What do you do with your pan drippings?

What do you do with your pan drippings?

Welcome back! If you are just joining us, please do a quick read of yesterday’s post. You know, the one where I go into my deepest, inner-most feelings about my period. (Guys, this is another ladies post. Ladies, sorry if this is TMI even for you.) 

So, there I was… at the brink of despair wondering how I could go on using my convenient, mainstream tampons knowing that there might be mold in them! In my flurry of fear I began researching. Maybe my tampons weren’t that bad. Maybe I could get by with a simple switch to a non-applicator version so I could always see the thing before inserting it.

Bad move, Robin. Bad move. Instead of reassurance I learned the following about tampons:

  • Most tampons are made from a cotton or rayon-cotton blend. Rayon is a synthetic fiber that is made from wood pulp. It is highly absorbent.
  • Conventionally grown cotton may have been bio-engineered and most likely grown with a mess of pesticides, fertilizers and fungicides.
  • Both of these fibers undergo a bleaching process before being made into tampons and even though this process has been improved to try and eliminate dioxins, trace levels are still being found.

What are Dioxins? I’m glad you asked:

Dioxins are an environmental pollutant and known carcinogenic by product of bleaching and manufacturing processes. It is now being found in our soil, air and water. According to the FDA, this may explain how rayon and cotton may always contain some dioxin. Some groups think even the improved bleaching techniques may contribute to some of the dioxins. Of course, the FDA says that levels of dioxin are so low there is no a cause for concern. But some doctor’s and others are not so sure. The concern is in the cumulative effect of even tiny amounts of dioxins coming in to contact month after month with a very delicate part of our body (1).

Rayon is another tampon danger. Derived from wood pulp, it is also commonly chlorine-bleached and therefore may contain dioxins. Tiny fibers are often left behind in the vagina, causing, at the very least, irritation, and possibly more. Because rayon is so absorbent, women may leave tampons in longer than they ideally should, opening the door for bacterial growth and toxic shock syndrome (2).

Hmmm… this was not what I wanted to hear.

Finally, I gave in to my situation. I knew I wasn’t alone in thinking tampons are bad. Defeated by the information in front of me, I started looking up “safer” option. Here’s where my sleuthing skills took me:

Organic Tampons

My first instinct was to check out organic, chlorine free tampons (like these ones). This was definitely a better alternative. But honestly, I just couldn’t get the image of a landfill full of my monthly waste out my mind. Nor did I really want to spend more money than I already was on such an annoying part of being a woman. Next.

Reusable Pads

I read up a little bit on reusable organic cotton pads. Despite the fact that lots of women seem to enjoy these products, I just couldn’t let go of the idea of a more messy monthly experience. It seemed like more laundry and more dealing with that gross stuff that I could previously just toss away. Plus, I hate wearing pads. They feel like women diapers that often make me question every move I make for fear of leaking my woman goods to the world. I especially couldn’t handle the thought of using them throughout the night. No thank you.

I stopped looking for a bit. To be honest, I was scared. Frightened by where this new information and research was taking me. I knew what was going to happen. I just didn’t want to go there, yet. I needed a break.

I got up, did some yoga. Breathed in some clean air. And pictured myself in a happy place.

Bad idea.

All that body lovin’ goodness just pushed me over the edge. And before I knew it was reading hundreds of reviews looking for the “perfect” menstrual cup.

The dreaded menstrual cup

 

image by Lunettecup, Flickr

I mean, just look at this thing. Doesn’t it just look awkward and messy and uncomfortable? Who wants to shove a cup… up there!? WHO!? Not me.

Sure, the pro’s seemed pretty awesome:

  • Nothing to throw away meaning it’s way eco-friendly
  • No risk of TSS
  • No toxic materials getting absorbed by my precious female tissue
  • No threat of moldy surprises
  • One time cost since it will last for years (hello extra $$$ in my wallet!)
  • You can wear it for 8 – 12 hours before starting over
  • You can sleep easily, move freely
  • Will not encourage bacterial transfer from the anal area as pads can
  • Does not dry the vaginal wall or interrupt the natural lubrication process

That’s a pretty awesome list, don’t you think? It sure is! But I couldn’t get past the thought of sticking a cup up you-know-where.

Here’s the thing: I read review after review and other than this kind of scary (but hilarious) one, everyone seemed to like their experience with the cup. The one thing I kept reading was “give it time. Give it three months and you will love it.”

So I did it. After researching brands, sizes, and softness factors I decided to go with this one.

I purchased a menstrual cup. ME!?

When it came in the mail I ignored it for a week. My husband was all sorts of funny telling me “congrats” on my purchase. I finally pulled the thing out of the box, sterilized it, and secretly hoped that my period wouldn’t come so I wouldn’t have to try it. I didn’t have a lot of faith that this would be a good fit for me.

“I’m going to try it for three months before I finally give up and hate it. I know I will hate it.” This is what I told my husband.

Friday the 13th.

Wouldn’t you know it…. my monthly visitor came on Friday the 13th. Yippee. Thankfully the night before I had researched different folds for said cup. I came across my favorite, the origami fold. (gulp) Here goes nothing….

There were birds all around, but I never heard them singing….

…no I never heard them at all til’ there was youuuuuuuu!

Wow! Guess what? It wasn’t as bulky or awkward as I thought it would be. It was way easier than I had prepared myself for. By the second day it was a no-brainer. I love this thing! No seriously, I do!

It’s comfortable.

It’s cleaner. (This surprised me).

I wore it for 10 hours at night with no problem.

In fact, it was a whole lot nicer than my tampons. You can wear it on heavy days or light days. For me, I had way less leaking problems than with tampons (I actually purchased a few reusable organic pads as a back up panty liner… love those, too.)

An unexpected side effect

Another thing I noticed was that I didn’t experience my normal cramping or bloating. My period was lighter and shorter than usual. I don’t know if this has anything to do with the product, but I did read other reviewers who noticed similar things.

To top off my whole experience, it will save me money and help me save the planet! All of a sudden I didn’t feel like I was compromising my health or my convenience. Am I in love my period now? No. Still glad to see it end. BUT I am be glad I saw that moldy tampon. I don’t usually like change that is motivated by fear, but in this case it ended up getting me on a better road.

What about you? Would you (or do you) use a menstrual cup? What do you think? What questions do you have about it?

 

 

Sources:

1. http://www.natural-living-for-women.com/organic-tampons.html

2. http://askville.amazon.com/AMERICAN-WOMEN-TAMPONS-PADS-PERIOD/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=15177503

 

This post is part of Fat Tuesday and Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways.

NOTE: Due to an never-ending cesspool of spam, I have made the tough decision to close comments 14 days after the original posting of all posts. Sorry to anyone left out of the conversation. I just needed to spend less time monitoring spam and more time with my kids. Best wishes, Robin!

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About the author

Hi! I'm and I’m passionate about healthy living: feeling nourished, having energy, getting good sleep, and feeling strong. I believe healthy living does not have to be complicated or stressful. I’m a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist (RSMT) and a Certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst (CLMA). I’m also an avid researcher and love to read about nutrition, the body, and toxic-free living. Learn more.

View all articles by Robin Konie

176 comments

  1. tameka

    I struggled with the same thing and decided to try the divacup. I didn’t like it–more cramps, heavier period, messy, and uncomfortable. I then began wearing organic tampons, which I liked. But, I did wish I did liked the divacup though. It’s more economical and environmentally friendly. After reading your blog, I’m now thinking of giving it another try. Who knows, maybe after 3 months I will like it.


