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10 January 2009 @ 11:22 am
Hello all!
I just finished my first moon cycle with my new model 1 DivaCup and I loved it! After trimming the stem, trying different folding methods, and reading up on how to remove it easily, I am definitely a happy camper. However, I have one question that I didn't find any direct answer to in the tags. Sorry if this has already been asked and I just couldn't find it!
I just wanted to know how long you leave your cups in. For the first three days of my cycle, I emptied it at night and in the morning. After that, I left mine in for 24 hours for a few days. Should I empty it more often? What's the longest you've left yours in?
lovelylilacs on January 10th, 2009 07:42 pm (UTC)
I have accidentally left mine in for two days during the end of my cycle before, but it didn't really make much difference. Some people say if you leave it in too long it will get an odor. Mine didn't have any distinctive odor about it but I imagine if I'd left it in any longer it would have. At the beginning of my cycle I empty mine every three hours, since it fills up pretty fast.
rsilvergunrsilvergun on January 10th, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC)
I own a Lunette, but the maximum amount of time is 12 hours. Otherwise, you might be exposing yourself to nasty germs which could lead to some painful results. Great job on finishing your first cycle! This is my second one, but I'm still working out the kinks. So far, the longest I've kept mine in was 8 hours.
Sarah1girl on January 10th, 2009 08:25 pm (UTC)
On my two heaviest days, I end up emptying mine four or five times a day: morning, noon, dinnertime-ish, and once or twice in the evening, depending on how late I'm up. My cup is rarely totally full every time I empty, but my flow is a little unpredictable on my heavy days, and it's no big hassle to empty it more often.

On my lighter days, I empty three times: morning, sometime mid-day, and before I go to bed.

I think the recommended maximum time to leave your cup in is 12 hours. You could probably leave it in longer, but I personally wouldn't, and I like being able to keep track of my flow throughout the day.
alyndraalyndra on January 10th, 2009 08:50 pm (UTC)
Some people are fine leaving it in longer, some people get bad smells, personally I get a little itchy if I leave it in longer. Have you ever heard your dentist tell you that plaque takes 12 hours to set in? I suspect it's a similar principal. Of course, people also go more than 12 hours without brushing their teeth all the time. In short, your mileage may vary. Go for it, but keep an eye on it.
elizabbyelizabby on January 10th, 2009 09:20 pm (UTC)
I routinely leave mine in for 24 hours at a time. I empty it just before bed each night on my light days. This hasn't given me any problems but is not what the manufacturers recommend.
spacetime88 on January 10th, 2009 11:49 pm (UTC)
Same here. On the 2 last days of my period (lightest flow days), I leave the cup in for 24 hours. Of course, removal is the least favorite part of menstrual cups for me (messy - working on this), so I tend to postpone it.
Naoko Kensakumistressnaoko on January 10th, 2009 11:10 pm (UTC)
Longest left in is about 6-8 hours, but that's because I'm still on my second cycle with the cup. It's about 6 hours on my heaviest day and 8 hours on my light days when I'm awake. If I'm sleeping, it could be ten hours or more.
Ms. Kanegenericjanedoe on January 10th, 2009 11:22 pm (UTC)
Well you can definitely go longer than you would for's one of the many benefits. I'm comfortable with 12-15 hours max. In theory, tf you leave it in too incredibly long, you are creating a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. But many women say that 24 hours is not problem.

I find if I empty, clean, and reinsert too often I get a little sore. So twice a day is all I bother with.
Chaosxchaosbutterfly on January 11th, 2009 04:28 pm (UTC)
Doesn't the cup create a seal up there when it's in properly?

Technically there wouldn't be any bacteria up there except what is normally supposed to be there, and what we introduce with our hands when changing the cup. Oxidation wouldn't happen until the seal is broken, so aerobic bacteria wouldn’t be an issue except when changing the cup. If we wash our hands and the cup properly before inserting and taking it out, theoretically there’s no problem leaving it in longer than 12 hours.

All this talk of bacteria and sterilization sounds like we’re assuming the vagina is a sterile environment to begin with (it’s not) or that menstrual blood and other fluids are inherently unhealthy or bad for us (they’re not). That whole area is designed to take care of itself, it’s usually when we mess with it’s normal functions (taking antibiotics, douching, using absorbent menstrual products vaginally, getting anti-bacterial soaps or other products up there) that we get problems with yeast or other infections.
Ms. Kanegenericjanedoe on January 11th, 2009 06:06 pm (UTC)
All this talk of bacteria and sterilization sounds like we’re assuming the vagina is a sterile environment to begin with (it’s not) or that menstrual blood and other fluids are inherently unhealthy or bad for us (they’re not).

I knew someone was going to point this out, and I thought about making my comment longer to include a disclaimer, but I got lazy. So let me further clarify what I was saying. I did say that 24 hours is not a problem for some people and I was merely expressing my preference and what goes through my mind about frequency of cleaning.

Of course the vagina isn't sterile to begin with. And I would never say or intend to imply that menstrual blood is unclean or unhealthy. My general points are this:
1) There is the chance that the cup using process could introduce something into our vaginas that would not normally be there, even with good cleaning practices AND
2) The truly normal, natural menstrual process is for the blood to flow freely out of the body. So while cups are *much* better in my opinion than absorbent products, they are still technically a deviation from the natural, normal state of female functioning. (Albeit necessary deviation for the convenience of modern life.)

Hence, I feel most comfortable cleaning mine every 12-15 hours. It's not an inconvenience for me to do so, and I just kind of figure "Why not?" And just so I don't sound like a germaphobe or anything, let it be known I only clean mine with water :)
Dina Clare: JUST KISS ALREADYlintilla on January 10th, 2009 11:45 pm (UTC)
When it's light (aka I'm not emptying it every 4 hours to keep the cramps at bay), I empty my cup twice a day - after I get out of bed and before I go to sleep.
Jessicaamethystrse on January 11th, 2009 11:44 am (UTC)
It's best to remove it at least every 12 hours. I found that if I leave mine in for longer than it starts to really smell. I mean a OMG WTF is that???? kind of smell. yuck.
fireaphidfireaphid on January 16th, 2009 08:33 pm (UTC)
While it's recommended you don't leave it in more than 12 hours, if you don't have any problems with more than that, I don't see any reason to change what you're doing. I've only used my small Lunette for one cycle, and I left it in for 12 hours as a max, and it smelled a little. I don't think I'd want to leave it in longer than that, but I also don't think the smell was bad enough to want to change it more often than 12 hours unless I ever fill it.