Why I Stopped Using Tampons & Pads

DivaCup-on-Bag

Ladies, this post is for you. If you’re a man, you can read this if you’re curious, but you’ll likely find it TMI. Fair warning!

I am not one of those women who has uncomfortable or irregular periods. Cramping and bloating aren’t ever issues. And flow-management has always been simple. I wore tampons.

(We don’t need to go into why pads squick me out, but suffice it to say I find them icky.)

Yet after the birth of my most recent child a few years ago, I noticed a subtle shift in my flow. It was heavier. This was likely due to hormonal changes, and my flow was nothing outside the realm of perfectly ordinary. Nevertheless, as I adjusted to life with a heavier period, managing those periods became even more annoying.

I would put in a Super Plus tampon, but find it leaking within an hour! Sometimes this was because the tampon was full, but most often it was just because it started mysteriously leaking.

After enough frustrating leak experiences, I caved and began wearing tampons and pads.

ugh-brave

“Have you heard of a menstrual cup?”

A friend asked me one day after listening to a rant about managing my periods.

Such a simple question.

Ladies, it changed my life. Hopefully, it can change yours.

A menstrual cup is pretty much what it sounds like — a tiny cup made out of medical grade silicone that is inserted into your vagina and seated below your cervix. Its purpose? To catch your menstrual flow.

When inserted correctly, a menstrual cup is a convenient, reusable, comfortable, leak-free alternative to tampons or pads.

I don’t know about you, but I’m completely won over by the idea of a leak-free, comfortable period. Pads alternate between feeling stiff and damp, and tampons inevitably feel somewhat achy after a while.

I chose the Diva Cup.

There are many good menstrual cups on the market, and just as many women who swear by their favorite brand. I opted for the Diva Cup for one reason — name recognition.

Yes, it’s a shallow reason to pick this one above others. But the Diva Cup is the #1 selling menstrual cup in the world, and that usually means they’re doing something right.

Plus, I figured if I absolutely hated it or couldn’t make it work, I could try a different brand.

My Diva Cup experience.

I bought the Diva Cup #2 Post-Pregnancy model because I’ve given birth to three children.

The Diva Cup’s instructions provided two folding methods for insertion. There are, in fact, dozens of folds to choose from, and each fold has an ardent fan base.

The takeaway?

I’d have to experiment. I’d have to find the fold that worked consistently for me.

Day One of Diva Cupping

This day was a bit of a bust. While inserting the cup using the different folds was different levels of tricky, the end result was almost always the same:

The cup felt uncomfortable; it eventually worked it’s way down and would poke out. And, every other time I inserted it I apparently didn’t get a good seal or know what that was yet because it would leak.

Needless to say, I cried.

Day Two of Diva Cupping

I went online, trying to figure out why my Diva Cup poked out. It turns out, my cervix is low and a little tilted.

This is perfectly normal, particularly after childbirth, and explains why I suddenly developed a problem with leaking tampons after decades of them being sufficient.

But could I still get the Diva Cup to work?

YES! I read online that women who have low (or tilted) cervixes can make a Diva Cup work flawlessly for them with one simple fix — turning it inside out.

hallelujah-sister-act

So, I did as instructed, turned my Diva Cup inside out, inserted it with a C-fold, felt it seal & seat easily so that it felt like a circle inside me (not flat or squished).

And you know what happened?

It felt comfortable!

It didn’t leak!

It didn’t slip down as the day wore on!

I’ve since worn my Diva Cup through three menstrual cycles.

Why I love my Diva Cup

  • It pays for itself. — Because it’s reusable and lasts a decade or more, it’ll pay for it’s $28 price tag within 3 months. Then after that, I’ll never have to buy another tampon or pad as long as I live.
  • It’s soooo comfortable! — I swear it feels like there’s nothing in there. It’s almost like I can forget I’m menstruating.
  • I wear the same cup on light days and heavy days. — You can leave it in up to 12 hours before removing it and rinsing it out. When my period’s at it’s heaviest, that drops down to about 3 hours.
  • I never have to worry about running out of sanitary supplies again. — There’s no worse feeling in the world than realizing at 11pm that I’ve run out of tampons. No one likes emergency runs to the store. In the middle of the night. During their freaking period. With underwear stuffed full of toilet paper. (Don’t tell me this has never happened to you!)
  • It’s a lifesaver when traveling or backpacking. — When packing space is an issue, there’s zero need to reserve room for a week’s worth of sanitary supplies.

I also love my Diva Cup for what it isn’t — a tampon.

What’s wrong with tampons?

Tampons are laden with more than 23 toxic chemicals including bleach.

It never occurred to me before I started researching it, but now I can’t get over how obviously bad it is.

Does it make any kind of intuitive sense to stuff your vagina full of bleach? Or pesticide-laden cotton?

Heck, no!

I never quite connected the dots about Toxic Shock Syndrome and tampons before, but Toxic Shock Syndrome is caused by tampons.

(Why is TSS considered an acceptable risk of wearing tampons?)

Furthermore, tampons alter the pH of the vagina. This has been linked to recurring yeast infections in susceptible ladies.

And while there are organic varieties of tampons available, you’re still dealing with the fact that it’s dry, uncomfortable cotton sitting up in your vagina and plugging your cervix.

(Why are we plugging our cervixes like bleeding wounds when we should be letting our menstrual fluids OUT?)

Couldn’t you just buy reusable cloth pads?

Yes, you could. The definitive word here being YOU.

Remember what I said about pads squicking me out? Well, they do. I don’t like seeing all that blood. I would like routinely washing it out of cloth pads even less.

But doesn’t the Diva Cup make you see your blood?

A little. But not much.

When I remove it, I’m sitting on the toilet. I immediately dump the cup’s contents into the toilet, so I only ever really “see” the empty cup. It’s easy to quickly rinse it out in the sink, and then immediately reinsert it.

