Lunette Menstrual Cup vs DivaCup Review

** This review was originally written by Tara in November 2012 and the post was reformatted to include Carolyn’s opinions in February 2014. As with all things related to menstruation, features unique to each person (such as flow or anatomical structures, particularly the height or tilt of the cervix) can influence the user’s experience. Both Tara and Carolyn’s opinions are equally honest and valid reflections of their experiences, which other people may or may not relate to or agree with. Comments and questions are welcome, though any that are felt to be malicious or cruel will be deleted without warning at our discretion.**

Green Team Distribution provided Tara’s Lunette cup for review – all other products were purchased at our own expense. For information on how we attempt to ensure our product reviews are as honest and fair to product creators as possible, please click here.

Comparing Lunette Menstrual Cup and Diva Menstrual Cup

All right LADIES, we are taking a break from diaper talk to talk about the lady business. Or, more specifically, alternative ways to deal with this besides tampons, pads, or banishment to a forest.

Some great menstrual cups are coming out that are intended to be an environmentally-friendly way of handling when Lil’ Red Riding Hood comes into town. I have spent MONTHS testing out both the Lunette and the DivaCup and I am excited to give you my take on the two. ~ Tara

 Lunette CupDivaCup
Capacity
- Size 1
25mL30mL
Capacity
- Size 2
30mL30mL
Diameter
- Size 1
1.60 inches1.69 inches
Diameter
- Size 2
1.80 inches1.81 inches
Height
- Size 1
1.90 inches2.25 inches
Height
- Size 2
2.00 inches2.25 inches
Stem
- Size 1
1 inch0.38 inches
Stem
- Size 2
0.80 inches0.38 inches
ColorsVariety of colorsClear
ProsTara: Colors concealed any staining, comfortable (once stem was trimmed), easy to insert and remove

Carolyn: Comfortable (once stem was trimmed), easy to insert
Tara: Stem is comfortable, no dyes or anything since it is clear

Carolyn: None.
ConsTara: Still some leaks (when compared to a tampon)

Carolyn: None
Tara: Several leaks, doesn't open up easily once inserted

Carolyn: More difficult to insert and position, body of cup is long (even with stem trimmed)
Cost$39.99$39.99

 

Sizing

Both cups come in two different sizes, 1 and 2.

DivaCup recommends the size 2 cup for anyone over 30 years old or who has given birth (either vaginally or by Cesarean section, no matter their age). For all others, they recommend the size 1 cup.

Lunette bases their size recommendations primarily on flow, so that users with a light to moderate flow would typically use size 1, and users with a normal to heavy flow would use size 2. (Flow rate descriptions can be viewed at Heavy or Light Menstrual Flow?) They do encourage users to consider a variety of other factors as well, though, such as age, anatomy, and cervix location. (A more complex guide to choosing the right size Lunette cup can be found at Detailed Menstrual Cup Sizing Guide).

Tara: I initially purchased a size 2 DivaCup, and was provided a size 2 Lunette cup for review. After experiencing leaks and problems with both cups I tried a size 1 Lunette cup, and had greater success with that. 

Carolyn: I have both a size 2 DivaCup (since I have given birth) and a size 2 Lunette cup (which I purchased over a year ago when I believe their sizing instructions were similar to DivaCup’s. Even with the different sizing instructions now, the size 2 is still appropriate for me and I’ve never had any issues with it). 

Capacity

DivaCup says you can wear their product for 10-12 hours before it needs to be emptied (though they recommend removing and washing it a minimum of 2-3 times per day). Lunette also says that their cup can be worn for a maximum 12 hours before it needs to be removed and cleaned (which they also recommend you do 2-4 times per day).

Tara: Now, let me put it this way, I am a rather small person, so I don’t consider myself one to have a heavy flow, but none of these cups lasted longer than 4-6 hours for me.

Carolyn: I found that, just like any other feminine care product, there is some necessary trial and error to figure out how long you can wear your cup before needing to empty it. I do tend to have a pretty heavy flow, so during the beginning of my cycle I usually need to empty my cup every 3-5 hours, whereas towards the end of my period I can easily go 12 hours without needing to empty it. 

Materials

Both cups are made of medical grade silicone, which means it can safely be boiled to sterilize it between cycles and is safe for use by those with rubber latex allergies.

Lunette states that their size 1 cup is made of softer (more flexible) silicone than their size 2 cup.

Color

One concern you may have is if you want a colored cup or not. The DivaCup only comes in one color, but the Lunette has a variety of colors.

DivaCup.com provides an explanation for why they only have the “plain” color: “Although colors are fun, adding other components such as pigment particles, along with chemical additives required to bind the particles to the silicone, create additional risk to the base chemistry of the silicone. ”

Lunette, which comes in several colors, says the following: “The dye we use in our colored cups is FDA approved for medical and food use. The colors don’t contain heavy metals (e.g. lead, chromium VI, cadmium, mercury) or phatalats. We choose the colors carefully so they truly are safe to use inside the vagina. Therefore we don’t use really bright colors or glitter in our Lunette products. Lunette menstrual cups contain only small amounts of colorpaste. The type of dye used in Lunette menstrual cups are inside the silicone so it’s not possible for the color to leach like with some cheaper dyes which are also used in menstrual cups.”

For those who want color, Lunette comes in a bunch of fun colors. Their reason for doing so is, “Some women are a bit worried about possible discoloration of clear Lunette menstrual cups so they want to choose a cup that doesn’t show it so easily” (lunette.com).

Tara: This is definitely something worth considering–I clean my DivaCup religiously, but it is a little stained.

Carolyn: Staining isn’t something I’m very concerned about (I want a menstrual cup to be functional – I don’t spend much time looking at it or anything!) With that said, I did purchase the light blue Lunette, and it’s nice (though the availability of different colors is not something that would influence my decision to purchase one brand of cup over another). 

Cost

Both cups, in either size, cost $39.99.

Tara: I’ll be honest, when I bought my DivaCup (the Lunette cup was provided to me by Green Team Distribution), I was so desperate to find a leak-free solution for my heavy flow (it was my first period after my second baby), that I bought without looking at the price. I just assumed this would be an affordable option. So I did some math afterwards and it would take me several years to “even out” in cost from continuing to buy tampons. So if you are someone who is doing it for cost reasons, I am not sure that it pays for itself too quickly, especially if you coupon. 

