The Diva Cup for Travel

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I’ve been promising for months now that I’m going to write about my Diva Cup for travel. I know I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m OBSESSED, but I haven’t gone into the details. Well, you ask and you shall receive. Here’s why I think you should throw your tampons in the trash gift or donate your tampons and pads and never go back.

Men, if you can handle the blood and gore feel free to read this if you’re curious. Otherwise come back next week for some fresh new content on getting my advanced scuba certification in the Philippines!

What the Heck is a Diva Cup?

If orange is the new black, then Diva Cups are the new tampons. Seriously, I’m never using a tampon again in my entire life.

A Diva Cup is a medical grade silicone cup that you can insert during your period. It’s re-usable, comfortable, leak-proof and it comes in a cute little bag.

How Do You Use the Diva Cup?

The cup is very flexible, so it folds right up and you can insert it easily. Don’t worry, they have directions for this online. Once it’s in you can leave it for up to 12 hours, at which point you pull it out, dump it in the toilet, wash the cup in the sink and re-insert. You can keep this up for your entire period if you want. It’s leak-proof and, unlike a tampon, you can wear it overnight.

Diva Cup review

I convinced this girl to buy one

Ewwww…. What?!

Trust me, I know! Everyone is grossed out by the idea of dumpling their own blood in the toilet and then washing it off, except me apparently. I was actually somewhat morbidly curious about the whole ordeal.

What I can tell you right now is that the Diva Cup is mess free. Honestly. Unlike tampons they don’t leak, so you stay perfectly clean. All you have to do is pull it out without accidentally dropping it (did that once…. it was like a crime scene), and dump it in the toilet. Do a quick rinse in the sink and you’re done!

No blood on your underwear or sheets. No bloody toilet paper. No embarrassing bloody pads or tampons in the trash.

Seriously, my life has changed forever.

Diva Cup for travel

Go on a scuba trip without worrying about leakage

Is the Diva Cup Safe?

Yes. The Diva Cup is made with medical grade silicone and no dyes or harmful chemicals. Can we just talk about what’s in your average tampon for a second? Legally, tampons do not count as medical products and are not regulated as such. Because of this you can find chemicals and pesticides in your tampons!

Tampons also cause vaginal dryness. They absorb 65% menstrual fluid and 35% natural moisture. Every girl knows pulling out a dry tampon is literally one of the most awkward and uncomfortable feelings in the world. Tampons also leave behind fibers that stick to your vaginal wall even after you take the tampon out!

The Diva Cup doesn’t have any of these issues. It’s nonabsorbent and merely collects the liquid in a little medical-grade silicone cup.

Finally, there have been zero cases of Toxic Shock Syndrome with the Diva Cup. That’s because the cup acts as a barrier between your menstrual fluid and your vaginal canal, preventing harmful bacteria from causing TSS.

Diva Cup travelWill the Diva Cup Get Stuck??!

This was literally my worst fear after reading a few posts about people who had issues getting theirs out. After trying the Diva Cup myself I don’t understand how it’s even possible for the cup to get stuck. It can only go in so far!

The cup can’t physically go past your cervix so it will never get “lost inside you”. Actually, they make the stem a bit too long for most women just so that the girls with long vaginal canals can always get the cup out.

If you feel like your Diva Cup is stuck, my tip would be to relax. You’re probably just clenching your muscles because you’re nervous.

Biking Hoi An

Just like riding a bike…?

Is the Diva Cup Hard to Insert?

I had heard from many people that the Diva Cup has a learning curve. Honestly… I don’t know what other people are finding so difficult about it. It only took me a few tries to figure out how to insert it properly.

My biggest issue was the stem poking out, which I cut off when I realized I didn’t actually need it. Just be 100% sure your cup is inserted all the way before you make the snip.

The stem only exists to help you get the cup out, especially if you have a longer vaginal canal. It’s actually meant to be cut depending on your personal length. Without the stem, I get mine out by grasping the bottom of the cup with my thumb and middle finger.

