix and insertion can take on a whole new meaning. With tense muscles, insertion will be uncomfortable and the cup will most likely not open or be placed at the right angle. The reason being, the vaginal muscles are what hold the cup in place. While they are designed to naturally expand and contract, if you are nervous or stressed while inserting the cup, your muscles will react with intensity.

So how does one exactly rest the pelvic floor?

To relax the pelvic floor, take a deep breath in, breathe out and consciously envision releasing the pelvic floor muscles (similar to the feeling you have after having to pee and finally being able to). You can also try imagining that your vaginal muscles are holding a ball and releasing the ball as you exhale with your breath. Your deep breath should be felt deep within your belly, not just in your lungs.

Angle really is everything!

The instructions note to insert the cup horizontally, but what does that even mean?

Unlike a tampon, which is inserted upwards, the cup is inserted horizontally, toward your tailbone. Think of it this way, take your cup and place it on its side on a flat surface (such as a chair). Slide the cup back towards the back of the chair – this is a horizontal motion.

DivaCup Insertion

When you are inserting, pay close attention to your wrist on the hand that is holding the cup. Be sure that as you insert, you are not twisting your wrist upwards, but rather that it is staying straight. If you are turning your wrist as you insert, the cup is most likely also being inserting upwards, rather than horizontally. We would also recommend trying our “Push Down” fold option as this should help the cup glide in easier, open up and allow you to better position the cup at the opening. When you insert the cup horizontally, you should feel it slide into place at the base of the canal and open up. If you find the cup is moving up the canal, it is most likely not fully open. Standing with one leg up on the tub may also help to relax the muscles.

push-down-fold

Avoid lube.

Although it may make sense, we do not recommend using any lubricant with The DivaCup as it may compromise the integrity of the silicone and the vaginal environment. As The DivaCup sits in place for 12 hours at a time, if lubricant is used to insert the cup, the lubricant will also sit in the canal for the same time and may irritate the canal. We recommend using only warm water as this can help warm the cup. Warm water, combined with the lubrication of the menstrual fluid, should help the cup slide in easier.

Rotation: a mandatory, not optional step.

Some may wonder why we instruct that the cup be rotated a full 360 degrees. The reason really is to ensure the seal is in place. Although you may feel The DivaCup open as you insert it, it does not necessarily mean that it is open all the way. Oftentimes it may feel as if the cup is open, but after feeling around the cup, there is still a part of it that is folded in. Once inserted, try sliding your finger along the outside of the cup and your vaginal wall, pressing gently on the sides of the cup, this should open the cup fully, creating the seal and will make rotation easier.

If the cup is not fully open, the cup can move up during wear which can lead to difficulty with removal.

Removal!

Because the vaginal canal is only about 3-4 inches long, The DivaCup will not get lost inside of you. If the cup was not angled correctly, fully open at the base of the vaginal canal, this may lead to removal taking a bit longer than a few seconds. When positioned properly, the stem should sit about a half inch in the canal, with the labia covering the stem.

Similar to insertion, the key to success with removal is to relax your muscles. Because the muscles hold the cup in place, having tense muscles will not loosen the cup for removal. Once relaxed, a trick that often helps is to stand with one leg up on the tub. The reason this position is helpful is that it aligns your body in the same horizontal position you were in to insert the cup. Sitting on the toilet and squatting are also good options, but they can add extra stress to the pelvis.

After taking a few deep breaths, bear down with your abdominal/pelvic muscles (as if you are having a bowel movement) and gently insert your thumb and index finger into your vagina until you can reach the stem. If you cannot reach the stem right away, continue to take some deep breaths and bear down. We recommend five deep breaths in between each time you bear down. A hot shower or bath or taking a walk can also help to relax the muscles.

Once you can reach the stem, gently pull the stem until you can firmly pinch the base of the cup to release the seal. The key to successful removal is actually in the base, not the stem of the cup. Many of our Divas cut their stem off as the stem can irritate the labia. Once you have a good grip on the base with your thumb and finger, squeeze the cup gently, and angle it slightly sideways while moving it from side to side to release the seal as you remove it.

It may also be beneficial to talk to a pelvic health physiotherapist or your healthcare provider as they may be able to offer some insight on the strength of the muscle and pelvic floor. Some customers may experience difficulty as a result of weak muscles, but others may have difficulty with removal as a result of tense muscles. Learn more about pelvic health here.

Clean The DivaCup, every 10-12 hours.

It is really important to clean The DivaCup every 10-12 hours with warm water and our DivaWash. Not cleaning the cup in between uses can lead to some unpleasant odors and irritation. Ensuring the four holes around the brim are clear will help ensure the seal is in place and against leaking. While there are many cleaning products on the market, using DivaWash, or a mild, unscented oil-free soap, are your best options. For a list of ingredients to avoid, please visit our Care and Cleaning webpage.

DivaWash

Try The DivaCup during the day on your first try!

