Relationships

I Tried the Diva Cup, And Here’s What Happened

Elaine Benes

The other day, I posted on Instagram about walking to our workspace bathroom with my tampon in my hand, instead of hidden in my sock. And I instantly got hundreds of comments saying…

…Why are you not using a menstrual cup???

Women were coming out of the woodwork to recommend the flexible menstrual cups over tampons or pads. Basically, you insert one into the vaginal canal, and the blood just drips into the cup. Then you empty it, wash and reuse. “The best lady hack of all time!” wrote Maclean. “What a game changer!” wrote Kristen. “100% yes,” wrote Morgan.

I Tried the Diva Cup, And Here's What Happened

Here’s what a menstrual cup looks like.

Curious, I walked to the store after work and chose a Diva Cup. (Other popular brands are Lunette and Lena.) On the shelf were two sizes: one for women under 30 who have never given birth; the second model is for women age 30 or over and/or women who have delivered vaginally or by c-section. That distinction felt slightly crushing, haha, but I went ahead and bought the larger one.

The next morning, I washed the cup with soap and warm water. It looked surprisingly big to me — so much bigger than a tampon! — but I was able to fold it and insert it into the vaginal canal. Inside, the cup gently springs open and rests against the walls of the vagina. That way, it can catch the blood and prevents leaks.

At first, it felt a little bit like I needed to pee — since I guess it was putting a little pressure on the bladder? But I adjusted the position and that went away. Then I felt nothing. (FYI, some of my friends had a harder time inserting it and found this post helpful.)

For the rest of the day, honestly, I forgot about it. You can leave the cup in for 12 hours, and I couldn’t believe the freedom! With tampons, there are so many daytime logistics. But with the cup, I put it in at 8 a.m. and emptied it at 8 p.m. SO EASY. No leaks at work, no ruined underwear, no asking strangers if I can borrow a tampon. I essentially felt like I didn’t have my period. I wore a white dress on a bike ride with the boys and didn’t think anything of it.

That night, when I emptied it, I figured I might have this giant flask of blood to deal with. I pinched the bottom of the cup to release the seal. I was surprised to see that there wasn’t that much blood anyway. (The whole process was very neat and tidy: There was no blood on the outside of the cup; just inside, kind of like a wine glass!) Then I emptied it, washed the cup with soap and water, and replaced it. Done and done.

Overall, I went from being nervous about the cup to totally excited about it.

Other major bonuses: Menstrual cups are more environmentally friendly; the average woman uses more than 9,000 tampons in her lifetime, while one menstrual cup can last between 1 and 10 years! Menstrual cups don’t absorb your vagina’s natural lubrication, like tampons can. The other perk is that you learn more about your anatomy and even notice your blood changing throughout the week. It’s cool to know about your body, don’t you think?

Have you tried a menstrual cup? Or do you prefer tampons or pads? And here are some menstrual cup FAQs, if you’re curious.

Update: The comments section turned off overnight, but all is restored now. If you tried to leave a comment before, please try again now and it should work. Thank you! xoxoxo

P.S. How old were you when you first had sex, and do you know female anatomy? (Be honest.)

(This post isn’t sponsored; I just wanted to share my experience and thank everyone for the recommendation:) Gif by Package Free Shop.)

  1. Cidalia says...

    I wish. I can’t even imagine wearing it all day and just having a small amount of blood in it. I wore mine (larger size) and every two to three hours, it was nearly full! Ugh. And I still get leaks and need backup. It’s only been one period with the cup, so I’m undecided. I will, however, be talking to my doctor about the heavy periods.

  2. Oh god, it took me so long to warm up to the idea of a menstrual cup. Firstly, because of the concept, and then secondly, to actually find one when I was living abroad! But yep, like you mentioned, it was a game changer for someone like me, backpacking, camping, scuba-diving etc.

  3. Mandy says...

    Ive been using menstrual cups for maybe 3 years and I’ll never go back to anything else! I use two from Intima. I’m pretty sure the majority of females in U.K. use them as they are the norm there!

  4. Aida says...

    Game changer! I never have to buy a tampon again!

  5. Jenna says...

    I LOVE my Dot cup!! The ridge is firmer than the Diva but the body is softer, so it fits more snugly and comfortably.

    The BEST part…it is a one for one, for each cup you buy another gets shipped to a person in Africa who doesn’t have access to menstrual products! 👏🏻🙌🏻

    http://www.dotforall.com/

    Dotcup on instagram!!

  6. Mary says...

    Menstrual Discs are better than cups!! I’m obsessed with my FLEX! I often forget that I’m on my period. No cramps and yes to mess-free sex with it in!

  7. Shannon says...

    Ah Welcome to the world of easy, breezy periods! I LOVE MY DIVA CUP. I have been a huge fan for almost a decade now and can not stop singing the praises. One note for folks: I am over 30 and have delivered a baby and still need the size one. The guide works for most women but on occasion you may still need to size up or down.

  8. Jessica says...

    On the topic of the two Diva cup sizes, after buying the over30, post-pregnancy size, I immediately texted my best friend that I had finally bought a menstrual cup for my GIANT vagina. The sizing really made me laugh,

  9. Naomi says...

    I love that everyone recommended it and you were brave enough to try and to write about it! I use one and swear by it! I totally forget about it when I’m wearing it I LOVE IT! It’s hard not to shout it from the rafters to everyone I see but yes!

  10. Jess says...

    Ok, so here’s the thing: I used a diva cup for about six months and initially swore by it, but eventually realized something that I have never been able to find any comments on anywhere—massive, excruciating cramps that were the worst pain I’ve ever had.

    I originally blamed it on the heat (I was living in Hawaii at the time with no AC). One month, I started right before going to a Super Bowl party and within an hour I was doubled over on the front lawn with my nurse-friend hunting down 3 IBs and rubbing my back. I rode my moped the 20 minutes home hunched over and scared of crashing due to passing out.

    Eventually, I switched back to my applicatorless tampons and the cramps went from vomit-inducing and feeling like labor to just go-home-from-work-and-take-Mydol. I have been on birth control (Nuvaring) for 8 months and my cramps are finally miraculously mild. My OB thinks I might have endometriosis but since the birth control is managing the pain right now, there’s not much we can do. He didn’t have any recommendations on the menstrual cup.

    My question is: does anyone have an idea of what else I could use? Is there a different brand whose shape maybe will avoid hitting my cervix? Is that the issue?

    Thanks for reading and for any advice. 🙃

    • Charity Suzuki says...

      That’s interesting. I actually found the opposite. Which cup did you use? I wonder if the shape or firmness of the cup would make a difference. I find the diva cup helps my cramps more than the lena which is a softer cup. I think it’s worth experimenting with different cup styles.

    • Jessica says...

      Last period, I noticed some severe cramping pains sort of around my anus. It took me a bit of time to think that it might be my menstrual cup in a weird spot. So I went and readjusted, and sure enough the pain went away. Not sure if this might be related to the fact that I had given birth 4 months ago, but from reading online, I may have triggered pelvic floor cramping (that I could feel it in my anus was really just about location). Perhaps a similar issue for you?

      Also, if you’re worried about hitting the cervix, some cups are known to be shorter than others (the Diva Cup is a deeper cup). Ive also seen some women you say they have a low cervix that they cut the nib at the end off or turning the cup inside out to shorten it).

    • Rebekah says...

      There are so many cups available, it’s a little like goldilocks. There’s a girl on YouTube that does reviews that may be helpful: precious stars pads. Diva never worked for me but fleurcup did. Another alternative is Sea sponges. So soft and comfortable and also reusable. Cloth pads are also amazing and very comfortable… best I’ve found are honour your flow and pink lemonade.

    • Kate B says...

      Hi! Sorry this is a v. delayed response, but I quit using Nuvaring specifically because I was getting phantom cramps. I had been on it for several years with no issue at all until one day I started getting really bad cramps. No rhyme or reason to them, and I never have bad cramps during my period. I stopped using the Nuvaring and the cramps completely went away!

  11. Hi Joanna! So happy you’ve given a menstrual cup a shot.

    I shot your team an email as well, but the GIF image used of the hand squeezing a menstrual cup has been mis-credited. I created it as Creative Director for Package Free Shop, and we would love this resolved as soon as possible. https://packagefreeshop.com/products/lunette-clear-size-1

    I’m a huge fan, and have always appreciated how thoughtful Cup of Jo normally is at crediting sources of imagery, so I’d love if this could be resolved.

    PS: we love menstrual cups :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, of course!!! we credit it to lunette but will change it to you now! xoxo

  12. I’ve been using a Diva Cup for almost a year and although I do really like it, occasionally I still leak. I have an inverted uterus and I *think* that might be part of the problem.
    Also- if you are prone to UTI’s (this goes back to the inverted uterus thing) be sure not to leave it in for too long. My OB explained to me that it can push on my urinary tract and bladder in a way that keeps the bacteria in there and can cause a UTI. My problems with that came when my period lasted a lot longer than usual.
    Last- I follow @erinwilkins_ on Instagram and she occasionally talks menstrual cups on her stories and has helpful tips.

  13. Leanne says...

    I am, like many of the other commenters, a Diva Cup evangelist. Here are the lessons I’ve learned:

    1. No inversions in yoga while wearing—the flip of gravity breaks the seal and anything stored comes out, onto your light gray leggings (I did stay and finish the class!)

    2. Leaks can still happen. I tend to leave my cup in for way too long (no risk for TSS!), and occasionally have a leak.

    What I love most? You ALWAYS have ALL of the supplies you need (once your cycle has begun and cup has been inserted)!!!!!!!!

    • Cidalia says...

      Although the risk of TSS is lower with cups than with tampons, it’s still a risk.

  14. Amy says...

    THANK YOU!!! You finally saw the light! I’ve been using the diva cup for 10 years and was considered the “hippie freak” of my friend group for a long time. I was also kinda bummed when I realized I needed to “upgrade” to the mature woman size (this happened around age 33 despite not having children) I have been pushing the diva on people all this time and only recently have most of my friends caught on. I’m quite proud of myself because I haven’t been contributing tampon waste for the past 10 years! Unfortunately my wasteful downfall has been plastic straws… I’m sure I have killed so many turtles with those suckers and only recently learned how bad they are…. ya live ya learn!

