DivaCup to Saalt Soft Cup, Exploring Menstrual Cups

This article is about personal experiences with the DivaCup and Saalt menstrual cups and contains descriptions that may be TMI for some readers. TMI = too much information.

You may remember I raved about the DivaCup? Back in 2013. I had mine until last year. 7 years is a cycle. My DivaCup started to leak and smell, two of the “telltale signs” to replace it, according to the DivaCup website. I did replace it, with another brand.

For me, the biggest reason for trying another menstrual cup was that suction. Thankfully it never suctioned to my cervix and I don’t have an IUD the menstrual cup could hook onto. I have spent many long and frustrating moments over the years removing my DivaCup because of the suction. At times, it was even painful.

A seal is good. We want a trustworthy seal to prevent leakage.

So I decided to try something different. After reading scores of reviews, I bought a violet Model 2 (for normal to heavy bleeding) from Lunette. When I accidentally dropped it into the toilet, I got another one. I didn’t have the Lunette for very long and I don’t remember anything dramatically challenging about it. So I can’t recall why I didn’t just re-order it.  Maybe it was the association of the toilet incident.

The next one I got, the one I currently have, is the Saalt Soft Cup. A grey one. It also comes in a violet called “Mountain Iris.”

My Experience with the Saalt Soft Cup

For me, menstrual cups are brilliant. The ones I’ve tried are all medical-grade silicon. I think they all are. There are now so many menstrual cups on the market, I didn’t research all the material used so I cannot confirm. You can read why I love menstrual cups in the original DivaCup 2013 article, including the environmental impact, simplicity, and maintaining natural pH.

Despite them being latex, plastic, and BPA-free, I started exploring (semi) free flow and using my reusable pads more and more. I still love my Lunapads, which re-branded as Aisle a few years ago. Still located in Vancouver, Canada. They don’t seem to have the organic cotton options anymore, though. Other reusable pads I’ve tried have a waterproof bottom, which just isn’t as comfortable and the tops aren’t the soft organic cotton I’m used to with Lunapads. Their overall texture can even irritate my sensitive bits.

Why Saalt?

I wanted to try the soft version of their menstrual cup. I thought that would be more comfortable and easier to remove. I read somewhere there is no suction problem. Some people did suggest pushing the cup with a finger to break the seal first before removing it. I haven’t tried it again with a DivaCup, so…

Like the DivaCup and Lunette, the Saalt can hold be used for 12 hours and overnight. On my heavier flows, it’s about 4 hours compared to maybe one or two with tampons in the old days.

I’ve now had my Saalt Soft Cup for four months and I’ve had both positive and negative experiences, and some learning to make it work.

What I don’t like about the Saalt Soft Cup:

  • The learning curve to insert and especially to remove it is steep, considering how long I’ve been using a menstrual cup and having tried a couple of other brands.
  • It’s soft so when I remove it the cup can collapse, spilling it everywhere. This happens when I don’t realize how close to full it is. It’s best to change it more often so the cup is only about half full. Otherwise it’s like a murder room. Now I do it in the shower, though I can still forget or don’t realize the flow is still rather heavy. My partner recently pointed out a few splatters on the wall!

What I do like about the Saalt Soft Cup:

  • It’s soft and it’s much easier to fold and keep it folded for insertion. With the DivaCup, you have to use some strength because it is a much firmer cup.
  • Initially I struggled to turn it to open it once inserted. Now, it seems once it’s inside, I just have to push it up a little more and it finds the room to expand. No need to turn it! The cup does sit higher up, which means I do have to do a bit of fishing to find it and to remove it. There were a few panic moments early on, wondering where it’s gone to!

With over 600 reviews (at the time of writing this article), the Saalt Soft Cup has 4.7 stars. The 1-star reviews were from people who complained of leaks and of having difficulty breaking the seal or removing it. By the way, the suction challenge isn’t just the DivaCup, as it turns out. Some people say it’s the size of the air holes.

So the point here is – try different ones, until you find what works. For some people, the firmer versions, like the Saalt original cup or the DivaCup, may work better. Either way, whichever one you are using, it is many times better than using tampons and, even organic cotton ones since landfills is a problem. Now, about those organic cotton (or hemp?) reusable pads. Anyone?