    1. Post author
      robin

      Hey Tameka, most of the people who liked their cup say to give it a few months. Also, you may consider a different brand. Divacup is the most popular but there are other factors that may make a different brand better for you. I went with the Lunette because it was a bit smaller. Check out my link in the post about sizes, flow, and softness. Good luck!

      1. tameka

        Thanks for the links, Robin. There were very helpful. I think I should try a different brand, something smaller and hopefully I won’t be able to feel it.

      2. Rose

        totally agree! my 12yr old asked me to try one now as she HATES the mess of her period. i’ve had 4 kids & had issues getting it in right, how do i help her w/out crossing a line somewhere????

    2. emily

      I tried the divacup and also did not like it. It didn’t fit well and I had leaks all the time. So I switched to another brand, its moon cup I think (or maybe Luna, its been a few years) and I. Love. It. So. Much! Don’t give up after one brand!

  2. Chandra

    My experience with the divacup was very different than Tameka’s (as Monty Python eloquently said, we are ALL individuals!) I LOVE the DivaCup, and it didn’t take three months at all. It was better from day one.

    Love? ‘kay, that’s kinda weird. Lots of like, though. Lots and lots of like. Shorter, less cramps, cleaner, less worry … how did I not know this before? Oh well, you start from now, right?


    1. Post author
      robin

      Yep. Everyone is different. A lot of people love the Divacup. Most of the review I read experienced what you did. A few women, however, didn’t like it but found they liked a different brand. When you look up youtube videos or images you can really see that each brand is different… which is good because we are all so different, too! :)


    2. Post author
      robin

      Yeah, lots of like on my end too. I kept saying the same thing: How did I not know this before? :)

  3. Rachel Kitto

    I had no idea there was even such a thing as a menstrual cup. Honestly I think I’d like to try it. I also dislike thinking about the garbage I’m creating when I use tampons. Reusable Pads would be a no go if I’m not at home, but if the cup actually works for me then great!

    My one question is: is it really comfortable? Can you feel it the whole time it’s “you know where”?


    1. Post author
      robin

      The first few times I definitely could feel its presence, but it wasn’t uncomfortable at all. I found I just needed to make sure it got in a little higher and then I didn’t notice it. This is also where you’ll want to consider the best size and brand for you. Also, the stem for some women is too long which can lead to “feeling it’s presence” but you can snip off a little bit if you need to.

      1. Stacy

        you can cut the stem shorter. A few of my friends have done this. Just leave enough to still get a grip on.

  4. Amanda

    Question…I’m pregnant right now, so it will be a while until I have another period. However, I’ll be dealing with postpartum bleeding come July. Will a cup work for that after the first couple of days postpartum?

    We decided to cloth diaper for many of the same reasons pads and tampons aren’t great. However, it wasn’t until doing my cloth diaper research that I really considered my disposable products. Hence the reason I’m considering all of this in the middle of a pregnancy.

    On a somewhat related note, I’d love to hear about your diapering choices for your daughter. :)


    1. Post author
      robin

      Congrats, Amanda! That is so exciting!

      There is some debate about whether or not you can use a menstrual cup for postpartum, although most people seem to say “no.” (Anyone out there have a better answer?)

      We do a combination of both disposal and cloth diapers for our little C. I wish I could say we were 100% cloth diaperin’, but between nighttime and travel time we do use a “natural” disposable diaper some of the times. Keeping it real. :)

      1. Stacy

        I thought about doing that again with my last 2, but they were so sensitive to everything that I couldn’t. I used everything washable, even when we traveled. it’s not nearly as hard as something. I also didn’t have to search for a trash can or worry about running out and finding a store that carried the brand I wanted. It’s totally do-able! I used cloth pads for myself postpartum and while I was cloth diapering anyway. No extra laundry, since I washed them with the diapers. Not a HUGE fan of pads, but it was the cheapest and best eco-option at the time.


        1. Post author
          robin

          Great, Stacy! I plan on using cloth pads for postpartum with the next one (whenever that is… not an announcement. ;) )

          1. Agnes

            Robin, I definitely recommend going with cloth for postpartum. I found them a lot more comfortable and absorbent than disposable ones. Just make sure to try different brands because not all of them are great.

        2. Agnes

          Stacy, I hope you’ve had a chance to use different brands of cloth pads. I’m quite picky about cloth pads. They have to be thin (serged are thinner than turned and top-stitched), very absorbent, and not move constantly when I’m wearing them. Because I’m so picky, I mostly use pads that I’ve made myself.

          I’ve been using cloth pads for a few years now and I must admit that I don’t miss disposable pads at all (I do however use disposable ones from time to time when travelling).

    2. 'Becca

      If you give birth vaginally, you will likely be too sore to consider using anything internal for at least a week or two. I was!

      I loved cloth pads for postpartum use. Immediately after the birth, at my midwife’s suggestion, I just used the hospital’s washcloths and dropped them into the Soiled Linens bin–of course hospitals are equipped to deal appropriately with blood-stained laundry. That meant I didn’t have to rinse pads until I was feeling able to do it.

  5. Heather

    I was thinking about all this right before I got pregnant!! Of course, I really haven’t thought about it since then, but after reading your post this is def something I’m going to try. Tampons would make me literally sick to my stomach, and pads always irritated me and I got frequent yeast infections even if I changed every hour! Talk about $ and waste going down the drain. I had no idea there was such thing as a menstrual cup. Thanks for the info Robin. I love reading your blog. :)


    1. Post author
      robin

      Thanks, Heather. A menstrual cup really might be a good thing for you! Just remember to give it a couple of months before deciding. :)

    2. Farm Mom Corinne

      I too am sensitive to yeast infections and wanted to share a totally easy, healthy fix: acidophilus. Not yogurt with it in there, but the actual pill form that you buy in the refer section of your health food store. I keep it in my fridge and take one every other day during that time and it takes care of it completely.

  6. Marney

    Robin! You are the best. I have casually looked at these things for a few years too and had the same thoughts. Glad to hear they actually work. Miss you friend!


    1. Post author
      robin

      Thanks, friend! Miss you, too. Sounds like you are loving living in Paradise. I’m pretty sure you have everyone wishing they lived in New Zealand. :)

  7. cassia

    first of all… that review was hilarious.
    second of all (and more importantly)… i’m fascinated and disgusted at the same time. but that’s how i feel about all-things-period. i still haven’t had to deal with it since my little guy, but i know it’s coming… i’ve been detoxing my entire house thus far, and so i had been wondering about tampons, because deep down i knew they couldn’t be healthy, but they have been so awfully convenient. i had no clue these cups even existed though… i think i need to look into this, because it sounds like a good enough solution to me.
    how long have you been using it now? has it been three months yet? you say it’s great at night, is it just as awesome (well… as can be…) during dance or any of your other workout-like activities? as i look into it, you’ll probably get some questions from me :)


    1. Post author
      robin

      Isn’t that the best part of nursing/pregnancy? Not having to deal with the whole period mess? I’m still nursing C, but at six months she refused to nurse from my right side. It took a few days but eventually righty shut off and went back to normal (hello, can you say “lopsided?”) I’ve still been able to nurse on just one side very successfully, but the change to one is what kicked my menstrual cycle back into gear. Sigh. ;)

      Now, to your questions:
      I’ve only used it for one cycle. I originally intended to write this post (IF I liked it) after the three month trial, but I was so surprised by how much I liked it right away that I just went ahead with it.
      I did some working out with it and thought it was just fine. As long as you get it up high enough I think it would be better than a tampon. The problem comes when it’s just sitting a bit too low… then you feel it. It’s not really uncomfortable (and I highly doubt it would come out), but it may take your mind off what you are doing.