I can only see the Diva Cup being difficult for a young girl who has just started her period and isn’t comfortable with her body yet. However, after a few years, I think switching to the Diva Cup should be no problem.

Diva Cup TravelWhy You NEED the Diva Cup for Travel and Life

Now that we’ve gotten the most pressing questions out of the way. Here are a few solid reasons why you should make the switch.

1. It saves you money

Think of how much money you spend on pads and tampons every month. The Diva Cup is reusable and can last for years if used and cleaned properly. A cup costs about $28, but saves a woman roughly $100-$150 per year, or $4,000 – $6,000 in the 40 years the average woman menstruates.

2. It’s good for your health

We already talked about the health benefits of not using tampons above, but I’m going to say it again: it’s better for your body and it feels better too. Also, if you think you have an unusually heavy or light flow, you can actually use the Diva Cup to measure how much menstrual fluid you produce (there are markers along the side). No more guesstimating: if you have concerns about your flow you can give exact measurements to your doctor.

Some people are grossed out by this, but personally, I think it’s really great to know. To be honest, I was shocked by how little fluid is in the cup after 12 hours. I was expecting much more!

Diva Cup environment

3. It’s good for the environment

Just think about all the pads and tampons you go through in just one year… now multiply that by the number of women in your country. Holy cow that’s a lot of bloody garbage!

4. Convenience, Convenience, Convenience!

Tampons suck (literally). They leak, fall out, and can even kill you if you leave them in for more than seven hours. Pads are even worse. Who wants to feel like they’re wearing a diaper all day?

Periods are awful, period. But imagine if all the hassle was gone? Imagine you could just go through a normal day without wondering “Oh my god, is my tampon falling out?!” right when you’re in the middle of something.

No more checking your butt in the mirror to make sure you didn’t bleed on your dress. No more packing 5 tampons in your bag before you head out the door. No more freaking out and running to the bathroom to check your tampon. No more ruined sheets and underwear.

period taboo

Can’t change your tampon mid-canyoning trip

Diva Cup for Travel

Remember that one time I accidentally forgot to pack tampons for my trip to the Philippines and I couldn’t find them ANYWHERE?

Remember that one time my tampon soaked through at TBEX and I got blood all over the back of my dress and had to wash it in the sink and for the next hour I walked around strategically covering my backside with my bag so no one would see a giant wet spot on my butt? Yeah… that happened.

To make matters worse, it took me another two hours before I could find someone who had a replacement tampon I could use. I spent half the conference panicked I was going to bleed all over my dress and every seat I sat in. It’s hard to focus on learning and networking when you’re mildly concerned you might be sitting in a tiny puddle of blood.

travel and menstruation

Not only is the Diva Cup amazing for everyday life, it just makes travel SO MUCH EASIER.

1. No more packing a ton of tampons

If you travel long-term, especially in Asia, tampons can be a huge issue. What are you supposed to do? Pack a giant ziplock bag full of them? With the Diva Cup you have just one small cup that fits in your makeup bag.

2. Perfect for Expats

Speaking of packing a ton of tampons into multiple giant ziplock bags…. that was my life for the past few years. This Christmas I went home and returned to China with one small cup and a bottle of Diva Wash. It made all the difference in my luggage.

3. Great for Hot Weather Climates and Water Activities

On this last trip to the Philippines I got my period in the absolute worst place. I was staying in Bohol on the Loboc river doing activities like swimming and paddle boarding. I was also staying at a hostel with a squat toilet and a bucket shower.

What do you do on a four-hour paddle boarding trip if you need to change your tampon? Uh Oh.

Thankfully the Diva Cup kept me clean and leak free for my entire period. While I wasn’t able to wash my cup with hot water as recommended, I did rinse it out with potable water (drinking water) before reinserting it.

China period superstition

Cups for everyone!

Are There Any Other Brands?

There are actually tons of different types of menstrual cups, but Diva Cup seems to be the go-to beginner cup. At first I thought I might prefer the Lily Cup’s flexible design because I was nervous about how firm the Diva Cup might be. After doing a ton of research, I decided to go with the Diva Cup because everyone seems to be recommending it for first timers.

