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I Tried It: Menstrual Cup + Benefits of Going Tampon Free!


Even in our modern times, that time of the month for us ladies can be difficult. Until recently, tampons were my go-to, but I never felt quite right about putting them into my body, let alone disposing hundreds of plastic applicators and packaging materials for the sake of being able to function out in society during my period. Millions of women use tampons and pads on the daily, so I figured there was a more eco-friendly and healthier way to deal with our cycles. I went to my local Co-op a few weeks ago and purchased a menstrual cup called The Diva Cup. I had passed the cute purple and pink packaging countless times before always a bit intimidated by its size (roughly a ping pong ball).

I thought it was time to invest in myself and the environment after reading about the dangers of tampons and pads, and the synthetic fibers and petrochemical additives used to make them.

Did you know that one sanitary pad is made up of the equivalent of four plastic bags? And did you ever think about how those tampons and pads get that bleached-white look? Chlorine is commonly used to bleach tampons and pads, causing dioxin by products in our sensitive feminine bodies.

Dr. Mercola says: “In my opinion, the realm of feminine hygiene can be likened to a “ticking time bomb.” Because when you consider your exposure over the course of a lifetime, it really adds up; the average American woman uses up to 16,800 tampons in her lifetime .”

The use of conventional tampons and pads can lead to hormonal and endocrine disruption, abnormal tissue and cell growth in the body, and is definitely not an eco-friendly way to deal with a natural cycle of the female body Women have been dealing with this throughout time in much safer, and friendlier ways!

I bought The Diva Cup for a mere $30.00 dollars (can be used for many years). I took out the soft, rubbery silicone cup, held it in my palm, and wondered how this thing was going to fit inside of me. But I found out this cup is made from soft rubbery silicone (medical grade material) and is actually not that intimidating.

To insert the cup, wash your hands and the cup with soap and water, and simply fold one side of the cup in, and squeeze the cup into a “c” shape. It is easiest to insert it while sitting on the toilet. You are going to hold the C shaped cup with one hand and insert it towards your tailbone. The first few times is going to feel a bit odd, and definitely get some giggles out of you, but once it is “inside” you may want to try and rotate the cup about a full circle, until you feel it open up or it feels comfortable. Once it is inserted you don’t have to take it out for another 12 hours! It can hold 30 ml of blood, so you don’t have to take it out often like tampons.

I Tried It: Menstrual Cup + Benefits of Going Tampon Free!

Here is a link from the Diva Cup website with really helpful steps:

The biggest thing to remember is not to be scared! The cup cannot get lost in your body as the vaginal canal does not connect to other parts of your body. It is painless, and comfortable! The only thing that was shocking at first was the blood when dumping the menstrual cup into the toilet.

To take out the cup, you can contract your muscles kind of as if you are doing kegels, and the cup will begin to push out. You will see/feel the stem. You will simply pull on the stem of the cup until you can reach the base of the cup, and pinch it in, and it will slide out easily.

I wear a menstrual cup while bike riding, yoga, running, and doing my daily activities and cannot feel it nor does it bother me in any way. I cannot even imagine going back to using tampons and pads. I always found tampons to be rough on my body, and can definitely understand how fibers can get left behind inside of us and cause harm. I highly recommend menstrual cups for all women no matter age or body shape! I sleep with it comfortably in and don’t have to worry, unlike with pads and tampons that get uncomfortable and need to be changed often. The best part about a menstrual cup is that there is no odor involved and it is so discrete.

 How about you–would you try a menstrual cup? 

Also in women: How to Have a Balanced Pregnancy

How to Fight Candida Overgrowth

Could You Have Estrogen Dominance? 


Photo: Irena Stanisic

Irena Stanisic

Irena Stanisic

Blogger and Artist at Gluten Free Guides
Irena Stanisic was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and was raised in Virginia and Macedonia. She is a visual artist, writer, and vegan who loves learning and sharing holistic remedies and vegan/gluten-free recipes with others on her blog, Gluten Free Guides. In the past years she has continued in her family's nomadic footsteps as world traveler, collecting health inspiration from different cultures. She currently resides in Portland, Oregon. Visit Irena's official artist website for her work and follow her on Pinterest @irenastanisic.
  • Juhea Kim

    After reading this I think i’m totally going to try it! Thanks Irena!

  • EnJunaya

    Thank you for this article. I actually want to try this, but I am worried about taking it out. I know you can’t show photos, but can you do a follow up on that or advise here in this post?

    • Rebekah Jaunty

      How to phrase this delicately… when I need to remove my cup, I reach up and press the side of the cup with one finger. This folds the cup slightly, allowing me to remove it in a…. generally tidy manner. Make sure the cup is OUT of your body before you unfold it; premature unfolding can be uncomfortable.

      Was that polite enough?

      There can be a learning curve with Diva Cups, for sure. Be prepared to experiment, and don’t panic.

  • dayna

    i have one and have tried to use it many times…to no avail. the stem at the bottom is very painful and the cup always feels like it is falling out of me even though i trimmed the stem as per the website directions. each month i try it again hoping that it will be comfortable and i can stop using tampons. i know i am doing something wrong but, so far, no bueno 🙁

    • Rebekah Jaunty

      I cut the stem off mine entirely; it was pokey and unnecessary. Is that what you did?

      • dayna

        yes that’s exactly what i did. the cup still leaks a bit, though…i guess it’s better if i just wear it on my light days. ugh! i wanted it to be the answer to my menstrual woes :/

        • Rebekah Jaunty

          Well, crud! I’ve heard that different cup brands have different shapes, not just sizes? Paying all over again’s no fun, but maybe you’d be more comfortable in a different cup?

          Here’s a great comparison chart:

          • dayna

            wow! thanks so much rebekah.

          • Rebekah Jaunty

            Happy to help. I feel like a missionary for the cause. =)

  • thank you so much for taking the time to read my experience, Dayna, there are different sizes you can get : I got a size one since I have never had a child, but women who have had children need to get a size two, also when you “insert” the cup, make sure to try and “rotate” it while inserting it so that it naturally opens up. At first it does take some getting used to but after 30 minutes the cup should get sort of “stuck” once it opens up. EnJunaya, taking out the cup is easy. Just sit on the toilet and push out as if you are doing “kegels” the cup will slowly and naturally progress towards you vaginal opening. Just insert your fingers and grab at the tip, pinch the bottom and it will come out easily. It just takes some practice ladies! Also if you are having problems inserting the cup, sometimes lube really helps!

    • dayna

      thank you for your response…i’m not giving up 🙂
      i will try rotating it, that’s great advice that i haven’t tried yet. fingers crossed!

  • Thank you so much for posting this, Irena. I just bought one for myself!

  • Shelly

    Gross, there is no way I would ever use such a thing.

  • Rebekah Jaunty

    I’ve been using my DivaCup for… … eight years now? Nine? Despite being a virgin when I bought the cup, I bought the bigger size so I’d never have to buy another one even if I had kids. Cheapskate, eh? Worked for me!

    I also bought some cute, thong-friendly cloth washable cloth pads on Etsy. I’ve used those for years too, and they still look good as new.

  • Aisha Rodriguez

    What a great article! After years of tampons, I’m totally curious to try this! Thank you for sharing!

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