Ten years ago, I made the jump from tampons to using a menstrual cup for my monthly visit from Aunt Flo. My cup of choice was the Diva Cup, not for any reason other than it was the first one that I saw and I had heard the name from a few people I knew.
I started using a cup because I was so over tampons. The discomfort, the cost and the incredible waste. Did you know that non-organic menstrual products can take between 500-1000 years to decompose? Gross.
The learning curve for using the Diva Cup was a long one. It probably took me 3-5 cycles to get the hang of the darn thing. Even as a seasoned menstrual cup user, I still sometimes struggled with insertion, getting it to suction properly and sit in the right place to avoid leakage. Removing the cup was even more tricky, especially in those first few months, let's just say things got messy.
But despite the effort and patience required to learn how to use the Diva Cup, I thoroughly enjoyed its benefits.
Benefits of Using a Menstrual Cup:
- You can leave it in for up to 12 hours
- No risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (this is why tampons need to be changed every 8 hours or even more often if you have a heavy flow)
- It's reusable, good for the planet, good for your pocket (way less $$$ spent)
- You can't feel it, as long as it's positioned correctly
- It comes with a cute little storage bag, so it's easy to toss in your purse, or carry with you to the washroom. No more sliding tampons up your sleeve (anyone else or just me?)
Why I'm Making the Switch
The Nixit cup is not a traditional cup, so it has a few key differences.
When positioned correctly, it sits right beneath your cervix and the rim tucks up behind the pubic bone vs. in your vaginal canal like the Diva Cup. This means that there is no suction required to prevent leaking. The nixit sits horizontally under your cervix and is double-rimmed to prevent any blood from leaking out. I love this feature because I hated the suction of the Diva Cup, it made removing the cup tricky and sometimes very messy once the cup was de-suctioned.
The nixit is significantly larger than traditional cups and therefore can hold more than 2x more liquid. It looks intimidating in size but the material is so paper thin, and it folds down to the size of a tampon very easily, so you still can't feel it once it is inserted.
Nixit is a one size fits all. The Diva Cup comes in 2 different sizes, so this solves the problem of trying to figure out what size you need!
There's no stem! I love this because the stem of my Diva Cup, even though I trimmed it down, would still cause me quite a bit of irritation.
My First Time Using the Nixit Cup
Before using, you have to sterilize the cup by soaking it in boiling water for 5 minutes and allowing it to air dry. I did this a few days before my period so that my cup was just ready to go when I needed it.
The first time I inserted the cup, it took me two tries until I felt like I got it in the correct placement. When you insert a Diva Cup, you want to aim upwards, since it sits in the canal. With the nixit, they tell you to aim down and back towards your tailbone, which sounds weird but once you're doing it, you know exactly what that means. I could actually feel the cup sliding sort of down and under my cervix.
Then I made sure to tuck the part of the rim that I could still touch, up behind my pubic bone. I could still feel the rim, so I wasn't sure if I had pushed it far enough but it didn't seem to move any further. When I stood up and walked around, I couldn't feel anything so I figured it was in the right spot.
I wore the cup all day, with no leaks or irritations at all. Right before I went to bed for the night I removed the cup to empty and rinse it. It also took me a few tries to successfully remove the cup. Though there isn't suction, I couldn't quite grab the end of the rim. It kept slipping out of my fingers. The instructions said to "bear down" a little bit to help bring the cup down slightly, so I did do that and it made it easier to get a hold on the rim.
I found that removing the Nixit was better than the Diva Cup, because it comes out horizontally so I had zero mess. Usually when I would remove the DC, no matter what, there would always be a bit of mess to clean up, but I didn't have that problem at all with nixit, even on my heavier days.
After a couple of days, I started to get the hang of both insertion and removal. I did have two instances where for some reason it seemed like the cup came out of its proper position.
The first was after the first night I slept with it in. I had a tiny bit of leaking, and when I check the cup, the rim had slipped down and was not tucked behind my pubic bone. The second time was after I had been crawling around on the floor, playing with my toddler. I had been squatting and jumping around etc, and I could feel the cup sliding down and was basically on its way out by the time I made it to the washroom to check on it!
After those two little slip-ups, I realized that I must not have been pushing the rim up enough behind my pubic bone, so from then on I just really focused on sending the cup down and back towards my tailbone and then really pushed the rim up as far as I possibly could. I'm happy to report that I had no more issues after that!
Overall I'm really pleased with my first experience using the Nixit cup, and I'm sure that as it was with the Diva Cup, it will get easier with practice!
If you're thinking about making the switch from tampons or other traditional menstrual cups, I recommend giving Nixit a try!
*This post is in no way affiliated with Nixit or any brands at all. I am not sponsored, just sharing products I believe in!*