Carolyn: I have pretty specific tastes when it comes to the brand, style, and absorbency level of the tampons I use on a regular basis. For me, the cost of a menstrual cup evens out by approximately 6 months. That means that it certainly isn’t an immediate cost savings, but considering the number of years most women menstruate for, over the long run I expect to see increasing cost benefits. 

Inserting 

Both cups come with recommended insertion techniques (Lunette’s can be seen at Folding Methods For Menstrual Cups and DivaCup’s instructions are at How It Works), however, there are a number of folds and ways to insert any menstrual cup (the only difference between them all is how well they meet your particular needs). An Internet search for “menstrual cup folds” will bring up numerous insertion methods and video demonstrations of various folds.

Tara: So the instructions for the DivaCup were a little odd for my body. It says to fold it in half, insert, and twist it. I personally found that I could never get a twist–also, to be frank, it had my fingers up in my business and that made it more messy than I needed it to be. There are a lot of different ways to insert a menstrual cup (DivaCup or otherwise!) but I was able to find a technique for putting it in that kept my fingers away from getting stuff on them. In case it helps other people I thought I’d share my method, but it may or may not work for you as well as it did for me. 

Let me walk you through how I do it. I am using a banana here, just because I felt odd photographing something that’s been in my business.

How to insert menstrual cup

Fold the cup in half vertically, with your finger going down the middle:

How to fold a menstrual cup (side view)

When you fold it, it looks like this at the top and your finger should be buried as much in that fold as possible (that protects the finger from getting stuff on it):

How to fold a menstrual cup (front view)

You then insert it, making sure that the folded side (the side opposite of your finger) is pushing up against the back wall, as shown:

How to insert a menstrual cup

You then very subtly release your finger. Don’t go too far, like in this next picture, or you have a mess:

How to insert a menstrual cup

So see here how it is just VERY subtle and you avoid the finger hitting the front wall of your entry? Once your finger pulls away, the cup should unfold and you’ll hear it seal off. If it stayed folded (which happened a lot with the DivaCup for me), then you’ll have to try again (folded=leak city).

How to insert a menstrual cup

Since your fingers are going in your business, you will still have to wash your hands (just was you would after inserting a tampon, or heck, going to the bathroom). But I felt that this method definitely got very little on me at all.

Carolyn: When I received my first menstrual cup (the Lunette) I tried following Tara’s preferred insertion method and had difficulty getting my cup placed comfortably that way. I had greater success with the “C-fold” or “U-fold” (same technique, different name) but I did find that the insertion process is where there is the greatest learning curve. It definitely took a lot of experimenting (Is this easier to do sitting down? Standing up? Standing with one leg up on the toilet?) and while I read numerous explanations of the proper angle of insertion and where the cup should be situated, I had the most success worrying less about the diagrams I saw and paying closer attention to how it felt in my body after I stood up and moved around. If it was uncomfortable, I removed it and tried again in a slightly different manner. After a few months I started to recognize the patterns in what worked best for me, and now I rarely need to adjust the cup after I insert it. There’s really no way to tell someone exactly how to put in a menstrual cup because everyone’s body is unique. I recommend practicing using your cup for the first time when you will be at home and don’t have much going on – that way you can take the time to work out the method that feels best for you without feeling stressed or rushed. 

Removing

To remove, you pinch the base of the cup to break the seal that has formed, and then pull it out. Do not pull the cup out by the stem (the stem can be used to help bring the cup low enough to reach the base, but should not be used to remove the cup from your body). Lunette recommends rocking the cup side to side as you pull down.

Once you have removed it, you can tip the contents into the toilet bowl.

Tara: I basically repeat the motion I did to insert the cup, but you don’t have to go in as far…but just remember, keep your finger as buried in the fold of the cup as possible.

Carolyn: I find the side to side rocking motion helpful in removing the cup, and I also try to remove the cup so that it ends up being upright (as it comes out of your body you can begin to tilt the cup so that the first edge to emerge leads the way, and when the rest of the cup comes out you don’t spill it’s contents on accident).

Care and Cleaning

DivaCup and Lunette both make a special wash for menstrual cups, but they state that you can also use any mild, unscented soap to wash your cup between uses. When out of the house, you can simply wipe the cup clean with toilet paper before reinserting, and then clean it thoroughly when you return home. Lunette also makes disinfecting wipes for this purpose.

Carolyn: Readers have said that they bring small water bottles in their purse to rinse their cup out over the toilet when using public restrooms. I don’t typically use my cup if I anticipate having to change it while I’m out of the house, but one of my biggest cleaning concerns had been how to get my cup from my home toilet to the sink to clean it (especially since our bathroom has the toilet in it’s own small room, and then the sink is in an outer area). Facebook fans recommended using a peri-care bottle (those things really do come in handy!) to rinse the cup enough to carry it to the sink. I have found it easiest to keep a small plastic cup by the bathroom sink, which I take with me to the toilet when I need to empty my menstrual cup. I remove my menstrual cup, pour it’s contents into the toilet, and then place the menstrual cup in my plastic cup. I then finish up on the toilet, carry the plastic cup to the sink, and clean both the menstrual cup and the plastic cup. Then I take the clean menstrual cup back to the toilet to reinsert it (as that’s where I prefer to insert my cup). If you remove and clean your cup in the shower, you can eliminate all of these steps, though (which is why there are many people who prefer to do at least one of their daily cup cleanings there!) 

Between cycles both companies say that you can boil your cup for 5-10 minutes to further sterilize it (making sure to use plenty of water, so that the cup doesn’t settle on the bottom of the pan and burn). After it has been cleaned and sterilized, you can store the cup in the cloth or satin bag it came with until the beginning of your next cycle (it is important that you do not store your cup in an airtight container).

Carolyn: At the end of my cycle I wash my cup, place it in a large Pyrex container filled with water, and then microwave it for 10 minutes (checking every so often to make sure there is still enough water in the container). I let mine air dry on our bottle drying rack, and then leave it there until I need it for my next cycle. It’s totally clean and sterilized (so it can’t possibly do any harm to anything else drying on the rack) and nobody has ever noticed it or mentioned it. At the beginning of my next cycle I wash and sterilize it again before using it (since it has been sitting out in the open for a while).