DIVAcup_box

Where to buy a Diva Cup

Diva Cups are pretty common, but Amazon carries them at a discount. And since I’m a Prime member, I get free, two-day shipping.


Remember, you’ll want to pick the size that suits you (Pre-Birth vs. Post-Birth).

(Click here to buy a Diva Cup.)

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Comments

  1. aminie says

    I wish i could use this but I have tried every month for 5 cycles now… I have had 3 children so I got the size 2 even though I’m under 30 and it HURTS! It makes me cramp up an the then eventually starts to fall out. Would LOVE to be able to love this and there aren’t many other good options out there but I can’t seam to make it work dispite continuous effort… Any advice would be rad :)

    • says

      I had a friend who could not use the Diva cup, so she tried the Moon Cup. Different company, but same idea. She likes it much better now. The Diva cup was really uncomfortable to her for whatever reason, but she uses her Moon Cup with no problems. She even took it on a mission trip to Cambodia, and had NO problems being on her period in a third world country!

    • Alissa says

      The Diva Cup, even the smaller size, is huge compared to other cups. It was the first one I tried, and I actually lost feeling in my feet — it must have been pressing on a nerve in my spine. I tried another brand and it kept falling out. After much research I realized that, like Kristen, I have a low cervix (I have one child). So, I tried MeLuna, which offers a cup with a shorter length. It’s made in Germany and not sold in the US so I ordered it from the company’s website (www.meluna.org/en_GB) — not as pricey as I thought it’d be and it didn’t take long to get here from Germany. It’s perfect. Totally worth all the effort to find. Cups are SO, so much better than tampons when you find the right one, so keep trying! Good luck!

    • Heather TenKley says

      Yeah Diva Cup didn’t work for me either. I had to cut the stem completely off because it jabbed me so bad all the time. It leaked for me a lot too, every time I got up from a sitting or lying down position.

  2. stef says

    Hi, Great review thanks!!

    Iv just brought mine, however found out im pregnant. Are you about to use the diva cup after pregnancy – For the 6 week bleed?

    • Melissa says

      My understanding is that nothing should be inserted after childbirth (there’s basically a wound in your uterus from where the placenta was attached, and while that’s healing infection is the concern). Definitely worth asking your midwife or doctor to fact check me.

      While the Diva is great for menstrual flow, I can’t imagine it being convenient for postpartum bleeding. Not for the first couple weeks anyway.

      Congratulations! And hopefully you won’t need the diva for a couple years now–breastfeeding helped keep my cycle away for 10 months after my youngest was born.

    • says

      I agree with what Melissa said…plus it would be extremely painful to insert anything into your vagina after childbirth. The whole lower region gets very sore and sensitive for at least a couple of weeks after giving birth. :(

  3. Lisa G says

    Nice review, thanks, I think I’ll hop on over and check them out. BTW, I am curious if any guys actually went forth and read the rest of the review. Privy to girl talk, not that common.

    • Eric U says

      I read the entire article. I grew up in a very open family, so such things don’t bother me. Plus I have a girlfriend who does not follow the blog but finds the information I find here interesting most of the time. She has never used a tampon before because she doesn’t like the thought of keeping what is supposed ot flow out, in, which kind of makes sense. She goes the pads route, which are crazy expensive and she doesn’t really even like those, so I will definitely be showing her this article when she gets home from work!

  4. Diane Smith says

    Hi Kristin!
    Love your website and really excited to get posts from you! Hey, thinking about getting the diva cup, but then I keep thinking about how important it is to have some air flow around the cervix. The diva cup will seal this off….any thoughts about this?
    Thanks!

        • says

          Yeah, menstrual cups couldn’t stay up there without airflow. It’s what creates the seal. You have to fold them to insert them, then they need to expand into an open cup. They couldn’t do that if airflow was restricted.

          In fact, if someone is having difficulty getting their cup to “open up” inside them, one of the trouble-shooting options is to check the holes and make sure they’re not plugged up, or even to use a toothpick to make them larger.

  5. curious says

    Have you boiled yours yet? I used the cup for a while, but feel like I need to boil it. do I need to get a pot just for diva cup boiling or do I need t o get over it? Because I’m boiling, I can still use the pot. Gross, but really can yoy or just buy a new pot?

  6. Lacy says

    I’ve been a little interested in these but the thought of using a public bathroom always stopped me. Have you dealt with that yet? Most public bathrooms require you to come out of the stall I get to the sink….which would seem weird to me….and probably gross to anyone around…

      • Sue says

        so, are you saying that you remove it in the stall and carry it out to the sink to rinse and then back into the stall to re insert ? or do you have a second, clean cup to insert to save time and from bleeding on your way to and from the sink ???

      • Carmen says

        Is part of your article missing? You mention a “She” halfway thru the article but don’t reference “Her” anywhere else. “She asked me one day after listening to a rant about managing my period.” This sentence is out of left field and made me wonder if you accidentally deleted something when inserting the picture of the redhead.

    • Distel says

      TMI Warning…

      It takes some getting used to, but you can use your urine to rinse the cup. It is sterile, and the right pH. Not to mention, it’s available without having to leave the stall. Blot dry with some toilet paper and you are good to go.

    • Lori says

      In my experience, if I’m going to be out where I’ll only have access a public restroom stall, I empty and reinsert my cup right before I leave home. I can typically go over 9 hours without having to empty, and my flow is fairly heavy. If I ever did need to empty it while out though, I’d carry a bottle of water into the stall with me to rinse it out over the toilet. I haven’t had to yet though.

  7. Deb Whitten says

    I started using a menstrual cup years ago in between my first and second child. I loved it!!! When I got an IUD after my third child I thought “I have no use for this since I have little to no flow!” so i pitched it. After a few years, my hormones were so off that I removed the IUD myself and I’ve been kicking around buying another cup as tampons are expensive & just don’t fit right any more… thanks for giving me the nudge I need!

