A vintage ad for mesh and rubber sanitary underpants.

Raising my cup.

This post is about my reflections on using a menstrual cup over the last few months. It’ll be a frank discussion of the pros and cons of using the cup, so if you’re not keen for a bit of chat about menstruation and the various ways I’ve dealt with it I suggest clicking away!

A vintage advertisement for Kotex pads. Please click for full text.

When I first read a book that dealt with menstruation (was it Judy Blume? I can’t remember) it talked about using these scary contraptions consisting of belts and stuff that connected with them and it all seemed really confusing and horrible. The above advertisement doesn’t make it look scary at all but I dreaded getting my period until I realised that it was the ’90s and there had been some advancements in the menstrual product industry that did away with belts other such contraptions. When I got my first period I didn’t freak out because I’d been expecting it, and I went to the stash of pads my mother had given me in preparation for that day and went about my business. I didn’t even tell my mother until later!

Before disposable products were put on the market during last century, people had been using a huge variety of ways to deal with menstruation. At the bottom of this page on the Museum of Menstruation a retired teacher talks about her family’s methods and they include using sheepskin, cheesecloth and towels. I have a feeling that modern advancements towards disposable products, away from washing and reusing, have contributed to my own negative feelings about menstruation and period “blood” because with disposable products all I’ve ever had to do was throw stuff away instead of actually processing what my body was going through. When I first heard about menstrual cups I was admittedly pretty squicked. Of course it was the way the notion of cups had been presented to me that had led to my negative reaction because cups were framed in a “gross, omg collecting period blood to use for ~menstrual art~” way. That kind of thing seems to be the norm. Instead of thinking of menstruation as a normal thing, we’ve been told to speak about it in hushed and hygienic tones, divorcing ourselves from our bodies so that we can minimise contact with functions that make us animal.

It was about a year ago I started to rethink my initial reaction to menstrual cups. A few people I knew started using them and while some thought they were great, others found cups didn’t work for them. I was curious. I’d also done some calculations on how many pads and tampons I’d bought and disposed of in my life and the numbers were huge. Opting out of consumerism by saving money and reducing landfill appealed to me so I decided to investigate buying a cup.

Friends sent me links to information and I consumed it all furiously. There are a lot of people who love cups and even though one will suffice for a decade, some people collect them! Once I saw the different sorts I understood why because there are a lot, and choosing one can be confusing. Especially when you factor in materials, sizes, shapes AND colour! After talking with a friend about her experience I chose a Lunette Selene cup because it was cute and blue and had lots of good reviews. Unfortunately the Lunette site won’t sell the Selene directly to Australians but I purchased mine from Lady Freedom Store to get around that! (Note: I don’t condone the “lady” language used in a lot of cup sites because people who don’t identify as ladies or women menstruate too!)

When I first got my cup I couldn’t wait to use it. I have a history of really bad cramps and harrowing pre-menstrual mental health so looking forward to my period starting was strange! The most concerning thing for me was inserting the cup. Luckily there is a bunch of information available on different folds, and once I had the cup in my hands I could manipulate it into lots of different shapes. Some cups aren’t as easy to squash though, and that’s a huge drawback to buying a cup online without having any way to know how you can fold it to conform to your body to make you feel more comfortable.

Here’s some photos of the Lunette box I ordered from the Lady Freedom Store. If you order from the Lunette site you get extra cloth pads, but I didn’t get extras. I would photograph the cup but I’m kind of using it right now :P

Photo of the front of the Lunette packaging. There is a white slip cover with a die cut flower logo and the Lunette wordmark below in blue.

Photo of the back of the Lunette box. Please click on the image for text.

A collage of two photos of the sides of the Lunette box. Please click for text.


Here’s a demonstration video with two folding techniques. A transcription is here.

There are plenty more ways to fold a cup than shown in this video! Don’t be afraid to experiment, because it’s most important to find a way that is comfortable and workable for you. I use a seven fold (I’ll add a link at the end to some folding techniques) and find that I have to run a finger around the cup to make sure it “pops” open properly, essential for collecting the menstrual fluid! Some people find running their cup under cold water before inserting helps it to pop open easier too. I haven’t trimmed the stem on my cup but many people find it helps especially if they have a lower cervix.