Tara’s Experience

Cloth diaper reviews and statistics

Comfort: Both of them were equal in comfort. At first I had issues with the very stem of the Lunette cup. The stem is a very thin and long, while the DivaCup stem is more rounded and shorter. So the Lunette was very uncomfortable at first, but Maria at Change-Diapers suggested I trim the stem down with a pair of scissors and once I did that, it was awesome.

Leaks: Especially in the beginning as I was figuring things out, I got leaks with both cups. I had also initially purchased the larger sized cups (for ladies who had vaginal deliveries), but found that by having it too big, it folded more, didn’t seal, and caused leaks. As I was figuring out insertion techniques and the right size (I ended up preferring the size 1 Lunette cup), I used the sherpa liners that came with my Ragababe AIO diapers.

Grossness: Gross happens. As a Mom, I’ve become pretty immune to it. But I feel compelled to be totally honest and say that I’ve had the cup fall into a public toilet while I was trying to insert it (this was in the beginning, when I was still trying to figure it all out). The next part, I am ashamed to write on the world wide web, but I feel like I have to….I’ve had both brands of the cup fall out 3 times while going to the bathroom–GROSS! I have found that it happens when I’ve had it in for a while before changing (4 hours, which is still 1/3 of the time which DivaCup says you can keep it in for). Now that could be my anatomy but I think it’s more of a gravity issue, since it was fuller at 4 hours. Another time, at the very end of my period, my sleep-deprived memory failed me and I thought I had taken it out, but hadn’t…a day later, I realized it was still in there, and that really grossed me out (but maybe that is a good testament to how once it’s in, you don’t really feel it?).

In Summary: I think this is a good option if you are trying to help the environment. If you just want to save your money, it may take a while before you start to save the money from it. I also think that each cup works differently–I personally found that my body wouldn’t let the DivaCup unfold once inserted, but the Lunette worked like a charm for me.


Carolyn’s Experience

Comfort: The stem on the Lunette is really long, and most people end up needing to trim it down. I found it quite uncomfortable until I had cut off enough of it that I could no longer feel it when I stood up and walked around. Once trimmed properly, I’ve never had any problems with my Lunette. In comparison, I found the DivaCup to be less comfortable, particularly towards the end of my cycle. The body of the DivaCup is longer than the Lunette cup, and I could definitely feel the end of the DivaCup poking me when I sat or lay down in certain positions. It was not consistently uncomfortable, but the fact that I could feel it at all (even once in a while) bothered me. I trimmed the stem and that helped to a certain degree, but since the stem is already quite short my issue was really with the height of the cup itself (which I cannot do anything about). For my particular anatomy, I prefer the Lunette.

Leaks: I have never had any leaks with either cup (though I do frequently use a cloth pantiliner as backup protection at the beginning of my cycle, when my flow is heaviest).

Grossness: I don’t feel like there is ANY way of dealing with menstruation that doesn’t involve some degree of mess, so it really comes down to what you are comfortable with. If my cup has been working properly and not leaking, I don’t find that my hands get messy when removing/emptying my cup (the parts of my body that I’m coming in contact with haven’t been exposed to any menstrual fluid, since that has all been contained within the cup up higher than I need to reach). There is greater potential for getting your hands messy with a cup than with something like a tampon, but with a cup you don’t have to worry about disposing of anything afterwards (I used to DREAD having to dispose of menstrual care items at other people’s houses – you don’t want to flush a tampon and clog their toilet, but you also don’t want to use a whole roll of toilet paper wrapping something up so it won’t look disgusting in their trash can . . . and that’s IF they even have a trash can, or at least one with a liner in it instead of an empty and pristine garbage can …. clearly THAT situation has caused me more anxiety than the potential for getting my hands dirty!) But in reality, I’ve had worse messes on my hands changing diapers than I have had with my cups, so my personal feeling is that it isn’t anything grosser than what you already do as a parent.

In Summary: I definitely prefer menstrual cups to pads or tampons – I hate the “leaking” sensation when using pads, and there’s nothing worse than removing a tampon that was a higher level of absorbency than you actually needed. I like that menstrual cups solve both those problems, but what I love even more is that I swear (even though I thought everyone was making it up when they said it before!) that my cramping is less intense when I use a menstrual cup than a pad or tampon. I have no idea why that would be the case, but I’ve had times where I was using a tampon and having terrible cramps, and I switched to my menstrual cup and soon after my cramps were far more bearable (I’m not saying that I never have any cramps anymore, just that they aren’t as bad as they usually are). I like the fact that I won’t have to buy tampons anymore (or at least not as often) but I mostly prefer the way my body actually feels when using a menstrual cup (the Lunette cup in particular). 


Helpful/Related Links

 

Where To Buy

You can see who carries this product by typing in “Diva” or “Lunette” at the Cloth Diaper Retailer Database (www.clothdiaperretailers.com). You can compare retailers based on shipping costs, location, and even specials they have going on. Many of them even post exclusive discounts for Padded Tush Stats followers. If you buy from those with an asterisk (***) next to their name, a portion of your purchase goes towards supporting this site, so thank you in advance!

 

Tara Porter

Tara Porter began using cloth diapers in 2011 when she felt that using disposable diapers was costing too much money. The problem was, a lot of the highly recommended diapers weren’t working for her baby. What she finally discovered was that her baby was skinny and a heavy wetter, and that diapers worked differently for those baby types. Because of her professional work with survey design and statistics, she designed Padded Tush Stats as a way to determine how different cloth diapers worked on different babies.

Tara moved on to other career endeavors in 2014 but can still be found online blogging about health and fitness at Fit Baby Steps.
  • Mindy

    If they fell out you might need a smaller size. I had leakage and problems keeping it “up in there” with a size 2. I’m 21 and had a baby vaginally so I thought id need a size 2. A size 1 with the stem trimmed on a lunette works perfectly. :) my fiancé thinks I’m brave but doesn’t want to see it lol

  • http://www.fuzzynoodlelife.com Caryn

    I have both, and really prefer the Lunette. Yes, I too had to cut the stem to make it comfortable, but because the silicone is a bit stiffer, it pops into shape easily and I never have leaks with it.

