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on January 18, 2012
I suffer from a horrendously heavy 1st and 2nd day of my period. As a teacher, I don't always have the option to run to the ladies room when I need a "swap out" break. I dreaded when my first couple of days coincided with my back-to-back schedule.

By chance, I was sitting in my doctor's office reading a natural health magazine and saw an add for Diva Cup. When I got home I instantly researched it and thought it sounded like a potential life changer - or a potential disappointment. I read the reviews and decided I should give it a go. I went to the local store that was supposed to sell it and was disappointed that they were out of stock, but they did have the disposable "Instead- Soft Cup". So I bought that because I was just about to start my period and I didn't want to have to deal with my double protective measures anymore! I ordered the "Diva Cup" here and had it shipped 2-day express mail.

So, I've tried both out. Here's what I have to say about each.

Both are amazing in terms of the volume they can hold before needing to "dump" or replace.
Where I once had to change a super plus absorbency at least once an hour (with a heavy flow pad back-up), I can now go 4-5 hours. Both products also handle endometrial tissue and blood clots without any problem. On my normal flow days, I can leave them in for 12 hours without fear of leaking! When both are positioned properly, you will not know either is there. If you can feel either of them, you haven't inserted it correctly.

Here's how they differ.
The disposable "Instead- Soft Cup" is only one size. It consists of a sturdy bendable plastic ring with a plastic baggie-esque cup. Think of it like half of a female condom, only the internal ring is sturdier. The Instead Cup is exponentially easier to learn and put into proper place. It goes in farther into your vagina and you need to make sure you pop it behind your pubic bone (the bump with a ridge-like texture just north of your vaginal opening). The baggie part sits underneath your cervical opening and your flow collects into it. While this cup won't leak if inserted properly and are having a normal flow, it is common to see a some blood if you urinate or have a bowel movement. Since you're engaging your muscles, you'll displace a little flow in the process. This won't affect the efficacy of the cup after you use the toilet. No need to readjust.

The Diva cup is a completely bendable but sturdy cup. It's a similar material to a diaphragm, I instantly snipped off half of the stem after having read the comments here. I'm glad I did. Anyhow, the Diva Cup is extremely uncomfortable when you are learning how to insert it. The instructions tell you that you shouldn't insert it farther into your vagina than 1/4" from the base of the stem. This is true BUT - the labia extend deeper inside and some of your internal space isn't the vagina at all, but space between your labia. How I realized I got it right was when 2 things happened, the first was that I was actually able to rotate the cup with no problem and the second was I heard a suction-noise. The Diva cup goes in deeper than you would think, but you definitely shouldn't be trying to shove it as far as you can. The cup sits lower in your vagina than the Instead cup. It isn't directly blocking the cervix. Rather it forms a collection blockade. Unlike the Instead cup, you won't see any blood upon using the toilet. If you do, you might need to remove, dump, clean and re-insert.

This is a biggie for me and one that makes me favor the Diva cup. The Instead Soft Cup requires you insert your finger and find the loop then you pull out. Because the cup is so flexible and bag like, it's a disgusting mess. Unless there is a garbage can next to the toilet, it can be awkward having to remove, dispose and put in a new one. Your fingers will get bloody! If you are squeamish, you shouldn't get this brand.

The diva cup is easier and much cleaner! The sturdier material holds its cup shape and blood won't spill out of it accidentally. It's quick to wipe out with toilet paper if you aren't next to a sink. If you push down on your muscles you can easily grab the bottom of the cup. It's easier to grab the base than the stem. (In fact, if the stem irritates your vagina, it's not an issue if you cut it off entirely).

INTERCOURSE & Other sexual activities:
You can have sex with the Instead Soft Cup and neither party will be affected by it. Because of where it is positioned, your partner won't be hindered and you won't be hurt or "rubbed the wrong way". It's a great solution to when you want to get intimate but don't want a bloody mess on the sheets (or the couch, or the rug).

Lastly, the Instead Soft Cup is also being used to aid in fertility. Rather than boosting your tush up in the air on pillows after sex, you can place the instead soft cup inside to prevent gravity from having its way with that precious male-mix!

You can't have intercourse with the Diva Cup and it won't prevent semen from slipping away from your cervical opening.

Clearly, one is disposable and one is reusable. However, you use far less of the Soft Cup than you would tampon's and pads.

Personally, I'm going to keep both on hand. I'll use the Diva Cup for my menstrual issues and the Instead Soft Cup for when my husband and I need some grown-up time during that time of the month.

