That time my Diva Cup got stuck

Image: Woman laying on a bed with her back to the camera. There is period blood on her pants and on the bed. Photo by Rupi Kaur.

Aside from being shamed for experiencing emotion dysregulation and intense emotions I am also shamed for having a period. Many cis women and individuals who have periods, all over the world are taught that having a period is something that should be kept a secret and many who do not experience periods, such as men, are taught it is disgusting. I have seen many articles about the horrible backlash some individuals experience when they publicly talk about their periods such as Rupi Kaur, from Brampton, Ontario who received death threats after she posted a picture on Instagram of a photo series her and her sister, Prabh, took that depict periods. I haven’t even really scratched the surface of this issue. but I want to share an example from the summer where I was told I should have kept quiet when I expressed on Facebook an issue with my period.

Image result for menstrual cup

Image: A hand holding a Diva Cup.

It was June or July of this year and to try and save money to move out I decided to finally try the Diva Cup. A Diva Cup is a silicone cup that you insert into the vagina to catch blood. I know a few individuals who use the Diva cup and they have had a good experience. I went to Shopper’s Drugmart and bought a Diva Cup. I believe I inserted it fine but when I went to take it out it took me 30 minutes and the second time, my worst fear happened… I couldn’t get the Diva Cup out. I went to Facebook and asked my Facebook Diva Cup-using-Friends if they had any tips on how to get the Diva Cup out. I received a lot of good suggestions and a conversation about vaginas, periods, and kegels unsued. I ended up having to go to a walk-in clinic to have the Diva Cup removed (I need to always remember that if something is labeled as “rare”, that it will most likely happen to me).

A day or so later I shared this experience with my co-workers, one of which uses a Diva Cup. One co-worker told me that she had seen my posts on Facebook and thought that I should remove them because employers and other potential important people could see them, find them inappropriate and potentially affect something important in my life. I do not remember what I said to her, maybe nothing, but I did start substituting “period” with other physical concerns in my head to see if they would bring about a similar response.

“If anyone has ever broken a bone before can you tell me the best way to get care for it?”

“My nose is really runny, does anyone have suggestions on how to clear it out?”

“I think I’m getting a wart on my foot. Can anyone tell me how to remove it?”

I think you get the picture. Just because my health concern involved period blood and a vagina does not mean I should not have shared about it or thought that something in my life would be at risk  because I shared it. How can I be silent about something that I experience every month, that I share with possibly billions of individuals and something that tells me my body is healthy? From my experience, people would rather hear about how I’ve tried to end my life than about my body’s potential to create life because I bleed every month.

Image: pads, tampons and panty liners laid out on a towel.

I believe the shaming over periods has to stop. There is nothing wrong with having a period and for those who do not get a period for a variety of health reasons it does not make you less than. Cis men, especially, have to stop shying away from periods. Seriously, if you have to, go stand in the “feminine hygiene” section for a bit, buy a pack of tampons or pads for your partner when they have their period, do some laundry that is stained with blood. Get over the fear. I am curious about how many will read this post versus my posts on mental health.

I am glad that there is no shame in my relationship over my period and I do admit there are some things I won’t let B see and I do feel shame around it, not the need for privacy. These are thoughts that I will continue to challenge and he will have to challenge his own as well. I encourage all of you to challenge your thoughts as well. Periods are not bad. Annoying, yes, but not bad.

P.S. I do not want to scare anyone into not trying a Diva Cup. I think it is an amazing idea and is proving to be of great use physically and financially to many individuals with periods.

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54 thoughts on “That time my Diva Cup got stuck

    • Jealous!!! I haven’t tried again because I don’t want to spend almost $40 again to possibly throw it out 😦 I think I have a low pubic bone or whatever because it was getting stuck behind there so when I would try and grab it or squeeze it out the bone got in the way! I was also told it might be weak kegel muscles but I just find it hard to believe that everyone else would have more superior kegel muscles than me :p

  1. Have you have heard about the Thinx underwear, which is fairly a new thing? Apparently, it is underwear that a woman can wear during the “monthly” and not have to wear a product with it. You just wash them at the end of the day. I was curious, so I just bought a pair to try it out (sadly, at the very end of my cycle because I am just so sick of pads and tampons). I have read raving reviews of them, so next month I am going to give it a go. Little nervous about it, but I think it would definitely save some money.

    • I’m going to Google! I would love to hear about your experience! If it’s good for heavy flow I would try it. The first few days of my period are fairly heavy so it would have to be a trooper :p When I saw how the Diva Cup worked, even though I won’t use it again, I became very angry at tampons lol they are so expensive over the long-term. Where I live, the Provincial Government recently passed a law to not tax feminine hygiene products so that is a tad helpful but not really.