    In regards to your point about cost effectiveness…I can only use Playtex tampons (I have an extremely tilted uterus), and a Lunette paid for itself in about 6 months. And they’re no waste, which is HUGE since I’d fill up the garbage can every month with applicators.

    One really valid point you left out is vaginal health. Tampons absorb everything…menstrual fluid, cervical mucus, and the healthy lubrication of the vaginal wall. Tampons can also cause TSS. A menstrual cup only catches the flow…that’s it. It’s a much healthier way to have a period. And I find it really helps with my cramping. Due to years of IVF and infertility meds, my cycles are bananas, and prior to using the cup, I felt like my lady parts were trying to eject themselves out of my body. The cup helped so much with my cramps and cervical pain, that I don’t have to call in sick my first day of my periods anymore!

    Thanks for the review!! More women should know about their options…I SO wish I had learned about cups much sooner…it took my interest in cloth diapering to find out about them!

  • Cyndel

    Thanks!!!!!!!!
    I’ve struggled with leaks using my Diva cup, + other problems. This helps me decide where to look next!

  • Shira W.

    I can tell you why you were having leaks with the Diva, if you inserted it as pictured. You don’t angle the cup upwards and insert it like a tampon. You have to angle it back and make sure to rotate it (grip the bottom like you are going to take it out and give it a good turn). Pointing it towards the back and rotating it make sure it’s snug against the cervix and fully opened. I have a VERY heavy flow my first day, and have no issues with leaks, though the first time I used it, I was having leaks. Leaks means it’s in wrong.

  • Mary

    Can you speak to the washing and storage routine of these products? I am a cup virgin, and I am having a hard time figuring out the logistics. How many should you have in your “stash?” Once used, how do you transport to the sink without dripping? Thanks, Tara!

    • Julia

      Lunette has a really great “Feel Better” liquid wash for cleaning throughout the day (not sure about Diva Cup), or you can just rinse it when need be with water, and then it is recommended that you clean your cup regularly with boiling water so that bacteria don’t grow on your cup when it’s not in use – I do this once my cycle is finished, and then store it in the silk drawstring bag that came with my Lunette for the next cycle. You can buy more drawstring bags (and choose from a ton of colours) online if you need them as well. I have two cups (one size 1, and a size 2), although, I initially went with a size 2 because I had a heavy flow and was suffering with endometriosis at the time but found it to be a little bit big (I’m 29 and have not had children) so I only use my size 2 occasionally now but still saved myself a lot of money in the long run because I was going through so many pads and tampons each month. You could easily get away with just the one cup if you pick the right size first. If I’m in public toilets I either take my drink bottle with me so that I can empty my cup into the toilet, then rinse it with water from my drink bottle, or choose a toilet with a sink in it. Menses isn’t typically thin and watery, so there shouldn’t be too much “dripping” when it comes to transporting it to the sink. The process is really not a lot messier than tampons once you get used to it, and once you change your mindset, as in, menses can be messy but it isn’t dirty, it’s really not a big deal.

  • Alisha

    I am curious about the lady cup. It comes in a lot of really cool colors, but there are very few reviews on that brand.

    • musicahumana

      I love my ladycup! Flexible, high volume, easy to clean, hasn’t leaked yet.

  • http://flwrqueen.tumblr.com Lindsay

    I own the Diva Cup and LOVE it! (never tried the Luna) I purchased it before having a baby so got the size 1. I thought after the vaginal birth of my baby I would need to purchase the next size up, but I am fine. It works like a champ! I must have light flow but I have never had a leak and I have left it in for over 24 hours before. That is one thing I love about it, it isn’t like a tampon where you are at risk of TSS. Tampons leak for me. Also, I hate at the end of my cycle when I am just spotty that I have to use so many Tampons – Diva cup solves that problem!

    My husband is very supportive of it, doesn’t gross him out at all, he thinks it is terrific even if he finds it being boiled in a pot on the stove. I think it was well worth the money, it has paid for itself already. That was my main motivation for getting it (1) economical, (2) environmental (btw, same with my decision to cloth diaper). It came in a cute little storage bag, and a pin :) I bought the wash, but I think that is unnecessary, any mild soap would do. I have never had it fall in the toilet – not really sure how that would happen?!? I have never changed it in a public bathroom, but would probably opt the rinse in that situation. I only wash it good at the first and after the last use of the month with an occasional boil to sanitize.

    At first I was nervous with the insertion/process, but I was that way with my first tampon in Jr. High. After the first use I was in love! I wish I had known about these when I was in Jr High – it would have saved me a lot of red pant embarrassment that no teenager needs. It is slightly more invasive than inserting a tampon, but not by much. My biggest complaint is when I remove it I don’t like to grab in and pinch, so I just pull the tab. So when the widest part of the cup passes it is a bit stretchy, but no big deal.

    I love the Diva Cup! Everyone should give it a try! (I am sure if I tried the Lunette Cup first I would fill the same way)

  • Rachael

    I love that you are reviewing the 2 cups. I too have tried both and have very different results. I think you should do what you do with cloth diapers and open a poll up to everyone to leave their feedback.
    I do it mainly because of the health reason, of disposable products, the chemicals and bleach that we are putting into our bodies. I think its would be good to add this kind of info to your review. These are the same reason why I cloth diaper, its isn’t because of saving money or the planet (alight it is a nice added bonus), its because I try to reduce chemicals exposure to myself and my family whenever possible.
    I also agree with other commenters, if you are having leaks its not in properly. I personally love the lunette WAY better than the diva cup. Everyone is different in there and having lots of different perspectives would be great.
    Thanks SO much for all the hard work you do and how wonderful your site is! Keep it going!

  • KD

    Did you mean 27.5 mL for the size 1? (It says 37.5 mL, with a size 2 at 30 mL!

  • Trisha

    I’ve had several kids and am in my early 40s. I too have felt the Diva Cup coming out while using the toilet. This typically happens during a BM, though not for all of them. I saw a reader comment that a smaller size cup might be needed. Since I believe I’m quite stretched out from multiple vaginal deliveries, I don’t understand how a smaller size could help. Please enlighten me? Thanks.

  • Nidia

    I’m not a small person as you wrie, actually I’m very tall but i consider I have a “normal” amount of blood. I use Diva cup size 2 and it last for me 12 hours on a heavy day without any problem.

