May 20, 2009

Warning: Girl-centric post ahead

By Elisa | 25 Comments »

****UPDATE: I have decided to give it a shot. Hoping my local health food/crunchy granola store carries it. Will let you know my progress…eventually. Oh, and if you see me around, PLEASE don’t ask how it is going…posting this is embarrassing enough! :) ******

I have always said that this blog would be about what it is like riding as a girl in a cycling unfriendly and unhealthy (esp for women) city. So, it was inevitable to write about womenly things. That day has come…

Ok, ladies this one is for you. Has anyone ever tried The Diva Cup? I am curious about it and want to know what you think. Any cyclists out there tried it? Riding during that week is worrisome and uncomfortable so I would love anything that could help.

Let’s just put it out there: you can’t really wear a pad when on a ride. And tampons are fine, if you are ok with bleached cotton and chemicals and possible leaks (which, honestly, I have been up to this point). So, this seems to be a good alternative. unless it doesn’t work, or the position cycling puts you in screws it up.

So, I ask you…anyone tried it?

if you are uncomfortable saying so here, email me at

Thanks! And to our male readers…sorry and thanks for your understanding

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  1. On May 20th, 2009 Dottie said:

    I’ve seen the Diva Cup ad so many times in Bitch and Bust. Never tried it, though. Seems like an interesting idea (less waste).

  2. On May 20th, 2009 jbubble said:

    bikeportland had a post on this last summer –

    i’ve been curious about the diva cup and keeper (same concept) but haven’t ever gotten around to trying it.

  3. On May 20th, 2009 streaker said:

    I did an Ironman with the Divacup in. Best invention ever.

    You have to be comfortable getting up close with yourself. Be sure to get a good seal. I’ve found it more comfortable then most pad and far better then natural tampons which never fit me properly. It’s an amazing product.

    Read this

  4. On May 21st, 2009 anna said:

    Never seen it, never tried it. I use tampons and thin and small pads. Doesn’t worry me much. But now I’m curious about that Diva Cup. Could maybe be useful for longer tours, I don’t think it’s necessary for my short commutes though. In case you will try it, let us know your experience.

  5. On May 21st, 2009 the calitexican said:

    I haven't tried the diva cup/the keeper, but I have tried their distant relative called "instead." look it up @ it's the same concept, but disposable. And yes, it's not easy getting a good seal (especially when yr new at it), but when you do, it's the best thing ever!! I'm sure I'll eventually go for the diva cup, but right now instead works for me.

    I've also read something in bust mag about a reuseable pad? I'm not quite sure I can get behind it, but if someone has a positive experience with it, I'm all ears.

    And this is my all girls college about to come out, but you shouldn't have to apologize to the boys for talking about lady things. We have to hear about balls & seats a lot with no aplogies from them :-)

  6. On May 21st, 2009 BronSki said:

    Yep, I’m a diva cup convertee. I bought one a few months ago, never seen it here in Australia, so I bought it from REI. I otherwise used tampons and have a growing conscience against all things disposable. Add to it that Australia in the last few years decided to add GST to tampons, because they are a ‘luxury item’(and pads arn’t, so no GST). Go figure, the tax man must be a man.

    I love the diva cup. No problem leaving it there for 12 hours. Even leave it for 24 sometimes, though not advised. Be sure to read the instructions and though you don’t want to wear it too high, if you wear it too low or it’s uncomfy when riding. I additionally like the fact that this product is not absorbing the other natural, and essential fluids this body bit requires.

    I have another girly product to throw at you….tried the sani-fem? I find it fabulous. Especially great when wearing bib-shorts. All the freedoms of relieving yourself that the boys have.

    x Bron

  7. On May 21st, 2009 Craftygrrrl said:

    I have used both the Diva cup and the Keeper and I love both! I used the Keeper until I had kids (it didn’t quite “fit right” after childbirth)and a Diva cup after that. The Keeper is made from rubber and is stiffer, the Diva is softer and comes in two sizes (before and after birth).

    A few girlfriends have asked me about them so I’ll tell you what I told them: If your not okay with getting up close and personal with your HooHaw then this won’t be for you. You will after time become quite familiar with your cycle and how all sorts of stuff affects it (this can become usefull info if you ever have to do any sort of fertility tracking). For the first few cycles I also suggest wearing a panty liner until you get comfortable with getting it in the right position and a good “seal”.

  8. On May 21st, 2009 MamaVee said:

    this is timely. As I’m dealing this this issue today. I use cloth pads and I end up with a big wedgie. No fun. But I have some thin fleece ones that are comfortable and don’t ride up. I also use 7th gen tampons with no bleach etc. I steer away for the diva cup or keeper only b/c I have heard stories RE: the keeper and IUD’s. The suction can pull it out… I’m currently all good with two kids right now. :-)

    But otherwise I bet it’s a great thing.

  9. On May 21st, 2009 Reuben said:

    “…in a cycling unfriendly and unhealthy (esp for women) city.”

    Threadjack: are you saying your city is less cycle friendly and less healthy for women than for men? Care to expand?

