A few weeks ago, I was browsing the shelves at Earth Fare when I came across organic tampons.  “ORGANIC TAMPONS?!” I thought with a huff. “What are they going to think of next?”


However, based upon my recent cervical dysplasia issues, I thought I should pick up a box.  I’m pretty much willing to try anything to make my womanly parts all better.


When I got home, I did some research about organic versus conventional tampons, and I was floored at what I discovered.  In my eyes, there are two issues at play here:  the environmental impact of the feminine product industry and the potential health impacts from conventional products.


First, let’s get environmental.

Tampons in Landfill

(Picture source)


According to this site, the 73 million menstruating women in North America will throw away 275 to 330 pounds of disposable menstrual products in their lifetime.  These tampons, pads, and applicators will take hundreds of years to biodegrade, especially if wrapped in plastic, as the instructions tell us to do. 


Beyond the landfill effect of this incredible amount of waste, there is also a high environmental cost during manufacturing.

Tampons in Landfill2

(Picture source)


Trees are a renewable resource, but not as renewable as cotton.  And these trees are grown conventionally – i.e. doused with fertilizers and chemicals.  To make a tree into a fluffy tampon, manufacturers treat the materials with a wide range of chemicals.  To improve appearance and performance, the tampon or pad is also treated with bleaching products, super-absorbent acrylic polymers (SAPs), surfactant-laced gels, and fragrances.  There are air, water, and soil quality impacts as a result of this process.


So, clearly, conventional pads and tampons are not good for the environment for several reasons: 1) waste and 2) chemicals used during growing and processing.  But is there a health impact? 


One chemical of particular concern is dioxin.  Dioxin is a bleaching agent commonly used in tampons.  Manufacturers and the Environmental Protection Agency say that the amount of dioxin left behind in the final tampon product is very, very small, although it is detectable in major brands (it’s worth noting that dioxin is now in pretty much everything you eat and the air you breathe, too).  Why is dioxin a big deal?  Another EPA report found that repeated exposure to high levels of dioxin can cause cancer in animals, impact the immune system, increase the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and reduce fertility.  Some studies have even found a link between high levels of dioxin and endometriosis.


(Picture source)


The reality is that NO ONE knows the long-term impact of conventional feminine products on women’s health.  They can take a guess, but really, no one knows for sure.  And since I only have one vagina, I’m going to err on the side of caution.


As a side note, I did an experiment in which I put a conventional tampon and an organic tampon in a glass of water for 8 hours to see how much of the fibers were released.


Conventional (Tampax Pearl) was on the left.  The fibers were impossible to photograph; however, they were there, in roughly equal amounts for both the conventional and organic brand.  


My doctors cannot figure out what is causing my cervical dysplasia, but the thought of a chemical-laden tampon sitting up against the soft, absorbent tissue of my vagina totally freaks me out.  For this reason, organic tampons seem like the obvious alternative to conventional tampons; however, the organic tampons still end up in a landfill. 


I thought to myself, “There has to be a better way!”  And guess what?  There is! 


Introducing… the Diva Cup.  The Diva Cup is a soft, medical-grade silicon menstrual cup.  It is latex-free and BPA-free.


The Diva Cup is inserted into your vagina and rests relatively low, so it’s easy to pull out.  It creates a vacuum seal, so blood pools into the cup, not out of the sides. 


To insert it, you roll it into a little “U” and put it in, just as you would a tampon without an applicator.  You can wear the Diva Cup for up to 12 hours.  After removing it, you should wash it with a mild soap (I bought the brand’s DivaWash and liked it).  At the end of your period, you should boil the Diva Cup to completely sanitize it.


The Diva Cup lasts up to a year (or longer), so it not only saves you money, but it also reduces the environmental impact of your period!


I found the Diva Cup to be very comfortable; once it’s in correctly, you can’t feel it.  I’m still learning how to insert it properly (also, I cut off some of the stem, which made it more comfortable).  I had to remind myself one morning how it felt to figure out tampons when I was 13 – it was very frustrating but ultimately awesome, so I’m allowing myself a learning curve on the Diva Cup!  I wore the Diva Cup through exercise and it stayed perfectly in place.  No leaks whatsoever. 


Another great aspect of the Diva Cup (and this is kind of weird) is that it actually lets you look at your period blood.  Before, I always just removed my tampon and quickly flushed it.  But with the Diva Cup, the blood isn’t absorbed into anything, so you can tell exactly how much you’re menstruating and other details, like color and whether you’re menstruating clots.  The Diva Cup made me feel more ‘connected’ to my period, if that makes any sense.   I recommend removing the Diva Cup in the shower until you get a hang of taking it out.


And, if you prefer pads, there is always the option of reusable pads. 

lunapad1 (1)

(Photo source)


Sounds kind of strange, right? But reusable pads are kind of like cloth diapers.  LunaPads is one well-known reusable pad brand.  Although I’ve never tried reusable pads, Stephanie wrote a very interesting review of LunaPads on BlogHer – check it out! 


So, all in all, I’m glad that I’m making the switch to the Diva Cup.  I feel like it’s better for the environment, my body, and my wallet.  Also, it’s oddly empowering!


Thoughts?  Do you use reusable pads or the Diva Cup?



  • Jazz July 20, 2011, 1:43 pm

    Amen sister friend – I’ve used diva for 8 years and there is NO turning back!!

  • Laine July 20, 2011, 1:44 pm

    I have some cloth pads and wear them if I’m just hanging around the house or sleeping. I figure I use cloth towels instead of paper, and flannel tissues instead of paper, so why not throw some cute flowery cloth pads into the mix! I just throw them in the wash with everything else.

  • Baking N Books July 20, 2011, 1:45 pm

    Caitlin – I can always count on you to keep it real. Who else is going to blog about tampons? A necessary evil.


    • J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) July 20, 2011, 2:46 pm

      I think this might be one of my favorite blogs posts ever!

      • Marissa C July 20, 2011, 2:51 pm

        Ditto…never thought of that. I still don’t know if I can stomach a divacup, though. I’m freaky about that stuff.

    • m July 20, 2011, 5:51 pm

      Hi Caitlin!

      There are some great posts about her experiences
      with diva cup
      (and other eco topics(yoga mats, beauty products,shampoos,etc etc!0at


      Love her frank writing style!(I think you two would get along great 😉

    • Jennifer Minar-Jaynes September 29, 2011, 10:53 pm

      OMG–I had NO idea! And I blog about this stuff all the time.

      But NOT this specifically. Need to do this, though, now that I know about it.

      Thanks so much for the info. I’m researching these now. =)

  • Stacie D. July 20, 2011, 1:47 pm

    Very Interesting post! I have a friend who just left for Burkina Faso in Africa with the Peace Corps, and she was trying to tell me about the Diva Cup, but I didn’t fully understand what she was talking about. The facts about what happens to tampons after we’ve used them and dioxin is kinda scary and eye-opening.

  • Leah @ Why Deprive? July 20, 2011, 1:48 pm

    This is something I’ve thought a lot about. I mean, putting chemicals straight into your body like that, its just not right. But the idea of the Diva Cup still scares me. Im not sure if Im brave enough to try it. Yet. I would like to one day.

    • Maddie July 20, 2011, 2:30 pm

      I totally agree. I just try to put the thought out of my mind when using tampons, especially since I only use about 5 a month…but I know it’s gotta be bad news! But I don’t think I am diva enough for the cup! 😉 The thought freaks me out…isn’t that backwards? Being freaked out by something chemical free and reusable and not chemical-laden cotton!?

      • Kelsey July 20, 2011, 3:09 pm

        I was scared too, but I tried it for he first time last month, and I’ll never go back to conventional products. Be brave! Give it a try!

  • Angharad July 20, 2011, 1:49 pm

    You’ve just reminded me to go out and just buy a diva cup! I always grimace thinking of the environmental impact of tampons and lots of my friends use the diva cup but for some reason, I’ve not yet made the switch. That’s changing on my next period! Thanks for the reminder of why this is so important.

    • Sarah July 20, 2011, 6:41 pm

      Hello if you are closeby in the Boston area. My family owns a natural whole person compounding pharmacy, we sell everything from the diva cup & wash to natracare products. I have truly been only using gladrags and natracare pads for 5+ years now. I tried the diva cup and definately felt it was harder to get use to but loved it. I just choose to use the gladrags instead and i found my bleeding went down drastically since i started. If you want a diva cup fast just come in or call us up and we can ship it out.
      577 main street, waltham, ma 781-893-3870 x0..
      I hope you get one soon.

    • Lunapads July 20, 2011, 10:39 pm

      Go for it girl! If you can’t find one at a local store we can ship one right to ya! The DivaCup is on sale for $34.99 on Lunapads.com plus if you use discount code LUNA11 at checkout, you’ll get $5 off.

      • Angharad July 23, 2011, 11:51 pm

        Amazing! Thank you. I’ll be using the code for sure!

  • Nikki T July 20, 2011, 1:51 pm

    Crazy! I didn’t know such a thing existed, but thanks for sharing it on the blog!

  • Angie @ Musings of a Violet Monkey July 20, 2011, 1:51 pm

    Wow – I think that is admirable. I’ve heard of the DivaCup, but as ‘environmental’ as I am – never seriously thought about using it. I’m a tampon girl, all the way. And I flush, not throw away, all parts. (Though you didn’t mention the “flushing” environmental impact – I’m certain that it isn’t great, either).

    The health impact for me personally, is something to think about though. I stopped using birth control pills because I had so many concerns… I guess I need to look into this more!

    Personal question — How often did you empty it? Really every 12 hrs? Tampons say you can wear up to 8 hrs, but I like to ‘start fresh’ more frequently than that… so I’m curious.


    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 1:53 pm

      I think this depends on your flow. I have a light to moderate flow and could wear it all day and it didn’t fill up.

      • Angie @ Musings of a Violet Monkey July 20, 2011, 1:55 pm

        Gotcha. Thanks.

        And btw – thanks for talking about these kinds of issues. 🙂


      • Katie July 20, 2011, 7:44 pm

        I usually wear a tampon longer than 8 hrs, and I sleep in them too. No problems. I HATE pads. Feels like i peed my pants. I really want to get a Diva Cup. I bought these things called Instead, which are like diva cups, but they leaked when I did exercise, specifically core work where I was on the floor and yoga, where I was bending and twisting a lot. Do you wear yours at night? And, what if you have to change it in the middle of the day when you aren’t at home? That’s the only thing I am most concerned about.

        • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 8:29 pm

          Since you can wear it for 12 hours and it holds 15ML of liquid, you probably won’t have to change it in the middle of the day!