    • metal straws for the WIN!

    • Alice says...

      My newest lifehack: Maccaroni as straws, uncooked of course :-)

  15. Carol says...

    I found it hurt a bit when I sat in certain positions. And it could scoot and leak.
    And removing it required a bit of fishing and it was definitely bloody when removed. Also, it can get funky. Soak it for 10 seconds in hydrogen peroxide to avoid issues.

  16. Stephanie says...

    I first used mine twelve years ago when I was going to be spending a few weeks in the bush of Africa and knew I would be menstruating some of that time. I felt bad bringing tampons when I knew it wouldn’t really decompose! I’ve been using the diva cup ever since! I often forget so many people still don’t know about them. Thanks for writing up about it. I hope it encourages more women to invest in one. (It saves so much money in the long run!)

  17. Abby says...

    I’ve been using one for about six months and OH MY GOD I want to be a Diva Cup evangelist. I’m normally pretty reserved about body stuff but I just wanted to shout from the rooftops how wonderful it is. It’s so much more convenient, less messy, less wasteful, and I also forget that I’m having a period. So glad you tried it!

  18. Deanna says...

    I have used a menstrual cup for over 10 years now and I would never go back to traditional products. Menstrual cups provide so much freedom and I really felt like it was life changing when I started using them.

  19. Emily says...

    Thanks for writing about your experience! I have been using the Diva Cup for about 3 1/2 years and am so glad I had heard about it and tried it because it has been the best thing for periods. I also started in my 30’s after having my second child. It took a little getting used to inserting it the first few times, but now it is simple and really makes having my period a non-event and I like that I feel the same comfort whether a heady or light flow day. I’ve told friends and my sisters about them because they aren’t advertised, but I feel one of the greatest products for women. The other one I can’t stop sharing about it the Natural Cycles contraception app. Not only has that been an effective form of contraception, the detailed knowledge about the phases of my cycle along with knowing better about duration and flow of my periods from using the menstrual cup make it easier to recognize any changes in my body/cycle should I need to discuss more details with my doctor. The Natural Cycles app even reminds you the optimal time to perform a breast self-exam. I know it may not be for everyone, but I can’t speak highly enough about having it as an effective, safe and empowering option of contraception. I wish we all heard more about these kinds of options.

    • Natalie says...

      Jo and team – PLEASE consider doing a post on Natural Cycles. I have it on my phone but have been to intimidated to jump in. Family planning (non hormonal) in general would be super interesting for those of us who just cannot handle the pill anymore for whatever reason.

    • April says...

      I also would love a post on natural family planning – I use the Marquette method (developed at Marquette university – it uses the Clearblue fertility monitor so you pee on a stick for a week or so each month and it gives you a hormonal readout). SO NICE for knowing concretely when you can get pregnant and when you can’t. I love it.

    • Hilde says...

      As someone who can’t use any hormonal contraception (due to having the BRCA gene mutation), I’d love to hear more about this!

    • Lis says...

      Yes please! A post about natural cycles would be highly appreciated! Here in Spain it’s not usual to listen people talking about it and it’s a pity!

  20. Lisa says...

    Yes! The cup is a GAME CHANGER! Love it. And I love that I’m not flushing tons of tampons down the toilet.

  21. Laura says...

    Have you heard of Lucy Peach – The Power of the Peroid?! You can listen to her talk here – sooo good! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2c17e5naow
    She also has a show called “How to Peroid Like a Unicorn!”
    My friend from book club just shared with us (she saw the show in Perth WA). xx

  22. Scarlet says...

    I’ve been reading COJ for YEARS, waiting for a discussion on menstrual cups.

    I’ve used a Lunette since 2007, when I bought it during one of the first dates with my now-husband (!). It’s been my trusted sidekick through international moves, career changes, the transition to motherhood… I’m on my third cup now; one got flushed down a friend’s toilet, one was in a handbag that got stolen.

    Important tip: there’s no need to size up once you have kids or reach 30. I still use a size 1 model since size 2 feels way too big. The recommendation to size up is because many women have heavier periods as they age or after becoming mothers, but this isn’t the case for everyone.

    • gracesface says...

      I flushed one down the toilet too by accident! I haven’t been using it for awhile because I was having terrible leaks with it. I’ve found that I can get by with cloth pads and regular pads but I can’t use tampons anymore – they make my cramps terrible! I read somewhere to try turning the Diva Cup inside out to prevent leaks. I hope it helps.

  23. Laura says...

    I really want to try one but because I have a coil it’s not recommended (I believe because, if you don’t break the suction properly on the cup before trying to pull it out, it can pull out your coil). But I really wanted to stop using so many tampons and pads, so now I use Thinx! They’re really great, though you do have to change them a 2-3 times on your heaviest day if you’ve got a fairly heavy flow and not wanting to use a tampon that day. Which means I started with 3 pairs to try, had to go to about 7 pairs, and could really do with about 3 more pairs so I can get away with not having to wash them so many times during my period. But honestly they’re so comfortable and I much prefer them to tampons now!!

    • Laura says...

      yes, I use thinx and knixwear, and love them so much!!

  24. Katie says...

    i finally got one when i got my period back after baby #2. super easy and yes, i did need the bigger size. and then i proceeded to get knocked up again and had my third, so i’ll be using it again once i get my period (hopefully not for a long time since i’m breastfeeding!). super easy once you figure out the fit. i will definitely be encouraging my girls to use one when they come of age too!

    • Ashley says...

      I just got one for me and it’s amazing. I want to get one for my daughter when she gets her first period in a few years. Do they make a smaller size (than the 1) for young women?

  25. Stephanie says...

    My period hasn’t returned yet since giving birth to my son (he’s 15 months old)…and honestly, a part of my reason for wanting it to come back is so I can try my new Diva cup size!! Lol.

  26. Meg says...

    I’ve used Instead but it’s still a trash maker.

    I wonder where a good place to dry & store the Diva is? That is part of my hesitation

    • gracesface says...

      They come with small cloth bags you can put them in when not in use.

  27. Milla says...

    I love love love my Ruby cup- this month is our 2 year anniversary :) I have really heavy periods and a cup has made it SO much more manageable, especially if I’m outdoors all day or don’t have access to a bathroom. Plus, since I still need backup at night, I now have thinx underwear (a lifesaver) and party pants reusable pads (also amazing). One of my friends recently switched to cups and we happened to have our periods at the same time when I visited her (I’m in the US, she’s in Europe)- one of my favorite memories from the trip is when we emptied our cups at the same time in adjacent bathroom stalls! It was crazy and fun (!) to be with someone who UNDERSTANDS cup life.

  28. Liting says...

    God bless the person who invented the menstrual cup. I cannot stop raving and keep yelling at all my friends to move to the cup. So. Much. Better!

  29. Megan says...

    I had such a hard time finding a menstrual cup that worked for me — they all felt uncomfortable! However, I really wanted to make it work and stumbled across FemmyCycle which makes a menstrual cup for women with low cervixes (THIS was why all the other cups I tried were so uncomfortable). It took me a little while to get used to it as it’s design is a bit different then the other ones I had tried in the past, however it is THE BEST for me. Hope this helps other women that think that menstrual cups might not be for them!

    • Mimi says...

      Oh thank you, I’ll try that one because the ones I tried felt exactly as you prescribed.

    • Thanks for sharing this Megan. The Diva Cup was working for me until I had my third baby and my cervix is a lot lower now. I’ll check out FemmCycle.
      I LOVED the Diva Cup when I first found it. Just like you Joanna, I was surprised that it didn’t feel like I had my period. Since my late 30s however, my period and body has changed. The Diva Cup hasn’t been working for me quite as well because my periods are crazy ‘crime scene’ heavy and my cervix is lower. My friends that are my age or a bit older have told me they’re having the same thing at this point in life with heavy periods. Yeah peri-menopause?
      P.S. Also recently got into Thinx period proof underwear and it’s a great back up for heavy days.

    • Megan says...

      Rachel — for a while I had the Paragard IUD and my periods were crime scene like as well. I continued to use the FemmyCycle cup and I was able to keep it in for 8-12 hours without having to empty it out as despite being for women with lower cervixes it still holds 30 ml of fluid (which is the same as the company’s regular size menstrual cup). I ordered mine on Amazon. Here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NHDLN0S/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

      I’ll have to check out the thinx brand as well!

  30. ana says...

    I’m sorry i can’t. Don’t hate me.

    • sadie says...

      Nice reference. ;)

  31. chelsea says...

    I’ve used a Diva Cup for about six years now and it just amazing. I’ve recommended it to everyoyne who cares to listen hehe :) Thanks for this post CoJ crew!

  32. Maggie says...

    I’ve been using a Diva Cup for about 4 years! LIFE CHANGING. My flow was so heavy I was changing a super plus tampon every 2 hours. Now I only change my Diva Cup once a day, unless I’m on a heavy day, which I’ve found I still have to change it every 2-4 hours…but that’s just me. And people, you can still have accidents using the Diva Cup, so you have to pay attention to the timing. Most days you’ll only have to change it once. The diva cup is a bit of an investment upfront, but it totally pays for itself many times over. After 4 years of using it, here are a few tips I’ve found work best for me.
    1) I still have a stock of pantyliners available because leaks still happen and on lighter days sometimes I don’t feel like shoving that thing in me.
    2) I prefer to have a few tampons around, but now I go through about a box a year. Again, some lighter days I don’t feel like shoving that thing in.
    3) I used to be super careful about the soap I used and only used the Diva Wash soap. But over the years, I’ve found I just use whatever soap is available and in most cases it’s a clean soap without harsh chemicals. I don’t want any of that so close to my most sensitive body tissues.
    4) I’ll be honest I’ve never really boiled my Diva Cup. I know you’re supposed to, but it’s such an inconvenience. So far I’ve been just fine with using hot water and soap.

  33. Kay says...

    I put of trying it for years, honestly because of the size distinction. How, at age 31, was my vagina (that hadn’t given birth) more like a woman who had given birth than a woman only two years younger than me? I don’t remember my vagina size drastically changing as if I gave birth the day I turned 30. I’m trying for the first time right now (I’m 34, and got the small size). Inserting it was EXTREMELY painful. And now I feel a slight discomfort with it in (I feel it way more so than with tampons), and have gotten a little crampy since it’s been in. Willing to give it the ol’ college try, but this might not be for me.

