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Using a menstrual cup for travel: Diva cup review

Ladies, using a menstrual cup for travel has legit changed my life! I wanted to share my review of the feminine product I have used while living and travelling abroad for the last 2 years…The Diva Cup.

The Diva Cup is not only environmentally friendly and helped me save TONS of money, but it’s so practical for travel long term, active or off beat travel and camping.

using a menstrual cup for travel

Tanzania’s remote Gombe Stream National Park is only accessible by boat- you’d better bet there’s no pharmacy to buy tampons here!

I was interested in using a menstrual cup for travel due to the obvious benefits of it being reusable. For someone who travels light, this is a huge advantage (to not worry about packing months worth of supplies, or to have to hunt down your preferred product in a foreign country).

Plus, the impact of using a menstrual cup on the environment is extremely beneficial.

But to be honest, at first I was hesitant to try it…I wasn’t sure what to expect or whether it would be practical to maintain it in a context where there may not be clean water or public washrooms. Finally curiosity won.

My experience using a menstrual cup for travel

Pros of Diva Cup:

-Cost friendly (let’s say a box of tampons is $9.99… over one year you would be saving approx $120)

-Environmentally friendly

-Takes up virtually no room in luggage/ purse

-Comfortable once in place

-Customizable (you can order your preferred size – A= pre-birth, B= post-birth)

-No worries about how/where to dispose product during times when a garbage or toilet is not accessible  (i.e. camping, squatter style toilets) because the cup is reusable – simply rise and repeat

-Never have tampon string hang out of bathing suit bottoms again

-Less dehydrating than tampon use

-No risk of toxic shock due to silicone material so you can use for longer periods of time (up to 12 hours)

Cons of Diva Cup:

-Very strong suction ..this means no leakage, but it can be difficult to get out with the shorter stem

Frequently asked Questions:

How do I clean the cup if I’m travelling in areas that do not have clean tap water?

I was worried whether this could lead to infection with using a menstrual cup and then rinsing the product with water in areas that could potentially be contaminated. I resorted to either using boiled water or rinsing thoroughly with hot tap water and soap. I have not have any issues with these strategies in 2 years (but you can always buy the diva cup cleansing soap if you are concerned).

using a menstrual cup for travel

The rural island of Ekewere, Tanzania is the perfect example of an isolated place where you will want a cup.

What do I do if I need to use a public restroom?

In public washrooms (i.e. at airport, campsite etc) I simply take a bottle of water with me into the stall. Empty and rinse the diva cup over the toilet with the bottled water and reuse. An alternative idea is to carry a small package of baby wipes, though if you are sensitive to perfumes or non-natural ingredients make sure the wipes are free of them.

Pro tip: Do not do this in an airplane bathroom sink (these are notorious for not draining and this is unhygienic for other passengers). Rinse over the airplane toilet with a bottle of water or clean with tissues/baby wipes.

using a menstrual cup for travel

Campsite tested in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

What do I do if I’m camping and there is no public bathroom?

If you are camping on your period without a toilet, I assume you are already comfortable with using Mother nature as your restroom. Typically on long trekking trips or back-country camping trips, you simply head out to the woods with a shovel when you gotta do business. You will need to take hand sanitizer, toilet paper or wipes, a bottle of water and a head torch with you. Most people would be taking sanitizer, toilet paper, the shovel and a torch with them, so you won’t look super obvious.

Wear the head torch so you can see what you are doing at night. Once you have dug a small hole, clean your hands well with the sanitizer. Use the same strategy here as above with the bottle of water; empty and cleanse the cup over the hole and reuse! Be sure to fill the hole when you are done!

using a menstrual cup for travel

The ultimate diva cup test.. fool-proof at 130ft below

Is it okay to swim with a cup?

Yes, using a menstrual cup is totally fine to swim with. In fact I used my Diva cup while scuba diving 130ft down the blue hole in Belize with no issues!