    The femme cup wich is smaller (10 to 12ml) last for me 6 hours.

    Maybe the issue about durability deppends on fluid quantity but in any case if you have to change ANY cup before 3 hours you better check with you doctor

  • shheryl

    I took the 12 hour thing to mean that it was safe to wear a cup for 12 hours (Lunette says the same thing) opposed to the 6 you can wear a tampon. I don’t think they were saying it would hold 12 hours of flow because that’s an individual thing. I can wear it 12 hours with no leak, but I don’t have a heavy flow.

    • http://www.makingitworkblog.com/ Carolyn Russell

      Hm, you make a good point. It sure does SEEM like they’re saying it can be worn 12 hours without problem, but you’re probably right in that they’re just saying it’s safe.

  • Savannah

    the directions say insert it horizontally. the picture shows you using the 45 degree tampon angle.
    you may want to insert horizontally and see if they work better for you.
    i really appreciate your honest review though. i just got my diva cup and have not had a chance to use it.
    no one in my life has expressed the disgust your spouse has, maybe he needs to be educated a little. there is nothing disgusting about the human body.
    and even if my girlfriend was totally disgusted (which shes not, shes actually quite intrigued and excited to ind a safer and more eco-friendly alternative to tampons) i would never risk my health by switching back to bleached, rayon containing products that may harm my reproductive system. not to mention the environment.
    if my diva cup doesn’t work out, i’m using cloth pads.

  • Na-nners

    I found practicing inserting it before I needed to (kwim) was very helpful.

  • Na-nners

    Oh and I have never had a leak when inserted correctly. I use the fold you describe, but at first was thinking it at to sit right at my cervix. It doesn’t have to. It sits low, so that the bottom is right at the vaginal opening. So insert, the pull like you are removing, while turning a little. Sometimes I use my index finger and gently insert and run my finger along the outside quickly to make sure it’s open..
    Also, I have worn it for more than 12 hours on the spotting days no issue.

    Make sure you boil it before use (I do right after and before) to avoid yeast infections. And DONT USE ANTIBACTERIAL SOAP to clean it. You will get a yeast infection from what.

    • http://www.makingitworkblog.com/ Carolyn Russell

      Wait, DON’T use an anti-bacterial soap?? Wouldn’t that be what you’d WANT (in order to really kill anything on it before you put it inside you?) I don’t want a yeast infection, but I also don’t want bacteria that isn’t supposed to be there!

      • suzanne

        Nope! Antibacterial soap alters your pH. Use a mild cleanser for your cup.

        • http://www.makingitworkblog.com/ Carolyn Russell

          Wow, well see, this is why it’s so great to have the comments here! I already messed up and I haven’t even used it yet! ;) To be honest, I don’t even know what a mild soap would be (I’m thinking that Dove bar soap was recommended by my doctor’s office for use on babies, but I don’t want to clean a menstrual cup with a bar soap!) I don’t think we have any non-antibacterial soap (would that make it bacterial soap, then?) ;) So what kind of cleanser would you guys recommend? (I’d prefer something cheap and easy to get a hold of, not a name brand specialty product I have to order!) :)

          • http://twitter.com/1Mommabear Trisha W.

            I’ve been using the orange, liquid Dial soap to clean my Diva for a little under a year. I rinse it thoroughly and have yet to have a yeast infection. Outside of Diva wash, I would like to know what a ‘gentle or mild’ cleanser might be. =)

          • http://www.makingitworkblog.com/ Carolyn Russell

            Yeah, I went to the soap section and couldn’t find anything that was unscented and non-antibacterial. A friend suggested dish soap, but I don’t know that I’ve ever seen an unscented one of those, either! I looked for a liquid Dove soap (since the bar is supposed to be super gentle) but all I could find was the shower gel that was extra moisturizing (and I figured THAT would probably affect things, too!) Then I got overwhelmed and just left ;)

          • lealorali

            CETAPHIL!

          • Mara

            I’ve used Diva Wash, but before I bought that I used Cetaphil to clean it. I much prefer the Diva Wash because it lathers and helps get those little holes clean.

          • Charlotte

            Maybe rinse it with diluted vinegar? I like apple cider vinegar, personally. Or you could use a castile soap like Dr. Bronner’s.

          • Sue

            Both Diva and Lunette make mild washes (cleasners) for use with thier cups.

      • na-nners

        Antibacterial soap will affect the ph in your body, like suzanne said. Hot water and a mild cleanser is fine during use, and then the boiling after is to keep the yeast from forming.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alpriestley Amber Priestley

    I find after a couple days with the Diva cup, the suction makes me sore on the inside like I bruised my lady parts or something. I do enjoy not watching the clock or getting up on a schedule to change tampons especially on lighter days.

    • Mara

      I’ve experienced the soreness, but I think it has to do with pulling on it without breaking the suction first. Try folding it before pulling it out and see if that helps. I’ve only noticed the soreness a few times since using the cup, so my guess is that it was during cycles where I might have emptied it that way a few times.

  • Stephanie

    I have had a Diva Cup for 7 years now and I love it. I have always changed it twice a day – so I have left it in for 12 hours with no problem. I agree with a previous poster, that it can actually work for 12 hours – but depending on your flow perhaps it won’t. The only issues I have had with it are since I have had my son, I have not upgraded to the size 2 yet and have a few small leaks – I plan on getting the size two and expect it to work as good as the size one did for the past 7 years! :) I have never tried the Lunette cup.
    Another thing I’d like to add is with my Diva Cup – sometimes it takes a few minutes for it to ‘pop’ open. It doesn’t always open right away – but it ALWAYS does after a few minutes – and you will know it has. So I would say if it doesn’t open right away you don’t have to take it out and insert it again – just wait – the natural shape of the silicon will want to be in the open position and will get that way.

  • Hbsoul

    So, no one’s had an issue with your Diva cup getting stuck up there? The second time I used mine, I couldn’t get it out by myself. My partner had to do it for me! It “worked” well…no leakage. But I’m afraid to use it again. Any suggestions?

    • mara

      There’s really nowhere for it to go. If you fold it before pulling it should come out easily. If you don’t fold it, the suction can make it difficult to come down.

    • Sumei

      If you can’t reach it push down with your muscles (slowly and gently, no need to rush things), cups don’t really get stuck but they can feel that way when you aren’t sure what you’re doing. If you can reach it just squish a side to break the seal.