    • SarahN says...

      It may be in ‘too deep’ which is causing the discomfort. That was a learning curve for me, moving from tampons to cups

    • Kay says...

      Update: it was so painful putting it in (I put it in 3 separate times yesterday, using different folds) that I’m not sure I can subject myself to that trauma again to get over the “learning curve.”

    • Elga says...

      I like to use some lubricant on it sometimes, and helps me to insert it easier without pain. Maybe give that a try or go for a softer cup (some are too tough).

  34. Donna says...

    This article is so timely for me. I bought a diva cup years ago but after failing to insert it I put it in a drawer. I’m going to give it another try. I’m sick of using tampons.

  35. Maureen says...

    I honestly feel like women who haven’t embraced this are living the in dark ages! My period came back 28 days after my first child was born and there was no way I was spending the first year of motherhood navigating tampons and timing restroom trips on top of everything else I was dealing with. Besides, after childbirth nothing seems gross or weird anymore! I also tried to liken to to when my grandmother or great grandmother first heard about tampons. Maybe they thought those things were totally gross and strange and now they are such commonplace.

    • ab says...

      “I honestly feel like women who haven’t embraced this are living the in dark ages!” … please refrain from shaming women who deal with menstruation in the way that best suits their bodies. There are a lot of reasons women may not embrace the cup, for example tilted uterus, endometriosis, and physical disabilities.

  36. I’ve been using one for about a year, but have to return to usual products. It’s economical and I’m sure much healthier. But alas, it’s hard to use sometimes. I am constantly on the move and can not clean and disinfect it properly.

  37. Makenzie M says...

    I LOVE my diva cup and have been using it for 4+ years! I do have a hilarious story attached to the diva cup, though…

    One afternoon I was boiling my diva cup (sanitation, people!) and stepped outside only to see that my neighbor (who I had a major crush on at the time) was on the other half of our shared porch. We got to talking and because love makes you stupid, I forgot all about the diva cup boiling away on the stove. Luckily, my sister was home upstairs. However, she was not lucky enough to catch the burning diva cup before it exploded in ash all across our kitchen and smoke filled the house. She slammed open the door (smoke billowing out) and just said, “Makenzie. YOU FORGOT.” My neighbor turned on a firefighter mode men sometimes have and rushed in the house. He looked at the burned pot and ash everywhere and said, “What IS that?!” I just looked at him and said, “I promise you, you do not want to know.”

    • Sasha L says...

      😂🤣 that is an AWESOME story!!! Thank you for the laughter.

  38. Sarah says...

    I use the MeLuna brand – it’s important to note that the original or bigger name brand of menstrual cups just may not be right for you. I found this article very helpful when choosing: https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-menstrual-cup/
    An issue I had in the beginning was finding a way to fold it so that it would actually open inside – I had leaky incidents and eventually figured out it wasn’t opening all the way. So my advice would be to try lots of folding techniques if your first couple aren’t working – there are lots of ways to do it!

    • Am says...

      Yeah, I was leaking a lot on my heavy days at first, then I realized it wasn’t quite opening all the way. I’ve found I have to fold it into a sideways V, insert it, then actually pull it out a bit and twist it around by the bottom part after it’s unfolded slightly to get it to pop open all the way. You learn what it feels like when it’s open properly vs being pinched somewhere.

  39. Katie Cauthen says...

    I love my cup! I have a dot cup. For every cup you buy, they donate a cup to a girl in Africa! Check it out. It’s an amazing one for one concepts that is truly changing the stigma of menstruation in Africa!! https://dotforall.com/

  40. Mullica Zudsiri says...

    I LOVE MY CUP! I’ve been using it for two years. I have a Sckoon in red haha because I figure it would hide discoloration better over time. It’s all a matter of knowing your body. My friend has a low cervix and was discouraged her first time trying a cup but then she found one made specifically for her and it works. I also like how …. it smells less? Like nothing when I wear a cup versus anything else. Since the blood isn’t exposed to oxygen.

  41. I think Diva cups (and other brands) are great, but PLEASE remember to wash the cup thoroughly! If you don’t have access to clean water, soap, or otherwise sanitary conditions I would recommend switching back to pads or tampons. A dirty menstrual cup can lead to toxic shock syndrome easier than leaving a tampon in too long. Be safe out there!

  42. Have you heard of DOT cup? Best menstral cup I’ve ever used. I can’t reccommend it enough! AND it’s a one for one model! For every cup you buy, one is given to a women or girl in a country where she otherwise doesn’t have access to clean menstral products. Which is a whole other story about how women and girls all around the world fall behind in school and work because of their cycles. I can’t even tell you how excited this mission gets me. Take care of yourself AND help to empower women and girls around the world! Buy a DOT cup y’all! http://www.dotforall.com

  43. Amy says...

    Also! For ladies who are not super regular with their periods, you can wear a cup just in case! As an irregular girl yhis has saved me so many pairs of undies :)

  44. Ashley says...

    I have been using a Diva Cup for at least 7 years and I would NEVER go back to tampons. It took me two cycles to get the hang of it, but once I did, it because a total life-saver.

  45. Not only are menstrual cups good for the environment, they offer great possibilities for women living in third and fourth world countries, who do not have the resources for tampons and other supplies. I have a friend whose company makes menstrual cups and he has a project to share them with women who wouldn’t otherwise have access. His menstrual cup is called Casco Cup https://cascocup.com/casco-cup/ (felt I should share his web site since I mentioned them).

  46. Anna says...

    I used a cup in college but I was looking for something *more* natural and environmentally friendly (lol I know). I got a sea sponge and haven’t looked back! Check out holy sponge on Etsy. The owner of the shop is kind of amazing too. You’ll be surprised! Also get the book Code Red by Lisa Lister if you want to fall in love with your period. Seriously I love my period and my feminine body!!!!

  47. Frances says...

    I bought a Diva cup and it was fantastic! For the same reasons as everyone else who has commented – the length of time it stays in, the environmental factor, how much better it is for my body.

    But… I found after I had used it a couple of times that just after I had inserted it (without too much trouble), it triggered the most EXCRUCIATING period cramps. I’ve been on the Pill for quite some time to manage the pain, and this pain was as bad as what I would get pre-Pill. It was if-I-don’t-lie-down-now-I-will-vomit kind of pain, know what I mean? Subsequently, I’ve not used it because I do not want to deal with that sort of pain again. Has anyone else had that problem? If so, how did you overcome it so as to keep using the menstrual cup? Thanks in advance, sisters!

    • nina says...

      I’m so happy you asked this! I have never been able to wear tampons for this reason. I’d love to know if there is a solution.

    • Am says...

      Really? I’ve found the opposite, I barely get cramps since I switched to a DivaCup (whereas I got really bad ones with tampons).

  48. Grace says...

    Recommendation for anyone who has had trouble fitting menstrual cups or are curious in trying one: practice when you are not on your period! It can be tricky to get used to so practicing insertion and removal while you are not menstruating can be really helpful. When possible, remove and empty in the shower.

  49. Ceridwen says...

    Sold! I have a mirena which has helped me with excessive bleeding but I haven’t adjusted to it yet, so I have bleeding ALL THE TIME! Urgh. This sounds like a good solution. I’ve been freaked out by the idea of a cup filling with blood but then I thought…jamming a cotton tube up there to soak up blood then pulling it out with a string is not exactly sexy either. To me anyway. Your description sounds good. A wine glass! A cup of womanness! I’m getting one.

  50. marie says...

    Good! Nice change! cups sure are more eco friendly than tampons, but one thing :

    tampons can cause toxic shock syndrome (TSS) because you’re not supposed to leave them in your body for long periods of time…. and it’s the same for cups.

    I know you CAN leave a cup in your body for 12 hours, but you definitely SHOULDN’T because it’s not safe to leave blood in the body for such a long time.

    Here’s some words about it : https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/toxic-shock-syndrome-mooncups-tampons-risk-tss-menstrual-america-study-a8314546.html

    People say that with the menstrual cup there is no risk of TSS but it’s false! These cups should come with a little warning…

    If you want an ecofriendly way to deal with periods, you can buy menstrual proof undies like “Thinx” or washable panty liners :)

    Hope it helps :)

  51. Amy says...

    Top tip: Put it in in the shower! (I also empty mine down the drain there, maybe that’s gross, idk 💁‍♀️)

  52. Amy says...

    YEESSS! I bought my Mooncup (UK brand I think) about 8 years ago and it’s still going strong. It cost me $30 and it was probably the best money I’ve ever spent. No more running out of tampons, no more changing them in public toilets (I just wait til I get home), no more money spent on sanitary products (and no more of the dryness you get from tampons, and most importantly no more rubbish produced.

    On the rare occasion I’ve been caught out and had to use a tampon, I’ve been so surprised by how uncomfortable they are in comparison! And weirdly, they somehow seem more gross.

  53. Joanna Tsay says...

    I was always a pad girl but kept hearing so many good things about menstrual cups. I finally got a Diva cup a couple of years ago right around my son’s first birthday and I’ve never looked back! It took a couple of cycles to get the hang of it and I still don’t love the initial insertion, but I’ll take a few seconds of discomfort if it means I don’t feel like I’m on my period for the rest of the day. It’s so amazing and I wish I had discovered it sooner.

  54. Sarah says...

    Love love love this little instrument of joy.

    An added bonus – for anyone with a weak pelvic floor, this little beauty will allow you to go for a run without mapping out all the bathrooms in advance! That’s right, it stopped all mid-run urine leaks for me because it gives a little extra support. I discussed this with my pelvic floor physiotherapist and she was 100% supportive (see what I did there?).

    • Sarah says...

      This piece of news sold me on the cup right there. I definitely try it out now!

  55. Michelle says...

    For people who can’t or don’t want to use the Diva cup for whatever reason, I bought these a few years ago and I am obsessed with them. I’m a lifelong tampon user and always hated pads but after using these I will never use anything else. They are lovely.

    https://partypantspads.com

    I am not affiliated with them at all. I just really love them.