          FAQ from the Lunapads site:

          Q. What do I do in a public restroom?
          Most women find that they do not have to remove The DivaCup more often than every 12 hours, and that taking it out in a public restroom does not occur very often. However, for women with heavier flows, or on the occasion you need to empty it in a public restroom, simply remove the cup, empty the contents and use a dry or damp tissue to clean the cup and reinsert. Make sure your hands are clean before going into the stall. Wash your DivaCup well with warm, soapy water at the next convenient time.

    • Marissa C July 20, 2011, 2:54 pm

      Wait…I thought you aren’t supposed to flush that stuff because it can cause major plumbing issues? PLEASE don’t ever do it on an airplane…my poor father is an airplane mechanic and once spent a few hours fishing a tampon applicator out of a plane’s septic system–it had broken the entire system. Plus, that was a horrifying experience for him.

      • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 2:55 pm

        I promise to never flush again!

        • Amanda July 22, 2011, 5:54 am

          I laugh about this now but…… when I was 14 all my flushed tampons got tangled up in the ancient pipes beneath my parents house and it kinda backed up into the basement….. then my father decided to show me how to ‘snake out a drain’ and we spent quite a bit of time unclogging pipes. I was mortified when he wrenched a wad of tampons out of the drain. >_> Nothing like dad asking you to stop flushing your tampons!

        • LIz July 24, 2011, 10:41 am

          I had NO idea you weren’t supposed to flush until recently! I’ve been doing it for YEARS and never had issues. Thankfully a friend set me straight!

      • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday July 20, 2011, 3:11 pm

        I think you can flush tampons but not applicators.

        • Emily July 21, 2011, 9:45 am

          U are not supposed to flush any parts of a tampon, it causes septic issues bc they expand.. I used to do it at my parents and the septic guy came and said there were alot of “fishes” in there and it’s not good. ( I was the only one with my period in the house, so embarrassed at my young age) haha

      • Angie @ Musings of a Violet Monkey July 20, 2011, 3:15 pm

        I don’t use plastic applicators, which I can imagine causing problems. Everything I use is “flushable”. All parts. The only times that I don’t, are when there is a sign asking you not to (i.e. old plumbing, etc).
        I used to live in a 100-year-old apartment, and wasn’t able to flush tampons there. It was such a pain!
        I’ve always imagined that flushing is better for the environment than throwing away (after all, we all flush toilet paper, etc)- but haven’t ever done any serious research on it. Not to mention, cleaner!


        • m July 20, 2011, 5:55 pm

          Sorry to be gross,
          but if you have a heavier flow and need to “rinse”
          while out and about or at work,how could I do this in a public washroom without making others gag?!!

          Thanks for any tips!!

          • Tessa April 29, 2012, 11:00 pm

            I have a ridiculously heavy flow and have gotten quite a lot of practice emptying the cup in public restrooms (and when I say practice, I mean practice… I have accidentally spilled some drops on the floor-thank God I was the only one in there). Prepare yourself by grabbing some toilet paper first to catch it, then just pour and wipe off. It’s really pretty easy. Just make sure you carry some hand sanitizer with you so you don’t have to touch the door handle or walk to the sink with bloody hands :/

        • Marissa C July 20, 2011, 6:04 pm

          I think it all ends up in the same place anyway…if the tampon isn’t biodegradable it has to be filtered out at the sewage treatment plant and my guess is it ends up in a landfill regardless. Plus the suckers swell up like crazy and can cause problems down the line. Lovely to think of what has been in our drinking water at some point 🙁 I’m going to try and not dwell on that too much!

        • Meagan July 21, 2011, 10:39 am

          I lived in a 130 year old house for a few months last year, and a couple of girls also lived there before I did. The landlord called us up and told us the plumbers were coming – we didn’t think much of it because, hey, the house was 130 years old! So later that afternoon, I was getting ready to get in my car and the 60 year old plumber comes up and awkwardly asks me not to flush my tampons any more..seems like I’m not the only one with that problem! 😀

    • Sarah July 20, 2011, 6:43 pm

      with the diva cup you won’t believe how much you really dont bleed. and so many ladies go the extra root with the diva cup and put the blood in nearby plants for fertilizer. funny i know but still amazing.

      • Bec July 20, 2011, 6:53 pm

        I Have a heavy flow and I still never have to empty out more than twice a day, when I wake up and before bed.

        • Cyclist Kate July 20, 2011, 7:30 pm

          OMG–this might verge into the “okay too gross” territory, but I’ve always flushed tampons and had some major plumbing issues last year (my house is about 80 years old) and the plumber pulled out what he describes as “a lot. like, a lot” of used tampons out of the line. Never again.

        • Katie July 20, 2011, 7:46 pm

          This is great! My flow is mod. to heavy, so now I KNOW I can get one and just wear it all day, but change it in the morning and before bed. Thanks! 🙂

        • Eliza July 21, 2011, 1:18 am

          HAHAHAHA.. I would be mortified if a plumber had to talk to me about tampons

  • Nicole (Mrs. Muffins) July 20, 2011, 1:52 pm

    I’m so glad you talk about these things. I’ve been so interested in the Diva Cup but had wondered how well it worked. The only thing I’m wondering… I have an IUD in place which causes me to have a heavier flow than usual and I wonder how often I’ll have to “change” it. If it is less than tampons, that would be awesome but somehow I doubt it. What do you think?

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 1:55 pm

      It will definitely be less than tampons. The Diva Cup holds 15 ML of blood, a regular tampon is totally soaked at 5 ML (I think).

      • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 1:55 pm

        I.e. you have will to change the cup less than tampons.

    • Carrie July 20, 2011, 2:23 pm

      Definitely less than tampons, and like she said in the post, you’ll know exactly how heavy your period is by using the cup. I track it periodically, like once or twice a year, and I have discovered that not only did I THINK I had a much heavier period than other women, but now I KNOW I do. I looked up what a “normal” flow was, and what was considered “heavy” and tracking mine (which sounds disturbing I know, but we should know our bodies, and that’s part of it) I discovered mine is about 3 times as heavy as what’s considered “heavy”. Not good, but good to know. At the heaviest points of my period I was changing tampons every half hour, with the diva cup I can usually push it to 3 hours, but that’s about max, and at the lightest points it’s probably around 6-8 hours. Makes it much easier to get things done in my day when I’m not always in the bathroom.

      • Hannah N. July 20, 2011, 4:43 pm

        How can you tell it’s full/that you need to empty the Diva Cup? Do you feel something?

        • Carrie July 20, 2011, 4:51 pm

          I really had to sit and think about that question. I still don’t know that I have an answer, other than.. I just kind of know. I guess I base it on how heavy my period is each day, and I judge that by how my body feels. If I’m at the heavy part I just naturally go every 2-ish hours, sometimes it’s full, sometimes it’s half full. This answer isn’t very helpful at all, but for me I just learned to understand how my body was feeling and I know when it’s time, same as I knew when it was time with tampons.

        • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 8:43 pm

          I just emptied every 12 and it was only ever half full.

    • Katherina @ Zephyr Runs July 20, 2011, 6:05 pm

      It’d be less often than tampons – the amount a DivaCup can hold is significantly higher than tampons!

  • April @ Grits and Granola Bars July 20, 2011, 1:53 pm

    I would really like to try the Diva Cup but I have an IUD so I’m not sure if they’re safe or not for me. Anyone know?

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 1:56 pm

      From the site:

      Q. Can The DivaCup be worn with an IUD?
      Please use caution when using any internal feminine hygiene product with an IUD as there is the possibility of dislodging it. Many of our customers use The DivaCup and an IUD simultaneously, but we recommend that you become familiar with your particular IUD risks (such as the body expelling the IUD, etc.).

      As with any gynecological concerns, please consult your physician prior to using a menstrual cup

    • Annie (Delicious Wellness) July 20, 2011, 2:30 pm

      I have an IUD and have used the Diva Cup for 3 or 4 years and have had no problems whatsoever. I can’t see how it would be much different than using tampons during your period. It doesn’t go THAT far up!

    • Rachel July 20, 2011, 2:56 pm

      I also have an IUD and have used the diva cup for 3 years with no problems.

    • Christy July 20, 2011, 3:19 pm

      I got Mirena put in in May and my midwife said that I probably wouldn’t get a period with it at all. It’s interesting to see all these comments about getting periods with an IUD. hmm?

      She did say if I ever have spotting and wanted to use it, make sure you break the suction before pulling it out. That’s the only concern with using a Diva Cup with and IUD. You don’t want to pull it out.

      • Jen K July 20, 2011, 4:17 pm

        I have had an IUD since September and have not had a period since. Luckily you can check to make sure the IUD is still in place. Still in place, still working!

        • Annie (Delicious Wellness) July 21, 2011, 12:40 pm

          The copper IUD has NO hormones and works the same way! Go with that one! It’s amazing. And you DO get your period.

      • Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me July 20, 2011, 4:53 pm

        I’ve heard that it’s dangerous to consistently not have your period. If you go 3 months without having it, your chances of cervical cancer increase. That’s what my gyno told me anyway. Just an FYI.

        • Sarah July 20, 2011, 6:48 pm

          ashley –
          indeed all these “new” ways of stopping womans cycle is very “unnatural” and the side effects are far from being researched. It is crazy how many people are “happy” with not having a cycle, yet niave to the true effects it has on fertility and our bodies hormones. a great amazing book to read is a guide to your fertilty. it talks about our hormones and how so many females dont realize the simple aspect of bleeding each month is a powerful part of who we are.

        • Corrie Beebe July 20, 2011, 6:58 pm

          I just want to add here that I am 35 and have been without a period for … years. It is very sporadic. My hormones are nearly non-existant without HRT. Even with HRT I don’t have any kind of regular cycle. Spotting or something every now and again. There is conflicting scientific information about lack of periods and their long-term impact on health. Not to disagree, just to add another perspective. 🙂

        • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 7:07 pm

          Personally (just my opinion), I would not want to take drugs that limit or reduce my period. I really, really do not think this is not “erring on the side of caution.” If you were not getting periods naturally, that’s another story. But not getting a period intentionally? Ehhhh. I don’t know. Again, you’ve only got one vagina.

        • Cyclist Kate July 20, 2011, 7:36 pm

          My doctor told me that it can be dangerous *if* you’re building up the uterine lining and just not shedding it, but it’s generally considered safe it you’re not building up the lining at all. Just what my doc told me–I like having my period because it lets me know that everything’s running as it should.

        • Jennifer July 21, 2011, 8:57 pm

          I have an amazing link to a blog of an female anthropologist who is interested in the natural variation in menstruation. http://professorkateclancy.blogspot.com/2011/06/summer-of-pill-why-do-we-menstruate.html

          The natural way may not actually be the “natural” way. Having fewer periods over human lifespan may be more “traditional” with women have lots of babies and breastfeeding a long time.

      • Cyclist Kate July 20, 2011, 7:33 pm

        Mirena has hormones in it that prevent your from ovulating, others might have a copper IUD with no hormones that either keeps the cycle as it is or can make it heavier :).