As a user of tampons and pads for over 15 years I was a bit scared of fitting the large Lunette in me – it’s considerably bigger than even a super tampon! Fortunately after handling the cup and finding out just how flexible it was I was somewhat relieved. People had told me that they couldn’t feel their cups inside them, but when I inserted mine at first I could definitely feel it. After a day I didn’t notice it so much, but on the first day of my period I can always feel it inside me. It takes some getting used to!

I was really worried about having to remove my cup during the day if I was out and about, but I’ve discovered a few things about my body and my menstruation over the last few months of cup use. I don’t have an especially heavy flow, and even on my first few days when it is at its heaviest, I can get away with 12 hours. So I wake up in the morning and get in the shower to empty the cup, and then at night time I have another shower and do the same. For some people though, they might need to change it more regularly, and in public toilets it’s not a particularly comfortable experience. I’ve seen people recommending squatting and above all staying relatively relaxed while removing cups. It can be frustrating and messy sometimes and when you’re in public or not in a safe or comfortable place, it can be a somewhat distressing experience.

When it comes to cleaning the cup while you have your period and once it’s finished, it’s pretty easy. As I empty my cup in the shower, I give it a good wash with hot water and simply reinsert. After my period has finished I boil it in a saucepan for five minutes and store in the pouch that came with it. Some people don’t bother boiling their cups and others use specialty cup washes or even dental cleaning tablets. I have no idea what the best method is, but I’m most comfortable with boiling my cup. I’ve seen complaints about certain cups being prone to staining, but sitting the cup in the sun for a day apparently helps sort that out.

Menstrual cups aren’t for everyone and it’s important to note that if you’ve got questions or concerning health conditions, you might want to discuss cup use with your health professional/s. For some people using a cup might be part of a range of ways of dealing with their menstruation, and going back to other methods (like pads and tampons) may alleviate distress, and I think that’s totally cool. I’ve seen lots of people in the cup community advocating for cups only, but that really ignores a lot of people who can’t use a cup all the time for whatever reason even if they really want to.

I have found that using a menstrual cup has made me feel more in tune with my body, and I’ve learnt a few things about it that have aided me in treating it better. My cramps are pretty much gone, something that really surprises me, and I feel a lot more hygienic at night time because I can wear the cup for 12 hours at a time. I have marked my menstrual cycles in calendars for a long time but recently I downloaded the iPeriod app for my iPhone and find it has also helped me get used to using a cup. I am fortunate to have a regular cycle so I can anticipate the first day of my period but other people use a combination of cloth pads and liners with their cups to avoid the first day mess!

Overall my cup experience has been positive but I’m not going to lie – it’s been messy at times too – however I feel a lot more in tune and generally okay with my body and my self because of it. While I don’t look forward to my period or treat it with whimsical joy, I feel good about reducing land fill and not spending a tonne of money on products every month. Even though I am not the kind of person represented in tampon and pad ads, running through sprinklers or snorkling, I could do those things with a cup if I wanted to. But you know, I’m just getting on with life (but I guess that would make for a boring tampon commercial.)

Do you have any questions? Have you been using a cup and want to pass on resources? Let me know in the comments!

Resources:
Museum of Menstruation
Menstrual Cup Info
Menstrual cup comparison charts
Cup size comparison
Myths Propagated by the Cup Companies
Folding techniques
The labial fold
iPeriod app

64 comments

  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my cup – I have a moon cup which is much the same as the one you use and its fantastic. I bought mine from femininewear site in the UK and they’re fantastic and the lady who runs its is really helpful. Its a good site for comparing lots of different brands too. I use mine along with cloth pads when its super light and cant be bothered. Really though I’ve had to remind myself its in there its so comfy.

    I find it really interesting that a lot of women find their flow much lighter and fewer cramps when using cloth pads and/or cups and it makes me wonder what goes into disposable pads and tampons.

