I just completed a whirlwind tour of the east coast and my period started somewhere over the Rockies. It was so great to pop the cup in and ignore it until I landed in Pittsburgh. No, it wasn't affected by the takeoff and two bumpy landings. I love being able to feel confident enough in the cup to sleep on hotel sheets and a friend's bed without the backup of a pad. (Honestly, this was by accident, as I forgot to bring liners.)
Some general tips:
- Don't be afraid to cut the stem, but don't just lob it all off. You may use the stem more than you think you do.
- Unless you're monitoring the volume of your flow, don't bother trying to keep the cup upright when removing it. I find that emptying it as I take it out is a hell of a lot easier and cleaner.
- Keep the cup in one place when its not in use.
- Experiment with different folds; you may find one that works even better than your current method.
- Emptying it in the shower is a great idea, unless the shower drains slowly. Eeeeew.
For the record, I have yet to notice a difference in period length with and without the cup, and I have been recording the lengths of my periods for three or four years now. As for cramping, I don't think the cup induces or alleviates cramps. Keep in mind that every month and day are going to be somewhat different, and switching back and forth between tampons and cups makes for a shoddy experimental design. In other words, how can we really know?
How my housemates have reacted:
My old male roommate dated a girl who used a cup, and he discovered this because he talked about mine with her. I think he was fascinated in the way that usually only gay men are.
My old female roommate actually was the one to point me towards Diva Cups, but has yet to get one herself, stating reasons of frugality. Go figure.
My male roommate is somewhat grossed out by the idea of the cup, and makes a big deal out of it when he sees me cleaning it, but it may all be an act. He did, however, awkwardly ask me to flush the toilet twice when I empty it out, because he doesn't like to see blood in the bowl. He's a paramedic, and he's uncomfortable around blood? He says he just wants to keep work at work. For the record, a mutual straight guy friend of ours mocked this attitude and extolled the virtues of a diva cup for cleaner fooling around.
My female roommate can't menstruate, but says that if she could, she would probably use the cup, because it sounds neat.