    • Mari says

      You can reuse the Instead. Just rinse/wipe it out and pop it back in. Once a day, wash it with not-too-hot water and a mild soap like Dr. Bronner’s baby soap and rinse well before reinserting. (My gyn’s instructions.) One lasts me a whole period. Some women get several cycles out of one, washing it very well and soaking it in hydrogen peroxide overnight at the end of a period, but since I only have a period every 3 months due to Better Living Through Chemistry(TM) ;) I just toss it. I tried several cups and disliked all of them – this “flying saucer” style works better for my anatomy.

      If you do want a truly-reusable version you can talk to your gyn about fitting you with a diaphragm.

      I guess I’m a freak though, I liked my flannel pads, especially for nighttime or on super-crampy days when the Instead isn’t so comfortable. I’d still be using them if I had my own laundry facilities, but I’m a little tweaky about taking them to the coin-op.

  8. Diana W says

    I’m going on 6 years with my Diva Cup (minus some time for a pregnancy and breastfeeding), and I love it. I’ve converted both my sisters. I did have to trim off the stem to make it comfortable for me, but after that little modification, it’s been great.

    I always had problems with leaks, with either tampons or pads, including one extremely embarassing experience with staining my khakis on the first day of a new internship. No more leaks is fabulous!

  9. Sue says

    so, I have many questions.
    do you have to remove it each time you use the bathroom?
    how do you know if it’s full and need to remove it?
    isn’t it messy when you remove it during a high flowing time?
    if my sink isn’t right next to the toilet and i have to get up, I will usually drip/bleed when i stand up. Have you found this to be an issue.
    I just can’t wrap my head around the logistics of this.
    I don’t like the idea or price of tampons either but what about being out in public, or camping, etc. Maybe there is something I am missing but it just seems pretty gross to be emptying the blood somewhere and trying to re insert all during a heavy blood flow. I’m thinking that I would want to shower each time. You said at your heaviest flow you would be emptying every three hours, I don’t think I would be able to find a shower each time.
    Help me to better understand the details of the process, please.

    • says

      No. You only remove it when it gets full, or when twelve hours had passed, whichever is sooner.

      You can tell it’s full because the added weight of the fluid makes it start dropping lower. (At least that’s how I tell.)

      No. It isn’t any messier than dealing with used tampons or pads (and in my opinion is tidier).

      You empty it in the toilet, so how is that any different than changing a tampon or pad? And feeling a need to shower? Do you feel the need to shower when you change your tampons or pads? I’m assuming you don’t, so you likely wouldn’t feel the need to do so with a cup.

      Remember, I’m the person who doesn’t like pads because blood grosses me out, and I think the cup is a cleaner, tidier option.

    • Melissa says

      If tampons are the comparison (I switched from tampons to the Diva cup), the Diva is MUCH less messy. I don’t flush tampons so there is the mess of handling something with no clean spot. The stem and outside of my Diva don’t get messy. Pull, dump, rinse (or if in public wipe with TP or wet wipe), fold, insert, wash hands. It’s also much less mess than pads, in my experience.

      I used to get sore from the roughness of inserting and removing tampons. The Diva makes my period so much more comfortable. And I’ve found my bleeding is shorter and I have no cramping since switching from disposable products. And that’s comparing to pre-babies, on hormonal birth control.

  10. Jessica says

    Hi! I’m glad you reviewed the Diva Cup, it’s an amazing product.

    I had been using it for a while, however once I accidentally washed it with antibacterial soap and ended up with a case of BV that took months to cure. I am now afraid to use it again, which is too bad because it really changes how you deal with your period.

    All new Diva Cup users, please be aware of the soap you use!

  11. Kate says

    I liked this review,a lot. It may have just convinced me to buy one! I’m a pad kind of girl,it doesn’t freak me out and wearing cloth pads has been SO much better! I don’t feel them at all,they’re so comfortable. And cleanup is very easy,I just throw them into the wash with all my other laundry.
    I have never felt comfortable with tampons,the idea of them just irks me…but now I am realizing how different the diva cup is from tampons. :) Can’t wait to try it out!

  12. says

    I’ve been using my Diva Cup for three years and could NOT EVER be without it! I have saved so much money on products. I also find that it makes my period seem shorter and less painful. Weird. I recommend it to everyone now! It’s definitely a game changer!

  13. Jacki says

    Divacup’s what I started with when I started using menstrual cups back in 2005, but now I use a lunette. There’s a ton of choices out there!

  14. says

    Wish I’d known about this back when…! Ladies, you will miss the opportunity of a monthly flow when it’s gone. One thing we have over men, and maybe a reason women generally live longer, we get the opportunity to detox once a month! – Kaye

  15. says

    I started using a Moon Cup about 7 years ago and have used it constantly apart from during pregnancy and the year after. I absolutely love it, generally have no problems with leaks if I have it in correctly and could never ever go back. I used to get recurrent thrush whenever I finished my period and the tampons dried me out so much. I recommend them to anyone especially because of the amazing amount of money you save. My daughter has grown up with me using it so hopefully it will be a natural option for her although it may be a bit difficult for a teenager to get in easily. Thanks for writing this.

    • Zaria says

      That’s a great point! My daughter is only 12 and is not menstruating yet, but I’m trying to get ready. Does anybody know of a brand that could be used by a teenager?
      Thanks.

  16. Jen says

    How does it work in a public restroom? Do you have to rinse it out in the sink each time? Do you end up with messy hands? I’m really quite interested though!!

    • says

      I bring a pack of wet wipes with me in my purse. If I have to change it in a public restroom, I just use those to swipe it clean before reinserting.