    For anyone thinking about it – really, give it a try they look big and scary but they’re easy to use, easy to clean and sooooo much cheaper.

    For people really keen I you can keep the blood and water it down and put on your garden.

    Seriously I could blab on about this all day, but I’ll stop now….. :)

  2. I used a cup for about 3 months and I really liked it–I tend to get headaches when I use tampons. Weird, I know. But the cup I used wasn’t made for a 12 hour use, and I always ended up having to deal with it at work. I never got good at removing it–no little tab–so I gave it up. It’s good to read this! I might just give this one a try.

  3. Yay menstruation! I am bummed that I can’t use the cup (it just doesn’t work for me, for a LOT of reasons), because it seems like a great method. I use cloth pads, which I much prefer to disposable products, but it’s more of a hassle than the cup. I’m always happy to see people talking/writing about menstrual cups, though.

  4. I’ve tried cups (recently the Diva Cup) and for some reason they never sit quite right in me and I can always feel them which is very uncomfortable. And unfortunate because I really don’t like using tampons. I’d really like to be able to use reusable pads but since my thighs already rub together and things in my crotch area tend to bunch up, pads never worked for me. Sometimes on my light days I just don’t wear anything, especially if I am staying home.

  5. When I started menstruating in 1987, those belts and clips were still available! I had revoltingly heavy and random periods (turned out, 14 years later, to be PCOS), so heavy that my mum bought me a pair of plastic pants – which had elastic and clips in them. After 2 decades of chafing and using inadequate disposable pads (I don’t like tampons and so didn’t try a cup) I switched to washable pads and OMG WHAT A DIFFERENCE! I still have extremely heavy periods, even with anti-bleeding medication and being on oral contraceptives, but the washable pads are so far superior to disposable pads that I don’t even want to call them the same thing. They’re comfortable, snuggly, non-chafing, vastly more absorbent, reliable and deal with the -TMI- big chunks -TMI- perfectly. Quite apart from the environmental concerns, they’re just a better product for me.

  6. I’ve used a cup almost exclusively for about 4 or 5 years and I prefer it so much more than using tampons or pads. Pads always kinda grossed me out, not because I think periods are gross but more so that sitting around in it for a couple hours is kinda ick. Plus they always bunched up and went weird or leaked. And tampons pretty much always leaked, too, I think my vagina was not interested in cooperating.

    Choosing the right one can be kinda iffy, especially since the recommendations on size and whatnot can be kinda off. You have to figure out what is right for your body. I had to cut the stem off mine because it was poking me all the time.

    I also think with practice you get used to emptying it in public washrooms. I mean, it’s not ideal, but it can be done. And I found the placement got easier with time as well. It’s also really good for me because I tend to be pretty busy and so having a 12 hour window is so much better than having to change a pad or tampon all the time. Plus I noticed my cramps decreased, too. Kinda makes you think that tampons and pads must have some really dodgy stuff in ’em.

  7. My thighs rub together and I had terrible bunching and rubbing from disposable pads, but washable pads are much, much better for me. No chafing, they conform to my body shape in the ways that disposable ones never do, despite the ads, and don’t go up my bum.

  8. I’ve been wanting to try a menstrual cup for a while, but I guess the biggest thing holding me back is the initial outlay for a product I’m not entirely certain of. I switched to all cotton disposable products a while ago because I found regular products (which generally contain rayon for it’s high absorbency) really upset my moisture levels. When you think about it, rayon products are kind of like drought for your vaginal ecosystem. I really want to move away from disposable products altogether and I’ve tried cloth pads in the past, but I was never really comfortable enough with them to venture out of the house for fear of leakage. I may have to do some further investigation into cups though. Especially since this post has cleared up a few misconceptions I had about them (like for some reason I thought they’d fill quite fast). Plus I always think it’s awesome when period-having folks talk about their experiences in a totally straight forward way without using ridiculous euphemisms. Props to you, Natalie!