Our Consumer Care Team is here to help, but they too need to go home to see their beloved families. If you are hesitant to try The DivaCup, we recommend trying it during the day (8:30 am – 4:30 pm EST) so that you can reach out to our team with any questions or concerns. We do not recommend trying the cup for the first time before you hit the hay. The reason being, when we sleep our muscles often relax and if the cup is not positioned correctly, fully open at the base of the vaginal canal, it may move up during wear. Once you have mastered insertion, wearing the cup at night is sheer bliss! With The DivaCup you don’t need to imagine a world with clean sheets on day 1 of your period because with The DivaCup, this scenario becomes an amazing reality.

Connect with our team at support@divacup.com, 1-866-444-9482 or by using our online Contact Us Form. Our Instructional Video below also has some helpful visuals and you can always find our User Guide online for easy reference.

While this is a lot of information to take in, trust us, it will help you when your period comes and you put The DivaCup in for the first time.

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Posted in Diva Blog, DivaCup Info, Tips for Divas.
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24 Comments

  1. Okay , I became very curious about the Diva Cup. I looked at the information on The Diva Cup website. I bought one and am using it for the first time. I’ll admit, I was a little scared about using it at first. A little awkward but, I will get better at using the Diva Cup and be more confident and comfortable with each use. Thank you !

  2. Using the DivaCup for the first time today. Insertion was simple enough (with some wiggling and patience), until it came time to rotate. I have been patiently trying to do this, and I just can’t manage to grab the base of the cup (nor can I figure out how anyone could?!). It has become a bloody mess in my attempts, ick! I really want this to work out, so I am leaving it in (with a pad) for the time being, and will take it out later & keep trying. Wish me luck!

    • Hi Cassie,

      We can certainly help a Diva out. Often if the cup is difficult to rotate, it is linked to a positioning issue and our team can send you some helpful tips. Our Consumer Care Team will follow up with an email. You can also reach out to them here: http://divacup.com/contact-us/.

      The DivaCup Team

  3. I bought the diva cup 2 cycles ago and it was ruff goings for the first but I got the hang of it and can imagine going back to tampons and pads. I have a 4 day cycle and after having 3 children , they aren’t pretty. With the diva cup I am able to go a whole day without worry!! So great! Thank you!

  4. I can seem insert more than one finger into my vagina to remove the cup, when I try to grab the base or stem with my thumb and pointer finger it hurts. I’ve been trying to remove it for the past hour.l, what do it do?

    • Hello Shay. Sorry to hear that you are having trouble with The DivaCup. Our Consumer Care Team is the best team to support you with some tips and tricks for positioning and removal. They will be in touch soon via email. You can also reach them directly: http://divacup.com/contact-us

  5. I had leaking problems, don’t know if it is not seal inside, do I need to feel or hear something? Once i did felt a pop and it was so painful, like an elastic band inside me was pulling and then released, idk if that is the pop feeling I should get used to. Also my cup goes too inside I have a pretty high cervix and don’t know if I am putting the cup right,

    • Hello Anne,
      Thank you for your comment and for trying The DivaCup!
      We’re sorry to hear about the trouble you’re experiencing. When first trying The DivaCup, some women may experience slight discomfort, but this should not be painful and should not last.
      The DivaCup is worn very differently than a tampon, it is designed to be worn low in the vaginal canal and not up high near the cervix. The DivaCup is also inserted horizontally toward the tailbone and not up like a tampon. It must also rotate easily at least once in either direction to ensure that it is positioned properly. Once inserted, try sliding your finger along the outside of the cup and your vaginal wall, pressing gently on the sides of the cup. This should open the cup fully, creating the seal and will make rotation easier.
      Most often, difficulty with the cup not opening fully or discomfort can be linked to a positioning issue or the angle of the cup when it is being inserted. When positioned properly, fully open at the base of the vaginal canal with the seal in place and the stem even with the vaginal opening, you should not experience any discomfort.
      We recommend reaching out to our Consumer Care Team as they are the best team to support you with some positioning tips. You can connect with them at support@divacup.com
      Warm Regards,
      The Diva Team

  6. Hey! I’ve just recently made the switch to the diva cup! I was so excited that I didn’t realize that there were model types so I grabbed model 2 instead of model 1… would instill be able to use it or did I waste my money ?

    • Hello Patty,
      Thank you for your comment and for making the switch to The DivaCup!
      There is not a big difference between the two sizes (Model 1 is 1/8” (~0.3 cm) smaller), but it is important to use the recommended sizing to prevent leakage.
      We recommend reaching out to our Consumer Care Team and providing them with more detail on which cup your purchased and if it was the correct cup based on sizing guidelines. You can connect with them at support@divacup.com
      Warm Regards,
      The Diva Team

  7. I just bought a Diva Cup and I was so happy … until the insertion! It’s been an hour of trying to insert it and it does not work at all. I’ve seen a lot of videos and descriptions and follow the guidelines… but it seems that my body just don’t accept it. It always open just before getting the whole thing in. It hurts like hell. I think the product is marvellous, but not for me it seems.