      Also remember that it can stay in for HOURS longer than a pad or tampon before it needs changing. Chances are good you’ll rarely, if ever, need to change it while it in public. I’m almost always able to wait until I get home.

  17. Jessi says

    Using the Diva Cup are you able to do physical activities? I have no issues wearing tampons, but want to find an alternative due to the chemicals thing. However, I yoga or run every day, and am curious if the Diva Cup would not allow that.

    • says

      It stays in just fine during physical activities. Some women report it drops sooner, but according to them is nothing that building a strong pelvic floor doesn’t fix (via squats and kegels).

    • Lori says

      I’ve been using the Diva Cup for over 7 years and the main reason I switched was because my periods were getting so heavy that tampons weren’t cutting it anymore, I would have to change them literally every 2 hours. AND I was a runner and tampons would slide out when I would run long distances. I’ve never had a problem running or doing any other physical activity with the DC in. It’s a great product and since you can keep it in for so long, it really frees you up to live your life!

  18. Amanda says

    I use “softcup” brand mentrual cups. They are technically a disposable option, but I wash it and use usually 2 per cycle. Also, if somewhere that it is hard to wash it, I can always just throw it away and grab a new one. I like that I can keep one in my purse for less space than a panty liner, it never leaks, and is optionally disposable. As for the vs. tampon/pad debate, I will NEVER go back to tampons. I now know how nice it is to pain-free, unrestricted period.

    • says

      I have a lot of soft cups I received free from the company to try in exchange for a review…I’ve honestly been too afraid to use them yet though. I’ve never used tampons, I’ve always used pads. So I’m a little nervous to try to stick something inside, I just don’t know what to do. Lol (I’m sure this makes me sound really stupid. Lol)

      Is it hard to figure out? Is it painful placing in or taking out?

      http://www.jenkinsthisloveisours.blogspot.com

  19. Joy says

    I bought my Diva cup right after they came out in the US which was around 8(?) years ago. My cup has saved close to a thousand dollars as well as saved me from more toxin exposure. When travelling on a road trip where facilities were questionable, I did choose to use tampons on occasion. Over the years, I have bought a couple of large boxes of “plugs” in addition to my Diva cup. During perimenopause, I lost my cup at home and bought another one which went unused because I was no longer cycling (9 months now!). Last weekend, the new Diva cup was gifted to a young Mother who is frugally minded since I found my old cup in a makeup bag.

  20. Tiffany says

    So one thing that you didn’t address was, how do you know when to empty the cup? This is a new and strange concept for me, I’ve always used tampons, and you know when to change them because when you wipe you will see the light blood on the napkin. How does it work with a menstrual cup?

  21. Catherine says

    That’s really interesting. Thanks for being so clear on their use. I’ve been wondering if I should swap to a mooncup or similar for a while now and this had made me more likely to.
    For those who don’t get on with the cups I have come across natural sponges that are washable and reusable. I’m afraid that I can’t remember the website but you bought two and alternated, rinsing in between use and boiling them infrequently. This also sounded worth a go as another natural alternative. Does anyone else know the brand?

    • Sheryl says

      Jade Pearl sells Sea Pearl (it’s a sponge). I’ve used them a bit. I still felt like I needed a light pad to go along with it.

      • Stacy says

        TMI warming – I like the Sea Pearls to use when we “get it on” during “that time”. He thinks it’s messy and gross, but with that in, he’s game. I don’t feel like they hold enough to be a real option the rest of the time, and I can’t even make that work during the first day or two… way too heavy flow.

  22. Dee says

    I have the same issue with a post-childbirth tilted pelvis. I have always found the cup to be uncomfortable (but not enough to make me ever go back to tampons or pads!). I’m wondering whether you had any trouble removing the cup while wearing it inside out — is there a trick to it?

  23. Hillery T says

    I got the Lunette cup and I love it! I will never, never go back to tampons! The Lunette cup is more expensive than the Diva cup ($40 vs $30), but most reviewers said it was smaller than the Diva, and I was worried about comfort so I decided on Lunette over Diva. The only time I have had leakage issues is when I have a super heavy flow, but mostly I can change it 2-3 times a day with no issues. Regardless, I now want to tell everyone I know about amazing menstrual cups!

  24. says

    I wish I had known about these years ago. With 4 daughters I could’ve saved a LOT of money on supplies. I’ll be sharing this and hoping that they will consider this option for their periods. Thanks for all the info!

  25. kiley says

    So I was so excited when I bought my Diva cup but have not gotten past leaks and the poking out feeling.

    Recently I bought some SEA SPONGES…anybody tried them? They feel awesome and I am testing them on my heaviest of days. I don’t really get leakage but I do not like washing them at all (they have a strange texture.)

    I also use re-usable pads because the Diva is so uncomfortable. I will try flipping it inside out.

    • Christine says

      If the Diva is uncomfortable, maybe it’s just to big. perhaps try a smaller cup like the Lunette – I love my Lunette, and I ca’t imagine I’d be able to handle a bigger cup like a Diva

  26. Sheryl says

    And this must go without saying since I don’t think I read anything on it. You just wear it to bed and you’re good to go OR do you have to get up at night to empty it? Thanks!

    • says

      It’ll last all night. Some women wear cloth pads at night with them just for that sense of security, but it’s highly unlikely that it will fill up so much that you have to change it in the middle of the night.

      Just remember the volume of this is about an ounce. That’s the equivalent of 2 or 3 Super Plus high-absorbency tampons.

      So, if you’re not changing your Super Plus tampons 2 to 3 times in the middle of the night, then there’s just no way you’ll need to empty your Diva Cup out.