      If you have other questions, by all means. At this point there is no such thing as “too much information” for me. :)

  8. Rachel

    I ordered one! Is it weird to say that I’m really excited to give it a try! Never been this excited for my monthly visitor before.

    1. robin

      Wahoo! Hope you like it. Just remember to give it time. (And I’d possibly try to get less excited so as not to get your hopes up.) ;)

  9. Jana

    I heard about these just a little while ago and I thought it sounded super gross and uncomfortable! But now this post is making me really consider it. I’m just a little worried with dance… I am doing a ton of dancing in life with my major and such and I’m really concerned if it will be okay with all of my classes, rehearsals, etc. Do you think it will be okay even with several hours of dancing at a time?


    1. Post author
      robin

      Every person is different, so I can’t say 100%, but based on my experience I think this would be a really great fit for dancers. You want to make sure you get the appropriate size and that you get it high enough so you don’t feel it. It will stay in place really well and because it’s actually collecting your “stuff” rather than just absorbing it, it has the potential to be a better thing than a tampon. For a lot of reasons I wish I had known about these during my 8-hours-of-dancing-a-day days. :)

  10. Rachael

    LOVE my DivaCup. I no longer remember what prompted me to look into it – maybe an ad in a magazine? One of the best decisions I’ve made. I still haven’t had the guts to convert to cloth diapers, but I am totally into cups vs. pads/tampons.


    1. Post author
      robin

      I know! Now that I’ve been using mine for several months I wonder what took me so long. It’s such a better thing compared to pads/tampons. :)

  11. cassia

    question: how did you choose which one to get? i mean, it’s not like you can really try them out before purchasing them… i genuinely have no clue, but i can’t spend a ton on various ones trying to find the right fit. i looked at the charts, but numbers don’t really help me out. i’ve only just started having one of these again, but already i remember why i hated it, so if this will help then i want to try it! so anyways, yes, what helped you choose?


    1. Post author
      robin

      Hey Cassia,

      Good question. The charts honestly didn’t help me too much because the numbers didn’t mean a whole lot to me. But they did help me make a more educated guess. Most brands have two sizes for those who have had a baby vs. those who haven’t (or who are a certain age). I chose the Lunette 2 because it was smaller than the diva cup. I’ve never had a really heavy period, and based on some insight from my pregnancy I knew I was a little bit on the smaller side of things. If you tend to have a heavy period I would maybe look at a larger cup like the Diva. I’ve heard good things about both the lunette and the diva so hopefully one of those will work (and you don’t have to try every brand available). The people who didn’t like the diva said that they were more comfortable with the lunette because it was a bit smaller.

      Does that help at all?

      Good luck. I know it’s a pain. :)

      1. cassia

        great to see more posts again, by the way :) and thanks, it definitely helps, i just need to make the best guess i can and hope it’s great haha

  12. Brenda W.

    I tried really hard to get my Diva Cup to work for me but to no avail. It just wasn’t comfortable for me (gynos have told me I have a short vaginal canal so maybe that has something to do with it?). Anyway, I made the second best eco-friendly decision and started using the Instead cups. These are MUCH more comfortable for me and have most the benefits of the Diva Cup. Their biggest downfall is that they are disposable but they now sell a single cup you can reuse throughout the entire length of your period. Still disposable, but a lot less waste than the original. Better, but not ideal like a Diva Cup.


    1. Post author
      robin

      That’s great that you were able to find something that works for you. Sometimes “good enough” is better than the ideal when it works with out own personal situations. One thing to think about: I’ve heard (mostly through reading LOTS of comments on various brands of cups) that the Diva Cup is one of the biggest. I also have a shorter canal and found that the Lunette was a better fit for me. I know some women also found it more comfortable compared to the diva. Just a thought. I know it’s hard to spend money on something that has no guarantee. :)

      1. Jennifer

        I tried the Lunette for the first time last month. I found it was always too low (felt like it was falling out) or too high (comfortable, but it would eventually go all the way up and I would have to dig it out). I couldn’t find a happy medium. I am hoping the three month thing applies to me. I would really like to love it.


        1. Post author
          Robin Konie

          Give it some time, or consider trying a larger model like the Diva Cup. That might fit you better.

  13. Pingback: This one’s for the ladies…

  14. Emily

    I’ve been using The Keeper for about 13 years now. I used the same one for 10 years and only got a new one because I had a vaginal birth and you typically have to change sizes. I love it. They also sell a moon cup (made of silicone) that is less noticeable but I find it leaks a little more on heavy days. I have a very heavy period (changing tampons every two hours) and find I only have to empty once or twice during a work day. I have to use a public restroom so clean hands and baby wipes do the trick and I’ve never had a problem. Also, I would not cut the stem unless it’s really bothering you. It is harder to remove and the shorter stem can irritate your sensitive skin.


    1. Post author
      robin

      Awesome, Emily! I’ve also had zero problem using it in public restrooms (definitely on board with the clean hands and baby wipes!). Great tip about the stem. I’ve heard that you can cut them, but I think it would be better to find a cup that fits you without having to. Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Katie M

    I have actually been really wanting to try a cup for a while now, but haven’t yet. My concern is most brands you have to change sizes once you have kids. My husband and I don’t have kids yet, but we plan on trying in the next year or so. I hate to buy one now, and then have to buy a new one in a year or two. But I hate tampons, and can’t use pads because of really heavy periods and the whole feeling like I’m wearing a diaper thing. What’s a girl to do??

    1. robin

      I really don’t know how big of a difference there is between the two sizes, but I would imagine you could just “skip ahead” to the “post-baby” size. I really think I could have used the one I do now (Lunette 2) before I had my baby. Good luck! :)

  16. Christine

    I recently started using a Luna cup too. Like you, it took me two days and I was hooked! I was pretty comitted to it because money is really tight for us right now, but I’m so glad I took the leap! I don’t dread my period like I did before!

  17. April

    Hi All! I was just surfing the web and I’m glad to have stumbled across some positivity about the menstrual cup! My best friend and sister make fun of me for using this product (which has been for over 2 years now) and think its weird and gross. I still do what I want to but it doesn’t feel good for another woman to be devaluing my experience, when I say I don’t like tampons, they don’t feel good, they are wasteful etc. She says I am being neurotic. At one point I started having some consistent issues with leakage with the Diva Cup so I stopped it for a few months and went back to tampons (organic) but I decided to try again and see if I could sort out the problem. Actually what helped was buying a new one, so I guess after a year of use the cup starts getting loose, so the new one is firmer and stays in place better. I also realized that sometimes I just simply did not notice that I hadn’t put it in correctly (sometimes if you are in a hurry like at a public restroom or something it can be a nuasance to sit there and fiddle with it) You have to put it in just right (it explains in the packaging directions) so that there is a strong suction and that seals it in so there is much less chance for leakage.
    So after those adjustments I have not had any issues with my diva cup and am back in love with it as before. Just wanted to mention these things for someone who may be wanting to try this for the first time because there is some adjustment needed and I wouldn’t want someone to give up on it just because of these issues that I had.
    Also I just bought these things called SoftCups but haven’t tried them yet and wondering if anyone reading this has had any experience with this product? Seems too good to be true actually because of its additional benefit of being able to wear it during sex. Any suggestions or comments about using this product would be helpful and very much appreciated. Since they are not reusable after one cycle and I only have two I don’t want to waste them in possible frustration.
    Thanks for this blog and information, I’m glad I found it.
    Take Care!