  56. Yes!! I started using a cup in college (2003) and there were fewer brands. I think at the time the only one was the Keeper Cup from Canada! I used it until after I gave birth to my first kid in 2013. After that, I ordered a new one in the larger size and have used it ever since. I can’t imagine going back to tampons/pads. Just think of all the money I’ve saved and tampons that didn’t need to be flushed- so much waste!!

    • Donnarino@yahoo.ca says...

      I didn’t even know that tampons shouldn’t be flushed until my toilet backed up and my husband showed me why.

  57. Liz says...

    I used a Diva cup for two years till I got pregnant and it was life changing! Especially since I have mild endometriosis and tampons were exacerbating the pain. With the cup I had much less pain and much less hassle and would often forget that it was in. Why are cups not more widely known and discussed? They can’t be bought in supermarkets either which affects their normalisation. They are the best once you get used to them but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend them to a girl or young women who hasn’t had kids or isn’t that acquainted with their anatomy cause the first time can be a little confronting!

    • k says...

      They’re in supermarkets in Seattle…

  58. Emmie Mai says...

    Yes! I took the plunge with a Lena cup about a year ago, and I am never looking back. It took me a few cycles to get the hang of it. My #1 tip is that if you feel a little discomfort when trying to insert it, try lube. I usually need a little after I’ve showered. Just put a little in your vagina, and it slides right in, no discomfort.

  59. Amy C says...

    Totally went and bought a Diva Cup after reading this today! Luckily I was able to try it right away. You always manage to find just the right topics to write about! Feel like this one will be a game changer because tampons are so uncomfortable for me. Thanks!

  60. Kara says...

    Yessss!!! i tried one after giving birth to my son when i found tampons to be even more uncomfortable than before – wish i would have given it a go a long time ago though! seriously the best. i recommend one to everyone now when period discussions come up! total game changer.

  61. Josefina says...

    I would like to point out that women with IUDs should be really careful with menstrual cups, as the can tilt a bit their uterine position, causing misplacement of IUD.
    Been there… :(

    • Claire says...

      Just want to chime in and say this is extraordinarily rare and has more to do with variations in anatomy than anything inherent to the IUD-menstrual cup pairing. Anecdotally, I have been using both for several years now, as have a few close friends, and none of us have experienced this problem. I checked with my OB/GYN when getting an IUD and she said statistically there’s no more risk of dislodging an IUD with a cup than any other normal activity (sex, tampon use, etc). I don’t want to discount your experience at all—that must have been awful!—just to assuage any fears for women who may be curious about one of these options.

  62. Just wanted to say congrats on not hiding your tampon on the way to the loo. #NormalizeMenstruation!

  63. Nicole says...

    Yes yes yes! I do! After we were done having kids (and done breastfeeding) I was so upset about getting my period back. But once I started using a menstrual cup it became so much easier and just like you, I forgot about my period!

  64. Eva says...

    My first thought was IT LOOKS SO BIG AND HOW DO YOU GET IT IN?? Hahaha I dunno, I bought Thinx underwear a couple years ago and haven’t looked back. I appreciate a product that doesn’t require you to put anything inside (granted, I’d take tampons over pads any day). Never had a leak problem, so I’m a happy camper. Though, I’ll admit, the downside is that it’s not exactly travel convenient (I mean, when visiting in-laws, or camping…), but nowadays a box of tampons lasts me 4-5 months.

    Maybe someday, but I’m good for now :D

    • Becky says...

      Yes to Thinx underwear! I am so tired of shoving things up there. No discomfort at all with Thinx.

    • Laura says...

      Agreed, I’m so glad I found period underwear!

  65. Samantha says...

    I started using a Diva Cup probably a year ago and it has changed my life. I was never able to use tampons because they were uncomfortable and leaked so I had to wear pads and I was painfully aware of my period at all times. Like you said, I now forget that I’m even on my period! I was even able to go swimming on my period for the first time in my life since I started using it. It’s amazing!

  66. Rachel says...

    Started using one years ago (4 maybe 5?) had my first baby in April still waiting for my period but will def use Diva cup again! Also it drastically helps with cramps. Game changer

  67. Jen says...

    Wirecutter did an epic review of menstrual cups: https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-menstrual-cup/

    I had a Luna cup, which wasn’t working for me as I’m *ahem* short and have prolapse after delivering kiddo…but there’s so many options I’m excited to try again!

    • Jo says...

      I used to love my diva up pre kids, but I also struggle with prolapse and can’t imagine it fitting properly (even though my prolapse is not terrible). Has anyone on here used one successfully with a prolapse?

    • Katha says...

      Try again!
      I do have a short one (Me Luna „shorty“) for mums with this problem.
      It works for me. Maybe because it is smaller I change it a little more often during the heavier days. But it’s great.

  68. Jesse says...

    I used a Diva cup for one cycle and I found it stressful. It never felt comfortable and I found the emptying process messy. I can’t imagine if I had to do that in a public bathroom? I’d like to find a tampon alternative though. Thinx are ok for light days, or heavy day back up (which is what I only use them for really). Any recommendation for a different cup? I’m petit and have had two vaginal births.

  69. Aurelie says...

    Back in 2000 I was doing an unpaid college internship at a fabulous org called the National Womens Health Network in D.C. it was an incredible, formative experience that has shaped every life decision since. Through meeting other budding feminists and some OG feminists I learned about the Keeper, a menstrual cup that predated the Diva cup. I immediately ordered it and started using it. 18 years later I’m still waving the menstrual cup flag. I loved and still love that it is a portal for many women to better understand their bodies. I am now a women’s health doctor. I can honestly say the menstrual cup played an integral role in my career choice.

    • Dalia says...

      I used a keeper also about 18-17 years ago and did it for about 4 years. Then I moved to Australia and my keeper got all cranes and I needed a new one but there wasn’t anything on the market there at that time. I am definitely going to try the cup again!

  70. Elise says...

    I LOVE the Diva cup. I tried it 5 years ago and never looked back. Here’s my two cents if anyone cares:

    1. I read someone felt weird about boiling it to sanitize between cycles. Some people might feel like it really needs to be sterilized, and I had the same thought at first, until I found out that REGULAR PADS AND TAMPONS ARE NOT STERILE. Not to mention the cotton fibers leave a lot more room for bad bacteria to grow. What I took from that was, unless you have a sensitive microbiome down there, perfectly sterile probably isn’t necessary. To clean mine before I store it between periods, I use baking soda to gently scrub it all over, rinse, and then soak in a 50/50 solution of water and hydrogen peroxide (which also keeps it from staining).
    2. Cotton products will absorb any moisture, blood or not, so when your period is light, tampons can be over-drying. I found that my cramps lessened significantly with the cup, which I read was because it wasn’t essentially dehydrating my vaginal muscles.
    3. I learned so much about my body by using it! Like where my cervix is? I had no reason to know that before. I’ve talked about it with all of my girlfriends and we’ve all agreed that it made us more confident in what we know about our own anatomies.

  71. Jaime says...

    This has prob been mentioned in the 400+ comments, but you might amend the post to recommend choosing a size based on your flow, not your age or baby resume. The Lena website recommends this as well. I’m 32 & have had two babies & use a small size Lena—no problems! Yay menstrual cups!

    • Jessica says...

      The Diva Cup specifically says to choose based on age and baby carrying, which is why the post mentions it. Nice to know that other cups don’t use the same sizing strategy! =)

  72. AJ says...

    Does anyone successfully use them who has VERY heavy periods? And I mean very heavy. I can leak through a super-super-plus tampon in an hour or two on a bad day and always have to double up tampons and pads (btw yes I have seen doctors and do sometimes take medication to help reduce my flow/clots but it’s still a chore getting through a period). I reckon some of the blood clots I pass would fill that cup in one go. I love the idea of switching to reduce tampon use but the idea of it working out just seems so unlikely and highly faffy and stressful. I guess I could use a pad at the same time to test it out. Anyone who has extremely heavy periods tried it who could share some thoughts? Thanks x

    • Liz says...

      Yes and I would sometimes change mine every six hours just to be safe

    • Jen says...

      I had VERY wavy periods and using the cup helped me discover this – I was literally bleeding in a day what I should have been bleeding in a cycle (I have had 3 babes + 1 second trimester miscarriage). It would fill up and leak everywhere and was a total mess (most hold 2 T blood). However, because I started tracking HOW much I was bleeding it gave me insight to the fact I needed to do something about it! Last October, I had an endometrial ablation and polypectomy. Now, my periods are MUCH lighter and manageable! Cup works again, although I actually prefer the regular O.B. Tampons?

    • katie jack says...

      I have very heavy periods and still love the diva cup. On my worst days I do use a pad as back up and make sure to empty the cup often. It does sometimes leak but I think that is actually overflow rather than a poor seal. Emptying can get messy but I still wouldn’t go back to tampons. My bleeding can often last for two weeks, so I can’t imagine the number of tampons I would be going through!
      Another benefit is that because my period is irregular, whenever I travel I take the cup with me and never need to worry about having tampons, or enough!

    • Alana says...

      Hey! I have heavy periods similar to what you are describing for the first few days of my cycle. I tend to use super+ tampons during those days and diva cup after those days. My period seems to be too heavy for the diva cup.

    • Elaine says...

      Hi AJ, I have very heavy periods with clotting as well and I recently made the switch from tampons and pads to the Luna cup. I use the larger size cup and I have had to empty it every 2-3 hours when my flow is at its heaviest, not necessarily from necessity, mostly paranoia. I am able to leave it in longer (like long enough to go pee a couple of times and not have to mess with it), and it’s fine. Tampons are really uncomfortable for me because a soaked super plus tampon gets heavy. I was afraid that the cup would get heavy but because it suctions into place, it cannot get pushed out and it doesn’t feel heavy or like it’s pulling. I have been able to use it overnight, once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to empty and replace when you’re half asleep. I use a baby wipe to clean it out if I’m in a public bathroom, you really just need to be sure the holes in it are clear so that it can suction correctly. Overall, it is a much cleaner option and a lot of the discomfort of having a really heavy period is gone. I wasn’t sure how or if it was going to work out, but I was genuinely dreading my period every month and I had to try something. Give yourself plenty of time to get used to it and buy a nail brush. Wish I would’ve tried it years ago.

    • JM says...