  27. Misty says

    I have used mine for over 2 years and have never looked back. I don’t realize it’s even in, light day, heavy days it doesn’t matter. Also, being I chart I know when my time is coming and you know how you just”know” then I can put it in and be safe all day. You would never do that with anything else. Money saving is priceless and the thought of all those chemicals ICK!
    I think every Dr who deals with girls any age should recommend them to these girls. I know my daughter will know about them right away. As a young girl who dance and swam often I dreaded using a tampon for many reasons but mainly cause it caused me a lot of pain. My daughters will never have to go through that!
    Thanks for sharing such an important topic

  28. clarissa says

    I have looked at these in the stores, but I cant wrap my head around it. i dont like the idea of a tampon and always use pads. blood doesnt bother me. The idea of having to stick a cup up there and then reach in and pull it out to dump it and rinse it out grosses me out way more than the pad. I would totally feel I would need something “cleaner” after changing it. glad it works for a lot of you all but I gotta stick with what doesnt gross me out lol.

    • says

      Just remember, the outside of the cup remains clean and dry. So you rarely, if ever, have to touch blood.

      Anyhow, if you’re happy with pads, then you go for it! I just don’t like feeling damp down there.

      With a Diva Cup, it *really* is easy to forget you’re even menstruating; it’s just so comfortable.

      • Vee says

        “clean and dry”?? Inside a woman’s vagina?? That is an impossibility! Especially a menstruating one! I have not yet used one, but I don’t understand how you can say that, Kristen, considering the environment it is going in/out of. No offense intended.

    • Joyce says

      I’ve read this all with interest, even though I’m way past needing to deal with periods (ye ha!). I used to use OB tampons, which had no applicator, and I recall most girls I knew being grossed out at the thought of putting their finger up there, so evidently you’re not alone. I just hated the waste created by the applicator.

      You should look at the old book ‘Our Bodies, Ourselves’, which was kind of groundbreaking at the time (the ’60s). They actually suggested having a group of women sit around examining themselves with hand mirrors, just to get familiar with their bodies. and see how we’re all different!

      I don’t think I could ever get with the group thing, but I did like the idea of seeing what I looked like down there. Once I did that, the idea of a non-applicator tampon didn’t seem so gross.

      This is definitely TMI!

  29. Nina says

    Has anyone had experience with cramping from their Diva Cup? I hardly ever have cramping when I am menstruating, it’s really a blessing how easy my cycles are to manage. Yet when I tried to use the Diva Cup for a new cycle, I had such severe cramping within minutes of inserting it that I couldn’t take it out fast enough. I tried it again the next day and the day after and still the issue with the terrible immediate cramping. What could be causing this? Should I try another brand? The whole thing really scared me off of trying any more menstrual cups, but the natural tampons that I switched to from Kotex, leak so badly it almost brings me to tears. I am thinking of doing reusable cloth pads, but I would really rather use a cup that works! I am under 30 with no children (yet), if that helps.

    • says

      Try using a softer, shorter brand like the Moon Cup or Luna Cup. Some women say that the Diva Cup pushes too much against their spine, causing cramping. It is one of the biggest, firmest cups on the market. And, depending on your body shape, you may prefer a different brand.

  30. Joanne says

    The Endometriosis Association has spokeken out about feminine products and bleaching agents. What kind of plastic is this cup and others made of????

    • says

      I mentioned it in the post, but I’ll say so again here for your convenience.

      It’s made out of medical grade silicone. This is the stuff that surgeons use when installing stents and and other objects that are meant to stay inside your body (often for years) without deteriorating, leaching, etc.

      In this case, it stays inside you for a few days each month — AND you’re removing it multiple times a day to clean it and care for it.

  31. giovanna says

    Haha! *see* your blood! Oh no! I’m a human! If you can’t handle sticking your fingers in your lady parts and blood and cervical fluid (for those of you pondering the fertility method).. maybe re-think pregnancy and children..

    LOVE your website! This is my go to when I have a nutritional question and I send all of my friends your articles. You are such a contribution to this world :)

    • Joyce says

      That’s not really fair. Women…maybe men too, vary considerably with regard to how comfortable they are with their own body, and that can change with time and experience. I think the biggest change agent for me was having a baby, where various and sundry people would stop by for a peek!

  32. Leah says

    Love my diva cup. This is silly but I’m 7 months pregnant, and this article made me sorta miss my period because I love my cup so much! LOL. I used it for 2 years before getting pregnant. Always with a cloth panty liner just in case. It never leaks but sometimes after reinserting I will have a little dripping so that’s why I liked using the liners as a back up. I toss and turn at night a lot and like to lay on my side. When I would use pads, my flow would often miss the pad I’d have a mess to clean because of the positions I tend to sleep in. Never had to worry with my cup! I have changed it in public restrooms plenty of times by the way. I just dump it out and reinsert it. Then wipe myself and hands clean with toilet paper. Wash my hands really well. No big deal at all. Glad to see this post – more people need to know about these things! I cannot bear the thought of disposables for post partum so I am planning to sew some heavy duty pads. Just can’t ever go back!

  33. Michelle says

    Wow! I also can’t believe I’ve never heard of this before. I have very heavy periods and am anaemic… Wonder if this would make using one difficult or perhaps help? I’m excited and hoping I can find them in Australia easily.

  34. says

    Too funny! I wrote a post about the same thing earlier this week! (Didn’t post it until today, because it’s a part of my “Frugal Fridays” feature, but I wrote it earlier this week.) I LOVE my Moon Cup! I wish everyone would switch to these. Thanks for the extra information in your post; I didn’t know some of this but it just reinforces my love of menstrual cups!

  35. Michelle R says

    I haven’t yet, but am looking forward to trying a cup. It occurs to me that those of us who have a toilet separate from the sink area could keep a spray/squeeze bottle of water in the toilet area for the rinsing (to use over the toilet).

    Does that make sense or am I being naive?