    1. robin

      Hi April!

      Thanks for the comment. I think it’s a good reminder to give the cup a fair chance as there is an adjustment period. I also find that sometimes I get hurried and have slight leakage problems. But I follow the instructions I am always good to go.

      I haven’t heard of SoftCups, although it sounds interesting. I will look into it. If you give them a try, let us know how they work!

      Thanks again!

  18. Lydia

    I’ve had my Lunette for a year and a half now, and I love it. But I have really heavy periods, so still need a backup for the heavy days. Do you have any tips for reducing flow and cramps?


    1. Post author
      robin

      Hi Lydia,

      That’s a great question… one that may be hard to answer in a comment. I think you may just have inspired a new post. Stay tuned. Hopefully I can get it up in the next couple of weeks. :)

    2. Kat

      Lydia: sometimes the heavy periods can be a result of hormonal imbalance. I’ve always had the same problem too. What I found worked for me was a few things: changing my diet to be more healthy (cutting out refined food, eating more whole grains and less sugar), taking supplements like Omega 3′s, magnesium and a good multi; the supplement I found helped the most is an herb called Vitex agnus-castus (aka Chastetree berry). It takes a couple of months to notice a difference with regular taking but it really did help me. Just make sure before you take anything that it’s safe for you and ALWAYS take any supplement at least 3 hours separately from any medication you may be on. Hope this helps!

    3. Sunya

      My daughter and I have just started drinking organic raspberry leaf tea as we both get bad cramps. On the box it states that it supports healthy menstruation, tones the uterus, and may be used for menstrual cramps. It also is used to prepare the womb for childbirth. I’ll know in a couple weeks if it will help with cramps and thought the info was worth passing on : )

      1. Lauralee

        Sunya, I use the the organic red raspberry leaf tea also. It is really an amazing natural way to help with female things. It is also really good for pregnancy and supposed to help make the birth less painful to completely pain free and it improves milk production. Nettle leaves are also a great addition. Here is a link to a post about it and another recipe at the bottom of that post. http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2009/01/homemade-pregnancy-tea.html

  19. AnotherMom

    Loved that Amazon review! lol Thanks for sharing it.

    I have a Diva Cup and have been using it for over three years. I love love love it! I’ve struggled with fibroids off and on for years. I bleed like Niagara Falls after the spring thaw. The only way I sleep at night without waking up soaked is to use the cup backed up by an overnight pad. Using the cup has changed my life.

    That said, I found the stem TOO LONG. I don’t remember where I read the suggestion to cut it off, but I did. Best move ever. : )


    1. Post author
      robin

      Awesome! I also cut the stem, too. I think it says you can do that in the instructions.

      (And yes, that Amazon review is still one of my favorite things ever.) :)

  20. Nikki

    Glad you’re spreading the word. I’ve been using menstrual cups for… almost 20 years. My first one (The Keeper) was purchased from an add in the back of a magazine. There was no internet. Later, I had a Diva cup, which was an improvement over the Keeper. And now I have the same Lunette that you do, but in purple. I like it the best of the bunch. The stem is solid, so it is sturdier, and it is smooth on the inside, so it stays cleaner. And it pops open much easier than the Diva cup. Cups are better than all the other options in almost every way. Dirty hands are the only downside. I take damp paper towels into public toilets to deal with this.

  21. Pingback: Menstrual cramp remedies: Stop the pain naturally!

  22. Kat

    I tried the Keeper years ago, and always had problems with leakage which required constant backup which kind of defeated the purpose. Tried the washable pads; yes, more environmentally friendly but I am an odd duck and can’t wear pads for long as it burns my skin (the flow). Been using organic tampons with no applicator which works for me so far, but now I’m thinking about looking at the different cups. Thanks for the informative post!

  23. Tammy

    I am glad a friend forwarded a link to your website and that I followed a link in that article to this. Thank you for your insight and sharing your experience on a highly personal topic.

    I have a question for your readers who have used a cup for awhile and may have daughters of their own… I am pretty certain my older dd will start her cycle in the next couple of years. Would you recommend something like this for a young girl, or go the old-fashioned route of a pad? I am certain that this will be her choice at some point in the process, but is it something I should give her a choice about at all or just go with pads until she reaches a certain age?

    Also, I am curious about swimming with a cup? Does it work effectively when swimming or would a tampon be the best choice for those times?

    Thank you!


    1. Post author
      robin

      Thanks, Tammy! So glad you found me.

      As far as a recommendation for your daughter: I think it really will depend on her and how comfortable she is with the idea of using a cup. I know I hated the idea of tampons at first (but wished I wasn’t such a chicken as I really hate pads.) If she’s okay with it, there’s no reason why this wouldn’t be a great thing for her.

      Yes, it’s definitely something you can wear while swimming. I’d probably wouldn’t use it until you see how it works for you in terms of leakage. Some people find that different cups works better than others… so before going out in public I’d make sure you’re good to go. But the cups are great for swimming, athletics, going upside down, etc. Once you get past the initial “getting used to it” phase, it’s really a convenient little thing.

      Hope that helps!

    2. 'Becca

      It’s much BETTER than a tampon for swimming because it does not absorb the water. Sometimes when I went swimming (or took a bath) with a tampon, afterward I repeatedly felt trickling as if the tampon was full, only to find out that my flow was displacing water that had been absorbed by the tampon. It felt icky and also reminded me that the water (with its chlorine or lake mud or whatever) had gotten way up inside me, bleah!

    3. Stacy

      From my personal experience, I wish I’d been exposed to cups much sooner, and for numerous reasons.

      1) Don’t feel pressured to start with conventional (or unconventional!) means. “But everyone else ______” Cups, tampons, pads… are all tools of the trade. Help your daughter decide, but also be blessed that you can expose her to options others don’t even know they have.

      Also, we teach what we know, or what represents part of us. Just as fathers usually choose to circumcise or not circumcise based on their own status, women typically teach their daughters their own version of feminine hygiene.
      2) Cups foster a familiarity with your body other products may not. One can certainly still get familiar using tampons or pads, but for someone whose temperament is a bit more nervous or uncomfortable, that is thrust upon them a bit using a cup – in a good way, imo.

      3) There are different sizes. You needn’t worry that using a cup would be akin to starting out using a SuperUltraPlus tampon.

      Cups are great choices for swimmers, also.

    4. Megan Alton

      I started using the Keeper when I was a teenager about 17 years ago. Like a previous commenter, I found it in an ad at the back of a teen magazine. I was also swam on the school swim team through high school and never had any problem with my cup. If anything I felt more comfortable because there was never any white string situation and I didn’t need to change it immediately after practice. I say, give your daughter the option. Let her read the blog posts and reviews and see what she wants to do with her body and cycle. Good luck!!