      Yes, super heavy flow here – in my experience, the menstrual cup is So. Much. Better. It holds far more than even the largest tampon. I definitely have to empty it more frequently than every 12 hours on heavy days (and yes, I have also filled the cup with a single clot). It’s still a significant improvement. I also use cloth pads as a backup, but generally have few issues with leaking compared to tampons. I hope you find a cup that’s a good fit for you!

    • Kate says...

      Hey AJ – actually this is the reason I switched to the Diva Cup from tampons because my flow with my IUD is so heavy. It’s AWESOME! I worry less about leakage because the cup is kind of holding everything in, but definitely have to change it more frequently. On my heaviest days I have to change it every four hours instead of every 12. When the cup gets full it can slide a bit and you might leak. I always wear pantyliners with mine (but I really want some Thinx!) With tampons I bled through all the time and got so so frustrated. So even if I have to change it a bit more frequently it’s still so much more freeing. Here’s a public bathroom tip too – before you go in the stall, grab some extra paper towels and get one wet. That way you can wipe off the outside or inside if needed before you reinsert. It’s not ideal but sometimes public bathrooms aren’t avoidable! Do try to find a family bathroom though that has a loo and a sink – those are golden. Good luck!!!

    • isavoyage says...

      Hi AJ, same here. I use a cup (took a while to find the right cup, what works for me is a very flexible cup) and Thinx underwear. So so much more confortable than the tampon+pad combo! It works well for me because my work is home-based = it’s easy for me to go empty my cup every 2-3 hours, if not more (hello clots…).

    • Sasha L says...

      AJ, overflowing my cup in an hour was one of the things that finally got me to my doctor. Surprise! I was very anemic. I was having terrible pain and emotional symptoms related to my periods as well. Before that, my cup was always fine for heavy days, but those weren’t even close to what I began to experience. I started suppressing my periods (@ age 40, it’s been five years now) and this works great for me, so no more need for cup, but I did love it much more than tampons prior to my uterus turning into Niagra falls.

    • AJ says...

      Thanks so much for all these replies! This is so helpful and actually feeling confident to give this a go now too. I’m hoping even just managing with the cup some of the time will be a good thing! Cheers guys x

    • sally says...

      Ive never used one but wanted to mention it sounds like you may have endometriosis like me. i struggled with heavy heavy periods with clots for years and years (through super tampons in an hour or less for first few days of period — chained to toilets, no sleep!!) and then accidentally found i have an endometrioma via MRI which usually means advanced endo. Suddenly, the way i had been feeling during my period for so long made sense. I take BC now and the flow is much better – life alteringly so! – but it has caused other side effects that are not so desirable too. Anyway, you are not alone. The cup probably would be great for you

  73. Clare says...

    I’ve never used one but I’m curious. I’m also kinda squeamish and nervous. How does one store it in between periods?

    • Liz says...

      In an attractive silk baggy!

    • Amy says...

      My Mooncup came in a little cotton drawstring bag that I just keep in my handbag so I always have it with me.

      I just wash it with soap and warm water when my period finishes and chuck it in then.

    • shannon says...

      It comes with a cute drawstring cotton bag that allows it to have airflow when it’s not in use.

  74. Rachel Powell says...

    I haven’t tried a diva cup but in the same vein, I just switched to a diaphragm for birth control (I don’t like how hormonal BC makes me feel and don’t want an IUD) and HOLY CRAP it’s AMAZING.
    They have a bad wrap of being “your grandma’s birth control” but for a reusable, removable, non-hormonal option, it’s been great!
    I had an apt with my midwife who does well-women ob care, and she fit it for me, taught me how to use it, and checked to make sure I did it correctly. Voila! I recommend it to everyone now.

    • Lynne says...

      Completely agree! The most underrated form of birth control.

  75. Em says...

    OK, OK.. I’m slightly intrigued by the diva cup, but seriously, am I the only one who still uses pads? Like especially in the first 24 hours, aside from my workout, I’m wearing a pad. Full disclosure, after the first 24 hours, I’m pretty much done, but I remember my mom one time telling me (in her very demure roundabout way) to limit my use of tampons as much as possible since “that stuff is supposed to come out…” Thoughts?

    • Liz says...

      Have you thought about using Thinx then? I guess with cups and tampons, it does eventually ‘come out’ but instead of falling out, it is collected

    • Jaclyn says...

      I’ve used pads since day one. I only wear tampons when swimming, really. For whatever reason pads just never bothered me. I also feel weird about keeping the “stuff” inside haha. However I hate how much waste pads create. Even the little adhesive tab on most wrappers – I’m like, “why have that?? That is not necessary”. I’ve yet to find a bulk supplier of pads that are not individually wrapped.

    • Mary says...

      I do! I still use pads! Mostly because my periods are so unpredictable. But I seriously feel like the only human alive who still uses them! :)

    • Katha says...

      I use pads as well. Especially on the heavier days. Some days it just leaks, some not.

      But with tampons I had this problem as well. Even more so. And they were less comfortable and dried everything out too much. So leaking or not the cup is by far the better option for me.

  76. Abesha1 says...

    People who use Thinx, I am wondering, are you using them as backup or as primary protection? Do you rinse them before washing (sink or washing machine)? And if primary protection, what do you do about clots?
    Love the openness of this discussion! Thanks!

    • Ali says...

      I use them both ways, usually early on as back up to a tampon, then solo on light days toward the end. I hand wash in the sink before putting them in the washing machine.

    • isavoyage says...

      I use them as primary protection for lighter flow, and as backup for my cup the rest of the time (because it would not be enough and because of major clots).
      However, when i am not using a cup, i find that clots tend to naturally leave my body when i am sitting on the toilet, not in my underwear.
      I rinse my Thinx underwear before washing.

  77. Tori says...

    Yes! Have been using one for about a year and never going back. It’s all I need!

  78. Anna Rafalski says...

    I’ve been using a menstrual cup for 2 years and it has completely changed my life! Even though I have given birth twice, I needed to get the smaller size b/c I do a lot of yoga … so that’s something to consider. I actually love being able to see how much menstrual blood there is each day and pouring out a little cup of blood kind of makes me feel like I’m performing some kind of magical ritual! Lol. I recommend them to everyone I know!

  79. Roberta says...

    I use a Mooncup! I bought it on a whim one rainy Saturday (I saw it in a shop and had been thinking about the unknown chemicals that make up pads and tampons for a little while). After one or two times of using, I got the hang of it – it’s now been three years! I find I need a liner on the first day or so (when my flow is heaviest) but after that, I can forget all about it! I wear it all day and night – I once even had a cheeky shag with the bf before I realised that it was still in! Such a great invention. A rinse out with water or a wipe each day and a wash with gentle soap and water at the end of your flow – job done!

    You do need to be comfortable with being a bit more intimate with yourself (inserting/removing it, being up close and personal with your menstrual blood) – but I think this is probably no bad thing, given how women have been/still are encouraged to ignore our genitals….

  80. Bethany says...

    I started using the lady cup 2 cycles ago and have to say, living as an expat in Italy, that the cup + the bidet make so much sense together!

  81. ali says...

    I tried the Diva Cup a few years back because I liked not having to buy tampons and decreasing waste! However, I ended up switching back to tampons after using it for a couple periods. It was really interesting to see the actual amount of blood that you collect (way less than you’d imagine!) but I found inserting it, cleaning it (you should def buy a special “diva cup sterilization pot” for the stove, otherwise making pasta will never be the same), gave me anxiety. I am a sufferer of yeast infections, and I have a lot of anxiety about what I put down there, so it just wasn’t worth it. Maybe I’ll try again someday!

    BTW, anyone reading this post would love the podcast “BODIES” that just came out on NPR. The first episode the creator of the podcast talks about her experience with painful sex. They delve into untold health stories and women’s searches for answers. So good!

    • Thanks for the podcast recommendation! Subscribing to it now and can’t wait to listen!!!

    • Natalie says...

      All – thank you so much for the podcast reco!!!!

    • Christina says...

      So there are sanitizing instruments you can purchase in the baby section (for bottles and pacifiers etc). You add a little water and put it in the microwave and it steams it. If you don’t want to buy a contraption you can get steam bags and each bag should hold up for about a 100 steams.

    • Jo says...

      I was actually surprised to read jo mention soap twice, because I thought that was a big no-no! I bought a cup years ago, used soap to wash it, and got my first ever yeast infection and OMG it was awful!!! I swore off the cup but eventually did try again, i just kept soap faaaaaar away from it and I never had a problem again.

  82. Sarah says...

    I tried the cup for several months and decided in the end that I liked tampons a whole lot better. I always found that it hurt when I pulled it out (I’ve had a baby vaginally so I got the one made for that). I tried the smaller one but then it leaked and it still hurt coming out. I also have an aversion to seeing blood and no matter how hard I tried, I always got a lot of blood on my fingers when taking it out. Oh well, most people seam to love them! I use natural tampons now— Lola and Cora are two great brands.

    • Hannah says...

      The same happened to me: it hurt too much when pulling the cup out and leaked worse than tampons.

  83. Elga says...

    So glad you finally joined us! I’ve seen so many of your tampon-related posts and thought: omg when is she going to find the light hahaha

  84. Amanda says...

    This is very interesting and my first reaction is, is it safe? Tampons have their issues but they still seem much more natural (esp the organic cotton option) to me then having a synthetic polymer in your body for long periods (oh Pun! :-)) of time. I’m curious to know if we have any chemist readers who have some insight. Although considered safe in the kitchen Silicon still seems to be a relatively new product lacking in research.

  85. Jordan says...

    Oh yeah. Been using one for over a year, it’s AMAZING

  86. Lilia says...

    IUD all the way. Had one (Mirena) put in after my second child and have never looked back. No more periods (it took a few months for spotting to end entirely), no horrible PMS symptoms. It has been life-changing. And, of course, they are highly effective as birth control.

    • gee says...

      I’m the opposite on Mirena. Though very awesome (I like to call it “set it and forget it” birth control), mine fell out twice. Once unbeknownst to me that it fell out and subsequently led to a surprise pregnancy, and another just this year. Came out after I took out a tampon. My body is freaky a bit–I’m that .0001% of women population of women with the side effects that’s always mentioned in commercials, LOL. I do agree that it did make my periods less harsh.