      • Meghan says

        I would think the toilet paper would leave lint unless it’s a less linty brand like scott and even then I’m sure it could leave something.. I don’t know that I like the thought of lint in me. The spray bottle sounds like a better idea, hygienically speaking.

  36. Kat says

    Only thing I didn’t see addressed here IS…..can you have sex with one in?? LOL! May sound funny but I do enjoy that bonus using the Instead Softcups. Been wanting to get a cup, but the Diva cup stem looks too long. Was thinking of going with the German made MeLuna. Anybody?

  37. Paula says

    Has anyone had problems taking their cup out? I’ve tried it twice now and it’s taken over 20mins of effort each time to remove it. I think I’ve inserted it too high, maybe? Then I can’t break the seal or it reseals and I find I can’t get a decent grip on the stem.

    I’m following the instructions but must be doing something wrong because it also leaks.

  38. says

    Great post. I haven’t read all the comments so might have already been mentioned but there’s another BRILLIANT reason for using cups or CSP…

    … it reduced your flow!!

    I use CSP (cloth sanitary protection) and have just bought a cup as well. I’ve found my period has gone down from 5/6 days to 2/3 days. There are rumours that there are chemicals in pads and tampons that induce bleeding (SHAMEFUL!) but I also think it’s likely that pads and tampons trick the body into producing more blood. It’s drawn away so quickly that it thinks it needs to produce more. So using CSP or a cup reduces this. Whichever reason, I wouldn’t ever, ever, ever go back to throw-away options.

    • Joyce says

      My guess would be that the fluid just flows more freely, so your body gets rid of it faster, rather than pads or tampons inducting more flow. After all, your flow happens after your body has prepared the uterus for a child, so all the ‘production’ is done by the time you get your period.

  39. Kelly says

    Sorry just now finding this. So intrigued!! Question- you say you use wet wipes and someone else mentioned not using antibaterial soap. The soap surprised me, that’s what I thought would be the type to use (??), but are you not worried about that type of soap on the wetwipe being inside your body? (I’m assuming you include wiping the lip and outside, parts that will def touch and stay touching your insides?) Just curious. Thanks so much for this! I am seriously considering switching, tamps used to be super comfortable for me, but not now and I hate pads!

  40. Ann Louise Jambor says

    Alright, I ordered the diva cup but not the wash. The instructions exclude just about every type of store bought soap and my castile soap concoctions won’t do either. Any suggestions? I’d like to go ahead and try this out. I have ordered the wash but I will take a couple of days.

  41. whitsend5 says

    I used a menstrual cup many years ago and absolutely loved it. After having an IUD for quite a few years, I had no need for it and pitched it during a move. Now I’m IUD-free and reordered at your prompting…. Thank you thank you thank you!!!! I forgot how much I love menstrual cups! Also, I tried it inside out as my cervix has seen better days and it fits perfect… Thanks for the advice!!! I would have never thought of that

  42. Amy says

    If you have a “low” or “tilted” cervix, please be aware that you may need to work on your body alignment and pelvic floor/core strength. A low cervix is how POP (pelvic organ prolapse) starts, but you can correct it before it becomes a problem. Wish I had known this 10 years ago, so I am hoping to help spread awareness. :)

  43. says

    I used a Keeper for about five years before birth, and for a while after birthing two, but it never seemed to work the same even though I used the one specifically for post-birth. I think I will try the Diva Cup, too, now as I am not happy using even organic tampons and feel the same as you about pads! Thanks for the reminder I needed to get on this!

    The Keeper and Diva Cup are amazing for travel – when we traveled and lived in Guatemala this is what I used and it was awesome to have no waste, and to not have to try to find organic options where we traveled (which would be basically impossible).

  44. Kelly says

    I will definitely try inside out because my cervix is in the same position as you so Diva was not comfortable. I need the large size though because I am HEAVY. I wear a copper IUD though and the suction can pull out the IUD so maybe I won’t switch :) I have 5 kids and don’t want anymore! I use the instead cup which works great for me except I leak more so I have to wear a pad. The biggest bonus though of the instead is being able to wear it during sex! No mess there!

  45. Meghan says

    I’m a very tiny person myself (in more ways than one if you catch my drift..) so I’m wondering what brand would be recommended for someone as little as me? I’ve used tampons before because I found them to be cleaner than pads and I could wear more variety of clothing (like swimming wear, light material skirts, etc.), but I’ve always preferred pads for comfort. I could always feel the tampon inside me and I hated that. I haven’t had a period in over 3 years (2 children and breastfeeding being my friends for that ;) ) but whenever it comes back I’m considering trying this now that I know about it but I’m just worried about it fitting comfortably.. If I could feel the tampon, wouldn’t I be able to feel this too?

  46. Stacy says

    does anyone have any advice for latex sensitivity? I know there are different materials they are made out of. And have we settled the question of how healthy is it to put silicone in our body? I’m currently using organic cotton tampons and a pad on heavy days. I kind of wish my body would just quit this nonsense. Peri-Menopause is kicking my butt. My flow is seriously heavy for 1-3 days. Like overflow of a super plus tampon onto an overnight pad and both need to be changed every 3 hours – heavy. Going to work SUCKS! I had to make a waterproof pad to sleep on so I wouldn’t ruin the bed. It’s all pretty flannel on the top, but I can imagine how babies feel in non-breathable diapers and it’s not nice! These are the questions I have that I have yet to find answers on on any discussion about the cup types of products.