  24. Kathleen "S'mores" Murphy

    I found the Diva Cup when I was getting ready to hike the Appalachian Trail. I was in the outfitters looking into what I will always refer to as my “standy uppy pee thing” (the technical term is a Female Urination Device .. or FUD). The saleswoman asked me if I had a diva cup. WHAT!?!! How AWESOME was this concept!?! Luckily I was being very proactive about getting ready for my trip so I discovered this with a little more than a month to go and I was able to “practice” before I actually got on the Trail. Every other woman I met on the Trail was either using tampons or pads. Now.. when you are backwoods hiking… you have to carry out all your trash. Ladies.. yes, this means you then have to keep and carry your used feminine protection. On top of this, you need to store it with your food at night when you hang your bear bag. Yeah, needless to say, I was able to convert many, MANY women over to the Diva cup. My FAVORITE part of the Diva Cup.. I spent $35 two years ago on feminine protection and haven’t spent a cent since! (I just realized I need to blog about this! Thanks for the idea!!)


    1. Post author
      robin

      That is so cool, Kathleen. I can only imagine that a cup would be SO much better (for a number of reasons) on a hike like that. Love it. Just love it.

  25. Cheryl

    I hate tampons, cant stand pads.. Basically, my introduction to Tampons when I was 16 was a horrible experience. My mom never had “the TALK” with. I had no idea the tampon applicator was suppost to be removed! Ouch! I was so frightened n in so much pain, i just wanted the thing OUT but didnt know how to remove it. My neighbor had to come over n do it for me. Gross, huh?! I cant get past the gross factor of using a cup, dont know how to do it. Do you wash it out between uses? Just sounds nasty, let alone using fingers in a messy area to “place it properly. Once a month I wish I were a boy!


    1. Post author
      robin

      Oh man, Cheryl. That is rough. I’m so sorry. I totally understand where you are coming from. I thought I was going to hate it… and that it would be really gross and messy. I was really surprised how non-gross and not-that-messy it is. And I really have to think less about my period, which is awesome.

      You do wash it out between uses (or if you are you are in a public restroom you could just dump and wipe clean. The outside stays really clean, so your fingers are touching the gross stuff. And then you should sanitize it between cycles (boil for ten minutes).

  26. Meghan @ Whole Natural Life

    Lol. I love how you thought you were going to hate it but ended up loving it.

    I have a Diva Cup, which was worked well for me. Although I so wish that it had helped with my painful periods. Apparently I’m a tough case, because all of those things that help other people haven’t done anything for me… Still holding out hope, though! Acupuncture (to balance my hormones) is my newest attempt…


    1. Post author
      robin

      Oh good luck! It’s always so frustrating to try and figure out the root problem (and a good solution). Best wishes!

  27. Sheila Simmons

    My friend/client goes to Kenya to teach women and girls how to make reuseable sanitary napkins. A lot of young ladies who live in the country miss a lot of school because they cannot afford them. Anyway because many third world countries don’t have the best sanitary facilities, it is better to have eco-friendly products. Visiting from the blog hop.

  28. Jenn

    Hi,

    I was just wondering what the size difference was? I’d like to get one but I’m nervous about the fit. Do some people have a larger cervical opening then others?


    1. Post author
      robin

      Hi Jenn,

      I’d check out the charts I’ve linked to in the article as they give some pretty good details on the sizes. As a general rule: The Diva Cup (most popular brand) is larger and the Lunette (the kind I use) is smaller. If you know that a super tampon generally doesn’t “fit the bill” I’d go for a large cup. But if you are smaller ‘down there’ the lunette might be more comfortable.

      Good luck. Hope that helps. :)

  29. Niki

    I used one for a couple months and it was wonderful except no matter what I did, I kept getting yeast infections (TMI?). I quit using the cup and the yeast infections stopped. That’s enough reason for me not to use it anymore.

      1. Niki

        I cleaned that cup every way from Sunday. I liked the cup, sure beat having to buy products every month, even though the cup was messier than I hoped, but it wasn’t worth it. Maybe I’ll try the acidophilus like that other reader suggested. Maybe I’ll give it another go. :)

  30. Rose

    That review might be the funniest damn thing I’ve ever read. Good to know!! LOL! Thank you so much for this post, it has been a wealth of (very entertaining) information that I never would have looked up on my own just because…ew. ;D BUT…I am feeling very convicted now, and will do much more research tonight. Loving your blog!!

  31. Megan Alton

    I started using a Keeper 17 years ago, in high school and eventually got lazy and went back to tampons. Then I used a Diva Cup, went back to tampons then to Lunette (which was uncomfortable) and have settled, happily, on the Diva Cup yet again. Since reading about the moldy tampon, I can say I’ll never go back. I love my cup, it’s comfortable, my mind can rest easy, I love that I can wear it longer.

    My only complaint is that when I’m dumping it out, between my legs in the toilet and then placing into the bathroom sink for cleaning, I managed to get blood somewhere in the bathroom. Usually it’s on the toilet seat, but on occasion a very small bit will find it’s way onto the floor. I also find my fingers getting more messy then I’d like. I didn’t have this trouble in the past, maybe I was more flexible then? Do you have any thoughts on the best way to dump the drippings in a cleaner and happier way?


    1. Post author
      robin

      Thanks for stopping by, Megan! I haven’t had an issue with the dumping part… could be a flexibility issue? Hard to say without seeing what’s going on… which would just be really awkward. :)

  32. Kayla

    I’ve used the Divacup for at least 5 years and LOVE it! I tell all my friends (well, the ones I’m close enough to talk about it with!) Saves so much money, is easy to use, less risks and great for the planet!

  33. Courtney @ The Polivka Family

    Woot! So glad you joined the menstrual cup lovers club! You’re right! It is much cleaner! I use the Mooncup (uk), as it’s smaller than the DivaCup and “fits” better. I have a super heavy flow, and it will last me for 2-4 hours on my heavy day, so I think it’s great! I’ve been using it for the last five years-ish, and I love it for oh-so-many reasons, which I’ve listed here: http://www.thepolivkafamily.com/2012/09/why-i-love-my-mooncup/

  34. Daniela

    Robin,

    I’ve been thinking about this since the first time I saw your post, but I’m still a little hesitant. I don’t know why I have the idea in my mind that it’s going to be very uncomfortable. I saw at the store the other day that there are cups that you can throw away after 12 hours of wearing them. I don’t know if I should go for that first?


    1. Post author
      robin

      That would definitely be a cheaper way to try it out, although I don’t know enough about them to know if they are similar enough… but it sounds like it.

      For me, the menstrual cup is mostly unnoticeable, especially if it gets in good. I haven’t had any discomfort at all. At worse, when I was first figuring the thing out, I could feel it there, but it didn’t hurt at all.

      Good luck!

  35. Stacey

    Wow, great information! I have been debating on whether or not to try one of the cups and was thinking of buying a Lunette cup. Last night, I actually had my finger on the “buy” button but changed my mind. Today, I am going to go ahead and buy one and try it myself!

    Thanks all!

  36. Jenifer

    This is so funny!

    I started wearing natural, reusable menstrual pads in high school. I discovered them by accident.

    As a teen, I was terrible at tampons. I tried them, and I couldn’t get them to work right. Probably just a fear of getting them ‘in’ — as such, I also feared the menstrual cup.

    This past year, I started my period a few days early, and my girlfriend only had tampons. I was going to cry, but then I thought, what they heck, i’m now 36 and I’ve had a baby. I should be able to manage a tampon. LOL

    It was sweet bliss (even though it was a yucky commercial one). I was like “this is the best! OMG!” And I immediately went home and got a menstrual cup.

    I love this cup. Here, I’ve been wearing these messy, bulky pads (which I loved!) for 22 years! What took me so long!

    Anyway, I love that thing. It’s just wonderful. I tell all of my friends about it. Many of them can’t go for pads, but this. . . they might.