        • Emily July 21, 2011, 8:39 am

          I definitely feel like I’m in a bind because a more holistic approach would be my first choice, but I take hormones almost continuously to stop the spread of debilitating endometriosis. Other than two surgeries to remove scar tissue, it’s the only thing that has kept the symptoms at bay.

          I miss having regular cycles and when I’m ready to start thinking about getting pregnant, I’m looking forward to going off birth control – especially because pregnancy can help with endometriosis.

        • Caitlin July 21, 2011, 9:06 am

          Emily – Have you ever had your Vit D levels checked? The Husband sees a lot of Vit D deficiency in patients with endometriosis.

        • Kristin July 21, 2011, 9:36 pm

          I’m an OBGYn. I just want to correct your statement about the Mirena and ovulating. The progesterone in the Mirena does not increase your blood hormone levels enough to prevent ovulation. It simple prevents the uterus from developing the thick lining, and that is why you have decreased bleeding with the Mirena. The birth control pills do, however, prevent ovulation.

    • Emily July 21, 2011, 12:27 pm

      I haven’t but it’s something I’ve been curious about the last few years. I’ve had a lot of autoimmune-type issues and have read a little about the connection to vitamin D.

      It’s funny because I’ve been taking more vitamin D and have noticed an improvement in my energy levels, etc. and have been able to go off other medications but I’m afraid to stop taking birth control for fear of a relapse in the pain.

      It’s clearly so ingrained in me that taking birth control is so standard as to be almost “natural” that it’s the last thing I’ve really been interested in stopping .

      Is that something an acupuncturist’s office could check or would I need to go through my general practitioner?

      • Caitlin July 21, 2011, 12:29 pm

        You would need blood work done at your normal doc.

        • Michele Albert July 21, 2011, 2:14 pm

          Thanks for the info on vitamin D and endo. I’ve been battling stage 4 endo for 8 years, I will have to look into my levels.

  • Britney July 20, 2011, 1:56 pm

    I use reusable pads, and have since I graduated college in 2008 (3 years now!). I purchased almost all of mine on Etsy, and I’m really happy – I slowly built my stash to 12 or 13 pads and I haven’t needed to replace any yet, and most of the time it’s plenty for my period.

    I’m also thinking of trying the DivaCup for exercise, because I don’t really like to run while wearing the cloth pad.

    • Britney July 20, 2011, 2:36 pm

      I just ordered a Diva Cup, since I had been considering it for the past few months. It should be here in plenty of time for my next period.

    • Britney August 9, 2011, 9:32 pm

      Okay, I just got my period today and I think I’m in love with the Diva Cup. I didn’t have time to try it this morning so I put it in after work and wore the cup to a spin class (with a light pad just in case) and it was wonderful. I hope to test it again when I run tomorrow. I really disliked tampons because I could always tell that they were there, and this is so much more comfortable (though it’ll probably be a few months before I put it in correctly on the first try).

      Thanks for posting about this! I might even be able to forget that I’m on my period. 🙂

  • Jill July 20, 2011, 1:57 pm

    I’ve been using a Diva Cup (and the Keeper Cup before that) for over 11 years. I haven’t bought pads or tampons once in that time. It will change your life. I’ve gone through heavy periods and light ones and it is fantastic. Never once had a leak.
    So glad you’re talking about this — more women need NOT be grossed out about this stuff! I hope you inspire many out there to use the Diva Cup!

    • Annie (Delicious Wellness) July 20, 2011, 2:28 pm

      Totally agree, Jill!!

    • Christy July 20, 2011, 3:20 pm

      Ditto! How are tampons and pads any less gross than a diva cup?? Periods are pretty gross in general. I <3 my diva cup.

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife July 20, 2011, 1:57 pm

    Leave it to you to blog about tampons 😉 Nicely stated, girl! I’ll have to look into it!

  • Kara July 20, 2011, 1:59 pm

    For giggles, please look up “woodland use of Diva Cup” in the FAQ:

    Q. What are the “Leave No Trace” wilderness guidelines when using The DivaCup in the back country?
    Please use standard “cathole” practices. Also, observe the practice of containing the flow in a sealed plastic bag and hanging in a “bear bag” with other trash away from other animals.

    Cathole: Catholes should be dug 6 to 8 inches deep at least 200 feet from water, camp, trails, and drainages. Bring a trowel to dig the hole, and disguise it well after use.*

    Bear Bag: In bear country, hang “smellables” from tree limbs 12 feet off the ground, 6 feet from the tree’s trunk, and 6 feet below the supporting limb, or store it in specially designed bear-resistant canisters or on-site lockers.*

    Dear lord, I’ll pass on this. If regular tampons eventually kill me, I’m ok with that.

    • Kara July 20, 2011, 2:02 pm

      For full disclosure, if I have a long trail run or race, I just monkey with my BC so I won’t be attracting bears in the woods, but can you imagine dealing with a Diva Cup while camping? I guess it’s just not fun to camp while menstruating period (haha, see what I did there?)

      • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 2:04 pm

        omg. i can’t get over that FAQ. bawhahah.

      • Jill Will Run July 20, 2011, 2:23 pm

        Camping on the rag sucks… Nothing like sleeping on the ground with a rock in your back while you’re bleeding to make you feel “fresh!”

        • Yolie @ Practising Wellness July 20, 2011, 2:41 pm

          hahaha! Sooo true, Jill…that’s hilarious, and brings back not-so-fun recollections, lol! 🙂 xyx

        • J July 20, 2011, 4:48 pm

          Actually, if there’s ever a time to use the diva cup, its in the backcountry. Otherwise you’d have to pack out all those used tampons/pads – meaning carry with them once they’re used…no thanks. I used to use the DivaCup all the time, but had issues with leaking that I couldn’t seem to fix, so now I ONLY use it while on extended backcountry trips.

    • Anya July 20, 2011, 8:47 pm

      Actually… I was considering getting a Diva cup SPECIFICALLY because I love camping. I do mostly backpacking/back country camping, not car-camping, so per Leave No Trace, I pack out my ‘pons to the nearest trash can, which could easily be 50-100 miles away on foot. A few years ago I backpacked for 6 months on a through-hike of the Appalachian Trail so I had six periods to camp through and although it wasn’t nearly terrible as I’d imagined it would be hygiene-wise,it was def a pain in the a** to pack the dirty tampons. They get heavy when you have to carry out a week’s worth, plus… had to be super careful when unpacking my bag in front of others. Imagine how heinous it would be to pull out THAT ziploc while rummaging around for trail mix 😉

      • Stephanie July 21, 2011, 6:25 pm

        LoL, this seriously made me laugh. That would be AWFUL!

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg July 20, 2011, 1:59 pm

    You know this is something that I have not ever really considered. I’ve heard of the DivaCup but never thought about getting one. Thanks for bringing this up!

  • Meghan July 20, 2011, 2:00 pm

    Love the Diva cup! I started using it the beginning of the year and wore it though my half marathon training. 10+ miles with it comfortably and I didn’t feel the pee leaky issue I do with tampons. Great post and info to share with everyone!

  • HEather July 20, 2011, 2:01 pm

    WOW! Now that’s interesting! May have to look into that Diva thing.

  • Danielle July 20, 2011, 2:01 pm

    Love this post! I love how open you are about discussing the things that are going on with your body and how it can also help other people who have similar symptoms/problems/questions. It was actually because of your blog that I picked up TCOYF, which I love and firmly believe that it helped us conceive so quickly (the cycle after reading the book!). There is something so empowering about knowing about my body! Thank you for helping me embrace that 🙂

    I’m totally going to look into both the Diva Cups and the reusable pads. We are considering CDing our baby so why not try it out for myself, too!

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 2:04 pm

      You’re welcome 🙂 Congrats on your pregnancy!

    • Christy July 20, 2011, 3:25 pm

      Danielle- Congrats on the baby! We are currently CD’ing our 2nd baby. It was the best decision we ever made. We’ve spent about $500, and they will last us for all 3 kids. People are amazed when they see that our Bum Genius dipes are nothing like the prefolds that they imagine. Check out diaperswappers.com if you need any help on what to buy and washing instructions. Good Luck!

    • Samantha @ Mama Notes July 21, 2011, 5:24 pm

      Congrats on your pregnancy! We cloth diaper both our babes and have saved TONS OF money!!

  • jammed_thoughts July 20, 2011, 2:03 pm

    I want to use a diva cup, but I can’t bring myself to ask my mom if I can borrow her debit card to order it. I’m gonna have to do it soon though, why make all that unnecessary waste?

    • Kelsey July 20, 2011, 3:12 pm

      I bought mine at a local Heath food store. You may not have to order it!

    • Kristen (inspiredbydooce) July 20, 2011, 3:59 pm

      I have seen them at stores before- just check to see if there is an “environtmental” or “green” store in your area- you could pick one up for yourself.

    • Miranda July 20, 2011, 6:09 pm

      I bought my diva cup at Whole Foods!

      • Liz July 20, 2011, 8:40 pm

        They have them at Earth Fare too.

  • Christine July 20, 2011, 2:03 pm

    I’m so glad you wrote about this! I keep really wanting to try this and now I might finally go for it. One concern I have is yoga though – if its not too personal: what kind of exercise did you ‘test’ this on? I feel like even regular tampons don’t do a great job for me when I’m super twisty and sweaty (sorry, so gross).


    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 2:04 pm

      Running and biking!

      • Stepf July 20, 2011, 2:11 pm

        Christine, I wear mine for yoga, and it’s fine. 🙂

        • Christine July 20, 2011, 2:14 pm

          Thanks Stepf!

    • Marie July 20, 2011, 2:16 pm

      I can do yoga fine with mine, go for it! You hardly feel it if it’s inserted properly.

    • Annie (Delicious Wellness) July 20, 2011, 2:26 pm

      Any and all exercise! It NEVER comes out! Make sure to get the right size (there are 2 – one for women who haven’t had babies yet and one for women who have). Sometimes you’ll feel it when you first put it in, but it adjusts itself quickly.

    • Eleonora July 20, 2011, 2:45 pm

      I’ve hiked, biked, ran, rock climbed, swam…What else? It stays in its place and does never ever spill.
      The only thing I noticed is that I have to empty it one extra time when I swim, because it partially fills up with water (I do lots of breaststroke, so it makes sense). But nothing ever comes out of it, and it’s super comfortable. I must say the same thing used to happen with tampons, somehow they absorbed the pool water, and then became utterly uncomfortable. The cup doesn’t!

      • Cyclist Kate July 20, 2011, 7:37 pm

        I think it’s better than tampons because it creates that suction seal that keeps everything in–I’ve done everything in it (well, the Keeper, but same deal) and never had a problem.

