Have Diva Cup, will travel? (Guest Post)

Have we blogged about periods? I feel like someone must have…Sam?

(Editor’s note: No. We haven’t. We’ve blogged a bit about menopause. See here and here. But not menstruation. That’s because we’re older than you!–Sam and Tracy)

This is making me yearn for menopause! Anyway, as I’m running, swimming and cycling for longer periods of time I’m noticing the advantages of using a Diva Cup to manage the fluid dynamics of an ever unpredictable period. The great thing is, even during longer races or workouts, I don’t need to bring extra supplies, just empty that cup into to johnny-on-the-spot, wash my hands and away I go. Going away for a weekend to run a race, have Diva Cup, will travel!

I’ve also recently become a fan of Lunapanties with their extra absorbent gusset. I’ve had random bladder incontinence walking into work and I can never tell when that will strike. I wear them all the time, they are comfy, look great and help deal with all kinds of moisture issues and they come in sizes that fit me. Heady times.

(Editor’s note: But hey, I have written about incontinence before. See https://fitisafeministissue.com/2013/07/03/peeing-during-workouts-not-just-an-older-womans-issue/)

Does menstruation or bladder stuff impede your workouts? Make you plan a bit differently?

About natalieh

I'm a self described fat feminist 42 year old mother of two teenage minions who loves her high energy life partner of over 20 years. I love moving my body and sometimes do yoga, triathlons and dance like a fool. My next measure of success will be being more fierce and less fearful as I roll through my 40s.

16 thoughts on “Have Diva Cup, will travel? (Guest Post)

  1. natalieh says:

    Side note, there are lots of brands of menstrual cups, where you live determines what’s available. Brands I’m aware of are Keeper, Lunette, Mooncup but I’m sure checking with your local health food store, women’s bookstore or food co-op will yield plenty of options. Thanks to a reader who mentioned that on the facebook page!

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    • Tracy I says:

      This is a great post. I was always intrigued by Diva cups and used something similar for a short time, and then…menopause before I could really explore this world. I like your point that it simplifies your athletic pursuits. But I found it kind of messy, and there’s not always a place to wash your hands at the port o potty at a race, so that could be an issue. I guess you need to carry some wet wipes and hand sanitizer? Thanks for posting!

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  2. G says:

    I have a very heavy period and usually use a Diva cup, but I’ve balked at using it while lifting– especially when I’m doing heavy squats. With so much bearing down, I don’t want to have to choose between lifting the weight on my back, and keeping my menstrual cup in place. I’d love to hear from folks who have done this without getting all Carrie on their weight room…

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    • natalieh says:

      I found, after a while, you get a..spider sense?.. that the cup is full and I do a pre-emptive empty before a big workout just in case. On the Carrie days (those are so much fun?) I definitely go for a layered approach with cup, reusable pad and lunapanty…and dark pants.

      I’m thinking about the bearing down bit and all I can say is layer, layer, layer? I also find if you get it up in there good you have the muscle to keep it there plus the bottom layers you are wearing will keep it in you…maybe

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    • Lisa says:

      Divacups really don’t work for me (I’ve tried so hard!) but I can’t really imagine this being a problem, mostly because tampons don’t budge even during the heaviest squats or deadlifts.

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  3. Sam B says:

    I started using one after returning from Australia. Why then? Well, the tampons there are all like the OB brand here, no applicator. Though some stores do sell the applicator kind, in some places they’re marked “tourist tampons.” You get over the bloody finger squeamishness. There’s no big hygiene issue. Menstrual blood isn’t particularly germy. I just wash my hands and go.

    But now I don’t menstruate for long enough–yay peri-menopause!–and don’t bother with the diva cup or tampons.

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  4. Gloris says:

    This is very interesting. First time hearing about menstrual cups. But, fortunately, I don’t need them anymore! One yay for menopause! Found your blog on the freshly pressed page, looking for fitness and nutrition blogs. I’ll be back =]

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  5. Ange says:

    With 25 years of periods down and I am guessing at least 10 to go, I have only learned that menstrual cups existed in the past year and after deliberating for a few weeks about spending the $60 to buy one, I was a convert in about 6 hours. Brilliant! Why they are not more common is beyond me – actually, no it’s not, lots of money to be made from consumables. For me the appeal was the idea of reducing waste, but the convenience & confidence is the best bit by far (I don’t lift, but swim, run & ride is all good). I wish i had known/used while in the Navy, long hours on the Bridge of the ship and 50 per cent of my year spent in white trousers, would have made life a lot easier. I chose Aussie brand Ju-Ju. Brilliant!!
    (Did I say brilliant??)

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Pilar Lyons says:

    I’m a big fan of the Diva Cup! Anywhere where there’s water in easy access of the toilet is pretty ideal – like your own bathroom with a sink, a single-occupant public restroom, or even a latrine in rural West Africa where a container of water is provided for washing in lieu of toilet paper (I was one of many Diva Cup using Peace Corps Volunteers). However, talking about it brings up a sort of pet peeve of mine.

    Now that I realize that Sam and Tracy don’t have to worry about their periods so much, so the commandment makes a little more sense from that POV but I’m so bugged by, “NEVER wear anything under your bike shorts!” Are you ladies all just so rich to just stain the heck out of your $80 shorts, or so physiologically perfect that you’ve never had your diva cup or tampon leak? Or am I just not supposed to be riding when I’m in my ‘unclean’ time? I don’t know, maybe I’m just not comfortable enough with my period blood (but coming from a cotton pad / diva-cup using lady, I’m not sure how I could be that much more comfortable with it…), but I am really averse to getting it on my bike shorts, so I wear underwear (usually very light sports-y fabrics gotten on clearance) when I’ve got my period. Is that really so wrong? Especially since it hasn’t caused me a chafing or bunching problem yet?

    Sorry I got a little rant-y. I try to be as comfortable as I can with my body and how *human* it gets sometimes, but as someone with a heavy period, the dogmatic proclamation about never ever wearing anything under my bike shorts leaves me feeling dirty and totally unhygienic whenever I read it. It seems to come from a very male perspective where the idea of vaginal secretions or menstruation isn’t even considered.

    Also – longtime reader and I don’t think I’ve ever commented, but I love the blog and reading all the posts. Natalieh, your posts are always great. Thank you for contributing!

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    • Sam B says:

      Do what feels good but generally the chamois is meant to be against your skin. Might not matter so much on shorter rides but it will on long rides. I don’t worry about staining. Bike shorts wash like anything else. What do the rest of you think?

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      • natalieh says:

        I say if you aren’t getting chaffing then do what makes sense. I sadly can’t wear anything under my bike shorts, the seams just chew up my privates. Luckily I found black shorts with a black chamois. I’m so going TMI here but the black fabric saves me from seeing too many details of what’s emanating from either outlet. My 70km ride was on a period day which got me thinking about the whole things and that was a long time for me on a bike. I just whipped those shorts off super fast into the laundry.

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    • natalieh says:

      oh and thank you for commenting! 🙂

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    • Lisa says:

      I just stain the heck out of my $80 shorts but wash them and keep wearing them for years. Isn’t getting blood on your bike shorts pretty much the same as getting it on underwear? Or do you throw out stained underwear? (Some people do!)

      I agree with Sam; I can handle underwear for a few hours but once I hit hour 3 or 4 those seams drive me insane

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