PS - Instead Soft Cups are cheaper at your local pharmacy.
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on January 17, 2017
We used these for trying to conceive after several months of trying with no luck. We got pregnant on the first round using the soft cups, we did not combine with pre seed just inserted the soft cup after intercourse. I feel they were largely responsible as this was the only thing that we changed this cycle. I highly recommend for couples who are trying to get pregnant.
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on November 18, 2017
These work so well and you can't even feel them. The hardest part is learning how to put them in, once you have that mastered, it they're the greatest. I was trying to put them in so they were horizontal to the floor, which is the WRONG way to do it. I was picturing the vagina as a straight tube, but it's not it's curved in a 'C' shape, do the correct way to put them in is to pinch in the middle do they're a figure 8 shape and insert into the vagina, once it's in the vagina use one finger to push it up until you feel a bump- that's the pubic bone once the plastic ring is pushed up above that, it's in place. You shouldn't feel it at all. If you can feel it, it's in wrong, but you can pull it out and try again. If at first you don't succeed, keep trying, it took me two months to figure it out, but once I did I discovered the easiest most comfortable way deal with your period.
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on April 7, 2017
After a year of trying for a baby after a loss, we finally got our first BFP!!! My husband has been taking fertilaid, countboost, and motility boost for 2 months taking it as directed. This cycle we decided to try preseed and softcups for trying to conceive along with those fertility pills. And something worked!! I don't know if it was the pills or the softcup, but I just figured I would share our success!! We will definitely use this combo for our next baby.
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on June 23, 2016
I mostly used the softcups for when i was trying to conceive. They are fabulous in containing the "swimmers" on without worrying about everything spilling out.
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on March 2, 2018
As another reviewer pointed out, I’m not sure if the company failed to note that this product is less effective for “larger” women or not, but I can attest to the fact that, at least for me, these are far from leak-proof. Even after following the directions precisely, the cup doesn’t sit behind the pubic bone for very long without eventually slipping (most of the time). For example, sneezing, coughing, or using the bathroom will almost certainly move it out of place. I even tried wearing one in combination with an extra heavy overnight pad and STILL managed to stain my clothes. I’ve had periods for 17 years, so I know it’s not a case of user error. I’ve also never had children, something that should have added to the effectiveness, I would think. It could be my individual anatomy or maybe these discs really aren’t a good choice for anything but a light/medium flow. Thankfully, I didn’t purchase these with the intention to replace sanitary napkins altogether, so they could still prove useful in situations involving water. I was hoping they would provide a mess-free solution to those days when you want to be intimate with your spouse, and so far so good in that category. As a final thought, the rim could stand to be redesigned using a slightly softer material (silicone?); it’s a bit too rigid for an object meant for an area that sensitive.
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on November 30, 2017
Amazing Product! Hands down my favorite and easier to use than the 're-useable' cups. But do know, if you've never used a menstrual cup it's extremely messy and difficult to change if you're in a public restroom. Always keep wipes and panty liners
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on November 16, 2017
We used these for conception and while many people have reviewed for that I thought I’d tell what worked for us. The first month we just put it in after my husband was done. The second month after he was done and my legs were up, we put in pre seed after and THEN we put this in. That is the month we conceived. We were previously tested and my husband’s sperm was acidic so this was suggested by the doctor. I left it in for 10 hrs.

They are actually quite comfortable and after pregnancy I’ll use them again.
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on August 29, 2017
Cannot express how much I love this product. Been using soft cups for about 3 years now and I will never go back to pads and tampons. The cup is so comfortable that I don't even feel it in place. Squeeze the cup to make it narrow for insertion and push it back far enough that the rim of the cup is tucked behind the pubic bone. I have never had issues with leakage but my flow is not that much even on my heavy days. Emptying the cup can be messy especially if it's full. I suggest doing this over the toilet by a sink or in the shower. Reach in to untuck the rim from behind the pubic bone and when you pull it out, just make sure it's level. I have tried using diva cups in the past and hated them because of the sensation when breaking the suction from the cervix. Also, I found them to be very difficult/uncomfortable to insert. I have tried every type of product out there and soft cups is definitely the winner!
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on March 9, 2018
Best product ever! I've tried multiple menstrual cups but they didn't work comfortably for me. I was worried about spending more money on yet another product, but I'm so glad I did! No pain, no discomfort, it worked like I'd hoped the others would. The learning curve is nothing like using a menstrual cup and the disk worked perfect after the first couple tries. I'm thrilled. After the first day of figuring it out I felt like I wasnt even on my period. It's seriously life changing. It's really too good not to give it a try, because if it does work for you it's worth it's price or more. I actually only used 2 for the entire week because washing them was very easy and convenient, and they are very sturdy and I really didn't feel the need to throw them away every day. I got the idea from a bunch of other reviewers who said they did the same thing. I did however have to throw one away because I forgot to wash my hands first and I didn't want to take any chances. This is really worth a try, especially if you loved the idea of menstrual cups, but they weren't uncomfortable.

Removal is defiantly messy, and I would not recommend doing it in a public restroom, but in the comforts of your own bathroom, it is nothing. I prefer one mess at the end of the day instead of all day long.
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