    • Tessa April 29, 2012, 11:06 pm

      Horseback riding has caused some leaks for me…

  • Lori July 20, 2011, 2:03 pm

    I have been using a Keeper since the late 90s and will not go back to using tampons unless its an emergency. I’m not sure why the Diva cup says it should be replaced each year. Perhaps its made of a less durable material than Keepers, which state they could last up to 10 years. I replaced my original Keeper about 3 years ago. I’m curious if it is a marketing ploy for people to keep on replacing their Diva cup?

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 2:05 pm

      It’s actually a legal issue – they have to say a year. But they also say some people safely use them for longer.

      • Annie (Delicious Wellness) July 20, 2011, 2:25 pm

        I think I had mine for over 2 years without changing it. The only reason I bought a new one was that it got stained (even though I wash it each time of course, and boil it too).

        • Jordan July 22, 2011, 8:57 am

          I actually bought the diva cup when I was starting college 6 years ago and back then they claimed they lasted a lifetime. I used mine off and on for 4 years until one of my cats got ahold of it and chewed it up. I definitely want to replace it!

    • Katherina @ Zephyr Runs July 20, 2011, 6:10 pm

      Lori I thought it was a marketing thing too until I actually asked them! They said it was for health reasons, same reason “use by” dates are usually conservative; they’re planning on people not putting their milk in the fridge for hours or just worst case scenarios. The Diva Cup should be able to last a decade if it’s taken care of!

  • Callie July 20, 2011, 2:04 pm

    I’ve been using conventional tampons for as long as I can remember, but now I’m really considering trying a diva cup, or at least buying organic tampons after reading this post. Thanks! 🙂

  • Kim @ girlevolving July 20, 2011, 2:05 pm

    I LOVE the diva cup. It was weird at first but now I’m just in love with it. It’s way easier, it saves money, I don’t have to change it as often, it NEVER leaks, it’s perfect for being active, and it’s environmental.

  • shelby July 20, 2011, 2:05 pm

    I just recently got one of these and have experienced a strange side effect – it puts a lot of pressure on my urethrea. I have a hard time peeing with it in (I have to push kinda hard). That being said, I’m not ready to give up quite yet.

    • Sare June 27, 2013, 9:46 pm

      Did you ever solve your problem? If not consider getting a softer/squishier cup, they’re less likely to put pressure on ones bladder or urethra than a stiffer brand like DivaCup. Look up menstrual cup stiffness charts.

  • Lunapads July 20, 2011, 2:05 pm

    Hi Caitlin!
    We’re so glad that you found some better options for your period and shared your story with your readers. Abnormal Paps are no fun and one has to wonder how disposable menstrual products might be affecting our bodies. We have so many customers who’ve come to us because of repeating health issues caused by their disposable pads and tampons. Things like repeat UTIs, contact dermatitis, rashes and allergic reactions. It’s too bad that most health care professionals don’t seem to connect the dots between menstrual products and gynecological health.

    Health and happiness from the Lunagals!

  • June July 20, 2011, 2:06 pm

    this Diva cup thing kinda freaks me out! i dont know about this! of course, i am hoping that i wont need ANY of it for much longer!

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen July 20, 2011, 2:07 pm

    I’ll be honest, this diva cup kinda scares me. I remember learning about tampons without applicators way back when and being seriously grossed out by them too, so it’s along the same lines. I hear ya on all the benefits so I will try and make myself get over it and look into this as an option more seriously. Great post!

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 2:08 pm

      I didn’t want to write this in the post because I figured it would be way TMI, but I’ll say it here: I really, really struggle with putting my fingers inside my vagina. It freaks me out a lot. I don’t like to think of myself as having ‘organs’ on the inside so inside my vagina = freak out. So, it was a little difficult for me to put in the Diva Cup because, yes, you have to put my fingers up your vagina. But I put on my big girl panties and it was okay. LOL

      • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen July 20, 2011, 2:10 pm

        Haha, good to know b/c that’s exactly how I feel!

      • kalli July 20, 2011, 2:35 pm

        is it difficult to get out…..i have never heard of this and i am 41! i am shocked that so many of you use it. i am freaked for the same reason-putting the fingers in-yikes!

        • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 2:37 pm

          As long as you relax and “bear down” it’s really easy to get out. Harder to get in.

        • Cyclist Kate July 20, 2011, 7:39 pm

          I found it super easy to get out–I just stuck a finger up alongside it to break the suction seal and it slid right out!

      • Julie July 20, 2011, 3:07 pm

        especially when there’s blood coming outta there…sounds like it can get messy. and although i find this interesting, my first thought was “ew”.

        • Marie July 21, 2011, 10:05 am

          Blood won’t gush or anything! At least, it doesn’t happen to me. You also get used to the “ew” factor, promise.

      • Liv July 20, 2011, 3:15 pm

        Really, you’ve never/don’t masturbate? This is the first time you’ve ever “felt your inside organs?” Honestly, you’re either totally lying … or you need to explore some self lovin’. And I mean all this in the nicest way possible. Seriously.

        • CaitlinHTP July 20, 2011, 3:17 pm

          I didn’t say I don’t masturbate… I just said I don’t stick my fingers UP my vagina.

          It’s TMI Wednesday up in hurrrrr!

        • lindsay July 20, 2011, 3:43 pm

          ^LOLs to Caitlin. And Liv, last time I checked, the clitoris is not located inside the vagina.

        • CaitlinHTP July 20, 2011, 3:44 pm

          Different strokes for different folks. Hardy har har.

        • lindsay July 20, 2011, 3:53 pm

          Hahahahahaha tears of laughter. this is why you are my favorite blogger.

        • Liv July 20, 2011, 4:03 pm

          @Lindsay, who said anything about the location of a clitoris? I asked whether she ever masturbates. And no, not all women necessarily need clit stimulation to come.

        • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 4:05 pm

          Side note: is it “come” or “cum”?


        • Liv July 20, 2011, 4:07 pm

          Lolz, who knows.

        • Marie July 20, 2011, 4:17 pm

          “Cum” is slang, the spelling preferred by 14-year-old boys use when they’re talking about whacking it; “come” is the term used by grown-up women having a proper discussion about perioding in a dixie cup. Or whatever it’s called.

        • lindsay July 20, 2011, 4:30 pm

          Lol I just meant that it is possible to masturbate without sticking your fingers in your vagina.

        • AshinMT July 20, 2011, 6:33 pm

          I also do not masturbate by sticking my digits in my vagina. At times i have wished i could get over the creep out factor (should i be missing something rockin’)but it just does not work for me. But i too am going to put on (or take off, bwahahaha) my big girl panties and try the diva cup. Love love love your blog Caitlin.

        • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 7:05 pm

          Thank you so much Ash 🙂

        • Anya July 20, 2011, 8:52 pm

          Just saying that this is the best. comment. thread. ever. especially “hardy harr har” lol I almost just peed myself laughing.

        • Kristin @ Wounded Fawn July 21, 2011, 3:08 am

          This is all too funny! It reminds me of a late 90’s chatroom!

          Caitlin, even though you don’t masturbate with your fingers in your vagina (neither do I) while trying the FAM didn’t you feel how high or low your cervix was at different times. Or just temp monitoring?

          Of course this completely freaks me out (feelin for my cervix) but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do!

        • Caitlin July 21, 2011, 8:01 am

          I am back on the FAM method, actually! Yay!

          I use temperature and cervical fluid, but not cervical position. I seriously do not think I could touch my own cervix without puking. I do NOT like to think of myself as having internal organs.

        • Allie Q (Fit Geek) July 21, 2011, 10:11 am

          At my job I have to spell it “cum.” Seriously, it’s like part of our porn style guide.

      • Courtney July 20, 2011, 5:13 pm

        “yes, you have to put my fingers up your vagina.” Funniest typo ever-Check.
        Most unusual comment convo ever-Check.

        Jokes aside, I’m glad you address potentially awkward subjects on your blog 🙂

        • Kate July 20, 2011, 6:36 pm

          Nice catch on the typo. Agreed on the funny typo and unusual comment. Really grateful for HTP for putting this conversation out there. The Diva cup is amazing. However, it can be messy and would be a pain if you had to change it in a public bathroom. I am not sure how you’d do it.

    • Annie (Delicious Wellness) July 20, 2011, 2:23 pm

      I found it really weird at first, too! But you get SO used to it. After awhile I found it’s no longer weird.

      • Nikki T July 20, 2011, 2:38 pm

        I felt the same way when I started Nuvaring instead of regular BC pills, but it didn’t take long to get used to putting it in and taking it out. I LOVE it compared to pills everyday!
        I’m definately considering looking at the Diva Cup after this post

        • Eleonora July 20, 2011, 2:47 pm

          I’m also using Nuvaring: if you happen to have spotting in between periods, the Diva Cup is perfectly safe to use together with Nuvaring!

    • Kris July 20, 2011, 10:07 pm

      I’ve used tampons w/o applicators for years and you get used to it (and because I can’t take BCP, used a diaphragm and then you really have to stick your fingers in). Although I don’t have too many years of periods left, I think it’s high time I try the Diva Cup. Great post Caitlin — thanks!!

    • Anna July 20, 2011, 11:24 pm

      I figure, if I have let guys stick their nasty fingers up in thurr, I am definitely fine with touching my own vagina 😉 I’ve been using the applicator-free tampons for a while but am def looking into the Diva now! Thanks for the super entertaining-yet-informative discussion Caitlin!

    • Hannah Hawley July 21, 2011, 10:32 am

      I have used OB tampons for ever. They are the only brand I will buy and use, I hate all the extra waste of the packing and applicators. I was teased for years because I would use my finger instead of an applicator.
      Now, thanks to this post, Caitlin, and all the commenters, I am going to give the Diva-Cup a try!

  • Sarah for Real July 20, 2011, 2:07 pm

    The only birth control method I’m allowed to use (progesterone only mini-pill or IUD) stops my period entirely which is both a blessing and a curse. I like the idea of the Diva cup but it just wouldn’t get much use!

  • Crystal July 20, 2011, 2:07 pm

    I’ve always been nervous to try the cup b/c I’m a little worried it’ll fill up too quickly and that I’ll have to empty it in the bathroom at work or something, and make a mess. But I’m assuming it would hold a lot if you can leave it in for up to 12 hours. I think you bring up an interesting point on how it makes you more aware of your period, which is a good thing. Thanks for the post.

    • Annie (Delicious Wellness) July 20, 2011, 2:22 pm

      It does hold a lot but if you do have to change it at work, just wipe it off with TP before putting it back in – that helps a lot with the mess.

    • Carrie July 20, 2011, 2:31 pm

      Having to empty it at work is not my favorite thing ever, but it’s not really that bad. It does hold a lot, so it’s possible you may never have to deal with it at work, but if you do, don’t fret. I have gotten the hang of it. Just remove it and let it empty into the toilet. Then you can use toilet paper, but I always have feminine wipes available to wipe it out before I insert it again. I would recommend getting the hang of doing that at home so you’re prepared in the event you have to do it at work.