    I can’t stop singing the praises!

  37. Ashley

    I am so happy that I fell upon this post. I was just looking at the mooncup last month when I went to the health store for organic tampons. I didn’t buy it but I have been thinking about and will definitly try it out.
    Side note: I love this site. Thanks for all the great info.

  38. Sofia

    Hi! love to se it in your site, I have been looking for 4 years for a diva cup how I first meet , would you tell me speciphically where can I buy on line.
    Thanks.

  39. claire

    i’ve been enjoying many of your posts, affirming my lifestyle. i was a bit disappointed to see your all too common view of periods, though i appreciate that you’re “keeping it real”. if we had our red tent, or were not expected to still care for the rest of the world at a time when we need to be focusing our care internally, i think most women would not be so resentful of our bodies’ valuable system for cleansing (every month!). many say this is why women generally live longer than men.
    blood is nutritious for the earth. i see my period as a chance to harvest and give back to the earth what she provides for us. i don’t like using tampons, mostly because i think there is value in the sensation of blood flowing and that it is unnatural to keep inside what is trying to leave our bodies. occasionally, i will use organic tampons as i am unwilling to skip a dance class even when my flow is heaviest. i may soak the tampons in water after use to use the blood on plants or just put the whole thing in the compost. most of the time, i rip up old sheets or some other kind of cloth (i used to love the soft flannel of my babies’ receiving blankets after they no longer needed them) to fold up and place in my underwear. i never have a problem with it sliding around. if i don’t feel like washing out the rags, i can compost them or even throw them out (!) when it is convenient. if i’m feeling like i have the time, i can be fancy and sew pretty pads. many years ago, there was a company called “sisterly works” that made a style that used an elastic belt and a cotton “sleeve” in which one could tuck any thickness of cloth depending on the flow. this was my favorite style and i would make them if i ever got around to it as i liked the option to not wear underwear to keep them in place.
    we do not have to play into the marketing of hating our bodies and their healthy functions. this mindset is what got us in to “needing” toxic products in the first place (your body looks, smells, feels, wrong and you need our product to fix it).
    you may want to take this all with a grain of salt as i am someone with unwashed, long hair (dreadlocks, even!), though i am a respected professional who works with the (often highly toxic) general public.
    thanks!


    1. Post author
      robin

      Some valid points. I applaud your efforts. I wish I could say I was as “okay with” my period, but it’s definitely a work in progress. I don’t hate my body, or even my period, but my life right now requires some “must forget about it” right now. :)

      1. Julie

        Ok so what about the gross mess?? Did it not gross you out any to have to clean out the cup each time? That is the only thing holding me back.


        1. Post author
          robin

          Actually, it’s really not that messy. Everything is contained in the cup and then you just pour it out. If I’m home I will rinse the cup with soapy water out before reinserting. If I’m out I will wipe it clean with some toilet paper. I sanitize it after each cycle so it’s ready for the next time.

  40. Megan wood

    i just found your site and i’m in love with it! we try to be as green as possible in my house. no toxic chemicals, foods, we make tooth paste, deodorant,laundry soap shampoo, i make my make up. we try to live as naturally as possible but my personal products are something i have not had the courage to switch yet :( i use pads for some strange fear of tampons but i have been very interested in making the switch. after reading this post i might give it a try. also i just had to thank you for linking that review from amazon in you post. i honestly laughed so hard i cried. i wanted to go upstairs and wake my husband up to read it. i didnt but im sure as hell gonna make him read it in the morning!

  41. Christeena Dinehart

    What a great post!!! I discovered menstrual cups several years ago and started with a Diva which was too long for my body so I ordered both a Lunette and a Mooncup. These 2 worked fine but I found that the Lunette held more fluid and just seemed to be a better fit for my body! Being post menopausal now, I only got to use the cup for the last few years of my cycle and that is a travesty! It is a shame that these wonderful little things have been shoved aside and not brought into the mainstream! I cannot convince my own daughters to give them a try as the are “grossed” out by the ick factor. To which I say, bah humbug!! What is gross and icky is filling our landfills with disgusting disposables and doing a huge dis-service to our planet! It’s been about a year since my last period and I can honestly say that I miss it a bit since the cup made having my period a no brainer and so less stressful! Sure, there is bit of a learning curve but anything worthwhile takes time and patience plus the money you will save over the years will be massive! Get over the “ick” factor and give it a try, your body will thank you!!!


    1. Post author
      robin

      Thank you, Christeena! I wish, too, that it was more mainstream. I was so surprised by how “not icky” the whole thing is. Love, love, love it.

  42. Lauralee

    So glad I came across your post, comments and the links other commenters gave too. It helps to get feedback on something you are not so sure about. I have recently invested in glad rags because I was not so sure about any of the cups. I am going to give the Moon Cup a go because it’s what the co-op I am part of offers. Did want to let you know if any of you are a part of or know someone that is part of the Frontier Co-op wholesale – that during the month of April 2013 the Moon Cup will be $16.80 each in both the sizes in the natural gum rubber and the medical grade silicone. Hope this helps with cost for someone. It’s the route I will be going to save money and making sure that I like it.

  43. Jen

    I have recently been considering a lunette but am wondering how to clean it. I read that you have to use a special soap before reinserting and then boil after the end of your period. Can I just use normal hand soap or does it need to be milder? Thank you so much for this post. Also, have you noticed that it works well for long periods of time even after having a baby? I have two kids and want to make sure I can keep it in for several hours without leaks since my flow is so much heavier post-pregnancies. thank you!


    1. Post author
      robin

      I actually just rinse it with hot water during my cycle and then boil it in between cycles. I can usually keep it in for at least five hours on my heaviest days… usually quite longer.

  44. Eileen

    I just discovered these two months ago and will NEVER go back. I love it. I’m 48 and I guess nearing the end of even needing one of these. I am so bummed I didn’t discover these years ago!

  45. Jill

    I love my Lunette cup!!! I honestly think it’s the best invention ever made for women. I have been using it for about six months, and I have never had any leaking whatsoever, which actually makes my period SO MUCH CLEANER than using tampons and pads, which always leaked. I even wore it on a 16-hour airplane flight with no problems.

    I personally picked the Lunette because I knew the DivaCup would be too big. (Back before I used a menstrual cup, I had to avoid certain brands of tampons because they were too long.)

    Now I can’t even imaging having to go back to wearing tampons again. Ugh. They left me dry and irritated and always leaked. Plus I absolutely LOVE the thought of never having to buy a tampon or pad again. (The cup has never leaked for me, not even once, so I don’t have to use pads at all.)

    Once inserted, you don’t feel it at all. Sometimes I even forget I have my period. On the first couple of days, I have to change it during the workday, but after that I only have to change it in the morning and at night. I have even gone swimming with it in, and it’s absolutely no problem. Once in a while, the cup doesn’t open all the way, and then you just have to try again or wriggle it into place – but that’s also been m experience with tampons.

    For folks who tried the DivaCup and gave up, I would suggest looking at another brand that might fit you better. There are SO many options out there. Don’t give up! You deserve a cup!

  46. Monica

    I have been using The Keeper for almost a year. I have been baby stepping to a more green, crunchy, etc. lifestyle for a while but this was one of the first things I did. Mostly because I refuse to wear pads, it feels like wearing a diaper to me, and tampons were becoming increasingly uncomfortable. And I just liked the idea of not having to create a tremendous amount of waste every month.