  47. Mya says

    I cannot thank you enough for writing this! I have been using the Moon Cup for years, but after 3 kids this time around it has never fit right! I thought I was done with it, it was so uncomfortable and always was falling out. I tried the flipping it inside out trick and wow. WOW… WOW!!!! I am so relieved that it is going to work again for me. I was depressed at going through the search for something else. I hate pads and loved this thing so much. So anyone who is having fit issues…TURN IT INSIDE OUT! xoxoxo

  48. Erin says

    i loooove my cup, i do not have a diva cup, i have a lunnette. but this little cup has changed the way i think about my peroid. im just going to shore how i clean my cup when in public( keep in mind im 16 and still in school ) i grab some paper towels and dampen them with water before going into the bathroom stall, after i remove the cup i dump the blood into the toilet and use the towels to clean it a bit, then go out of the stall and give it a quick rinse and go back into the stall and reinsert. if anyone walks up to wash their hands and sees the cup then i dont even worry about it, its not like its bloody anymore. plus every girl gets theirs peroid, im just handling mine in a different way then them.

  49. Lisa Robbins via Facebook says

    I switched to a moon cup this year. Huge improvement over tampons! But I did have a bit of a learning curve and it’s still not foolproof. I need pads for backup. I’ll have to try turning it inside out!

  50. Monica Garcia via Facebook says

    Started using one a few months ago. LOVE IT! I sometimes forget I’m even on my period. I no longer dread that time of month :)

  51. Brandis L Roush via Facebook says

    I love my Diva Cup! I’m pregnant now so I haven’t gotten to see it for a while, and last week when I cleaned the bathroom I had a mini freak out because I couldn’t find it, but it eventually showed up.

  52. Shannon Merryweather via Facebook says

    I ha e been usi mg a menstrual cup (specifically diva cup) for over a year.
    I will never go back to tampons.

  53. says

    Yes…however, I ignored the warnings about use with an IUD (the only form of bc I can tolerate)…that’s how we now have baby number 4….I pulled my IUD out inadvertently when I removed my cup, didn’t realize it, and fertile Nellie here was pregnant a month later!

  54. Melissa Reichert via Facebook says

    I bought one but haven’t been able to use it. It is too big and feels uncomfortable.

  55. Joyce Leahy Stephens via Facebook says

    Life altering. Have only used it for 2 cycles but maybe the best $$$ I have spent all year.

  56. Devon Hernandez via Facebook says

    Yes. I tried Diva, but the stem to remove it is ridiculously short. If you have short and/or stubby fingers, don’t bother with this. I have been using a Lunette for about 3 years and I absolutely love it. The stem length is perfect – not too short, not too long (like others, I think Keeper or Moon cup?).

  57. Wendy Hardman via Facebook says

    I liked sea sponge best but not so good for a day in corporate work world tried the cup towards the end of my time needing anything, great product but more sizes would be good – I found the advice that older and having had children meant I needed a larger one was wrong

  58. Sinead Travers via Facebook says

    I’m sorry to be mean but this makes me feel sick, Tara O’Malley could you imagine, aaaahhhhh !!!

  59. Sinead Travers via Facebook says

    I really hope you’re joking as I know feel violently nauseous and horribly disturbed !!

  60. Annette O'malley via Facebook says

    I cannot believe you have put that in the public domain Tara O’Malley. Paints a lovely picture of me attempting a self hysterectomy! :)

  61. Sinead Travers via Facebook says

    I don’t know how to take it away Tara I’m as much as a techno simpleton as you are !! Awwww well, you will just have to wear one now for being so bold !!! Xxx

  62. B. Cantrell says

    I have been using a cup for several years, but having a low cervix at times, the diva was too long. I use a Lunette turned inside out and it works well. I have a very heavy flow the first 2 days though so I only use my cup starting day 3 or so. Otherwise im emptying my cup every 30 minutes. Here are my tips: when you are in a public bathroom, pee in your cup to clean it. NEVER USE ANY TYPE OF SOAP. No matter how mild it is and how well you rinse, residue will build up and you will start getting yeast infections. Boiling your cup at the end of your cycle and soaking in diluted peroxide for any odors is the best way to go. I use the punch down fold and I’ve found if I make sure it is completely open after I insert, it leaks and slides. I put it in, it pops open but isn’t completely round and I slide it into place. You will learn the best way to put it in, I know exactly when mine is right and also when it’s not positioned right and it will leak.

  63. Brandy Minogue via Facebook says

    At first I was like “gross” Then I warmed up to the idea and I LOVE my Diva cup. It takes a bit to get it right but once you do its very freeing. Its incredible how much you DONT bleed. With tampons it looks like soooo much blood.

  64. Jillyn Allred via Facebook says

    Loooooove my cup. Discovered it 6 years ago. Since using my cramps have nearly disappeared completely! ! And I used to have to take pain meds every 4 hours and id still be in pain! Ive also noticed my period doesn’t stink as much. So much nicer now!! I’ll never ever go back.

    For this postpartum period ill be using mama cloth but then I can’t wait to go back to my cup!

  65. Melissa Klingerman via Facebook says

    There is a stupendously funny review of one on amazon. It was either the diva cup or moon cup. Can’t recall which.

  66. Rebecca Schuler via Facebook says

    love my lunette, took a few cycles for me to get it right but now I’ve done multi hour bike rides in total comfort during that time

  67. Danielle Gorman via Facebook says

    Love mine! Best invention ever! I saw so much money by not buying tampons and pads….and don’t have exposure to pesticide sprayed cotton crops all up in my crotch! Takes a couple of times to get used to, but it’s over 12-hours of smooth sailing once you get it. And no more tribe soaked tampon strings!

  68. says

    At first I was like “gross” Then I warmed up to the idea and I LOVE my Diva cup. It takes a bit to get it right, I actually have to use mine inside out…but once you do its very freeing. Its incredible how much you DONT bleed. With tampons it looks like a lot. 3 days and I’m done.

  69. Trish Morfitt via Facebook says

    I have the Diva. I have a tilted uterus/cervix and I find it can be uncomfortable if I don’t place it right, so it took a few months until I got it right. I also have fibroids and very heavy periods so I have to empty it way more frequently, but it is 1000000Xs better than anything else I’ve used!