  • http://twitter.com/1Mommabear Trisha W.

    ~ CLEANING TIP ~

    I’ve been using a Diva for less than a year. One thing I didn’t like was how difficult, if not impossible it was to get the pin sized suction holes clean. I finally figured out how to easily clean them and thought I’d pass along my tip.

    Here it is…

    1. Fill the cup with warm water.
    2. Place the palm of your hand tightly over the opening and flip the cup over.
    3. Gently squeeze the cup repeatedly. If the suction to your hand is good enough this will shoot water out of the holes and clean the gunk out in the process. Personally, I used warm soapy water but I’m sure it would be fine without the soap.

    I hope my tip helps someone else.

    • http://www.makingitworkblog.com/ Carolyn Russell

      Oooh, SO BRILLIANT!

    • Mara

      SOO smart! Thanks!

  • Mara

    I’ve only used the Diva Cup, and on heavy days I find that it needs to be emptied 3-4 times, but I can easily go 12 hours on my light days. It’s so easy to forget that sometimes I realize it’s been longer than 12 hours and then I feel panicked. I rarely have to empty/wipe it in a public restroom because I’m able to wait until I’m home. By far the best/easiest time to empty and clean it is in the shower, so I always try to time one of my changes then.

    I never or rarely have leaks because I ALWAYS check to make sure it’s open (just run a finger along the rim to make sure it’s fully round). If it leaks, it isn’t in correctly.

    Every now and then I’ll have a cycle that gives me that “bruised” feeling, but I’m not sure why. My guess is that it has to do with pulling on it (to remove) without breaking the suction first. I usually try to fold it before pulling it out. If it’s really full this can be a little messy, but for the most part it goes smoothly.

  • homocastle

    have you considered menstrual-use sea sponges? those are apparently also pretty effective, and a *lot* cheaper.

    (also: if you and your husband are that grossed out by some blood and uterine tissue, that’s… probably not a good thing.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamie.dacyczyn Jamie M. Franklin Dacyczyn

    I too have only used the DivaCup, but I easily go 12 hours without having to empty it. I do not use the insertion technique that you showed. What I do is flatten the cup, and then fold one of the top corners down like a right angle 7. This makes more of a point than the “C fold” method shown above. Holding the corner folded down with my thumb, I push the Cup inward. Once it clears the initial opening (where most of your muscles are), I use my thumb to just pop that fold back up and push the cup in further. I don’t twist the cup either (I don’t know how you can). Instead, I just swirl a finger around the cup to make sure it’s open on all sides. I never have problems with leaks (if you do, you’re either inserting it wrong and not getting a seal, or you have the wrong size).

  • Sue

    Can’t imagine why your spouse is so disgusted. Remind him that menstruation is a natural healthy bodily function. Bottom line is you should do what is best for your body.

    • Deborah

      I agree, although I am more disturbed by the fact that any woman would care what her husband thinks of her menstrual decisions, than by his disgust. After all, it’s easy to form opinions about something one knows nothing about and doesn’t have to deal with. Men who are “grossed out” by women, in any capacity, have issues of their own, quite frankly. But men need not be part of the menses equation: our bodies, our choices, our needs: our business.

  • Courtney

    Am I the only one off put by the amount of times the word gross was used? For heaven sakes it’s your body?… There’s nothing gross about it, and even if you do get your fingers a little dirty that’s what water and soap is for.

    I enjoyed the detail and attention taken in this posting, I just think if you’re going to write about using menstrual cups in a blog you would seem to not be so skittish about the natural body.
    And your husband?… He doesn’t have to deal with it, this is cleaner than nasty tampons and pads soaked in blood, he won’t have to see te blood by chance in the garbage, or worry about the kids getting into it either…

    • DivaFan

      I too am put off by how many times she referred to her own body as gross.

      I’m even more disgusted at the husband. What a narrow-minded, uninformed, shallow person.

      My boyfriend thinks my DivaCup is awesome (because it IS) and he isn’t afraid of it, and he definitely doesn’t look at me like I have the plague.(Definitely not a sign of a healthy relationship)

      And even if my partner was disgusted by my environmentally conscious, better-for-your-body, money saving method of collecting my menstrual fluid, I’d give him a piece of my mind and tell him to grow up.

      I also fail to see how having “my fingers up in my business much more than I wanted them to be” would ever be considered gross. It’s MY body! You should never be ashamed of your body, or think it’s gross.

      It’s your body,it’s beautiful, it’s natural. Respect your body and say kinder things about it!

  • JNew

    I’m surprised to learn that these kind of products have been on the market for at least seven years now- I had previously thought they were newer than that. Also, I have not seen anything discussing the frequency with which to replace the cup. Aren’t you supposed to replace every six months?

    • Cri

      where have you got that idea? completely false…

    • ReadsInTrees

      The Keeper has been around for decades. It was a brown latex thing, and never really caught on with the general public.

      DivaCup says to replace the cup every year…but this is probably more of an FDA super safe guideline. It USED to be every ten years, but I think bureaucratic stuff made them update their guideline…I mean, how much profit are you going to make if your customers don’t return for a decade? I’ve had my DivaCup for three years and nothing’s changed except that it’s slightly stained. I did purchase a new Lunette cup because of the shorter size.

      • talia

        The Keeper is made of gum rubber, not latex.

        • ReadsInTrees

          Thanks for correcting that. I just remember my mom had one, but rarely used it. It sat on a bathroom shelf, weirding out us kids who didn’t know what it was for.

        • Helina

          Gum rubber IS latex. The Keeper is made of natural gum rubber, AKA latex, so use The Keeper’s Moon Cup if you are allergic or don’t like latex.

  • ReadsInTrees

    This is not my favorite insertion technique. There are actually several different folds you can do. The other common one is the “punch down” method, where you sort of push the lip of the cup in and down. The fold I use is the “7 fold”, where you flatten the cup, and then fold one corner down; makes a smaller point to insert and pops open easier. I also don’t know why the author has her finger up inside herself so far. I just fold the cup, and keep it folded by pinching while I push the cup inside me. No need to twist the cup, just run your finger around the “bowl” of the cup to make sure it’s open all the way.