A few other popular brands are Moon Cup, Duchess Cup, and Lunette Cup

There is also a disposable brand of menstrual cups called Soft Cup that you can actually wear during sex. These cups last the duration of one period cycle and then are thrown away.

Oslob waterfall

Where Do I Get a Diva Cup?

Unfortunately, it’s actually really hard to find a Diva Cup in most stores. I needed to grab one before heading back to China and I was shocked by the fact that no stores seemed to carry them! I had to call three Targets before I found a store that had one.

People seemed somewhat confused about what they were and would give me a weird look while saying, “I guess they’re just not that popular…” when I asked for them. Why is the Diva Cup so taboo??!

I mean seriously, people made me feel like a teenage girl asking for a pregnancy test. What is wrong with society that I’m made to feel awkward for managing my period? Will someone please tell these so-called adults to grow up?

Until society gets it’s act together and stops being weird about periods, you can get your Diva Cup online at Amazon for $27 USD. There are two models: Model 1 for women who haven’t given birth and Model 2 for women who have.

Buy It Now!

Next up: I also ordered a pair of THINX period panties and I’ll be filling you in on using THINX for travel! (Use the link for $10 off your first purchase)

Diva Cup for travel

Pin Me!

What do you think? Have I convinced you to give up pads and tampons forever?!

Heads up, while this post is not sponsored it does contain a few affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase with my link I make a small commission at no cost to you. 

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About Richelle

Expat, traveler, and spicy food lover, I’ve spent the last few years living in China and traveling around Asia. In my spare time I enjoy salsa dancing, exploring night markets and stuffing my face with street food.

25 comments on “The Diva Cup for Travel

  1. I’ve been using the diva cup for over a year. All of my girl friends refuse to try it out. With the way sex education is poorly taught, several of the girls were like “won’t pee fill in the cup and then it’s just sitting inside you?” No, the pee actually comes from a different hole. The other girls are like eww I’m going to get blood on me. Clearly they haven’t had horrible period accidents like I have where you end up getting a bit on you during the clean up. And the rest of them are scared of putting their fingers inside themselves.

    The thing I love most about it is that my periods were always really really heavy. Like I was bleeding through ultra sized tampons. The ultra tampons hold just under a half ounce of blood. The cup holds an ounce so I never had problems since. Also I did have a bit of trouble learning to put the cup in, but if the cup leaks, it’s literally only a drop of blood, which is way better than bleeding through the tampons.

    Out of all the bad reviews I read about the division cup I would only give credit to one, where the woman was changing her cup in a public bathroom ( don’t really know why since you can wear it forever without TSS and they recommend 12 hours just for general safety reasons) and she dropped her cup in the toilet (which I have done before) and since it was public the toilet automatically flushed and away her cup went. So just be extra careful when you are changing it on an auto flush toilet.

    • hahaha wow I can’t believe that girl lost her Diva Cup in a public toilet. I feel bad for laughing but that’s actually hilarious! Even as someone with a somewhat light flow, I still would bleed through tampons and always worry even when I wasn’t. The Diva Cup is so much more convenient it’s insane! I find it so strange how many girls are weird about it. -And seriously, we need WAY better sex education.

  2. I also recently got a Diva Cup and it is THE BEST THING EVER!!! So comfortable, easy to use, worry-free, environmentally friendly, and budget friendly! I kinda think every woman in the world needs one of these! But especially those of us who travel…
    Were you at TBEX Costa Brava in ’15? That’s the one I was at, and I feel like I might have met you there, but you know how those go :P

    • Nope I was at TBEX Bangkok. I’d love to go to the ones in Europe but the flights are kind of insane and I don’t have much time off work. I’ll be going to TBEX Manila in October!!

  3. I love the Diva cup! I’ve used it for years while traveling around Asia and living in China and Cambodia, mainly because tampons were taking up too much space in my luggage. It’s so small and easy to use as long as you have access to potable water to clean it. I love that you can wear it for 12 hours too! I saw a similar cup (I think the Moon Cup) for sale at a shop in Phnom Penh, Cambodia recently. Hopefully menstrual cups will gain popularity around the world as more women learn about the benefits of using them!