  2. Love this post and I actually love talking about my period. It’s such a huge part of my life. How can we be expected not to talk about it? I was just thinking about this issue yesterday, because I went vegan and ended up watching an amazing video on how tampons and many of the popular pads with chemicals in them are toxic, were developed using completely unnecessary and horrific animal testing, and are harmful to the environment. So, I was looking for alternatives, like glad rags or the diva cup. I want to research more about the diva cup and it’s environmental impact and any animal testing. Anyway, my first thought when I watched that video is that so much damage was being done to women’s bodies, the bodies of animals, and the planet because we will do anything to hide our periods and not have to be intimate with our bodies by sticking our hand up our vaginas or washing our own blood out of a glad rag. It’s like, get over it. The stigma is what is causing so much harm and it’s ridiculous. You might really like the video, even if you’re not vegan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hocP6tdJ-Q.

    • I’m watching the video now! I really like her 😛 I really need something that won’t break that bank. I’ve been turned off of reusable pads because I can’t imagine washing out the blood BUT last night I had a fairly large leak and had to rise out my pants. I realized that I do not care and that I’m just not happy with what I’m currently doing to manage my period. I recently watched a documentary, The Human Experiment (http://thehumanexperimentmovie.com/), on Netflix which was about chemicals in a variety of products and how they seem to be affecting our body. It greatly raised my awareness and has been making me think about the products I use. Do you use glad rags? I’m also thinking about Thinx underwear. My overall problem is my 2-3 day very heavy flow (changing a tampon about every 2-4 hours). I can’t always be washing something….but maybe that’s the consequence to keep my body healthy and save me some money.

      • I don’t currently use glad rags. I’m just now considering alternatives to traditional tampons and pads. I also worry about those very heavy flow days. I will change a tampon literally every hour on those days. It kind of scares me actually. I feel like my period shouldn’t be that heavy in the first place. But, I’ve heard that going vegan lightens periods, so we’ll see what happens over the next couple of months. I’m going to check out that link, although I’m afraid. I feel like I keep finding out that everything is basically poison. Also, I’ve heard that you can use sponges vaginally for periods, like the actual organism from the sea that they sell in art stores for painting. They are nontoxic and apparently safe to put inside of yourself and work like a tampon to absorb blood. I know it sounds weird, but you never know what could work. It’s worth researching.

      • I feel that way too about having a heavy flow! I tried googling it and all I got was, “Normal flow is what is normal for you,” which was not helpful. From what I’ve heard from others, a heavy flow could be a problem if it’s heavy for the entire period and if the period goes longer than a week (although 8-9 days I think can be normal also). I would be interested to know how going vegan changes your period. Wow, a sea sponge!? That could be worth a look. I do prefer having something that is up inside vs. something like a pad that sits on the outside. I’m excited for my Lunapads to come in the mail. They have good reviews so I hope they hold up to my first few heavy days.

  3. I have a menstrual cup and I’ve never been able to actually get the damn thing in. I bought the smallest recommended size (even emailed a lovely customer service person and asked) and I just can’t get it to stay folded long enough to go in. Super frustrating.

    I never shy away from talking about my period. I’ve had horrible menstrual cramps all of my menstruating life and I just dealt with them in silence for YEARS because no one wanted to hear about it. Finally, around the time I turned 17, I was like, “Fuck this. I’m in fucking pain and ALL YOU MOTHERFUCKERS ARE GONNA KNOW.” And now if someone on social media gives me shit for it, I block their ass so hard. I don’t need that negativity in my life.

    • That does sound very frustrating. I think a menstrual cup is such a great idea but all of our vaginas are shaped differently that I guess, for some, it just won’t work.

      I found that having horrible period cramps increased my desire to talk about my period. It’s sort of impossible to not talk about it when you can’t even move from the pain! I tend to block people who take it too far with their disagreeing.

      • I’m not giving up hope, since I think my issue is finding a way to hold the cup in my hand that will keep it folded long enough for me to get it in. I hope. I would love to save $16 a month in tampon costs.

        I had the great experience of having almost entirely male friends in high school, and any time they’d ask me why I wasn’t feeling well, I’d tell them. And they, being 15-16 year old boys all went, “Ew! Why would you tell us that?!” And I’d just sit there like, “Are you serious? YOU ASKED ME YOU LITTLE–” It was infuriating, but I kept quiet because I was a teenage girl and I wanted my friends to like me. I finally broke when I went to the nurse with cramps so bad I thought something had ruptured inside of me, and she went, “Oh, no, I think you just have menstrual cramps. You’re perfectly healthy. Here’s some ibuprofen for the pain.” And something clicked in my head like, “Those two phrases–‘You’re perfectly healthy’ and ‘Here’s a drug for your pain’ should not belong together.” and literally in that moment I snapped and screamed, “THE UTERUS IS THE ONLY ORGAN IN THE HUMAN BODY THAT CAN BE IN THIS MUCH PAIN AND YOU MOTHERFUCKERS WILL TELL ME I’M PERFECTLY HEALTHY! FUCK YOU!” And I haven’t shut up about it since lol!

      • I wish you luck with insertion!