  87. Anna says...

    Somewhat related to the mention of anatomy & the different sizes whether you’ve had kids…have you done pelvic floor physical therapy? I’d love to see a post on this! I have 2 kids (ages 6&8 – both vaginal births delivered in the US) and had never even heard of this until I moved to Germany nearly two years ago. It is common practice here for women to have pelvic floor pt after giving birth to restore the muscles which prevents stuff like peeing on yourself when you sneeze.

    • Alison says...

      Anna-

      Yes to a post about pelvic floor PT! I literally *just* came from my wonderful pelvic floor physical therapist of 5 years. I have Interstitial Cystitis (IC) as well as pelvic floor disorder and pelvic floor PT has SAVED. MY. LIFE. I’m not even exaggerating. I am a huge advocate as it can help with MANY female (and male) issues “down there”.

    • Daisy says...

      I recently had pelvic floor PT recommended by an urologist for my urine leak issues. I had never heard of pelvic floor PT before. I was convinced that I would need surgery to control my leak. The PT helped in my case, I was told that I am having only minor leaks. The PT was a combination of Jorge’s, posture correction and some helpful tips. A lot of women I saw there were coming in after radiation therapy to pelvic floor or after hysterectomy etc.

    • Rachel says...

      Ditto on PT! I had abdominal separation after my son was born and my PT was a total life-saver. I didn’t have pelvic floor issues, but she said they’re common up to a year after giving birth so I’m happy to have the information and be on the lookout still!

    • Jo says...

      Ditto!! This needs to be mentioned, and if you do discuss it, do it in depth and include HYPOPRESSIVES!! They are life changing pelvic floor therapy. Trista Zinn is my amazing trainer, she’s done lots of press.

    • isavoyage says...

      How interesting! Is pelvic floor physical therapy not something all women do after giving birth in the US? In France, you get a prescription for pelvic floor physical therapy (and for the contraceptive solution you want too) when you leave the maternity ward, to be started app 3 months after you have given birth. The therapy is free and can be done at your midwife’s (or any physiotherapist). Your baby is welcome during this sessions. Most woman also get a prescription for abdominal physical (free as well).

    • Anna says...

      Isavoysge – That seems to be the process in Germany as well. I’m about to start pt due to a bladder prolapse – an experience that really freaked me out and could have probably been prevented (or at least lessened the severity) if I had done therapy immediately following each birth. I feel like this lack of knowledge is such a disservice to mothers in the US. I doubt most insurance plans would cover it, but if someone had explained to me what it was & that my insides would fall out at the age of 35, I most likely would have pursued it!

  88. I love love LOVE mine! Many years ago my “hippy cousin” was trying to turn me onto them, and I was a tad weirded out… but then back in 2011 I finished uni and was moving into my van to live (post-student life!) and all the positive sides of having a Mooncup suddenly showed up, in flashing lights. Cheaper in the long run, environmentally friendly (having no rubbish to deal with in a van is great), plus like you said ~ I could just forget about it for however long! I’ve even forgotten about it for a couple of days near the end of my cycle… no bad outcome. Hurrah!
    Sure there are times when it does get somewhat lodged (doing squats and kegels in the shower helps… and patience), but there are other times when having it is a TOTAL BONUS.
    I was recently roadtripping in northern Scotland, middle of nowhere… suddenly noticed I was going to overflow (you can feel it..!). Thankfully, there was a rock to squat behind to empty. Simple!

  89. gee says...

    I have a Diva Cup, the large version since I had my first child last year. I got so fed up with tampons and pads and tried them on a friend’s recommendation. Thought I love not littering landfills with my pads and tampons, I have two issues that I’d like to put to the CoJ group: 1) has anyone had yeast infections from them? I seem to get them, and am trying on my period this month to just sanitize them with boiling water and no diva cup-specific wash I got from Amazon. We’ll see. 2) do any of you users–especially the moms who wear the large version–find that these slip downward when walking? I’ve cut the tip to make it fit better and so it’s not scraping against me, but the walking bit it giving me problems. I find it happens when the cup isn’t very full.

    Can I just say–I’m so glad for this site and for this topic? It couldn’t be any more timely!

    • Hello! As someone with a very sensitive vaginal flora, here’s what I do: At the beginning of my period, I boil the cup for 25 minutes, then let it cool down a bit, rinse it with water and insert. During my period, when I take the cup out to empty it, I simply rinse it with lukewarm water and then put it back. At the end of my cycle, which usually lasts 5 days, I wash it with Dr. Bronner’s unscented baby castile soap and then boil it for 25 minutes. I put it back in it’s fabric bag and put it away in my pharmacy.

    • Sarah says...

      I had to stop using my menstrual cup because I got a BV infection after using it. Had to see a my gyn and pay like $150 because it hadn’t been a year since my last exam yet.

      I’ve never had any kind of infection down there, and I even used gratuitous rubbing alcohol to sanitize it as instructed on the package. I’d rather save the environment in basically any other way than this… :(

    • Gee says...

      Thanks Gabriela!!

    • shannon says...

      Try a different folding method for insertion…it sounds like it may not be positioned quite right or opening up all the way. There are lots of folks options other than the one on the directions…just google for ideas :) You also try a smaller size if your flow is not filling the whole cup. I had similar issues with diva and ended up switching to Lena cup which has a firmer silicone and stays in place better for me. Keep trying…it’s worth it to find your just right fit!

    • Sally says...

      I also got an yeast infection (first in many years) after I started wearing it, and that turned me off a bit. I was boiling it before using it and washing with soap in between. My periods are heavy, so I never felt comfortable wearing it without a pad..so I ended up giving up the cup. Will try again soon.

  90. Ashley says...

    I am ALSO 100% convinced!! I’ve been using one for about 5 years now, and cannot even imagine going back. I really love how in tune I’ve become with my period now, and the only accident I ever had was on my heaviest day….during Pilates….when we had our feet in the air & were crunching the lower abs. So now I just don’t do Pilates on Day2…#ohdarn
    I get a new one every year or so, because the $35 is still cheaper than a year of tampons. And I’ve converted basically every woman in my life to one (and it’s a lot of women!). So glad you tried it and liked it!! I hope more women get on board with it, it was SUCH a game-changer for me!!

  91. DG says...

    Glad you like it, Joanna! I could go on for hours about how amazing it is… no wet string when you pee, always carrying your supplies with you so no need to think too hard about it, super comfortable once you figure it out. There *will* be a snafu during the learning curve where you mess up somehow and make a mess, but it will only happen once! Still worth it.

  92. gfy says...

    It feels like one of the easiest essential changes I can make to protect the environment to use a Diva cup and I encourage everyone to at least try it for one week. When you do simple math to project the amount of waste generated by women when this alternative exists? It is the obvious choice for those who can take that option.

    First time having sex? Age 20…by choice. I somehow knew I would fall hard for whomever I chose first and wanted to prolong that heartbreak. But the primary reason was because I wanted to cherish my childhood and enjoy being free of the nightmare of worrying about pregnancy before I was ready. I was lucky enough to get several years of sex ed in my school – complete with abortion videos and etc and it made me wise enough to protect my sexuality until I was a real grown up. I am so happy I was conscious enough to do this. Thanks middle school Sex Ed classes!

  93. Amy says...

    I wanted to like a Diva Cup so much, but I tried and tried and just couldn’t figure out how to get that darn thing in without it feeling so uncomfortable. I gave it a few days of anxiety-producing bathroom visits and then went directly back to tampons. I have such guilt about all the tampon waste, but the cup just didn’t work for me.

    • KIRSTY says...

      Don’t feel guilty about needing to use tampons! Periods are enough of a pain without being made to feel guilty about how you deal with them. It’s like breastfeeding/formula – great if you can do it and it suits you, but it won’t work for everyone and there shouldn’t be shame in needing an alternative.

    • Elga says...

      Don’t feel guilty! But you can also try switching brands. I started using a Organicup and had it much easier when I changed to a Lunette. Something about the balance of softness/hardness of the material made it easier to unfold properly and protected me much better.

  94. Anna B. says...

    I liked it … until it got stuck!!! I’ve been too terrified to put it back in since.

  95. this post made me… guess what…

    BUY ONE! yay! have never counted down to my period so much without a pregnancy scare or hope! ha!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha curious to hear what you think! xoxo

    • Alissa M says...

      Me too! I just ordered a Lena and I can’t wait for it to come.

      I try anything I see recommended on Cup of Jo that has even vague relevance to my life. :-)

  96. Hannah says...

    I tried a menstrual cup, and unfortunately it did not work for me. It leaked constantly, was difficult to insert and remove, and the entire thing became an anxiety inducing hassle. Super bummed, because I like the idea of creating less waste.

    • Bethanne says...

      I was having the same problem for months! I was about to toss it when my sister suggested that I wasn’t putting it in far enough, so my vaginal muscles were not allowing it to properly seal. I double check to make sure it is sealed by running my finger along the rim (if you feel an indentation in the cup, it’s not sealed.) Hope that helps!

    • Hannah says...

      I tried that, but couldn’t get the cup to go up any higher, and I can’t waste any more money trying to find a different brand that might work better, but thanks all the same.

  97. Kristen says...

    I have been using one for years! I made the switch and never looked back. I can’t believe I went the first 15 years of my period using pads and tampons.

  98. Jess says...

    I have VERY heavy periods (I have to use ‘Ultra’-sized tampons and change them every three hours or so during the first couple days of my period), so I’m a little skittish about trying the Diva cup. My office bathroom also has stalls with communal sinks, and I’d rather not have to rinse it out within view of my colleagues. Has anyone with a similarly heavy flow tried it?

    • Jen says...

      I have this problem too, at least for the first two days of my period. A cup is honestly wayyy better for heavy periods than tampons, which I previously would soak through in an hour tops. I’m usually changing my cup every 2-3 hours on that first day, and I’ll either wear thinx/period-proof underwear or a pad to protect from leaks (which usually only happen if you don’t get a good “seal” when inserting the cup… sometimes this is harder to do when you’re flowing pretty steadily, I’ve noticed. But I’m getting better at it- you just have to twist the cup and tug after it’s in.). And when I’m in a communal bathroom, I just wipe it off with tp and reinsert while in the stall, then wash my hands off. I remember reading on the diva cup website somewhere that this is fine to do as long as you are washing it at the end of the day.