    • I agree! I don’t understand why they’re not more popular. That’s really cool you found one in Cambodia. I have yet to see one in China, but they do sell them on Chinese Amazon

    • I had the same problem in the Philippines, but I found ways to make it work. They had a bucket flush for the squat toilet, so I just used that water to clean it, and then poured some bottled water over the top to fully rinse it. It ended up working pretty well and was great for long days on the motorbike or full days paddle boarding and swimming.

  4. I used to use one and brought one to India with me years ago- I think they’re FANTASTIC if you’re not traveling and just for normal use, or traveling somewhere that’s “first world” and you’ll have a hotel room every day.

    I found it difficult in India as most toilet situations a backpacker can find themselves in are less than ideal and there was no way to hygienically rinse & wash the cup between uses when using outhouses and stuff. It’s great in nicer areas of India that have sprayers in the toilet though as you can rinse it there in the stall. Other issue I found was you can’t clean it in public restrooms as obvi it would gross out everyone who has to use that sink! I still recommend people to take them as well, but a few backup tampons for days when you know you need to change it somewhere that’s not private/clean

    • Yeah I wasn’t a fan of not having hot water to wash it in the Philippines but it ended up being okay. I had a squat toilet with a bucket to flush it, so I just used the bucket to rinse it, and bottled water to make sure it was clean. I can imagine it might be difficult if there was no sort of sink/bucket/sprayer in the bathroom though… then I’d probably use tissue and a water bottle.

      • There are hygienic wipes for menstrual cups for the times you can’t fully clean it. You could also use regular baby wipes and toilet paper in a pinch.

  5. I switched to a Diva Cup last summer and will never go back to tampons! I sing its praises to anyone who will listen. My husband always teases me, “Do you work for the company?” Haha no, but I want every woman to know about it!

  6. I discovered them in college and have been using them for six years! It’s been a life/money/embarrassment saver for someone like me, who, let’s just say, has to go through a lot of boxes of super+ otherwise :/

  7. I’m trying a diva cup for the first time because I’m driving the Ring Road in Iceland next month where there are famously very few public toilets. Also we’re hiking a glacier, bathing in hot springs, etc. and so I wanted to give it a test drive before the trip. My question is, how the f*ck do you reinsert the damn thing and do the 360 twist they recommend without getting blood up to your wrist? Seriously, every woman who raves about these must have a magic vaginal canal whose sides do not get bloody. I feel like I’m using way more panty liners (because leaks) and toilet paper (trying to clean myself up in a public bathroom) than I ever did with tampons. Maybe I just need to get the hang of it but I guess I could use some encouragement because I’m totally frustrated and I really want it to work!! Also, thanks for posting about this.

    • Wow really? Well I watched some Youtube videos about the different ways you can fold it and I found one that works for me. I take one side of the cup, push it in and fold the cup like a taco with a pointed tip. Then I insert it 80% of the way, twist it a little, and shove it the rest of the way in. I tried to do the 360 twist and I feel like it’s actually impossible so I just gave up on that part of the instructions and I’ve been fine! From what i read online, if it’s leaking you’re doing it wrong. I only had leaking once, so I took it out and put it back in and then it was fine. Maybe watch some Youtube videos about different folding methods and don’t worry about trying to twist it all the way and hopefully that will solve your problems?

  8. A lot of backpackers (the hiking/wilderness kind) use diva cups when they don’t necessarily have access to potable water. What they do is to just wipe it down very well, then reinsert. I do that too when I have to take it out in public restrooms (my flow is insanely heavy). It’s probably not the best thing to do, hygienically, but it works and seems pretty clean after a quick wipe.

    • Yeah, I haven’t had to do that with mine yet, but when I was in the Philippines I used non-potable cold water from the shower spicket in the bathroom and then rinsed it a little with bottled water.

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