        I come from a family where my Dad was the only male. Talking about periods was common place and I have gradually spoken more about it. It’s not unheard of for my partner to go by me a box of tampons. I even asked his advice on what design I should get on my reusable pads (they should be here in a few days, of course now that my period is over). I have thought about going to the doctor to get stronger pain meds for cramps but I always come up with some reason not to…You make a good point, if my head, back, chest, or foot hurt to the point of where I yelled in pain, couldn’t walk and required I technically overdose on over-the-counter pain medication there would be a problem.

      • Hormonal birth control was what eventually helped me. If you’re not on it and you think you can be (it can sometimes wreak havoc with mental health issues), I’d definitely recommend it. The patch completely eliminated my cramps for almost a year and when they did eventually come back they weren’t nearly as bad. Unfortunately, the hormones killed my sex drive and messed with my depression, so I had to stop taking it. Even so, my cramps, while still pretty awful, no longer have me begging to go to the emergency room, or offering the life of my first born to a god I don’t even believe in, so… bright side lol!

      • I wish I could be on it but yes, it screwed with my mental health. I was on it for 5 years and had a grand time minus the extreme rage and then I tried again last year and spent a lot of time crying. I decided that cramps were easier to tolerate (2 days of pain vs. emotional pain all the time). I did notice the second time I went off the pill that it did change my period. I believe also taking a Plan B changed my period also. It seems to be a delicate balance.

  4. I agree with this post, menstruation is no different than anything else, I don’t know why the shame, maybe because of the body parts involved, there are health conditions men can’t discuss about too so I don’t believe it’s only because periods are normally associated with women, in general it’s because involves sexuality or any body part involved in sex that brings shame.
    I think people should be free to discuss this without shame, but also respecting people with problems related to it, I have seen for example people trying to remove the shame of periods by disrespecting others with gender dysphoria which sucks (same with sex and pregnancy being discussed over people with trauma or tokophobia).

    • I’m sure a lot of men are not a fan of talking about their prostate. I know when I’ve brought it up with male partners they get embarrassed.

      You’re right, we really need to respect everyone. We all have important things we need to talk about!

      Thanks for your comment 🙂

      • Thank you for being open-minded to it! I like to think I understand and sympathise more than most cis men. Although I think pads and tampons are my limit, I won’t try a diva cup haha.

      • I believe that the more we strive to understand each other the better off we will be! The Diva cup is a really good idea, just possibly for certain shaped body parts lol which I apparently do not have.

      • Excellent! You must do a post about them when they arrive. I prefer pads although tampons have taken over lately, my girlfriend prefers them. Pads are more guy user-friendly haha. Are reusable ones expensive?

      • I prefer tampons because I don’t have to sit in blood and sweat. I’m willing to try the reusable though because I care more about money lol. Pads are more penis friendly, that’s for sure 😛 I bought a heavy flow starter kit that was on sale and then used it with a coupon so I only spent $67 CAN (originally $87) and that comes with 4 pads and 8 inserts. I used Luna Pads and 1 pad and 1 insert together for $14-$20 (depends on style, size and material) or just buy an insert for $6. If you take care of them though they can last years so hopefully instead of spending roughly $300 o tampons for the next 3 years, I just spent the $67. Here is the website if you’re interested. http://lunapads.com/

      • Definitely more ‘penis-friendly’, tampons can hurt! Thanks for the info on the reusable ones, they seem like they’ll save money in the long run! Which brands did you use beforehand? Your tampons sound expensive!

      • Reusable pads came in yesterday!!! I have to wait to use them though. I used whatever brand was on sale so long as it was a Super size although I do seemed drawn to Tampax and greatly prefer the tampons with leak guard. A pack of 18 tampons can be $7 and given I can go through half a box at one time I try to buy the 40 box which is closer to $10. It especially sucks if I have to buy a multi-pack (different sizes) plus a box of super to get the amount I need.

      • Yay they came! A WordPress review is needed. I’ve never tried tampax but they seem to be the leading brand. Omg you use SO many, I’ve used like 5 tampons in my life haha. ‘Back when I wore thongs’?! Why would anyone stop?! They’re the best. (Lol discussing period products and panties.)

      • Oh, I will write a review! Already I’m skeptical because they feel a tad thin given I ordered the heavy flow pack. We shall see.

        I wish I used 5 tampons in a week :p I’m not in birth control anymore and for a lot of people that helps keep it nice and light. Apparently the body just wants to get everything out lol

        I don’t like thongs anymore lol they just became a constant wedgie. I found I like the panties that show off a bit of your bum. They make me feel cute :p

      • Well that’s not a good start, are the partners pretty though? Haha but tampons don’t hurt you at least. Oh my gosh no, things aren’t noticeable if they’re designed well. So comfortable and, as you say, they make me feel cute/girly!

      • Me too! I actually got 3 other guys talking about periods last night :p It was funny. They seemed shocked that they were willingly talking about it (one was my partner and he is cool with talking about it).

      • I tried to send this message so forgive me if this is my second time commenting! I know there are others actually, I’m on a forum re panties and pads/tampons is a discussion. True story!

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