    • Myra says...

      Yes. Granted on the first day I have to empty it at least every five hours but interestingly enough my periods have become less heavy since I started using it. Or at least seem less heavy and I know of two friends who have the same experience. I would give it a try for sure! Have been using a cup for six years now and it has seriously changed the way I experience my flow.

    • Jr says...

      I have a heavy flow and love the diva cup! I always keep a liner on during my week because I find what the diva cup doesn’t seal off leaks down. I have a heavy flow – the first few days am emptying 7.5ml every 2-4 daytime hrs. I used to go through a heavy tampon an hr on my first two days. For communal bathroom logistics: I empty it and stick it right back in. Sometimes I’ll wipe with tp, but get concerned about the sanitariness of that. I do thoroughly wash my hands before and after. I have rushed out to rinse it with water when the washroom was empty but usually just empty and reinsert. Have really enjoyed how it uncomplicates that week and I’m not spending bank on tampons anymore!! I can even go on longer hikes now!!

      Otherwise I initially had issues taking it out. Watched a YouTube video where the woman used a champagne glass to illustrate the different methods + tips (use your canal muscles to help move it up/down) and haven’t had issues since!
      It’s been a game changer for this heavy flow lady! Worth a try!

    • Kate says...

      When I’ve had to use public restrooms, I just dump it out and put it back in – you don’t HAVE to rinse it every single time. I also keep some Always wipes handy and take one with me if I think I might have to mess with my cup so I can wipe my fingers off before leaving the stall, but I don’t think it’s much messier than using tampons!

    • liz f says...

      YEEEEEEES. ME! I have always had very heavy periods so when I was in college (over 13 years ago) I tried the Moon Cup (same as Diva) and it changed everything. I would leaked through every tampon but I have never leaked with the Moon Cup. I have recommended this to other friends with heavy flows. I tried a Diva Cup before but overall liked the Moon Cup better for myself bc it was more firm (thicker? less flimsy?) so it sprang out and stayed fully open for me.
      Try it sometime when you are home and see how often you have to change it. I take a bottle of water into the stall with me to rinse if I absolutely have to do it in public. I hope this helps!

    • Sasha L says...

      I overflowed my cup and it was very difficult to get a good seal when my periods were super heavy, also soaking Ultras in no time flat. I ultimately went on oral birth control to suppress my period, much healthier and happier for me (I became anemic from the heavy bleeding).

    • Jane says...

      Hey Jess,

      It could be worse, on my particularly heavy periods, I change my ultra size every 20 to 30 minutes. I actually tried my menstrual cup during one of these cycles, and it happened to be on Christmas (thanks, ovaries) so I had the day off. I went to my aunt’s Christmas party and, though I washed my hands diligently every time I changed it there (4-5 times), I ended up getting nasty BV infection, my first one, too.

      I personally would never, ever try it at work because my workplace is not very clean, and having to go to the bathroom at least every hour to change a tampon is already a big enough pain.

  99. Leslie says...

    I have never even heard of this – will have to check it out. Anything that saves me $ it’s worth a try. THANKS!!!

  100. Another great alternative is Thinx underwear. You basically bleed and the underwear absorbs the blood. No, it doesn’t feel wet! And it’s really liberating to freely bleed!

  101. Lulu says...

    Glad you’re on the wagon with us. I switched to a cup at 17 or 18 because, as you mentioned, the “logistics” of tampons and pads always got on my nerves. It was a lifesaver at the first Bonnaroo, and a multitude of camping adventures, let me tell ya. The cup simplifies what can be a bummer monthly process and that crossed off the ever -growing list of things a gal has to do/deal/think about at all times can make way for wonderful changes.

  102. Esvee says...

    I had to stop using tampons when my period came back after the birth of my very large child – they would actually slide out :/

    I’ve been using a large Diva cup for about a year now, but almost always with a pad because it doesn’t fit that well (it kind of sticks out)… It sounds like I should take that quiz mentioned and find a cup that actually fits!

    I love not having tampons in my life though, I never liked how absorbent they are – poor vaginas getting all dried out!

    • Rebecca says...

      I have this problem too, where it feels too long. I turn it inside out and it’s perfect. Also helps to make sure it’s suctioned around your actual cervix, and not just in your vagina.
      😌

    • Celeste says...

      Try the Luna cup. I had the same problem with the dubs cup but not with the Luna cup. It’s been much more comfortable for me.

  103. Anna says...

    Thank you for this article! I stumbled over the Diva Cup last week and thought that I really should give it a try! After to vaginal deliveries of not-a-tiny-smoker-baby as my OB said including BIG heads (plus a raised arm with No 1 – supergirl pose, I guess) I can’t bear tampons (hurts) and dislike pads – so I’ll give it a shot as soon as I get the chance – currently pregnant with my third, so obviously categorie 2 :)

  104. Abbie says...

    Or maybe get an IUD if you’re still in the market for LARC! I got mine inserted at my 6 week postpartum appointment and have just one super light period in the last 13 months. I know this isn’t the case for everyone (and many women may have heavier/worse periods for years compared to hormonal BC) but I don’t miss periods AT ALL!

  105. Kate says...

    I started using a menstrual cup in 2009 (I was in college) and haven’t looked back! I keep tampons around JUST IN CASE (like if my period starts early and I don’t have my diva cup) but basically I am fully adjusted to menstrual cup life. I can’t imagine one lasting 10 years though! They get kind of gross after about 2 years in my experience. And they start to have trouble “suctioning” (gross, I know), so when it starts to leak a bit, that’s when I know it’s time to replace. When I first started, there weren’t that many brands on the market, and now there are so many to choose from. My first 3 were diva cups and now I have a lena. I think I will try another brand next time, as I have trouble with the lena creeping too far in and I have trouble removing it. Eeek! But besides a few minor mishaps, I love how clean the whole process is, that I’m not having to deal with trash or work day tampon changing, and I feel like I’m doing something good for the environment!

  106. Paola says...

    It is the best invention since the wheel… Seriously. I am from Mexico and for some time I imported it and sold it in here… a lot of people are still incredulous or disgusted… but little by little we have been able to change their perspective. I love it since I learned about it in Vancouver in 2004. I have used only 2 of them since then. I hope everybody uses it and stop generating so much garbage. Diva Cup rules!

  107. Jenny says...

    I’ve been using the Diva cup for over 10 years and I love it. I run with it, sleep with it- no leaks. And no period trash, which is the worst. So glad you tried and liked it!!!

  108. This is the first time I have heard of a menstrual cup. Its good to know there are other options out there.

  109. Sarah says...

    People should also try out the Keela Cup!

    Its brand new and much more user friendly design!

    https://keelacup.com/

  110. Molly says...

    If you want to know about your body and your fertility, I highly recommend the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility. When I learned about how cervical mucus works and how I can know when I’m fertile just by observing my body I really couldn’t believe how much I wasn’t told about my body growing up. I now use an NFP method (natural family planning, specifically I use the Marquette Method) for birth control and it is so empowering.

    • Abbie says...

      YES! This book changed everything about how I observed my body, even before I was trying to get pregnant. It should be required reading for everyone with a uterus.

  111. Shannon says...

    The Diva Cup was a GAME CHANGER for me nearly a decade ago. I have two young girls. Last year when I was drafting a will I decided also to write them a letter in case I were to pass away unexpectedly (morbid, right?). Anyways, in that letter, right next to recommendations of my favorite books and movies, I devoted an entire section to how wonderful menstrual cups are because I’m terrified no one would tell them. Thanks for getting the word out!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, that is amazing. also, you sound like a wonderful mother.

  112. Rachel says...

    I think it’s wonderful that the Diva cup (or related brands) work wonderfully for so many people, yay reducing waste!

    However… I am going to be one of the dissenting voices here and say that unfortunately, there are a lot of women a menstrual cup won’t work for. And it’s important to not shame or criticize women who fall in that camp (and Joanna, just to be clear, you weren’t doing that at all! It’s more the fact that what inspired you to try it was multiple people messaging you unsolicited to say “…Why are you not using a menstrual cup???”) That kind of borderline-evangelical promotion of the menstrual cup in many circles, especially lefty feminist circles (a circle that I am a proud member of) leaves those of us who can’t use them feeling shamed for using disposable products. (Again, Joanna, you did not say anything shaming at all, this post just reminded me of the mountains of judgement I’ve seen thrown at women who don’t use menstrual cups lately).

    While many women with tipped/retroverted uteruses can use menstrual cups (it all depends on the direction/degree it is tipped), they are at an elevated risk of getting their menstrual cup stuck behind their pubic bone. I really wish the people singing the praises of the menstrual cup had mentioned that when I first tried it, so I wouldn’t have had to make a medical appointment to have it extracted. When my doctor was removing it, she told me that it makes her furious that warnings about the risks of menstrual cups for tipped uteruses aren’t listed on the packaging, because she said she sees at least one person a month for menstrual cup removal, all of whom have it stuck behind their pubic bone due to the unusual placement of their uterus.

    The cup also doesn’t have the capacity to handle a heavy flow, so if you’re going to use it and you have a heavy period, you will have to be comfortable changing a VERY full menstrual cup in public washrooms. 12 hours is the time you can go without changing it for light flow, but for me, mine was full to the point of overflowing and leaking everywhere in just under 2 hours on the heaviest days. And removing a full-to-overflowing menstrual cup without spilling it everywhere is almost impossible.

    People with conditions like endometriosis, adenomyosis, and fibroids may find the cup very painful. It made my cramps exponentially worse, to the point that I was curled up in a ball on the floor.

    It’s also not a very accessible tool for period-having folks with disabilities, who often can’t contort themselves into the necessary positions to get it in and out, and don’t have the fine motor control to insert it.