  9. I tried the size 1 Lunette a couple of years back. To say I could feel it is an understatement… Also, my fingers get stiff and weak during menstruation so I had trouble folding it (experimented in between). I had the option to return it and get my money back, and so I did. I now use mainly cloth pads.

  10. have you tried wetting it before you put it in – and make sure the stem isnt too long – they’re my only suggestions :)

  11. I bought a Diva cup about 6 months ago after reading about cups on the net. I really liked the idea of cutting down the landfill and cost. Sadly to date I have not managed to be comfortable with the cup inside me. I tried snipping the tail as it kept poking me but it still hurts. Also I can’t get it to seal properly and so I still needed pads for the leaking. I have a very heavy flow for the first few days each month and hate the feeling of blood leaking. The cup was not cheap and so I’m loath to spend more $ on another type only to find it doesn’t fit/work either. I really wish I could get comfortable with it, but for the last few months I can’t even bring myself to take it out of the draw and have gone back to tampons and pads. Great topic Natalie, thanks for sharing xx

  12. Thank you for not proselytizing – I must admit I did assume this would be another self-righteous piece of diatribe on the cup and why women who use it are more moral than those who are happy with tampons and pads. It is more often than not used as just another thing for women to judge each other on, so it was refreshing to read a personal, non-judgmental piece about the cup. Kudos!

  13. I absolutely love my DivaCup – once I snipped the tail I had no problems with discomfort 90% of the time. I will say that if I have a particularly hard sneeze (and therefore engage all the muscles in my trunk, apparently) I can sometimes feel it move. WHICH IS WEIRD. I haven’t ever noticed my cramps getting better or my flow getting lighter – my flow is so heavy that I usually have to empty the cup several times a day at the start of my period. As far as doing that in a public bathroom: I personally find that taking it out is a million times easier than getting the cup back in and positioned properly.

    But, all things considered, I love it. I like not using a bazillion pads and tampons andhaving to waste so much. I still use a pad or two for insurance at the start of my period when it’s super heavy, especially overnight, but I should really look into cloth pads.

  14. The initial cost has been a factor for me too. I am in the USA and the last time I was at my grocery store I discovered a box of disposable cups from a brand called Instead. They were $6 for a box of 14 so I picked them up and will try them out during my next period to see what I think before I commit to an expensive permanent one. You might see if you could find these if you are interested in trying before you buy, so to speak.

  15. I’ve been wanting to buy a cup for a long time, but I’m rather hesitant. Not because of the squicky or anything (I’m a cloth pad seller, I’m used to talking about my period with perfect strangers), but because tampons hurt. I tend to mix them up with cloth pads – I bleed too much to use just pads – but I can never just change one tampon for another. I have to give myself several hours of rest inbetween, and I hope that a cup wouldn’t do that… But the mere size is kind of freaky. Do you find it’s easier or harder to insert than a tampon? And do you feel it more than you would a tampon?

    Decisions, decisions. We’ll see how I go about it. Glad you love yours, though, it always makes me happy when people find non-disposable ways to deal with their periods.

  16. I havent tried the menstrual cup, mainly because I am not too fond of having to deal with the blood. BUT I do use the diaphragm as contraception, and I have found it to be great. I started using it because i didnt want the interference of the synthetic hormones from the pill and other contraception devices, and I think the diapragm is great! If you’re ok with using the menstrual cup, then the diapragm may be something to consider if you dont want the interference of hormones. Lol I wanted to say this becuase I ‘ve never really had someone talk so candidly about these sorts of things. thanks natalie :)

  17. I do feel the cup on the first day, and I rarely ever could feel tampons when I used them. Sometimes I struggle with inserting the cup and I have to experiment with different folds to make it easier. Being in the shower makes it a LOT easier because it’s wet. Also some cups are smaller than the one I’ve got – I haven’t had children but because I’m 30 all the documentation suggested I use the larger size.

    Do you have a link to your cloth pads? I want to buy a couple one day, even though I’ve never needed a pad while using the cup yet but it’d be nice to have them on hand!