    It was pretty uncomfortable at first, and I actually ended up cutting the stem off entirely. It took me a while to find the right position so that it wasn’t uncomfortable. Now that I am practiced in using it I love it. Its so much better than tampons. I only have to empty it twice a day and I’ve never had any leaking. I can do heavy work outs without even thinking about my period. I never have to worry about sleeping too long because it never leaks and I’ve never even come close to filling it up. I’ve been recommending it to my friends but they have yet to get on board. I seriously think everyone should try a cup. It’s just so much better in every way. I do have to say though it hasn’t affected my flow or cramping at all, still the same unfortunately.


    1. Post author
      robin

      So glad you were able to make it work. I know that’s the biggest concern for so many… “will I like it?” “Is it worth the investment?” I was so happy with my experience. :)

  47. Pam

    I have been using a ‘cup’ style product that my midwife introduced me to after the birth of my second child, (he is 22 now), I have not used a pad or a tampon for over 22 years now and dread the thought of it! I use “Instead Softcups” (you can see them here; http://www.softcup.com), they have a disposable as well as reusable style and they are much lighter and you can’t feel them at all. You can have sexual relations and go swimming or walk around naked and no one would know you were on your cycle unless you tell them. They are available at Walgreens and online at Amazon. I want everyone to spread the word so they won’t stop selling these, because I would be devastated!!

  48. megan

    Can I take this conversation a step further and ask how you clean it???? Do you hang them out to dry on your windowsill? ;) Just trying to work out the logistics in my head as to how these things work. Thanks!


    1. Post author
      robin

      I usually just rinse it out during my cycle (dump out the stuff in the toilet and then a quick rinse in the sink, maybe a little soap if it’s needed). If I’m in a public restroom and don’t have access to a sink I’ll wipe it clean with some toilet paper. And then I always sanitize it after each cycle (boiling it in water for ten minutes).

  49. jenafer

    I love my Lunette’s I have both sizes. Years ago after having my first child I was fitted for a diaphragm and though I had already given birth naturally I needed the smallest one. Knowing this at 28 when I got my first one I got the smallest which works well for me on most days the larger on others and I feel like more comes out quicker with the larger of the two. I was 32 when I purchased the larger Lunette. I also like having one as a back up. I have a Yukki cup as well which I sterilized and put up for my daughter it has a slightly thinner opening and is a firmer silicone then the Lunette. My cramps are better (still get them but not near as bad) my cycle is shorter usually no more then 3 days when it use to be 7-10 days. I don’t like aunt flow but I LOVE yes LOVE my lunette because it has simplified my life is cleaner and I don’t have to worry about bleeding through a tampon and a pad in an hour!

    1. jenafer

      Oh and I had to cut the stems off entirely! My cervix is tilted as is my uterus and apparently sit lower then most. So even if your not “normal” don’t give up this was the best investment into my health I could have made. I also use cloth pads/liners just as a back up if I’m wearing light colors or overnight. My daughter who is ten is already excited about cloth and the cup. She already has her own stash and cup so when ever she get’s aunt flow she never has to use that disposable garbage I began using at 10.

  50. Gau

    I’ve been looking for this blog post for weeks to share it :) I came across it a few months back completely by accident because I was looking for a natural way to stop menstrual cramps. I like the way you write so I read a few of your posts and ended up here.
    Firstly let me just say I was perfectly happy with tampons for the most part and never in my wildest dreams did I consider using a menstrual cup. This post (and the mouldy tampon one) is the SOLE reason I got thinking about cups!
    So I ordered mine (I got the Mooncup) and it’s the 3rd day I’m using it and I’m honestly in LOVE with it!!!! Sooo much easier than pads or tampons.
    I always hated pads and started using tampons two years ago. It was a relief from the horrible diaper feeling of a pad but I hated having to change them ever so often.
    I wont lie, my menstrual cup freaked me out the first few times and I still don’t look forward to the insertion and extraction but the beauty is you REALLY don’t have to bother changing it so often. Once you get the hang of it ( its taken me just three days) it’s the most elegant solution for all my period woes. My cramps are a lot less and I don’t have to worry about that uncomfy feeling of having something drying my insides :/
    For anyone curious to try it, my advice is, take your time. Get to know your cup and get to know your insides. Once you figure out what’s the best method of insertion for you, you shouldn’t have any problems.
    And a BIG THANK YOU to this blogger! Changed my life :))

  51. Utopia

    Has anyone tried to have sexual relations with the cups? I read on the back of one of the boxes that you can still have sex with one inserted inside you.

  52. JB

    I have this cup, and it seems that it tries to…er….um, fall out. I have had three children but… Anyone ever have this issue? I can’t figure out if I am doing something wrong and I can’t imagine, as big as it is, that it’s a physiological problem.


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      Did you try the lunette? It’s a bit smaller than the Diva Cup. Maybe the Diva Cup would be a better fit for you.

  53. Emily

    Oh my goodness I can totally identify with that review! I bought the Diva Cup first, but couldn’t even get it in, it hurt so bad. So I tried a Lady Cup, which I successfully got in, and was prouder than a peacock. I tried to get it out after sleeping on it and couldn’t get it, so I shrugged it off and went about my day, but didn’t get a chance to try to take it out until 11:30pm, 24 hours after putting it in. I was starting to get really worried and tried REALLY hard to get it out, but the stem was so slippery there was no way I could grab it. I called my sister and talked to her for an hour, all while following her different suggestions, but nothing worked. I was bawling, exhausted, and resigned to the fact that I’d have to go to a clinic. I went to bed and told my mom the next morning that I needed to go somewhere, and she insisted that I was not going anywhere, that she could get it out. It hurt SO FLIPPING BAD when she reached up there to get it that any thoughts of awkwardness disappeared. She thought it was up way higher than it should have been. Long story short, she got it out eventually, after much pain and irritation. And all this drama was happening while my poor fiance could only hear about what was going on (since we are abstaining until marriage). I think he was more scared than I was!
    I don’t know if my cervix is higher than most or what, but I do know that if I ever try a menstrual cup again it will be a Lunette!


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      I started with just one. I would rinse it after “dumping” the contents and put it back in and then sterilize it (boiling water for ten minutes) after each cycle. But I eventually bought a second one just for emergencies.

  54. jen

    I have always used pads and hated them (I hate tampons more since I worry about TSS – I knew someone who got it). After 2 kids I had to get the ones that felt like diapers and still wore spandex shorts over them to bed to make sure I didn’t leak (which made it difficult to sleep because I felt like I had to constantly have my legs together as well). So, I saw this article and did some research and finally decided to take the plunge and buy a lunette 3 months ago. I was unable to use it during the first month due to an infection and was extremely disappointed. I was ready when month 2 came with some backup pads that I had left over. After 2 days of wearing it, I realized I no longer needed the pads and the cup worked amazingly! My period was 1-2 days shorter and I was able to sleep without the discomfort of worrying about leaking. I would suggest that when you put it in, definitely sweep around the rim to make sure it opened all the way. Also, the tab was uncomfortable for a day or two but I didn’t want to cut it just yet and after putting it in a few times I was able to get it just a bit higher so I don’t even feel it any longer. Like I said, I have had two kids and my flow is very heavy, however, I have never filled the cup and it works GREAT (I usually take it out in the morning, once in the afternoon, and before going to bed)!! Most of the time I forget I’m even on my period!! I’m on my second cycle now using it and it has been amazing…no more dreading the pads or wasting the money on them. Oh, and I was worried about it being super messy considering what you are working with, but not at all! Super easy and once you get to know your body and how to do it, you can do it so quickly! Such a great thing and I’m so glad that I have all this info for my daughter when she gets older! Thank you so much for the info! I can’t imagine ever going back!