    • Hello Audrey,
      Thank you for your comment.
      We’re sorry to hear about the trouble you’re experiencing.
      When trying something new, it is normal to take some time to adjust to it. We can certainly work with you to help you find success with The DivaCup. We recommend reaching out to our Consumer Care Team as they are the best team to support you with tips and tricks for positioning and inserting The DivaCup. You can connect with them at support@divacup.com.
      Warm Regards,
      The Diva Team

  8. I was super excited to buy a Divacup because a friend told me about disposable menstrual cups and one that was reusable was indeed the holy grail. I’m in my mid twenties and have no children so I went with model one, after reading the instructions ten times over, watching numerous videos on how to insert and remove properly and even reading how to solve common and not so common issues, I finally tried it. I knew inserting could take a few tries to get down but no matter what I do our how many times I reread, I have 2 of 3 problems; either the stem is pinching and I can’t push it in any further, I’m still spotting even though I’m pointing toward my tailbone (I have an inverted uterus) and there is pain or I can’t rotate it. I’ve tired taking it out and reinserting, but I can’t seem to get it right and after five tries my body is done, the pain is too much. Am I missing a step? Taking it out is no issue but what am I doing wrong?

    • Hello Taylor,
      Thank you for your comment!
      We’re sorry to hear about the troubles that you’re experiencing.
      From what you’re describing, it sounds like the difficulty you are experiencing may be linked to positioning. When positioned properly, fully open and low at the base of the vaginal canal with the seal in place and the stem even with the vaginal opening, you should not experience any leaking or discomfort. If the stem irritates the vaginal opening once it is positioned correctly, you may remove the cup and trim the stem slightly but no shorter than one-quarter (1/4) inch (0.6cm). Cutting the stem completely can make removal difficult.
      Our best recommendation would be connecting with our Consumer Care Team as they are the best team to support you with this issue. You can connect with them at support@divacup.com
      Warm Regards, The Diva Team

  9. How often do you need to change it if you have heavy flow periods? I just purchased one today I got it in but I’m nervous I will fill the cup up within 2 hours.

    • Hi Tonya, The DivaCup conveniently holds one full ounce of of menstrual flow and the average woman flows 1-2 ounces over their entire cycle. Some women with heavy flow may need to empty the cup more often. As this is your first time using The DivaCup, you may find you’ll learn more about your cycle – like at which point it is heaviest, which activities may increase/decrease your flow, etc. An overflowing cup means that you’ll need to empty it more often during that point in your cycle.

  10. So I purchased my first cup today! I’ve been doing a lot of reading and wanted one for awhile and it was on sale, and I just started my period today so I took the plunge! I came home and read the directions a couple times, washed up, and folded the cup like example one, pushed it in, felt it open, rotated it 360 comfortably, and made sure the stem was just near my vaginal opening. So tonight will be my first true test! I’m very excited about this as I have sensitive skin, and tampons can be harsh (and bad for the environment) and this is more cost effective in the long run. In my opinion, this is easier to put in than the Nuvaring birth control ring, and already feels sized better and more comfortable than the nuvaring did while using (obviously not the same type of product, but inserted similarly). So it’s only night one but I’m very happy so far. My advice is to become very familiar with your anatomy before you try to use any product that goes into the vagina!

  11. If u are in a public restroom away from home, in a stall, how will u change the diva, if ur unable to rinse between uses? Just curious.

    • Great question Adrian. We recommend that you simply empty the cup, wipe the inside with a damp tissue and clean at the next convenient time. It may also be helpful an accessible washroom, as they often have a sink. The DivaCup Team

  12. I finally heard about the Diva Cup I am 29 have had 2 kids. I love It! My main issue is it does not stay in place but I don’t have any leakage! I get it in and by the time I reach my car the base of it is out. I’ve reread the instructions watched videos I’ve cut the stem down too. Is it suppose to be that low I mean I can feel it rub when I walk. And it is rotated and fully open. If I am sitting it’s perfect but if I was to try and workout in it for sure would fall out should I have gotten 1 instead of 2?

    • Hi Jess, This is a great question and one our Consumer Care Team can certainly help with. Most often if the cup moves out of place, it is linked to a positioning issue. Ensuring the cup is fully open and can easily rotate once inserted should help. The pelvic floor muscles may also need a bit of support, and our team has lots of great tips for that as well. You can connect with them at support@divaucp.com. – The DivaCup Team

  13. This is my 2nd cycle trying to use the diva cup. The first time was unsuccessful and I ended up having to use my tampon and pads. So, now I’m trying it again and I’m still having some issues. I can feel the cup whenever I move or stand. It feels like it’s going to slip out especially when I’m active or have to urinate. I really need this to work.

    • Hi SeLena,
      Thank you for your message. Our Consumer Care Team will reach out to you with some support and insight.
      The DivaCup Team

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