  18. I do feel the cup on the first day, and I rarely ever could feel tampons when I used them. Sometimes I struggle with inserting the cup and I have to experiment with different folds to make it easier. Being in the shower makes it a LOT easier because it’s wet. Also some cups are smaller than the one I’ve got – I haven’t had children but because I’m 30 all the documentation suggested I use the larger size.

    Do you have a link to your cloth pads? I want to buy a couple one day, even though I’ve never needed a pad while using the cup yet but it’d be nice to have them on hand!

  19. I do feel the cup on the first day, and I rarely ever could feel tampons when I used them. Sometimes I struggle with inserting the cup and I have to experiment with different folds to make it easier. Being in the shower makes it a LOT easier because it’s wet. Also some cups are smaller than the one I’ve got – I haven’t had children but because I’m 30 all the documentation suggested I use the larger size.

    Do you have a link to your cloth pads? I want to buy a couple one day, even though I’ve never needed a pad while using the cup yet but it’d be nice to have them on hand!

  20. I do feel the cup on the first day, and I rarely ever could feel tampons when I used them. Sometimes I struggle with inserting the cup and I have to experiment with different folds to make it easier. Being in the shower makes it a LOT easier because it’s wet. Also some cups are smaller than the one I’ve got – I haven’t had children but because I’m 30 all the documentation suggested I use the larger size.

    Do you have a link to your cloth pads? I want to buy a couple one day, even though I’ve never needed a pad while using the cup yet but it’d be nice to have them on hand!

  21. That really sucks that your Diva Cup hasn’t been right for you. I feared having a similar experience when I bought my cup but I guess I was very fortunate that it was right for me.

    One of the links I posted up there has information on the “squishiness” of different cups, maybe that will help you if you’re looking for a new cup in the future? It sounds like the Diva may not have been squishy enough to pop out in your vagina once inserted.

    The idea that paying one sum of money and not having to pay anything extra for a decade is enticing but if you have to spend extra money trying to find the right cup for you, it may not be worth it! I hope you find the right solution for you one day.

  22. That really sucks that your Diva Cup hasn’t been right for you. I feared having a similar experience when I bought my cup but I guess I was very fortunate that it was right for me.

    One of the links I posted up there has information on the “squishiness” of different cups, maybe that will help you if you’re looking for a new cup in the future? It sounds like the Diva may not have been squishy enough to pop out in your vagina once inserted.

    The idea that paying one sum of money and not having to pay anything extra for a decade is enticing but if you have to spend extra money trying to find the right cup for you, it may not be worth it! I hope you find the right solution for you one day.

  23. That really sucks that your Diva Cup hasn’t been right for you. I feared having a similar experience when I bought my cup but I guess I was very fortunate that it was right for me.

    One of the links I posted up there has information on the “squishiness” of different cups, maybe that will help you if you’re looking for a new cup in the future? It sounds like the Diva may not have been squishy enough to pop out in your vagina once inserted.

    The idea that paying one sum of money and not having to pay anything extra for a decade is enticing but if you have to spend extra money trying to find the right cup for you, it may not be worth it! I hope you find the right solution for you one day.

  24. That really sucks that your Diva Cup hasn’t been right for you. I feared having a similar experience when I bought my cup but I guess I was very fortunate that it was right for me.

    One of the links I posted up there has information on the “squishiness” of different cups, maybe that will help you if you’re looking for a new cup in the future? It sounds like the Diva may not have been squishy enough to pop out in your vagina once inserted.

    The idea that paying one sum of money and not having to pay anything extra for a decade is enticing but if you have to spend extra money trying to find the right cup for you, it may not be worth it! I hope you find the right solution for you one day.

  25. It’s awesome that you could return it because it didn’t work for you because yeah, it’s the kind of thing you actually need to experience first. I need to get onto some cloth pads myself!

  26. The little stem on my Lunette isn’t much help except you can sort of bare down when preparing to remove the cup and locate it by the stem. You’re not meant to pull on the stem to remove the cup, apparently that makes the suction even greater!!! The video I posted has a demonstration on how to remove it, but yeah it IS awkward dealing with it in a place that you’re not comfortable with.

