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Hello all, I'm looking into getting a cup for any number of reasons (desire to be more eco-friendly, travel ease, the cost of pads/tampons, etc.), but I have a few questions. My sister has been using a Diva for the past year and absolutely loves it but I'm not sure if the Diva would be the right choice for me. (Apologies if it seems like you've answered all of these questions  before!)

A few of my questions/concerns:
  • I'll be studying abroad in the British Isles from August to December of this year. I'll be travelling with about thirty other people (six guys but otherwise women). We'll be staying in many different places from hotels to cottages to college housing. How feasible would it be to maintain the cleaning on a cup whilst travelling in a group setting where I wouldn't necessarily have my own kitchen/pot/etc.?

  • For the Diva (in particular though others as well), the website says to only clean it with water or the Divawash. How strict is that? Because if I were to get a Diva, I don't think I'd really be able to bring Divawash with me through customs. I don't mind if I have to pick up something over there.

  • I'm twenty (on April 24th), a virgin, and have only been using tampons for the past four or five years. I can insert one finger easily but two is less comfortable (from the last time I checked which was a while ago). Do you think these would affect using a cup? Because I'm not entirely sure what size to look for (other than the smaller size with the Diva).

  • Tampons are sometimes irritable, especially when inserting or removing. This might be due to the fibers involved. In your experiences with cups, are they more comfortable than tampons? (I'm pretty sure I already know the answer to this question but I figured I'd raise it anyway.) I'd like something that allows the ease of movement that tampons do but without the discomfort. I also have only used tampons with applicators (both cardboard and plastic, which kills the eco-friendly side of me) and I'm not entirely certain how similar the application process tends to be. The Diva website said that the user manual is more in-depth than the online explanation.How similar/different are the application processes (cup v. tampon)?

  • Of the cups I've looked into, I'm interested in the Diva, Fleur, and MeLuna. (Part of the thought with the Diva is that I can drive five miles to a Whole Foods Market and pick it up now instead of waiting for it to ship.) I've looked at some of the charts but one thing I can't quite figure out is the comfort aspect. I know that it'll be different for everyone but before I, on my univ. budget, make a purchase, I'd like to know as much as possible. Comparison thoughts or cup suggestions?

I'm currently on my period (which is why I'm kind of leaning toward the Diva because I'd love to start using a cup as soon as possible). Any tips, comments, suggestions are welcome and appreciated! Thanks, everyone!

Edit: I've just ordered a medium Meluna with a ball stem. Thanks for all your advice and help, everyone!
karenoh on March 29th, 2012 06:59 pm (UTC)
Cup Thoughts
1) Cups are super easy to travel with! I've had my Divacup for about 7 years, and only needed to boil it in a kitchen pot once or twice over that time. I rinse between insertions, and wash it out with an unscented soap like Dr. Bronner's at the beginning and end of my cycle. Or really, whatever soap or cleanser I have on hand!
2)The website says use DivaWash so they can make more money. Use whatever soap you use for yourself --preferably as natural, unscented and with as few additives as possible.
3)Not sure. You could try a medium or small MeLuna or soft MeLuna. Others probably have additional cup recommendations.
4)Honestly, inserting and removing a cup can be more uncomfortable than inserting a tampon, in my experience. Once it's in, though, I can't feel it at all! Once you get over the learning curve, this will improve.
5)I own a DivaCup, a medium meluna soft, and a medium meluna regular. I highly recommend trying a Meluna. The soft cup will be more comfortable, but also more likely to leak and more difficult to pop open (both pretty annoying downsides). As you might have read, MeLuna often sends a free sample when you order a cup. I would recommend you start with a medium --maybe a small-- MeLuna, not a large. Unless you have a very heavy flow, you probably won't need anything bigger than the MeLuna medium anyway. For what it's worth, my MeLuna (plus free sample) shipped quickly and were worth every penny. The DivaCup is a longer cup, as others have probably pointed out. The holes in the DivaCup are also difficult to clean. The DivaCup worked just fine for me for over 6 years, but now I'm trying out my two melunas in hopes of a bit more comfort. I love the MeLuna ball stem, which pokes less than the DivaCup stem.

Edited at 2012-03-29 07:05 pm (UTC)
Cait: Rose Tyler : Puffy Earmuffsmscaitlinpotter on March 29th, 2012 09:48 pm (UTC)
Part of why I want a cup is to help with the ease of travel when I'm abroad. I'm so glad to hear it works pretty well! I think I'm going to go with a medium meluna classic with a ball stem. I really like the look and sound of the meluna. I also like the the look and sound of the fleurcup too but I think I'd like to start with a ball stem though.

karenoh on March 29th, 2012 11:18 pm (UTC)
EXCELLENT choice, if you ask me! :)

I ordered my medium meluna soft with a ball stem (thinking I wanted to try a soft cup) and they sent me a medium meluna classic with the regular tab stem for free. Now I've found I prefer the meluna classic over the meluna soft, and I've been debating ordering another medium meluna classic just so I can have that ball stem! :)

Some people love the meluna ring stem, too.

Good call going with the meluna medium ball stem: I can definitely get overwhelmed by all the info and charts in this community, so kudos to whoever advised you not to overthink it too much. :)
Caitmscaitlinpotter on March 30th, 2012 02:38 am (UTC)
I almost ordered the soft accidentally but then realized it wasn't the classic. I think the ball stem was probably the kicker for me because the tab stem (also on the Diva, Fleur, etc.) kind of put me off. I'm really excited for it to come! (And, surprisingly enough, I might actually be excited for my period next month.)

karenoh on March 30th, 2012 04:14 am (UTC)
I like the idea of the increased comfort of a soft cup, but I think it might be a tough "learner's cup" if that makes sense, mostly due to the increased difficulty getting it to pop open.

Also, more leakage issues as I mentioned. But less putting pressure on other nearby parts of your body.

Congrats on your purchase! I hope they send you a freebie, too. :)
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on March 30th, 2012 02:57 pm (UTC)
so you ordered the medium classic? um, just saying that the name means nothing. they call it medium but it's very similar to many small sizes - and very different from the two other cups that are called medium. they call it classic because this is what they produced originally, before deciding to start making softer cups. and calling it stiff/hard would be off-putting but that's pretty much what it is, really.

as for whether it'll sit as far as tampons do... someone posted this on tumblr: http://amici-di-pallone.tumblr.com/post/9101798664/4-6-6-3-review-rant-playtex-sport-fuck-you-everyone as i wrote, she probably has a low cervix. if you've also experienced this with the upper part of the tampon not absorbing blood (hopefully not that badly!), the cup will probably sit a bit lower. it'll be useless as deep as tampons go. however if your cervix is high, the cup might also move so high that you can't reach it - nothing to be scared of! there are lots of tips and techniques you can try if needed.
ignore what the companies say about how far it should sit. they're probably telling to insert it low so that low cervix folks didn't insert them past the cervix. they all have advice on removing a cup that rides high so that's a bit weird. though afaiu for most people, a cup that's not inserted deep enough will find the right position on its own - if not try kegels etc.
watch this video too http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qEaCn2w9Y4
Caitmscaitlinpotter on March 30th, 2012 04:17 pm (UTC)
I did because when I looked at size comparison pictures (the charts were kind of confusing) it looked smaller than a lot of the larger sizes (and smaller than the Diva which is the only I could have purchased in stores nearby, well, in a store nearby) but not quite too small.

I actually haven't had that problem at all, so I'm assuming I have a relatively high cervix, or at least a medium one.

Okay, thanks so much!!