Overall opinion on using a menstrual cup for travel:

I liked the Diva cup enough to continue to use it even during the times I’m not travelling or camping, so it has now been 2 years of continuous use. I recommend for any model that you try, don’t give up on using a menstrual cup; it took me a few months to feel comfortable using it, but it’s a learning curve that is SO worth the effort!

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using a menstrual cup

What are your thoughts?

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thepinkbackpack.com said:
Hey Christina! I am so happy to hear you are considering it. To be honest I have never looked back!! It's saved me tons of money and I also love that it's environmentally friendly too :)
August 5, 2017 at 8:14 am
Christina | From Under a Palm Tree said:
I'm currently planning a travel adventure and I didn't even think of doing this. Thank you so much for putting this on my radar! Not to mention it's super environmentally friendly. I'm definitely going to try it.
July 30, 2017 at 3:57 pm
Rachael said:
I have really been thinking about getting one of these lately! It really is inconvenient to try and find stuff you like when traveling abroad and this would possibly solve that problem for me!
April 29, 2017 at 12:55 pm
Nina said:
I just made the switch to cloth pad, but am still looking for something to go swimming with, so a menstrual cup is on my list of things to try. Thanks for presenting the pros and cons!
April 29, 2017 at 8:21 am
Obligatory Traveler said:
I went the Mirena route and it hasn't worked out as expected. It's probably time to look into the Diva Cup. I'd especially like something that works well for swimming/snorkeling. Seems like there are more pros than cons
April 28, 2017 at 10:42 pm
maegan said:
I've heard great things about these but have yet to try it! Great review and good job diving with it!
April 28, 2017 at 6:35 pm
LC said:
I've used a similar item for the last two years and haven't looked back since... it saves me SO MUCH drama and money!
April 28, 2017 at 6:22 pm
Bonita said:
This is interesting, i have never tried the Diva Cup but i love the fact that it is comfortable, easy to use and more importantly it is environmentally friendly.
April 28, 2017 at 2:32 am
BONNITA ALUOCH said:
Thanks for this info. My pal and I were wondering how it works, how messy it can be, and what if you have very heavy flow, leakages etc especially during long trips. What's your opinion on this?
April 28, 2017 at 12:47 am
Samantha said:
Thanks for sharing this. It sounds so cost effective. I've been caught out a few times while travelling when I have not had the money for sanity products. This would be an investment for sure. Hm, perhaps it is time for me to seriously consider this as an option.
April 27, 2017 at 9:34 pm
Kim | thosewhowandr.com said:
Thanks for the information and feedback! A friend was talking about these, I'll have to try it someday!
April 27, 2017 at 8:42 pm
Megan at Lush to Blush said:
I've heard awesome things about these! I'm glad you had such great success. I may need to try one eventually.
April 27, 2017 at 12:32 pm
Danielle said:
These things are an interesting concept, however I'm just not sure I could use one. Your review is very thorough and helpful though! Thanks for sharing.
April 27, 2017 at 5:50 am
Melai said:
It sounds really convenient to use and I've read a lot of good reviews about it. I'm still skeptical to try it though. Glad it worked out for you.
April 27, 2017 at 12:27 am
Paroma Chakravarty said:
Have never tried one, but seems worth trying for sure. Will help mitigate the cost raked up by using sanitary napkins.
April 27, 2017 at 12:21 am
Lauren said:
I've tried a menstrual cup and it just wasn't for me. Plus, combined with my IUD I was always terrified about somehow suctioning out my birth control. I agree that they are tricky to get out too! I'm REALLY glad it works for you though, and I'd kill to be able to use them and save space and money!
April 26, 2017 at 11:10 pm
Megan said:
I love my diva cup! It took me a few years to get up the courage to buy one, but now that I have, I can't imagine traveling without it.
April 26, 2017 at 10:58 pm
thepinkbackpack.com said:
Hi Cristina, I felt the same way at first! Glad the review was helpful to you :)
December 6, 2016 at 3:00 pm
Cristina said:
I had seen this a few years ago at a fair and thought it was an interesting concept but didn't get to try it.After your review, I might give it a go. Cristina
December 2, 2016 at 10:20 am