  27. How timely since I was experimenting with the cup today. Third time around I’ve been trying to get a go at it. I’m convinced I’ll get better at it and am pushing onward.

  28. I really wanted to write about my experience but also recognise some of the barriers to use as well. It really irritates me when people think their experience is the ONLY experience in the world, and yeah the whole “holier than thou” thing is completely off-putting and shaming.

  29. I’m so glad you’ve found a better solution! That’s why I love the internet because we can share these stories, and these alternate solutions, outside of mainstream communication channels!

  30. I have LVSF Syndrome (long vagina, short fingers) :P I would love to try using a cup, but I just wouldn’t be able to get it close enough to my cervix.

  31. If you’re not planning on getting pregnant uterine ablation (also called endometrial ablation) might be a good option for you. It can really reduce the amount of bleeding significantly (some people even stop getting their period all together!!). The basically scar the lining of your uterus so that it no longer grows endometrial tissue each month (which is why it’s not good if you’re planning on having babies).

    I’m having it done later this year, and I can’t wait :D

  32. Natalie, this is a seriously great post. I’ve always been a bit wary of cups. Because I carry most of my weight in my hips, thighs, lower stomach area, actually getting up in the nether regions can be a bit of a struggle. My arms seem too short for proper reach and distance. Even when it comes to tampons, I have to lay down on my back and position myself properly. So I’m not sure if putting a cup in would go so well, especially in a public restroom.

    BUT, I will say that the comments have taught me a lot. I never knew there were washable pads! The more you know!

  33. Natalie, this is a seriously great post. I’ve always been a bit wary of cups. Because I carry most of my weight in my hips, thighs, lower stomach area, actually getting up in the nether regions can be a bit of a struggle. My arms seem too short for proper reach and distance. Even when it comes to tampons, I have to lay down on my back and position myself properly. So I’m not sure if putting a cup in would go so well, especially in a public restroom.

    BUT, I will say that the comments have taught me a lot. I never knew there were washable pads! The more you know!

  34. Disposable cups sound like a great option! I looked up Instead – http://www.softcup.com/ if anyone else is interested – and they look perfect for a ‘try before you buy’ kind of thing. They’re not stocked in Australia, but it looks like they’re available to Australians from the UK site – https://oochi.biz/softcup/order_form.php – and with shipping they work out to about AU$12 for a box of 6. They are a slightly different shape to reusable cups and they do have a bigger diameter (7cm compared to an average of 4.5cm for reusable cups), but they still seem similar enough that they would give you a ‘feel’ for the general idea of a cup. :)

  35. I used to use a cup (Keeper) and found it worked well with my extremely heavy bleeding especially when combined with a cloth pad (at that time 16 day heavy periods with 7-10 days break). Now after treatment for these gynae issues I can’t, but use cloth pads exclusively (thankfully I no longer have periods from hell). I got into cloth pads after using disposables for the 16 day nightmares was giving me horrible chaffing. Tampons did sweet FA.
    And when I did use a Keeper, I would (when at home) water down the blood and pour it over a bonsai I had at the time. This was a bit too successful, it grew too fast.

  36. Have you ever tried using antiperspirant on your thighs to stop the chafing? I have been doing this for a few years and can now wear skirts in the summer. It has to be the antiperspirant and not deodorant. But it has literally changed my whole life!

  37. I bought a cup six or so years ago and gave it a good try, but never did take to it. I got the hang of taking it in and out after the first couple of contorting panicked attempts, and I wasn’t getting poked by the stem or anything, but my cramps were baaaad with it in. And my flow is heavy enough that I had to change it pretty often during the first few days of my period, which was a major hassle. I do love the idea of reducing waste but damn, I just did not get on with the cup.

    I have a big problem with disposable pads and tampons from an environmental point of view, but for my body they’re just fine. I use them most of the time, much more often than I feel I should. :-/ But I haven’t got a big chunk of money to plunk down on cloth pads, either, and I’m total crap at sewing.