    Also, my sister got a diva and loves it! She hasn’t had kids yet and has found the same benefits and I have!


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      Yay! I love hearing these stories. It’s amazing how something so simple can make that time of the month so much nicer.

  55. Monika

    A few weeks ago, I made my first attempt at alternatives to pads and tampons with the Instead Softcup (I thought it would be a good way to test it before investing in something more expensive, although I now know that it’s quite different from something like the Divacup). Anyways, it got stuck. It was traumatic. I cried a lot. It ended up only being stuck for an hour, but it felt much, much, much longer. So…I hesitate to stick anything else in me. Has anyone tried both kinds (or a brand other than Diva) and can reassure me that I won’t repeat that experience?


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      I use Lunette and haven’t had an issue… but I can understand why that would be traumatic. Remember to relax as you take it out. It will not get lost inside of you. I bet the more comfortable you get with using it easier it will get. Good luck!!

    2. Joei

      After reading this informative article, I shunned tampons and I tried the Lunette. I had a horrific experience, similar to what you described. (I too was crying… I thought I was going to have to go to the ER to have the thing removed). It was one of the most excruciating experiences I’ve ever had in my nether region. I did everything correctly; I just have a narrow and short vaginal canal, as well as a retroverted uterus. I’ve never given birth. I’m in envy of the women who can use the menstrual cups, but unfortunately I am not one of them due to my anatomy. The cup was definitely worth the try- but boy oh boy, I will not be trying it again! ;)


      1. Post author
        Robin Konie

        Oh no! I’m so sorry, Joei! I hate traumatic experiences “down there.” Hugs your way.

  56. Liz

    Just bought a Lunette cup! Im trying to detoxify my world in every which way I can. This idea seems like a no brainer. Thanks for the information. Wish me luck!

  57. Sara

    I wanted to buy one for my sister since she is allergic to tampons, and her period is always very heavy. She uses pads but I find sanitary napkins to be.. EWWW. Hello sweat, blood and bacteria in a pad rubbing against you for hours, truly shudder-worthy in a bad way. However, I didn’t buy that cup, because my mother was so kind as to remind me of some difficulties.

    The idea was that even if she would scrub down her hands and nails every time she had to change the thing – most unlikely she would do that even, there would still be stuff left; and a menstrual cup requires you to actually touch your ‘inside’, right? Also, I heard just washing it out with water when ‘replacing’ it is enough. But… do you seriously drag a bottle of water with you all the time? Or do you just don’t clean it after dumping the blood (which is also rumored to be very nutritious for vegetable gardens *gulp* ) ? Do you really wash your hands before going to the toilet? Even in public toilets?

  58. Jane

    Hi! Great post! I would love an alternative to tampons, but am a wee bit concerned about the silicone? I try to avoid cooking with it…the Keeper cup is made from rubber. Do you know if that would be a healthier choice?


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      If you’re concerned than go with the rubber option. Since I’m not cooking with the silicone I don’t feel bad using it.

  59. Emily

    I’m new to your site, but I am loving it! Thank you so much Robin!! I’ve had a lot of issues the past six months or so with vaginal infections. I’m not saying that a tampon would be any better, but do the cups increase risk of infections down there?


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      Honestly, I’m not entirely sure. I would imagine it would be better than tampons because of the materials used… but I don’t know for sure.

  60. Franny

    I think that a LOT of women do not know about cups as an alternative, that tampons & pads are not the only option. They came up one night at my knitting group (all in our 20s/30s) and I was the only one in the discussion who didn’t have one! I was surprided but determined to get one after that. It took a couple tries but I got the hang of it and now I LOVE it!! It’s almost like I don’t have a period anymore, it’s not inconvenient or messy or annoying….I don’t have to discreetly buy then hide tampons/pads…I just empty it out a couple times/day the first 2-3 days, and morning & night the last few days. It doesn’t interrupt swimming, exercising, sleeping, anything!! Why didn’t I know about this years ago?!?!

  61. nori

    I use “menstrual flow control” or menstrual flow awareness techniques. women long time ago were able to hold the menstrual blood and release it in the toilet (or wherever they needed to) just like urine.
    Modern women have lost that ability.
    This technique requires some time of training to tones the required muscles and to develop the awareness (potty training for grown up women!) but definitely more eco friendly and it make you more aware of your body.
    I am not a big fan of menstrual cups that much. I feel that the blood which uterus expels should not stay too long inside the vagina.
    Uterus expels it for a reason. so why should we keep it inside for many hours? The blood which was once expelled into vagina (into the cup) can go back to uterus. The uterus is a sterilized zone. (can’t fight for any bacterias). On the other hands, vagina has bacteria. It doesn’t sounds hygienic to me. Why do we want to stop the work of our uterus trying to get rid of unwanted blood? We need to get back the muscles and awareness we used to have long time ago!
    Urination, defecation and menstruation all need us to be able to control.

    1. Tonya

      I am glad to learn this information–the blog and the comments. I have never heard of menstrual cups before. Something to think about and try if I can get the courage.

  62. Adria @ Sweet Pea-a-Licious

    I had researched the menstrual cup last year but after discussing it with my husband (not that he really has any say in things…) I put that idea in the back of my mind because I let myself get influenced by his comments. Ew! Disgusting! But after reading your post, I am very interested in giving the cup a try. One question though… Is it messy? I mean when you have to “empty” it. I don’t see myself doing this at work or in a public restroom. Any comments?


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      It’s really not as messy as I feared it would be, and once you get the hang of it gets even better. You just dump the contents right in the toilet as you pull it out. I haven’t had to empty it at a public place mostly because it lasts longer than a tampon and I work from home… but if you read some of the comments above I know a few people have mentioned how they handle public restrooms.

  63. Chantal

    i’ve been using a diva cup since my periods returned from having my daughter, 8 years ago. i love it but still use tampons when i go in town(not that often). i just can’t see myself using a toilet without a sink beside it in the first few days. I’ve always said i was bleeding a lot during my periods but doctors didn’t believe me. now that i have the diva cup and it’s graduated, i can actually measure how much i really lose. being able to wear it 8 hours without emptying and leaking would be considered a medium/light day for me. on the first 2 days i can lose 3-5 oz. i’ve overflowed within 2-3 hours more than once. i’ve used the same cup for all those years and your blog post reminded me of buying a new one last week. just had to put it in this morning and i think i shouldn’t wait so long to buy a new one next time. i find i notice a difference in softness and comfort. I never heard about “menstrual flow control” before. it’s interesting but i don’t think it would work well for me, especially the first few days. i’d always be sitting on the toilet. i’ve learned about “natural infant hygiene” before my daughter was born (she’s my second child) and started offering her a “potty” from birth. if babies can have awareness of their elimination function from birth, who knows what else we forgotten our body is able to do?


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      I hear ya… the idea of menstrual flow control is interesting… and I’m sure there’s something to it.

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  65. Erynn

    I tried the Luna cup once…as a teenage virgin. Getting it in wasn’t bad, but when I tried to get it out, I discovered I was too small! I sat om the toilet for a half hour while I wrestled it out. Ouucchhh…. I’d just recommend that if you want to get one for your daughter or niece or whoever, think back on the time when a super size tampon looked big.

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