  70. Apples Withspots via Facebook says

    You flip it inside out Holly? Please elaborate!! I love mine, and though it’s a small shift in lessening my impact on the environment, I will never go back to bleached cellulose.

  71. Sam Stanton via Facebook says

    Olinda Paul Sea sponges come in different sizes for different flow levels. I myself have a heavy flow and still a size “teeny” is plenty for me, so I bet you can find something that works for you! http://www.jadeandpearl.com

  72. Clare Southgate via Facebook says

    Been using one for 5 years. Not great on really heavy days but brilliant the rest of the time.

  73. Erin Kleopa via Facebook says

    Never going back! In my top 5 ‘best investments ever’, and it’s hardly a monetary one – SO much better for body/health and the earth!!!

  74. Kirsten Zuyderduin via Facebook says

    I am using it for about 5 years now and I never want to go back! I have a SckoonCup. Very flexible and holds a lot.

  75. Kelli Reyna via Facebook says

    I wanted it to work for me. It didn’t. Wait till you get stuck in a public bathroom, and you can’t really rinse it, clean yourself well, and you get blood all over your hands, and then you have to try to discreetly wash it off in front of ppl. It worked alright on light days

  76. Melissa Zacherl via Facebook says

    I love my Lunette. Love, love, LOVE IT. Within a few (maybe four) months, all of my PMS symptoms were GONE, my flow was drastically reduced, and half the time, I forget I’m even having my period. I was skeptical (and admittedly grossed out) at first, and there was definitely a learning curve, but I am a reformed believer now! As for taking care of business in public, I have not found it necessary since my flow is now so light. At first I was nervous about leaks and wore a back-up pad, but in hindsight, I should have just taken a bottle of water with me and rinsed it right in the stall.

  77. Sarah Leber via Facebook says

    I have been using one for 7 years now. My cramps are almost nonexistent, and my periods are lighter. I still wear a panty liner (super light) the first few days but more often than not they are not soiled. Better for you m better for your wallet, better for the environment,

  78. Jenie Andersen VanCleef via Facebook says

    I wanted to love this. I tried it several times. I just couldn’t master removing it without the contents spilling all over my hands.

  79. Marie Van Agteren via Facebook says

    I’ve been using mine for over 7 years. The best way to deal with the public washroom situation is to have a small pack of wipes in your purse/bad. I usually use toilet paper to wipe it out and then swipe with the wipes. Plus I can clean my hands with that as well. Also you don’t need to empty it everytime you go to the bathroom. You get a feel for how often by how heavy your flow is. And yes, on occasion I wear a cloth pad at night or when I’m out on a heavy flow day, just in case. And I too have a tilted cervix, sometimes standing while inserting helps get the right angle. Vidoes really help with learning how to use them.

  80. Laura Wheeler via Facebook says

    Does not work for women with any degree of bladder or uterine prolapse. If this is a problem for you, save your money.

  81. Odde St Goddes via Facebook says

    Yes! I used a cervical cap for 30 yrs, as one right after the birth of my first daughter at 22 yrs. I am now menopausal so don’t have to do it anymore. I only used tampons until I got pregnant and then cervical cap all the way.

  82. Lisa Peters via Facebook says

    It’s not at all uncomfortable. I use a different brand but, I love it! Wish I had done it sooner.

  83. Kate Magill Robinson via Facebook says

    I resisted for a long time but now I LOVE IT. Once you use it a few times you get the hang of it and you’ll never go back.

  84. Betty Barrett via Facebook says

    Really…was not expecting this here…way not start a food renegade personal product page.

  85. Christine Doiron via Facebook says

    It’s not uncomfortable. I can actually forget I’m on my period with this. Getting the right size is very important.

  86. meimei says

    Hi, I’m 15 and I’ve been using tampons for a while, since pads just make me feel uncomfortable. ( i think mainly because I live in a very humid area) But also there very messy. But now my flow has gotten heavier and I have to wear pads with tampons. Its so inconvenient and also I play netball and sometimes tampons just fall out. I really want to switch to a diva cup, I just have a few questions-

    1. I’m 15, and a virgin, I heard someone say that diva cups are hard to insert if your young. Is that true?

    2. I have verrryy long school hours. I go to school at 7:15 am and school (technically finishes at 4:00) but because of study and extra classes we mainly finish at 10:00pm sometimes 12. thats about 15 hours so I will have to change it at school. How do I do that? It would be especially awkward with lots of other girls being in there while changing it. Can i just clean it with TP rather then rinse? how long does it take you to change it? and is it messy? (my uniform is a light coloured skirt, I have to be very careful or messes.)
    Thank you so much! I’m really happy to find an alternative. It’s so stressful changing tampons every 2 hours at school. I have to keep a spare skirt becuase of leaks. Hopefully this will work well.

  87. SHANICE says

    I have suffered from heavy periods since first getting my period at age 12. I didn’t start to use tampons until after graduating highschool due to how uncomfortable they were. I was having to change my pad every hour to prevent any accidental leaks. Once I lost my virginity at age 19, I decided to give tampons a try again. Success! They were no longer uncomfortable. However, I noticed that I would still have some leaking, to the point where I was now wearing super plus tampons and overnight pads, and still having to change out my tampon every 30-min to an hour because they would be so full! I guess I like the IDEA of the diva cup but honestly, it grosses me out. A cup full of blood that I have to empty out every few hours and then rinse out in the sink? That is so disgusting and not to mention unsanitary! What if I am out in public? Most public restrooms do not have a sink inside the stall, and still rinsing your menstrual blood out into a sink is GROSS! And I obviously wouldn’t want to insert a bloody cup back into my vagina. I will just have to be cursed with doubling up on my menstrual protection until these companies can come out with an effective product that is more sanitary! Like perhaps a disposable cup. Thanks for listening!!

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