I love the cup primarily for the financial savings and low maintenance after the first couple days of my period. I have a 3 week cycle (for years I would wonder why my period was never on, or even around, the same date) so it can feel like I am on my period all of the time during some months. Being able to set it and forget it for the day is awesome.
Background of my cycle: I have a short vaginal canal and a tilted uterus. I did not know this before the cup, but I have a moderately heavy flow for typically no more than two days. If I do not take Advil/Ibuprofen as soon as my period starts (and continue for a couple of days), I will have immobilizing cramps. i have never given birth.
I have used the cup for 3 cycles now and use the Diva 1 and the fleurcup. I will separate my suggestions/reviews by cup.
Diva 1: (First and primary cup for one cycle)
This cup can be difficult to get to "pop!" I have not had a need for any of the elaborate/alternative folds. The punch down works as well as any other and better than most. The "C" fold was too large.
This cup has never "popped" open, and I cannot really turn the Diva. To "pop" I simply put the cup in pointing as much towards my tailbone as possible with the bottom still outside of me. I use my finger to get air going around the cup and do a hula motion with my hips and possibly squats. Then I run my finger around the cup again to ensure that it has opened. --This can be very frustrating at first!
The stem rests at the opening of my vagina and causes no irritation. The Diva does not cause any discomfort.
The Diva 1 _does_ leak after about 2 hours on a heavy day due to overflow. I only had a leak caused by misplacement once, and I was too lazy to check that it had opened properly. Always check by running your finger around the cupto make sure that it is totally expanded.
For removal, push down as if you are having a bowel movement. Pull on the stem and wiggle back and forth until you can pinch the bottom of the cup. Continue wiggling back and forth while pushing down. Feel free to relax and take a break before continuing to pull the cup out if you are feeling frustrated/panicked.
The Diva 1 is very easy for me to remove with no pain.
I find the the Diva is too hard to try elaborate folds.
I wash my cups with the Diva Soap which lasts forever because you only need so little per wash. I used organic disposable pads to get any overnight overflow or possible daytime mistakes.
I am not yet comfortable removing and replacing the cup in a public toilet. You have to take your pants down to your ankles (or off) to get these things in sooooo....
Even with a short vaginal canal, the Diva does not poke out or anything like that despite it being the longest of the cups.
Fleur Cup Large (purple): (Used for heavy days on 2nd and 3rd cycle with the cup)
Warning: The packaging is not discreet and comes in a flimsy envelope without protective padding (I ordered from Fleur website). The envelope will say "Fleur Cup."
The fleur _does_ spin when inserting and "pops" much easier. I still never feel a "pop" as my canal is narrow. I do not need to hula or squat with this cup. I just turn once or twice while bearing down and the cup opens.
This cup has stronger suction than the Diva 1. It does cause a little soreness/pain when I use it, but it is hard to judge as I am constantly on pain relievers when using the Fleur. I did postpone the pain meds as long as possible to feel out the cup, and that suction/vicinity with my cervix increased my cramps.
Because of the suction, the Fleur is much more difficult to remove than the Diva. (They are opposites. The Diva is more difficult to open while being easy to remove). Removal is still not hard, but if I don't bear down while removing, it will hurt! As long as I take a breath and push down during removal, I am fine.
The fleur lasts 4-8 hours on heavy days, 8 hours only when sleeping as I believe the horizontal position keeps the period from being as heavy as it wants to be.
I have never had a leaking problem with the Fleur. I use an organic pad on heavy days to catch residual slobber which only happens when I change outside of the shower.
I often feel as if the cup is leaking when it is not. I was the same way with tampons. I am not sure what causes this.
I do not love the grips at the bottom of the fleur. The stick does not cause me irritation, but the grips can cause minimal irritation.
The first time that I used the Fleur it did have a weird smell to it. Like rotting flowers. It is fine for this 3rd cycle. I do not boil my cups because that is not discreet and washing with the Diva Soap and hot water seems fine.