    So to reiterate – the menstrual cup can be an absolutely wonderful tool, especially for people with fairly light/moderate periods, no reproductive system disorders, no physical disabilities, and a non-retroverted uterus (and sometimes it’s a wonderful tool for people who do fall into those categories as well!) but this is just a gentle reminder to some of the more evangelical advocates of the menstrual cup out there that there is a lengthy list of very valid reasons why people don’t use menstrual cups, and while it’s totally okay to ask people if they’re familiar with them and offer them more info if they’re interested, it’s a lot less okay to make statements like “why aren’t you using a menstrual cup?” (not your business), or “everyone should be using menstrual cups, there’s no excuse for still using disposable products!” (something I hear all the time).

    *Steps off soapbox*

    • Emilia says...

      Thank you for this. I tried a menstrual cup and could NOT make it work well for me at all–removal was so hard, and placement difficult–but sure enough, I have a retroverted uterus. The struggle was just not worth it.

      However, I am going to try Thinx!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      great great points, rachel. thank you so much.

    • Erin says...

      I have a tipped uterus and have never been able to use one. The angle just ends up being annoying, with the stem digging into my vaginal wall, and the cervix seal not staying sealed, which results in leaking and my vagina eventually expelling the cup, LOL.
      I think cups are wonderful for those who they work for, though!

    • Jenna says...

      Thanks so much for this comment Rachel, great information to know for someone who has not tried the cup before. I always find it reassuring to hear the message that, yes, this is something that might work for you, but maybe not, and either way THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU. I feel like every product sold should come with that statement! And I also need to remember to pass that message on to others, especially when it is a product I am a superfan of myself ;) Have a great day!

    • Court says...

      I also want to thank you for saying this. I am thrilled that menstrual cups work for so many people, that there are so many choices in cup styles, and that it frees women in so many ways. But I cannot stand when people continue to suggest that “you just have to learn how to use it” if a menstrual cup is not working for you. I don’t want to dissuade people from being persistent in learning to use one because I know there can be a huge learning curve, but also, cups could just not work for many people. I’ve tried 3 different brands, I’ve read everrrything I could get my hands on about styles, insertion techniques, etc. and I still cannot use it—high cervix, severe cramping, anxiety about dirty public restrooms even when not on my period. After spending too much money on different cups, I’ve given up. I use (organic) tampons and period underwear and have absolutely no problem with these.

    • Katy says...

      Thank you! I’ve been seeing more and more posts about cups and starting to feel really bad about the environmental aspects of using pads, but I have quite a few issues with my period and anatomy that would make it very difficult. I’m so glad it’s an option for people but also going to try not feel bad that it’s not the option for me.

    • Elle says...

      Thank you! I agree 100% with everything you said. I had a horrible experience, similar to what you described (I wonder if I have a tilted uterus… didn’t even know that was a thing!): super hard to get it in, then it didn’t fit, and when I tried to remove it, I swear to god it was auctioning the shit out of me. It was so hard to remove and super painful. I’m glad they work well for so many people, but I always cringe a little when my friends (especially males, ugh) tell me how un-environmentally friendly I’m being by using tampons. Eye roll.

    • Sasha L says...

      Well said Rachel! If it works for you, awesome. Everyone is different and there is not one solution that fits all.

    • Emma says...

      So glad to hear this perspective–especially about tipped uteruses! It hadn’t really occurred to me that that might be an issue, but I’ve been hesitant to jump on the menstrual cup train anyway. During my last period I not only bled through every single pair of pants/shorts I wore (even on top of Dear Kate underwear), but also WOKE UP to change my super ultra tampons (I don’t even wake up to pee in the middle of the night normally). So demoralizing. Sometimes I’m changing the biggest tampons available every 2-3 hours. I’ve also been diagnosed with vaginismus and just generally don’t feel confident about the *ins and outs* of menstrual cups.

      Beyond all that, I work outside and often have really dirty hands and limited bathroom facilities. I also play on a baseball team and sometimes have 8+ hour practices with just a port-a-potty or the woods available. Tampons aren’t the perfect solution but actually being able to wash something out in those situations just isn’t going to happen, and it seems likely that I would need to empty it (I can’t imagine going 6+ hours, let alone 12, given that I can’t even go 6 hours in a regular tampon usually).

      Here’s what I’m looking for: plastic-free organic non-applicator tampons! I know about Lola, and have sometimes used their tampon subscription. I normally use OB brand tampons, so the only improvement upon them is that they use organic cotton. That’s a big deal but I would like to see even less packaging waste.

      Definitely happy there are more options out there for me than my mother, though. She (unlike me) always had an extremely regular period, but she got hers when she was 9 and describes wearing a BELT with cloth pads somehow suspended from it… oy vey. I am 26 btw so this is not very long ago.

    • Thank you SO much for this comment. I have not been able to figure out why the cup is so painful for me. I have a tipped uterus as well as, possibly, endometriosis/fibroids. You really can’t find any information on this online, so I’m thankful you posted this.

    • MCR says...

      I was just going to comment and ask if anyone with a retroverted uterus (and cervix) has had problems with them, but decided to scroll down a little further – thanks for your comment! It makes sense that it would be difficult to get a proper seal (or remove the cup) when your cervix doesn’t face straight down toward the vaginal canal. For those who are wondering, having a uterus that is tipped backward toward the spine, or retroverted, is a “normal abnormality” found in about 1 in 5 women.

  113. Allison says...

    Thanks for this review! Always wanted to try. Any runners out there run with it in? Any leaks more so than tampons?

    • Annie says...

      I’m a runner and have been using one for several years now. It works way better for me than tampons ever did! Even when I’m marathon training, when I’m running for hours at a time, that thing stays put and never leaks.

  114. Kaitlyn S says...

    I feel like I’m handling the transition into my 30’s well, but this article (and knowing I need the gigantor size Diva Cup since I’m now 30), plus the NY Times article yesterday about how women in coastal cities (you know, the two places I’ve lived – NYC and now SF) are having children later and having a harder time having children, literally brought me to tears last night talking to my husband. GETTING OLDER IS THE WORST! I still feel like I’m in my 20’s, why can’t my body keep it together?!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      your body is wonderful, kaitlyn!!!!! i had both my children in my thirties, and the vast majority of my friends did too. my best friend is 40 and having her third sweet baby this fall. and lol re the gigantor size diva cup, but i promise it’s all good and i’m sure working very well during sexy sexytimes ;) sending lots of love xoxoxoxoxoxo

  115. Beth says...

    I really want to love the Diva cup, but I don’t. My period is already pretty much a non-event. I change my tampon every 6-8 hours for 5 days. I found inserting the cup uncomfortable and the little thing at the end was too long no matter how high I tried to shove it. Not for me. Tampons work fine for me and if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

    • Hannah says...

      You can cut the stem! I cut the stem on mine and I always wet it before inserting it as it seems to help.

      If you are willing, maybe try again. Tampons are bad for your body and also the environment.

  116. Virginia says...

    YOU GUYS I am all about tampon alternatives (especially after I got a yeast infection from them), but I’ve been using one that blows menstrual cups out of the water: menstrual DISCS (https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B000X29GY6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1). They sit in the vaginal fornix instead of the canal, you can’t feel them at all, and you can have non-messy period sex with them in! Plus, they last for 12 hours, are disposable, and are the only form of internal period product that has no risk of TSS. They’ve legitimately changed my life. You can also get a subscription with The Flex Company, but the price point isn’t as good as just ordering on Amazon.

  117. Tammy says...

    I’ve been wanting to try this for the longest time and I think I’m going to finally bite the bullet and order one. Can I sleep with it in? Thanks in advance!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, you can sleep with it. xoxo

  118. Nadege says...

    to those that cupit, how great does it feel to breeze past the tampon section in the feminine hygiene aisle (among my least favorite aisle classifiers, up there with “ethnic foods”)… and to just KEEP WALKING. Dollar signs dollar signs ka-ching ka-ching money in my wallet for the past 10 years I’ve been on the cup!

  119. lillie says...

    I’ve had my Diva cup for about 3 years now and love it. You just have to be sure to break the seal when you remove it.

    I HATED that every time I needed to buy tampons, it was a day late and a pair of undies ruined. I had such a heavy flow that I had to buy the ‘ultra’ OB tampons and it hurt pretty bad to remove one near the end of my period when the flow had lightened up. Diva cup for the win!

  120. I am so glad you tried it! I LOVE my Moon Cup and can’t imagine going back. Pads always felt a bit like diapers to me, and after a few years tampon strings seemed to always chafe me. Now aside for my cramps I tend to forget I am on my period.

  121. jennyi says...

    HUGE fan here.

    I love that I only have to deal with it in the morning after I wake up, and then right before bed. No messy trash, no supplies to buy.

    Took a while to get used to, but now I wish I’d starting using it way sooner! So worth it.

  122. Kate says...

    I have been using a Diva Cup for years! I’m a fan, mostly for reducing waste and the $avings! You do have to get pretty up close and personal with yourself, and emptying it and washing it can feel kind of gross, but once you’re used to it, it’s very empowering not to get grossed out by this natural process. If I’m going to be someplace not super close to a sink, like a bathroom stall, wiping it out with TP or a baby wipe can work until you can get better access to soap and water.

  123. Kathryn, Johannesburg, South Africa says...

    {Confessing now to having NOT yet read comments above me.]

    That said: I read text “On the shelf were two sizes: one for women under 30 who have never given birth; the second model is for women age 30 or over…etc, etc…”

    Instead: I thought (and in honour of South African Women’s Day tomorrow, & hi from Johannesburg):

    I used this body to make multiple (many!) PEOPLE. I have lived beyond 30 years!!! To my great-grandmothers and the hundreds of generations of women who came before her: I BIRTHED BABIES AND LIVED TO TELL THE TALE. I AM WORKING TO CHANGE THE WORK PLACE through my everyday, practical advocacy for women in my field.

    (and most importantly)

    I AM STILL ALIVE TO SPEAK ABOUT IT: after generations of women dying in childbirth, and at the hands of men, via gender-based violence:

    A sincere thank you to the bodies and minds of women who brought me (scientifically, emotionally, spiritually) to this moment. No regrets, no apologies.

    THANK YOU FOR THE RIGHT TO WORK. Thank you for the luxury of this very body, which still houses my soul (after a delicious 37 years).

    Pass all of your (Cup of Jo and the entire crew) wisdom to the ones who follow you. No regrets, no apologies. For age or experience.

    • lillie says...

      Amen, honey! I have no desire to go back in time to pre-baby, pre-30s life :)