  • crystal July 20, 2011, 2:07 pm

    I’ve only had one period in 4 years (go being pregnant and breastfeeding!), but I am definitely going to do more research into this soon. Our local cloth diaper store sells diva cups and cloth pads so I’ll be stopping in there soon 🙂

  • Wendi @ A Southern Yogi July 20, 2011, 2:08 pm

    I have been wondering about that diva cup. I see it at whole foods all the time and wonder if it will work. Thanks for always writing about this stuff. I get so much informtion from your blog!

  • Mary July 20, 2011, 2:08 pm

    I LOVE my cup. I heard about them probably 5-7 years ago and thought they were disgusting, but this past spring I bought one on a whim and I can’t imagine my life without it now. It’s so much more comfortable than tampons ever were. I have to fold it inside out for it to fit right, so if anyone buys one and thinks it’s WAY too long (even stemless), try that.

    Seems like there’s a lot of interest in buying cups in the comments here, which is awesome! Definitely try Amazon if you’re interested in a Diva. I got mine there for less than $25. Pretty good deal when you consider how much tampons cost.

  • Stepf July 20, 2011, 2:09 pm

    I also use the Diva Cup, and I like it, but, like Shelby, it puts pressure on my urethra. I feel like I have to pee all the time when I’m wearing it!

    • Carrie July 20, 2011, 2:33 pm

      Not inserted correctly is most likely why that happens. Or it might be that your body is shaped a little differently to not accomodate it as comfortably. Has the gyno ever mentioned anything? If not, probably just inserted a little “off”.

    • Sare June 27, 2013, 9:54 pm

      A softer cup can make all the difference, look up menstrual cup stiffness charts if you’re still having the same issue.

  • Kristen @ The Concrete Runner July 20, 2011, 2:09 pm

    I am totally going to look into Diva Cups after I give birth! As a soon-to-be mom, I have been OBSESSED with finding the greenest, safest products to use on my baby. Why would I not want the same thing for myself?!

  • Stepf July 20, 2011, 2:09 pm

    I also use the Diva Cup, and I like it, but, like Shelby, it puts pressure on my urethra. I feel like I have to pee all the time when I’m wearing it! I’ve been using it for three months.

  • Rebecca July 20, 2011, 2:09 pm

    That’s really interesting! I hadn’t heard of reusable pads/the cup idea before! I might have to try that. It might be interesting at school starting in August/September, but I don’t think it’d be that big of a deal…
    I think I may try to find/buy some of those soon! Or eventually… 🙂

  • Amanda July 20, 2011, 2:09 pm

    I’ve definitely looked into this but still haven’t made the choice to order one. Is there any link to this causing yeast infections of anything of that nature?

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 2:10 pm

      I didn’t find any information about that during my research. I’m sure it’s fine if you keep it clean.

    • Amanda July 20, 2011, 2:14 pm

      Oh, and one more question…What happens if you have to change it is a public restroom?

      • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 2:17 pm

        Well, since you can wear it for 12 hours, the odds that you would have to change it in a public restroom are low, but if you did, you should just 1) wash your hands first and not touch the doors 2) remove it 3) pour it down the toilet 4) reinsert it and wash it the next time you can.

      • Annie (Delicious Wellness) July 20, 2011, 2:20 pm

        I recommend wiping it off with TP before putting it back in.

    • Eleonora July 20, 2011, 2:49 pm

      I actually had less problems with candida (a yeast infection) after switching to the Diva Cup. Tampons were somehow too “harsh” on my mucose

      • Bec July 20, 2011, 7:03 pm

        Same here no more problems after I started using the cup! Seriously best period related decision I ever made. I always compare it to the switch from pads to tampons, takes a little while to get the hang of everything but it’s so much better!

  • chandana July 20, 2011, 2:10 pm

    I have never used these options before. but I am convinced to give Diva cup a try and time to learn to like it. I think it’s so worth it when it does good to us and the nature.

    Thanks for such an informative post.

  • R July 20, 2011, 2:11 pm

    I use the mooncup (aka the keeper) and I love it. I haven’t bought a box of tampons since around July 2008, so it’s paid for itself many times over, and I never have to worry about whether I packed enough tampons for an outing or trip! It is a drag if I get my period when it’s not with me and I have to buy 25 cent tampons in the ladies room, and I find it starts to leak long before it’s actually *full*, but I am a big fan.

    In college a bunch of my friends started using Instead, which is kind of like the mooncup or divacup but shallower and you’re supposed to just throw it away every time… And it leaked like crazy every time I tried to use them. But having had that experience made the mooncup totally nonscary and by comparison much less messy.

    • Katie July 20, 2011, 8:02 pm

      I bought Instead, and I had major leaking problems too! Definitely going to buy the Diva Cup once I get low on my tampons! 🙂

  • Faith @ lovelyascharged July 20, 2011, 2:13 pm

    I get WAY too grossed out by blood to have to handle a cup full of it…I know tampons aren’t exactly the most natural product, but I’m going to have to stay in the tampon camp on this one. I love the eco-friendly idea but this particular one just isn’t for me!

  • CD July 20, 2011, 2:13 pm

    I have another practical question related to the Diva Cup for anyone who has worn one. When I use regular tampons I use a liner pad, also referred to as light day pads by Kotex, to avoid any accidents related to the tampon leaking or fully absorbing. Does anyone who uses a Diva Cup use liner pads or are you that confident in no leaks?

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 2:15 pm

      As long as it’s sealed (instructions tell you how), there should be zero leaks.

    • Annie (Delicious Wellness) July 20, 2011, 2:18 pm

      I use an organic cotton liner as well on heavy flow days. There will be leaks a little bit before it’s full (kind of like a tampon).

    • Carrie July 20, 2011, 2:35 pm

      If I had a lighter period, I’d definitely be comfortable only using the cup. Like Caitlin said, when inserted correctly it forms a seal that prevents leaks. There are times I wear it alone with no problems.

    • Eleonora July 20, 2011, 2:50 pm

      No liners and no stains for the past 4 years!

    • Katherina @ Zephyr Runs July 20, 2011, 6:14 pm

      I use a cloth panty liner occasionally, usually on heavy days when I know I’ll be really busy. I don’t really need it often, though, since it seals airtight.

    • Christina July 25, 2011, 8:53 am

      I do use a liner at all times because I usually do get leaks. I don’t know if this is due to an improper seal, me waiting too long to empty it, or if my V is just that “stretched”. Back when I used tampons, after having kids (I have 3 now), I had to use a super no matter what my flow was or it would slide out. Even the supers would sometimes start making their way out. So, for whatever reason, I do still wear liners.

    • Tessa April 29, 2012, 11:14 pm

      Since the cup doesn’t stop the flow of normal discharge, I find that it can often be tinted on heavier days, so unless I’m wearing really dark underwear, I have a thin backup.

  • Marie July 20, 2011, 2:14 pm

    I’m a Diva, too 🙂 Just did a review on my blog recently, too! Thanks for spreading the word Caitlin, and I’m so glad you like it as well. http://recipeasandmusings.com/2011/07/12/fellas-avert-your-eyesdivacup-review-and-giveaway/ (Giveaway is closed now, fyi!)

  • Kimber July 20, 2011, 2:14 pm

    The Diva Cup is awesome. I’ve been using it for almost 2 years. Not only is it good for the environment and your health it’s good for the pocketbook too. Some people are so weirded out by it. I suppose these are the people that are afraid of new things. I figure that many people probably had the same reaction to tampons when they first came on the scene. I will never go back to tampons.

  • Dori July 20, 2011, 2:14 pm

    I read an article on Blisstree about the Diva Cup and ordered it right away. I have yet to try it though. It got amazing reviews and seems like the best option.

  • Kelly July 20, 2011, 2:15 pm

    I love that you keep it real, but this sort of made me queasy. (Blood generally does.) I am not a tampon user, even though I want to be. I can never get them to fit right (they actually “hurt”) and the thought of a plastic/rubbery like cup up in there gives me the jeebies. I’m just not that up close and personal with my vagina, and maybe that’s a bad thing. However, the thought of examining my period blood makes me weak. I really do have a squirmish stomach with blood (and I did two years of pre-med thinking I was going to be a doctor..psssht).

    Is it bad to clot blood when you’re on your period? I thought it was normal, since most everyone I know has clotting. Just curious since you mentioned it.

    Also, this line is just about top notch: “And since I only have one vagina, I’m going to err on the side of caution.” No one else is going to write that on their blog. Brilliant.

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 2:18 pm


      Re: clotting I’ll ask the Husband why he always asks women this question at the clinic – stay tuned.

    • Maddie July 20, 2011, 2:37 pm

      Totally with you on the queasy thing. I’m so glad you cover issues like this, Caitlin, but but I’m kind of a pansy and feel a little weak right now! Lol!
      Also, I second the clotting questions…

    • Julie @SavvyEats July 20, 2011, 7:10 pm

      I’m really glad to hear I’m not the only one that has problems with tampons like that!

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 8:45 pm

      In Chinese medicine, clotting blood in your period blood means there is poor blood flow to your uterus. Small clots are okay but larger than dime size are not. Basically, your qi isn’t moving things along correctly if you have big clots.

      • Kelly July 21, 2011, 9:28 am

        Thanks for checking into that. It’s good to know. I will have to examine things a little more closely (minus the cup)!

      • Mandy July 21, 2011, 8:31 pm

        Yikes. So how does one fix that?!

        • Caitlin July 21, 2011, 8:37 pm

          Herbs and acupuncture 🙂 But any herbs would be specific to the individual.

  • Annie (Delicious Wellness) July 20, 2011, 2:15 pm

    Awesome! I’ve been using the Diva Cup for about 3 or 4 years and LOVE it. I always hated tampons, and the Diva Cup is more comfortable and you never have to worry about how long it’s been in (unless you need to change it of course). My sister uses reusable pads and likes them a lot. You just wash them in the machine and apparently it’s really easy. Glad you found the Diva Cup! And don’t you like the pretty purple bag? 🙂

  • Liliana July 20, 2011, 2:16 pm

    Love this post! I just wanted to add my two cents here… there’s a more convenient and easier way to insert the diva cup. The U shape fold never worked for me, but when I use The Push Down Fold inserting becomes so easy and a lot less messy.

    I googled for a better description of the fold and this came up: http://femchoices.blogspot.com/2005/07/methods-to-insert-menstrual-cup.html

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 2:18 pm

      Nice, thanks!

    • Eleonora July 20, 2011, 3:05 pm

      Also, the European instructions suggest rinsing it in hot water after emptying it. It is supposed to make the silicon softer. BTW, I also had issues with the U fold and have always used the “push down” fold.

      • kyndra July 20, 2011, 3:15 pm

        yes! rinsing or soaking it momentarily in hot water makes it more pliable.