  • Patty Granados

    I’m confused by the math about the price; hypothetically speaking, if you have a 4 day period and change your tampon every 4 hours, you’d be using 24 tampons per period. At about $9.00 for a box of 36, and more or less using 2 boxes of tampons per every 3 months, your cup would be more of less paying for itself in about 6 mo. or, if you have a shorter, lighter, or otherwise lesser need for tampons than this, up to a year. Still sounds like a pretty good investment, given medical grade silicone, if properly cleaned, should last you years.

    • Hi

      24 tampons per period?? I use about 3 tampons, a few pantiliners, and 1 pad, on average. Maybe my period is light but 24 still sounds very high

      • http://www.makingitworkblog.com/ Carolyn Russell

        Are you saying that during the course of your entire period you only use 3 tampons? Or that you use that many in the course of a single day? Tampons can be used for a maximum of 8 hours, so 3 might get you through a single day if you have an extremely light flow or it’s towards the end of your period. Towards the beginning of mine I definitely need to change every 3-4 hours, though towards the end I could probably go about 5-6 without issue. So, 24 might not be exact, but I think it’s a fairly reasonable estimation. That’s incredibly if you only need to use 3, but I don’t think it’s representative of the average person :)

  • Michelle

    I have been using the Diva cup for 2 years now and LOVE it! I play a lot of sports (mostly water sports) and I never have to worry about it. I just have to make sure I change it before I put on a wetsuit and immediately after so it doesn’t leak from being overfilled and moving so much. I find the Diva cup moves well with my body and the only trouble of leaking I have ever had is usually the first night of my period when my flow is heavy; the cup is full and I move quickly… is sometimes breaks the seal. I always wake up immediately but this is what made me consider looking into other brands. I have been doing my research and I think I have it down to the Lunette and the Diva Cup. I heard the Lunette holds more but I think the review I was looking at they were comparing the model 2 of the Lunette to the Model 1 of the Diva Cup. Since all reviews of the Lunette 2 say it is much more firm than the model 1 I will not be trying it. I need something soft that will move with me to prevent leaks during activity. As of right now it looks like the smaller diva cup is still the one for me.
    Thank you very much for your review. It has helped a lot!

    • http://www.makingitworkblog.com/ Carolyn Russell

      That’s so great to hear about using it successfully in the water! That’s the one thing I haven’t tried and have always wondered about! And I have only used the Lunette, so I can’t offer comparison advice, but I wonder if a firmer cup would actually help prevent leaks by not being as prone to collapsing when it gets full? It’s really too bad there’s not an easy way to try a bunch of different cups before purchasing one! :)

  • Luella

    There is nothing gross about a woman’s body or a natural function of her body. It’s okay if you can’t keep any of that off your hand. No big deal.

    • carrieann431

      Everyone’s body produces “gross” things. Some people can’t handle bodily fluids as well as others and that’s fine. Some people pass out at the site of blood. Some people define “gross” as something that makes them feel nauseated or sick to their stomach due to the fact that it makes them think of pain. Blood freaks a lot of people out and they say it’s “gross” meaning it makes them feel that way…not necessarily that they think of it as disgusting and repugnant. Just because something is “gross” does not mean you should be ashamed of it. The author is not saying that she’s ashamed or anything like that either. She’s just stating that your hand will probably come into actual contact with more bodily fluids than using a tampon. Some people get very queezy very easily and would not be able to handle that, so she is warning those people so they will know that beforehand. So, it would be just fine for someone to wipe their own ass with their bare hand because that is natural too? As a critical care and ER nurse, I come into contact with nasty (yes some are nasty…such as adult diarrhea and pus from infected wounds) body fluids that aren’t even mine on a daily basis…often with gloves but sometimes not…sometimes things get thrown on my clothes, soak through my socks and shoes, or get splashed all over my face and hair. I can assure you that it is not just fine, whether it’s yours or not, if you do not take caution to clean your hands effectively afterwards. Otherwise yes it is fine if you’re using lots of soap and water!

    • equinoxa

      Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it must not offend. I think we have a right to have any feelings we want toward our own bodies. Oddly, I used to feel very comfortable with my body and would talk in a way similar to you about “natural things” And after a lot of view changes, I started accepting what in my case I had denied due to certain agenda. Nature can be gross. Slimy things can be unpleasant. It’s my opinion. There is no right or wrong. However, I do think that more women should become more comfortable with knowing their bodies.

  • Jen

    I was a little shocked to read ” So you may want to talk with your partner about it before forking over the money to buy it”. I didn`t ask my partner if I could make a $40 purchase or how he feels about how I choose to deal with my menstrual flow. It`s none of his business and frankly what does he know about menstruation anyway?! I`ve been using the Lunette cup for over two years. It works great for ME and that`s all matters. I`m not sure why your husband thinks the menstrual cup is gross? Sounds like he may think menstruation is disgusting. The menstrual cup is not a new concept but it`s just now that it`s become more mainstream. As women we should make our own choices about our own bodies.

  • lauren

    Very much dislike the way this was written. All this author did was give the idea that our bodies are disgusting. If it’s falling out in the toilet, you’re doing something wrong. If it leaks, YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG.

    • carrieann431

      Wow pretty harsh. At least give her a chance to get better at it. She’s new and she admits that. No one is a pro at everything from the very beginning.

  • sara

    You people take this stuff WAY too personal. A blog is designed for opinions of the blogger. Just because her comments and opinions dont line up EXACTLY with yours does not mean you need to run her into the ground. Some couples discuss money just because you may not, doesn’t make this a poorly written blog. Also, If she had been talking about cleaning à dirty diaper and gave feedback on getting poop all over her hand your first thought would have been “gross”. (But wait…it’s a child…so that makes it BEAUTIFUL poop that we need to embrace and not call gross by your standards. Right? Wrong. Any way you cut it, it’s still crap and it’s gross.) So get over your high and mighty bs about your vag on your rag not being gross. LOL you sound rediculous. To the blogger who dared to make her original post, cudos to you. Excellent job. Well written and i appreciate all of your honesty on this matter.

    • carrieann431

      Thank you!!!