  10. On May 21st, 2009 Elisa M said:

    Reuben-Birmingham was rated as one of the most unhealthy cities (#5) for women as well as the most unfriendly commute with the lowest % of women bike commuters by Self Magazine in January. It is not particularly friendly for anyone, but this seems to say that it is less friendly for we ladies.

  11. On May 21st, 2009 Caroline said:

    I’ve been using a Diva cup for over a year now, and it’s fabulous. My one issue is that a few times a year I have a *very* heavy cycle; before, I used to use a pad *and* a tampon at night. Now, I might have slight leakage if my period is especially heavy (I’ll wear a thin pad at times), but it is exponentially more comfortable than regular pads or tampons.

    FWIW, I’m 47, had three kids, and was quite comfortable with my body before trying this. I did end up, after using it for the first couple of days, cutting the “tail” off completely. It’s enough for me to grab and pinch it to get it out. It did take me a couple of cycles to get used to putting it *in* quickly and easily, however.

  12. On May 21st, 2009 Reuben said:

    Can cite an example of something about Birmingham that is less healthy for women than for men?

  13. On May 21st, 2009 Elisa M said:

    Reuben-you can see for yourself the rankings here:

    This is how Birmingham ranked:
    Birmingham-Hoover, AL
    Population: 1,102,723
    2008 ranking: 87 out of 100
    2007 ranking: 95 out of 100

    + Low drinking rates
    + Above-average rates of Pap smears, mammograms and annual checkups
    + Women report high levels of social and emotional support

    – Among the highest auto-death rates on list, nearly 50 percent above average
    – Among the top 10 highest rates of migraine headaches on list
    – Lowest percentage of women who bike to work

  14. On May 21st, 2009 the calitexican said:

    for those who use the diva cup, do you have two so when you change you have one immediately available? Sorry if that’s a TMI question, but I have heavy flows and sometimes with the instead cup, I don’t have the luxury of changing at home. Thx!

  15. On May 21st, 2009 Beany said:

    I began using the diva cup shortly before my first tour and it turned out to be the best thing ever as very little water is needed to rinse out and reuse. I had to learn how to do kegels in order to properly use but I highly recommend it now.

  16. On May 21st, 2009 Beany said:

    I also use a reusable pad for any leaks but never had any leaks.

  17. On May 21st, 2009 Renai said:

    I have one, I love it, and I ride with it in. I will NEVER ever ever ever go back to using tampons or pads again. EVER.

    Suggestion- buy it online at Amazon- you’ll save a ton of money.

  18. On May 21st, 2009 kittyscreations said:

    I’m delurking to reply to this – I have been using a diva cup for over a year now and I absolutely love it and would never switch back to tampons. Once you get it in place, you can’t even tell that it’s there. It’s super comfortable, and my flow tends to be moderate, so I only empty it twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Give it a shot – you won’t regret it!

  19. On May 21st, 2009 Bluenoser said:

    No apology needed. Cycling is cycling… excuse the phun.

    I just enjoy reading your blog.


  20. On May 21st, 2009 michela said:

    Okay, so a friend of mine swore by the Diva Cup and I bought one and used it for a couple of months several years ago. It was amazing in terms of being comfortable and all that but I never got the freaking thing to seal right. Maybe I should give it another shot? Advice?

  21. On May 23rd, 2009 Trisha said:

    I ride with one all the time and no problems. But like an earlier commenter, the “tail” had to go (ouch). Getting it out is not fun at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s OK, and I only do it morning and night. I’m not 100% in love with it, but there are things I don’t like about tampons either.

  22. On May 23rd, 2009 Urban Cyclist said:

    Mine can get a little uncomfortable if it is not inserted all the way, though that is less about the bike as the insertion. Walking and sitting are uncomfortable in that case. I have never had an issue biking. The lack of leaks and need to change as often are a plus.

    I also have a laidies saddle, which makes bikeing, especially with cramps, much more tolerable.

  23. On May 27th, 2009 Melody said:

    I tried the Divacup years ago, but had trouble with it because I’m sensitive to latex. However, I hadn’t realized that they’re now made with silicone, so I’m going to try it again!

    Right now, I use pads and do ok with them, but they’re uncomfortable on hot days. I just try to make pitstops more often…good excuse to hit the coffee houses. :)

  24. On May 29th, 2009 Ash said:

    I used the Diva cup until after I had my first baby. Now I find it’s a bit uncomfortable and doesn’t provide protection anymore with heavier cycles. I found that it was very difficult to get out – make sure you have short nails b/c pinching was quite the problem for me. Otherwise, it really wasn’t too bad.

  25. On June 8th, 2009 Miss Eliza Sea said:

    I adore my Diva Cup. I've been using it for about 4-5 years, and biking with it for about 2. I have no problems riding while using it. In fact, I'd be willing to say it's easier because you don't have bulky pads or tampon strings to deal with.

    As long as you don't get grossed out by your bodily fluids, I'd say go for it. Maybe it's just me, but I find it fascinating to see just how much stuff comes out, and what it looks like. I'm weird like that.

    @Ash – They make a bigger size of Diva Cup for after child birth. Maybe try that out?

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