  38. Here’s the link to my shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/procraftination

    It’s rather empty at the moment, I am between re-stockings, but there you go. I have to say (not to go all selly, I hate when people do that) that a lot of my customers use cup and pad in combination, for extra security. That’s what made me want to try a cup in the first place.

    I am also over 30, but if I get one I will probably get a smaller size anyway. Have trouble with a normal sized tampon and using a size large cup just doesn’t compute in my head….

  39. Yay a post about menstrual cups from someone local to me!

    I tried the Diva Cup for the first time last period, after some months of trying to fit it in without avail. However, I had bad experiences. The cup was giving me similar effects to when I went on birth control – nausea, cramps/inner pain, a weird strain of depression that specifically manifests as me yelling at buses (o_O), headaches. I felt a large wave of relief every time I took them off, and after a day or two I gave up.

    Looking at the size chart it seems that it might be too big and I wonder if a smaller cup would suit, or if it’ll just be the same old issues. I get similar freakouts when I try tampons (I use sanitary napkins primarily) and have had assault issues around penetration, so it could be bodily trauma reemerging. But I’m not sure, and there aren’t exactly a wide variety available to me on my budget in the neighbourhood for me to try.

  40. Hi Natalie, I have learned something new. I have never even heard of a menstral cup! I don’t think that’d be something which would be comfortable for me, but thank you for the education! -K

  41. I’ve been using some version of a menstrual cup for about tenish years. I first went with a “Keeper” then lost it about two years in, switched to the “Diva” – clear silicone like the Lunette. I just bought the next size in the Lunette, because I’m 29 and well the Diva was well good and stained. I was told not to boil mine, I usually soak in water at the end of a cycle with a wee bit of vinegar and/or hydrogen peroxide (which I guess isn’t recommended either). Either way, the staining never much bothered me, since well, when it’s in use, I’m not exactly staring at it. And other than the stem tearing after about 8ish years of use, the “Diva” served me well. I do have rather heavy periods so will usually clean out the cup about every 8 hours during my heaviest days – maybe more often if I feel like it may be full, but yeah. I love the cup!

    I did have a few weeks when sorting out a hormonal birth control where I would bleed through the cup, and through a pad, onto my jeans, but that was certainly going to happen even more so with a tampon…and was not related to the use of the cup. It’s not as neat as inserting a tampon with applicator, but I always prefered the organic cotton tampons without an applicator; so for me the cup just makes sense.

  42. I often wonder if there are guys whose only experience with menstrual products comes from the archaic “What’s Happening to My Body?” books their moms made them read when they were 12, which depicted graphics of pads with belts, assume that women still use those.

    I’ve had my Diva Cup for about year. I wish I had known about it sooner! The only time I use anything else is when my period comes unexpectedly (I like to boil the cup before inserting it on the first day), and then it’s only for an hour or so while I let the cup cool down. xD

  43. Hi I’ve had a mooncup about a year and love it I have a narrow cervix so tampons always quickly became painful. Here in Australia they won’t approve them but I got mine from gladrags.com was pretty unsure which one to get but remembered seeing mooncup ads around when at uni. My first experience using it was so painful, exacerbated by having the flu. The pain was in the removal, but some research on the web and one persons technique worked perfectly for me, and it’s been smooth sailing ever since.
    I had to do a three day meet n greet at the airport last year and was initially concerned with it, but i just made sure I had a bottle of water with me each time I went to the bathroom so I could rinse the cup.
    Again with a small cervix placement is the key, and it’s all about working out what works best for you.
    I use mine doing everything – swimming, working, running etc
    Im still conscious of placement but that’s mostly due to some months being two day pain kick off the mooncup is the last thing on my mind. But wouldn’t go back to tampons based on environmental and health impact.

  44. You may have been hitting your cervix with the cup, and/ or it was too long for you. That’s usually what causes cramps with cup use. Probably trying a shorter or wider cup would solve that.

  45. That’s what kept me from trying the cup at first, but now the blood is just a thing. I barely get blood on my fingertips, and I have to wash my hands anyway, so it’s easy.

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