      • Kelsey July 20, 2011, 3:19 pm

        Another who can only use the pushdown fold!!

        • Jazz July 20, 2011, 3:27 pm

          Push down for sure! and rinse in hot water to make it softer..

  • Carrie July 20, 2011, 2:17 pm

    I’m SO freakin excited you featured Diva Cups!! As soon as I saw the organic tampons I was just gonna skip down and comment about the Diva Cup. Glad I read your whole post first.

    I have used the Diva Cup for a little over 3 years, taking time out during my pregnancy of course. I could not be happier with it. Seriously. It’s fabulous. I do still use disposable pads, but will be switching to reusable. I use to use tampons and an overnight pad and during the heaviest part of my period still had to make a trip to the bathroom every half an hour or so. No, I’m totally serious. It’s THAT bad. Diva Cup has saved my sanity. I still have to make bathroom trips more often than a normal woman, but it’s not as bad as it used to be. And I don’t feel as gross either as I used to during my period. I’m SO happy I discovered Diva Cups. And my cramps have lessened slightly I’ve noticed.

    They’re the best things ever.

    • Katherina @ Zephyr Runs July 20, 2011, 6:16 pm

      I want so badly just to “like” this comment, but instead will just say DITTO!!!

  • xey July 20, 2011, 2:18 pm

    i have been using the diva cup since february after having heard about it a few years ago and beginning to consider it sometime last year. i really like it, and it makes those few days out of the month so much easier. plus, it does make me feel better knowing that i’m not exposing my vagina to potential danger. and i know exactly what you mean about the cup helping you “connect” to your period. i feel the same way! best of luck to you! =D

  • Cynthia July 20, 2011, 2:18 pm

    I LOVE my Diva cup! I’ve used it for about two years now and it’s so much easier and better than tampons – especially if you think about packing for trips, all you have to remember is the Diva cup and you’re good haha. I (sadly) somehow mixed mine up in the washing machine recently so I’ve been back on tampons and it’s just not the same – this post has been the reminder I needed to order a new one, so.. thanks!

  • Tori July 20, 2011, 2:19 pm

    Sorry if someone above has mentioned this – I didn’t read all the comments – but you don’t actually flush your tampons do you? This is a major environmental no-no!

  • Erin @ Naturally Addicted July 20, 2011, 2:21 pm

    I love this post!! I’m so happy that you’re willing to talk about these things on your blog! I’ve never heard of the Diva Cup before, but after reading all those facts on tampons I am seriously rethinking my monthly go to! Thanks for the insight!

  • Julia @ Do more feel Good July 20, 2011, 2:21 pm

    Yay! I’m so excited you wrote this post. I just bought my Diva cup last week and am still waiting to use it. I love when healthy meets being green and being frugal!

  • Dee July 20, 2011, 2:22 pm

    Glad you wrote this review- I was attracted to the notion of the Diva Cup for environmental and health reasons, but wary of using it because I am afraid of my period becoming more of a nuisance- leaks, discomfort, messy changes, etc. But I like the idea of allowing for a learning curve. I’m also heartened by your report that you haven’t had spillage issues. May try it out…

  • R. Chandra July 20, 2011, 2:23 pm

    this is interesting! thanks for your review.

    ehhh, i am an old-school PADS girl all the way. i don’t think i will ever even try tampons, what to speak of this, but i like learning about the alternatives.

    loving your blog as always, Caitlin 🙂

  • Erin @ The Grass Skirt July 20, 2011, 2:26 pm

    Tampons make me nervous because of the chemicals, so I use pads (which probably still have toxins in them). The Diva Cup scares me! I have heard so much about them, but I just don’t know if I want to be all up in my period like that. 😉

    • Katherina @ Zephyr Runs July 20, 2011, 6:18 pm

      It’s actually worked the opposite way for me! Except for being way more aware of my flow and cycle, periods are no big deal anymore. I just pop in the diva and go on with my day. I never have to worry about leaks or plan my day around being near a bathroom… it’s made everything about my period a lot easier!

  • Julie @ Shining From Within July 20, 2011, 2:27 pm

    I want to try one but I’m scared lol! I just feel like I would be able to feel it… But if I use tampons than it shouldn’t be a problem? I’m afraid it would overflow LOL

  • Eleonora July 20, 2011, 2:29 pm

    I bought a Mooncup in 2006, after struggling with Candida and general intimate “rash” caused by tampons. I’ll never, ever, ever go back! It’s absolutely the best purchase I’ve ever made, no more irritations, no more candida, I empty it once in the morning and once in the evening and that’s all. No more dirty linens or underwear! The only caution I take is to empty it once more when I go swimming: I noticed that some water leaks into the cup (but nothing goes out) so it fills up faster. In Europe there are no regulations about replacing it after one year, I even think it’s guaranteed for 10 years or so.

  • K July 20, 2011, 2:29 pm

    Another vote for the DIva Cup right here! I think you hit the nail on the head with your earlier comment – finally, we can learn to be cool (if not downright awed) by how sophisticated the insides of our bodies are! I’m going on 3 years with mine and I cringe when I think of all of the money and landfill space I used to use!

  • AndreaClaire July 20, 2011, 2:29 pm

    I used a Diva Cup when I was living in Africa as access to pads/etc was unknown and I didn’t want to bring enough for six months! (That’s a LOT of weight/space in your backpack.) I really, really liked it. Unfortunately, one of my cats thought is was a playtoy when I left it out drying on the counter and I haven’t gotten around to replacing it. (I’m bad, I know!)

    The great thing about reusable pads is that you can easily make your own if you have a sewing machine (and some sewing knowledge although they’re pretty straight forward) and you can adjust the lining so on my heavier day, I have a heavier lining I slide in.

    Also (throwing back to living in Africa) if you like to sew, reusable pads are a great, simple project that you can make and donate to an organisation doing work in a developing country who can distribute them for you. Just a thought 🙂

    • Meg July 20, 2011, 9:26 pm

      Question…when you were in Africa, did you just clean it by boiling water, did you use bottled/purified water, or what? I am thinking about getting one for when I move to rural Peru next year and I want to make sure it is as sanitary as possible. Thanks!

      • AndreaClaire July 20, 2011, 10:43 pm

        For rinse outs during my period before reinserting, I just used bottled water. I always made sure to open a new bottle each time.

        For cleaning at the end of the cycle, I used boiling water. Remember that if you’re over 2000m, you’ll want to boil the water for at least five minutes (because it boils at lower temperatures when at higher altitudes).

        Have an amazing time!

  • Jill Will Run July 20, 2011, 2:29 pm

    I haven’t thought about the Diva Cup in years, but I think I need to give it a try. I think being aware of your cycle is hugely important. I have struggled with an ED and was on birth control. My BC gave me a cycle each month, so I let that delude myself into thinking I was “healthy” and didn’t have a problem. When I went off BC in 2008, my cycle never came back. I have been going through rounds of different hormones and scaling way back on running in attempts to get my body to recognize it is back at a healthy weight now so my cycle starts again. Assuming I get back to normal in this regard, I think I will try the Diva Cup. I will never ever go on BC again, simply because it masked something that should have been an indicator of my health condition.

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 2:35 pm


  • Laughter-Loving Stacy July 20, 2011, 2:31 pm

    THIS IS SUCH AN AWESOME POST! I am DEFINITELY going to look up the diva cup!!!!!!!

  • Cassy July 20, 2011, 2:31 pm

    oooh I am so interested!!
    thanks for the post!! You are so rad!

    where do I get this diva cup?!?

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 2:36 pm

      Check out the link in the post!

  • Katherine July 20, 2011, 2:33 pm

    I think I am going to try this diva cup thing. I hate my periods. Hate it. It is so heavy, and when riding horses my period just goes haywire and flows like a monsoon. It is ridiculous. I think this would help.

    • Tessa April 29, 2012, 11:29 pm

      When I got my first cup, I went with size 1 because I was 18 and nothing other than a tampon had been up there. But I was really frustrated with leaks. Within a couple of years, I bumped it up to a size 2 and found a dramatic decrease in the number of leaks I had. No children, hadn’t even had sex at that point, but I’m guessing a combination of genetics and the sheer number of horses I have ridden have given me a big and stretchy vagina (I wasn’t aware of the first time I had sex until my partner said, ‘Is this how you imagined your first time?’ seriously). I never use the cup alone while riding, but LunaPads makes built-in pad underwear which is amazing because it can’t move. They even make beige so you can wear white pants if you compete.

  • Mandi July 20, 2011, 2:36 pm

    I am so glad you wrote this!

    I did not even think about tampons being bad for us, Diva Cup, here I come!!

  • Errign July 20, 2011, 2:36 pm

    I am happy you posted about this – I’ve been up in the air about looking into the diva cup lately, so thank you!

    I have/had (I’m not sure if it’s 100% gone) low grade cervical dysplasia and my obgyn said most likely the cause was HPV, because it’s so common and generally symptom-less. I was super skeeved out, since I’d been with the same partner exclusively for over a year when my paps first came back abnormal, but he said that it can pop up anytime, sort of randomly as it’s the luck of the draw (or pap sample, if you will).

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 2:37 pm

      i wish i had hpv – at least then i would know why i have these problems!

  • Brandy July 20, 2011, 2:37 pm

    I love my Diva Cup and cloth pads! Cloth pads are so much more comfortable. I cut the stem totally off of my Diva cup. A trick to getting it out without making a mess is to squeeze the bottom to cut the suction. I’ve found that I can keep it in for 12 hours even on my heavy flow days. That’s nice because when I’m at work I don’t have to worry about it until I get home.

  • colleen July 20, 2011, 2:37 pm

    From the few blogs I read, only you would discuss this. Thanks! I have been using OB tampons since high school (15+ yrs) after realizing I hated applicators. I would rather stick my finger up there and know the tampon is where I want it to be and know it will expand in the directions I need it to – no applicator did that. Definitely will have check out the Diva cup – less waste and less time worrying about if I need to change a tampon every few hours (especially when I am travel or outdoors). Thanks again.

  • Alison @ Hospitality Haven July 20, 2011, 2:38 pm

    I use the lunapads reusable pads and they are fantastic!! Definitely worth saving the environment as well as keeping some money in my pocket. 🙂

  • Joanna@DrizzleofSunshine July 20, 2011, 2:38 pm

    Wow. I NEVER thought about this. Kudos for bring awareness about all the waste that our tampons and pads make up. I’ve always heard about the diva cup and the natural options, but never actually thought of them it terms of saving the environment. I’ll be looking for the natural tampon options now. Hopefully other big time companies will follow suit soon!

  • Sara @ OurDogBuffy July 20, 2011, 2:39 pm

    Wow! What an interesting blog topic! I don’t bleed much so I only have to use a tampon once or maybe twice during my cycle. I just use liners the other times–which I’m sure is bad for the environment. Thanks for mentioning this as an option! Very cool.