    • heronblue

      YES thank you! LOL it’s gross and that’s life might as well laugh about it and RELAX. no point getting all politically correct

  • Sara Johnson

    I’ve had my Lunette for about 6 months now, and LOVE it. I am so happy I made the switch. It did take some time to figure out the best insertion technique, but I do realize I am now WAY more familiar with my internal anatomy. (Getting all up in there doesn’t really bother me!) I found the best way, for me, was to fold in half, then fold again so it was really narrow, insert partially but then let go before it got in too far and couldn’t open properly, then sort of twist/push it the rest of the way in place. If I tried to keep it folded all the way in, it would get stuck on one side of my cervix. Before I figured that out, I kept getting so frustrated and wanted to give up. If I can help it, I will NEVER go back to tampons again!! These things are magnificent. :) And Tara, I LOVE your candor and humor about being grossed out, despite what anyone else says. You just be you. People love you that way!

    • http://www.makingitworkblog.com/ Carolyn Russell

      That’s kind of how I do it too (with getting it partially inserted, letting it pop open, and then pushing it into place). I don’t know if mine was getting caught on my cervix, but I can totally see how that would happen and I think that’s a great thing to point out to people who are new and potentially having issues!

    • Rachael

      I had the same issue. Goes to show (after reading all the interesting comments below) that everyone’s anatomy is slightly different. It helps to know which way your cervix is pointing (back/front/side?), how far down it goes, if you have tighter muscles… basically everything the detailed lunette sizing guide mentioned. A couple fingers and a few kegels can tell you a lot.

      FWIW, really heavy flow, like after pregnancy, the cup may only last an hour or two. I tried to remind myself that would’ve been a lot of tampons!

      • http://www.makingitworkblog.com/ Carolyn Russell

        I do wish there was more information on some of those factors (I have heard a few people talk about having a tilted cervix, and I have NO idea if I would have one or not!) but I liked that Lunette’s sizing information mentioned all of those details because I do think they are important factors. And I don’t think ANYTHING contains after pregnancy flow ;)

    • Tara at Padded Tush Stats

      Thanks so much Sara! That really means a lot to hear! And so glad that you like your cup!

  • BoiseFamily

    Hi Carolyn. I was curious as to why you don’t put your cup in the little baggie it came with after you’ve cleaned the cup at the end of the cycle? (Not judging. Just curious.) You could save yourself a sterilization step that way and possibly have your cup last even longer. Thanks for adding your two cents to Tara’s.

    Now for some random comments….
    I have a Diva cup that I’ve used for about a year. I also won another brand a few months ago but have not yet tried it. Reading about the Lunette does make me want to test it out to see if it really does pop open a tad bit easier than the Diva. Usually I don’t have a problem with insertion, but on occasion I do.

    Speaking of the Lunette cup, I did purchase a size one for when my teen is ready to try something beyond pads. I figured it would be best to have it on hand so if she wants to go to a swim party and feels she can’t, we will have an option for her to test out already on hand. I’m hoping she will grow comfortable with her cycle and want to use cloth liners along with the cup one day. For now, I’m not pushing. =)

    Maybe you could approach the makers of some of the other cups about doing a review. There wouldn’t have to be a giveaway but it would help others to read a thorough review of the different options out on the market AND have them all gathered into one post.

    • http://www.makingitworkblog.com/ Carolyn Russell

      Haha, to be honest, initially I just never got around to putting the cup in the bag (it needed to dry off first before I could store it so I set it on the drying rack … and then by the time I realized it was still out I was like, “Oh well, might as well leave it there at this point!) ;) Once I realized it wasn’t a big deal and nobody noticed it (my husband does most of the cooking so he’s ALWAYS in the kitchen, and it was probably a few months before he even realized it was there) I just didn’t feel like stopping what was working ;)

      • BoiseFamily

        That makes sense. After all, if it’s not broken, why fix it?

    • http://www.makingitworkblog.com/ Carolyn Russell

      And your idea about reviewing other cups as well is interesting, though I’m not sure which other one people would be most interested in (since I feel like the Lunette and DivaCup are the most well-known options). Is there another cup in particular you’d want to know more about?

      • BoiseFamily

        I’ve heard of Skoon and Moon brand menstrual cups. At my age such a review probably wouldn’t be as helpful since the ones I have should last for the rest of my cycling years, but I was thinking other readers could greatly benefit from having more information available online.

  • Nicole Bear

    Thanks for the updated review. I have been using a menstrual cup for over 15 years. My first one was The Keeper (as mentioned by another commenter). For the past almost 10 years I have used the Diva Cup. I have only had 2 during that whole time (one size 1 and then a size 2 once I had my baby girl). There are recommendations for how long to use one (or how often to replace), but I have never had a problem keeping them longer. (How long does everyone else keep theirs?) My current one is pretty stained and looking a little worse for wear so I am in the market for a new one. I have been looking around for different ones to try (Lunette, Skoon, etc.) so I am glad I came across this review.

  • heronblue

    Wow what a great review! I was searching for info on which cup to choose and I am so glad to find this awesome comparison, thanks for all the details! It is very nice to get some solid down to earth opinions on this stuff, especially since this is a less known topic. I feel much more confident on my decision! Appreciate you sharing your experience with the rest of us!

  • Cassandra Rae

    I have a diva cup that I tried a few times, my flow is really irregular since having my dd. So I hope next time I can get a better fit and more comfortable with it,

  • http://www.thispixeledlife.blogspot.com Felicia London

    I’ve never tried a menstrual cup before (or even a tampon!), and I’ve always used cloth menstrual pads, such as Charlie Banana or Lunapads… probably because I never knew how to even insert a cup. This post was actually pretty informative and tended to my curiosity! I’m not sure how I would feel using a cup though… I’m awfully iffy about shoving things up in my business after the painful mishap of an IUD. I think I’m starting to get over that fear though… so I might try this thanks to your post…

  • http://www.wordydoodles.com WordyDoodles

    Thanks for this review! I just got a Lunette and really appreciate hearing other’s experience with how it feels. Fingers crossed it works… this is the first month I’m trying it.

  • erickajen

    love it! i enjoy the lunette. i was never a big tampon girl. i love cloth pads, but i did relate to that “leaking feeling” on occassion. though i have found that now my body likes to “hold it” a little, or something.

    and yes, less cramping! thats cuz we arent putting chemicals like bleach and crap in or on our junk. yay! :) love this natural stuff, and i cant wait to add to my stash. :P

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