As a woman, there are some special considerations that need to be thought through before striking out on a months-long journey in the woods. The big one is that I menstruate. Before you ask me about bears and menstruation, according to my research on the topic, expert opinion is that bears do not appear to be any more attracted to a menstruating woman. I think this is fantastic news as I am not looking to become bear food.
Being a good steward of nature in general, and following the “leave no trace” philosophy, if I choose to use either menstrual pads or tampons during my hike I would be required to carry used product in my backpack for several days at a time. I’m not really a fan of this option as it adds unnecessary weight and bulk. The Diva Cup can be worn for up to 12 hours and produces no waste that has to be carried. It sounded like a perfect option!
I feel comfortable with my anatomy therefore, insertion should be pretty simple. The directions state you must fold the cup and they offer two ways to do that.
In my fairly small bathroom, I fold the cup and try to insert it. It unfolds before it’s even partially in place. Sitting must be the wrong position, after all, I am fluffy so maybe the sitting insertion wasn’t going to work for me. I decided to brace myself against the wall and use the toilet seat to prop up one of my legs. Feeling rather cramped in the tiny space and none too graceful I thought to myself, “Be a gazelle, be a gazelle!”, and I folded the cup and attempted once again to insert it. Nothing. I couldn’t get it in. Now I have pictures of being out on the trail, trying all kinds of contortionist moves to get this thing in and somehow sliding down a mountain. I am definitely no gazelle. Next attempt I tried laying on my side on the bed. Success! I managed to get it inserted. Now, according to the directions, I must turn the cup one full rotation once it is inserted in order to seal the cup against the inside of my vagina to prevent any leaks.
If you look at the cup it has a tiny little nub on the bottom which looks much larger in the picture above. In order to turn this little gem of female torture, you must get your thumb and a finger inside your vagina. Then grab that tiny little nub and twist. Now, I don’t know about other women, but to get my thumb and forefinger inside my vagina like a crab pincer and somehow be able to grasp that nub just isn’t humanly possible. For one reason I carry some fluffy in the middle and my body just doesn’t allow me to be that bendable. Some days I have trouble tying my shoes. The second issue is my arm is a normal human arm. That means it is the normal length and it only bends in normal ways! No matter how many times I shout “Go, go Gadget Arm!” it isn’t going to grow.
So here I am laying on my bed with this diva cup still in the shape of a C, inserted into my vagina and I can’t grab it to turn it or…get it out. Luckily, I know that it has no where to go so I don’t panic and eventually I manage to get it out.
My official opinion on using the Despicable Diva cup on the trail. No. It is made for tall, thin, gazelle like women who have freakishly long arms, very skinny fingers and the ability to bend like some Sci-Fi creature. I would injure myself and have to leave the hike just trying to get this inserted!