  • elizabeth July 20, 2011, 2:40 pm

    I’ve been using the Diva Cup for about a year, and I love it! It took me a while to get the hang of it, but now it’s so easy. It was perfect to use when I was studying abroad in India, where you have to burn used tampons. Their website used to say that the cups lasted for 10 years, but they had to take it down. I think it definitely lasts more than one though! And you don’t have to worry about TSS!

  • Brittany @B Out There July 20, 2011, 2:40 pm

    Love This post. Love. I’d be totally keen on the Diva cup too, given that I’m an endurance athlete and have my periods a little less frequently anyways!

  • @HilaryFleming @healthgirltv.com July 20, 2011, 2:41 pm

    I have never in my life heard of this. SO fascinating. I will have to look into that Diva Cup thing. I mean it totally makes sense that chemically treated pads and tampons could have a negative effect on the body (as well as environment). The diva cup sounds so awesome and so totally disgusting at the same time. I’ll have to give it a try just out of curiosity (+plus it makes me really sad to think of those tampon landfill stats). Thanks for writing about this. You always pick great topics.

  • J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) July 20, 2011, 2:41 pm

    I just wanted to say that I love this post and all the posts in this series. Thank you for these posts. Not only are they tongue-in-check funny, but they really do help women who and provide lots of info. You rock, Caitlin! 🙂

    Off to read the other posts that I may have missed. These topics are so important to women, especially women who may have symptoms of things that they aren’t sure where to look for answers.

  • Callie @ Callieflower Kitchen July 20, 2011, 2:42 pm

    I’ve had a DivaCup for about 3 years now and I love it! It takes a little bit of getting used to, but now I’m completely used to using it. It cost me about $40 and it’s supposed to last for 10 years, so I’m saving tons of money, and it’s also more comfortable to have in and I usually only empty it every day, which is a lot more convenient. Definitely pro-DivaCup here!

  • Brandy July 20, 2011, 2:42 pm

    To reiterate what Eleonora said; As a diva cup user for six months and a swimmer, I can verify that after swimming (especially in chlorinated pools), you should empty and rinse the cup as water tends to leak into the cup.

    I’ve been using a diva cup for about 7 months now. The learning curve was annoying for the first few periods, but now, it’s much more comfortable than tampons.

  • Cindy July 20, 2011, 2:42 pm

    I have used the Diva cup, but after I needed to buy a new one I found The Softcup that is sold at Wal-Mart, Target, and many drug stores. Check it out online http://www.softcup.com/ It is a disposable cup that is easier to use than the Diva cup. Even though it is disposable, I use the same one all week during my period, just washing it out with warm soapy water once a day. They are about $8.00 for a box of 14 so if you do the math, you only spend $8.00 for more than a years worth of periods!

  • Chrissy July 20, 2011, 2:43 pm

    Tampons, wrappers, and applicators should NOT be flushed! I had a rental property and my tenant kept flushing her tampons and clogged the line, it cost me over $6,000.

  • Katie July 20, 2011, 2:43 pm

    I’ve been thinking about picking up a Diva Cup lately, I just wish they were a little cheaper. I know they save money in the long run, but shelling out $30 for a product I don’t know if I’m going to like has stopped me in the past. I’m vowing to get the Diva Cup this month, no excuses!

  • Corinne July 20, 2011, 2:43 pm

    How much does it cost Caitlin? I’m considering the switch!

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 2:49 pm

      AMazon for about $25.

  • Yolie @ Practising Wellness July 20, 2011, 2:43 pm

    I’m really interested in this Diva Cup…never heard of it before now! But definitely intrigued…I’ve often thought about the negative effects of tampons and all the chemicals inside them. So cool of you to post about something so universal and important, but often unspoken 🙂 xyx

  • karin (allpointswhole) July 20, 2011, 2:47 pm

    That is so awesome!! What a great idea…

    ps I cloth diaper for the same reasons so once you decide to have little ones, we should chat…they are so adorable!

  • Ashley July 20, 2011, 2:47 pm

    I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this yet but in the UK they have the MoonCup which is the same thing. There are ads for it all around school but I don’t know anyone who uses it. I do know someone that did their thesis on it and she learned so much from it.

  • Michelle July 20, 2011, 2:48 pm

    Thank you so much for talking about this! I’ve never heard of the Deva Cup or the Keeper that commenters are talking about but I’m definitely going to look into it now. I’ve never liked the waste produced in using tampons.

  • Wendy July 20, 2011, 2:52 pm

    I actually bought a Diva Cup to use after my youngest was born, but shortly after that I got a Mirena IUD which completely stopped my periods. I was disappointed that I didn’t get a chance to try it out. Only slightly though, since it pretty much rocks that I haven’t had to deal with a period since March 2006. 🙂

  • Sarah July 20, 2011, 2:52 pm

    If the divacup gets “full” can you tell? Or if it starts to leak, does it feel the same as if your tampon was too full? Just wondering how you know when it’s time to empty it or if most gals just do it every time they’re in the bathroom??

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 2:54 pm

      No, most people only empty it twice a day: when they wake up and before they go to bed (once every 12 hours). I haven’t experienced leaks so I can’t comment on what it feels like.

    • Sarah AJ July 20, 2011, 3:56 pm

      Yes, you can feel it start to leak. On my heaviest day, I need to empty it in the middle of the day also, the rest of the days only twice like Caitlin said.

  • Marie July 20, 2011, 2:52 pm

    You were so convincing in this post that I’ve ordered one to try myself! Thanks for the information, Caitlin! I’m excited to have a greener period – yay!

  • Emily July 20, 2011, 2:52 pm

    I have been trying to convince my parents to let me use the cup for months! I’ve heard such great things about it, and after using a tampon for a couple of cycles, I have no intention of using pads again, and tampons proved to be slightly irritating. My parents maintain that it is dangerous and want me to ask a gyno first. I think that, despite being 17, I should be allowed to make decisions about the reproductive aspects of my body.

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 2:54 pm

      Don’t tell your parents, but I agree with you 😉 Ask your gyno! She will say it’s safe to use. It’s been very widely studied.

      • Marissa C July 20, 2011, 2:57 pm

        What could be dangerous about it?

        • m July 21, 2011, 8:32 am

          I am wondering if these parents of a teenager
          are old fashioned (regarding her
          virginity….you know old school thoughts!!
          Very dark ages kinda thinking!!)
          but were too old fashioned to even say this,
          and so called it “dangerous” !!

        • m July 21, 2011, 8:34 am

          PS Of course diva cups have nothing to do
          with virginity,but you would be surprised
          the thoughts some have regarding anything
          going in the vagina!

        • m July 21, 2011, 9:12 am

          Ooops, just read the girl already tried tampons,
          so nope it’s not to do with old school
          worries,ha ha

        • Emily October 8, 2011, 1:33 pm

          To m: My father recently did make a comment about virginity. Neither of my parents were comfortable with tampons either. They are kind of old-fashioned, so it was a combination of safety concerns and being raised in Catholicism for my parents.

      • Emily October 8, 2011, 1:48 pm

        I just thought I’d come back and say that I got my Divacup! My parents looked like they would never set a gyno appointment, or come with me to Planned Parenthood so that they could explain that it was PP supported.

        Instead, I snuck off while we were at wholefoods and bought it myself. My parents don’t know, and I don’t think I’ll tell them until I’m 18 in December.

        I’ve only had it for one cycle (I’m very late for my next cycle) and I love it! Being a virgin meant that insertion was a bit of an ordeal at first, but I think that by day 4 I really had it down.

        • Maggie May 14, 2012, 5:09 pm

          I hope you are still enjoying your cup. As an really old fashioned mom myself I just wanted you to know that you are supported. My 12 year old and myself both have our cups and I love them and realize they have nothing to do with virginity. I love mine and my daughter is more comfortable with cloth pads but, knows she has all the equipment she needs if ever the need arises. I am very religious and old fashioned and believe in waiting for marriage but, I want my daughter to know her body really well before she goes off and lets someone else have at it. Your parents i’m sure, love you and want only the best for you but, just are uncomfortable with stuff that is new, not realizing that it is really more in line with their beliefs than you are able to articulate.Careful stewardship of the planet is a god thing. Not to mention the stewardship of our bodies. Much love Blessings

  • Tami July 20, 2011, 2:55 pm

    and this is why we love your blog!

  • Ashley @ Thefitacademic July 20, 2011, 2:56 pm

    Wow – I’d never heard of the Diva cup, but I’m familiar with the organic tampon movement. From what I’ve read, European women have been using unbleached tampon alternatives for YEARS, but us Americans want things to be pretty and white so it hasn’t caught on here as much. I’m not sure if I could handle switching to the Diva Cup from (organic, unbleached) tampons, but it is very interesting to hear about!

  • Natalie@fitjamericangirl July 20, 2011, 2:59 pm

    OMG Caitlin, I cyber love you. (I hope that doesn’t sound creepy) I have NEVER heard of the Diva cup. I hate tampons because I have to change them so frequently because I have a heavy cycle, but this holds so much more. And it seems so much more cost effective! AND it’s good for the environment? SCORE. The only thing I’m concerned about is the material used to make the Diva. Plastic used in commercial production has some carcinogens like BPA for example, so I’ll need to do some research. Thank you for this post though.

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 3:02 pm

      I cyber love you too!

      It’s latex and BPA free, and they’ve done a lot of high-heat testing to make sure no molecules break free. There’s a lot of info on the Diva Cup’s FAQ page.

      • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 3:04 pm

        Oh yes, and it’s not plastic – it’s silicone!

    • Eleonora July 20, 2011, 3:03 pm

      The MoonCup (that is the European version of the Diva Cup, made in the UK) is made of medical-grade silicon, the same use for implants. So it should have no harmful chemicals whatsoever.

  • Christina July 20, 2011, 3:04 pm

    I have been using the Diva cup between pregnancies for about 2 years now and overall, I love it. I still don’t get it inserted correctly every time and typically still wear a panty-liner for “ooops” moments. But, I love saving the money for sure, and feel so much better not having a tampon stuck up there for days at a time. I have also read that, over time, using the Diva cup can cause your overall flow to decrease and that you may also notice a decrease in cramps (which go back to the chemicals in tampons). Sounds good to me! Even though we use cloth diapers, I can’t get myself to try reusable pads. 😮

  • Sara July 20, 2011, 3:05 pm

    I love my Diva Cup! I have had it for over six years, and have convinced many of my friends to switch over to it too. Thank you for getting the word out to so many people Caitlin!

  • Beth @ 990 Square July 20, 2011, 3:07 pm

    Hmm…I’ve never been a tampon wearer (my cervix is mispositioned, so they’re not comfortable) but I do wear a nuva ring. Since this is the same material, I wonder if it would work for me? But I do worry about it at work…I work in a place with no private bathroom. Can’t see myself rinsing it in the communal sink…

    • Jane July 20, 2011, 3:48 pm

      I carry baby wipes with me when I think I will need to empty it in a public bathroom! It makes it super easy to give it a quick wipe down and then I can do a more through washing when I’m at home later.

    • Selena July 20, 2011, 5:07 pm

      You can wear it for MUCH longer than a tampon, especially if you don’t have heavy flow so that isn’t usually an issue. You can usually get to a private bathroom within the 12 hour window. But yes, even just an empty and wipe toilet paper works.

  • Amanda July 20, 2011, 3:09 pm

    Awesome post! I read about the divacup a while back….. I like that its catching on.

  • erin July 20, 2011, 3:09 pm

    wait, so no one is bothered by boiling the diva cup once a month? do you have a diva cup-only saucepan? do you…not? (ew. and i am not really grossed out easily)

    my husband would probably die if he came home and i was boiling my diva cup in the pot we made quinoa in the night before. haha. i totally want one now.

    • CaitlinHTP July 20, 2011, 3:12 pm

      Bawhaha. It’s like soap, boiling a pot is self-sanitizing.

      • Jazz July 20, 2011, 3:29 pm

        My hubby is grossed out by the diva, but not the boiling of the diva in our pots.. he says that exactly, it’s boiling so it’s fine!

        • hippierunner July 20, 2011, 9:46 pm

          “Hey honey, what’s cookin? Wait- what the!” bahaha.

  • Ellen July 20, 2011, 3:09 pm

    i think the world would be a better place if everyone used a DivaCup– in many, many ways 🙂

  • Amber from Girl with the Red Hair July 20, 2011, 3:11 pm

    I found this post and all the comments fascinating. I’m seriously considering making the switch. I use tampons without applicators anyways right now so I feel like this wouldn’t be a huge switch. Though I do have to say it looks kind of “big” in that close-up picture of you folding it.

    Also, I told my fiance about this (he called me right in the middle of me reading this post, haha) and he shuddered and then told me I would have to get a new pot for boiling it. Haha.

    • Lunapads July 20, 2011, 4:55 pm

      It’s actually not all that big depending on how you fold it for insertion.
      Check out our Tampon vs DivaCup comparison video: http://youtu.be/rcjhsH66OoQ

  • kyndra July 20, 2011, 3:11 pm

    as i was reading this, i was thinking “oooooh i have to tell her about the diva cup!”. glad to see you discovered it. i just started getting period again after a few years of not having it (recovery from an eating disorder- i never would have thought i’d be so thrilled and proud to bleed on a regular basis again, ha). i used to use the diva cup and i’m definitely going to go back to using it now. it does take a little getting used to for insertion, but it’s just a matter of practice. there’s something about it that gets you more in touch with your body than using tampons . . . maybe it’s because you have to get over any squeamishness about your blood? and maybe this sounds weird, but i think it’s really cool that it allows you to see just how much blood you’re releasing. if definitely puts “heavy flow” in perspective in a way that pads and tampons can’t, ha.

    • CaitlinHTP July 20, 2011, 3:12 pm

      I am proud of you for getting your period back!

  • Rebecca July 20, 2011, 3:13 pm

    Haven’t noticed it in comments, unless I’m blind or skimming or something, but I Googled “reusable pads” (yes. I did.) and found GladRags, too. Anybody know if there’s any real difference between the two brands? It kind of sounds like they’re essentially the same thing, maybe?
    Just curious! 🙂 I should probably do some research on my own, but I’m too lazy to right now, haha!

  • Devonshire July 20, 2011, 3:14 pm

    I recycle just about everything i can but i don’t think i could ever use reusable pads or the divacup. After years of period issues, i finally got extended birth control and only have 4 periods a year so that decreases my tampon carbon print….Quddo’s to you but yea… icky..

  • Natasha July 20, 2011, 3:16 pm

    I stopped wearing tampons when I was about 19yrs old. I was going to school with a woman who’s daughter was dying from cervical cancer. I was having lunch with her one day and she said to me…can you promise me to think about something? I agreed. She asked me to consider never wearing tampons again as she strongly felt that it was a contributing factor to womens ovarian and cervical cancer. I honestly never thought much of it before meeting her. I started thinking about the fact that I’m making something that is being expelled from my body stay in it…for hrs. I have not worn a tampon in 13yrs. I am totally intreged by the Diva cup though. I don’t think I’ve seen them around. Did you find it in the femine hygiene section of the store?

    • Chelsey M July 20, 2011, 3:27 pm

      You can find them on the internet. There are a lot of different sites that sell them.

  • Jackie July 20, 2011, 3:20 pm

    I love, love my Diva Cup! And I do boil it once a month. My husband just rolls his eyes 😛

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit July 20, 2011, 3:24 pm

    I’ve been using a Diva Cup for several years now and absolutely love it! Thanks for writing this post!

  • Katie July 20, 2011, 3:25 pm

    caitlin, posts like this are what keep me coming back. thanks for taking the time to gather all the info and presenting it in an unassuming, nonjudgemental way. i love it!

  • Chelsey M July 20, 2011, 3:26 pm

    I have been using a diva cup for a few years and love it. I started my period while I was on my honeymoon and hadn’t remembered to bring it. I was in the middle of no where so my options were whatever I could find at the gas station. Using tampons was so irritating. I kept wondering why it took me so long to switch to a diva cup.

  • Johanna B July 20, 2011, 3:26 pm

    All this info makes me glad I’ve gone through menopause and don’t have to deal with the day to day issues of menstruation. It’s over for me but not for my daughter. Glad everyone is discussing it. When I started my period we never talked about “such things”.

  • Elisabeth July 20, 2011, 3:28 pm

    I’ve been a Keeper (preDivaCup) user for around 10 years. I would never go back to tampons. I do double up overnight with a cloth pad if I feel like I need it, but usually the Keeper does its job just fine all by itself.

  • elaine! July 20, 2011, 3:30 pm

    I tried the Diva Cup, but had leaking problems… it could have been user error. I guess I wasn’t invested enough in the idea to really make it work. Either that or my lady bits are configured differently. 😉

  • Anna July 20, 2011, 3:31 pm

    True story- an old boss of mine got one of these at a green products expo and gave it to me to test out because she was past menopause. she grabbed the one for women who had already had children/were over age 35, so it was a little too large. When she asked for feedback, we had a supremely awkward exchange about how it didn’t fit up my hooha.

    I’d be willing to try again with an appropriately sized one, however.

  • Lyndsey July 20, 2011, 3:32 pm

    I feel concerned…if you lay down, does the blood..run back inside of you? Or if you’re in a shoulder stand during yoga, does it run back in….

    Help? haha

    • CaitlinHTP July 20, 2011, 3:37 pm

      Nope. The cup creates a vacuum seal.

    • Deanna July 20, 2011, 8:28 pm

      I’ve heard you’re not supposed to do shoulder or headstands during yoga during your period, no matter what you’re using.

  • The Healthy Engineer July 20, 2011, 3:32 pm

    I’m never one who usually talks about things that openly, so I guess I cringed a little bit when you talked about seeing how much blood, and the color etc etc, but this is pretty interesting.

    I’ve never tried tampons because I’m still afraid of them, and I’m probably more afraid of the diva cup, but all of this are great ways to be a little more green!

    But reusable pads? I can’t even imagine!

  • Debbie~ July 20, 2011, 3:39 pm

    I recently went back to tampons after using the Diva Cup for a couple years. For me, the Diva Cup was too messy, it would often leak, and when I run it actually falls out ( i am a mom of $ so maybe that is why). I do think it’s a great idea though, and would work great with people who have a light to medium flow.

    • Jane July 20, 2011, 3:43 pm

      there are different sizes for the diva cup… one for women who have had children and one for women who haven’t. were you using the right size? that could make all the difference!

      • CaitlinHTP July 20, 2011, 3:43 pm

        I was about to say, YOU BIRTHED MONEY? TELL ME HOW. 🙂

        • M July 20, 2011, 6:36 pm


      • Sarah AJ July 20, 2011, 4:04 pm

        I can’t wear mine when I run, either, even though I have the correct post-babies size. My theory is that I need to do kegels, but I never remember to actually do them consistently to see if that fixes it. Other than that, though, I love my DC.

        • Debbie~ July 20, 2011, 5:18 pm

          yes, I do own the correct size..but I have a prolapse, so that may be why it doesn’t fit right. And Caitlin, it made me laugh when I read it back too lol:)

  • Debbie~ July 20, 2011, 3:40 pm

    **I meant I’m a mom of 4- should have re read it before I hit submit lol

  • Jane July 20, 2011, 3:42 pm

    I’ve been using my diva cup for years and I love it more than I can say. I think my favorite part.. that no one else seems to have mentioned… is that I actually experience less cramping than I do with a tampon. I have a typically light flow, and tampons – even the smallest ones – dried me out completely and were never fully saturated even after wearing them for 8 hours (especially at the begining or end). I strongly believe this contributed to greater discomfort and pain during my periods. Since the Diva Cup is made from silicone and non-absorbent, I don’t have those issues anymore!

    Also there is the significantly decreased risk of toxic shock! Which is amazing

    And just as a note – when I have my diva cup in and I think there is the possibility of having to empty it in a public bathroom, I just stick some baby wipes or feminine wipes in my purse. Then I can still give it a quick clean out in the pubic bathroom and not have to worry about leaving the stall to wash it out then going back to put it in.

  • Melissa July 20, 2011, 3:42 pm

    Wow this is a great resource! What comprehensive information! 🙂 My friend has used the Diva Cup for the reason that it is cheaper. She’s not so much an environmentalist, but when you add up how much you spend on pads and tampons, the Diva Cup is also great for your wallet! She ended up really liking it. I might have to give it a try now! Thanks for the advice on taking it off in the shower too…

  • elizabeth July 20, 2011, 3:46 pm

    I’m with you on the cup idea, but it can be very important to research before you buy!

    I used this website to pick the right cup for me (hint – definitely not the Diva Cup!):


    Great job getting the word out!

  • Brittany July 20, 2011, 3:47 pm

    Not sure where I stand on the Diva Cup issue, but Caitlin, you rock for posting about this uncomfortable yet important topic. I feel like you will be a great mom when the time comes 🙂

  • Kristie July 20, 2011, 3:51 pm

    I LOVE this post. Thank you for keeping these real and bringing stuff like this to attention! 🙂

  • Kelly July 20, 2011, 3:57 pm

    I have heard about the diva cup and actually know someone who uses it. My personal opinion is that if it works for you then by all means go for it. But I find it be a little revolting if you ask me. It really grosses me out..like a lot. I completely know what you are saying about tampons (and pads…but really I haven’t used a pad in like 15 years) and I still can’t fathom using the diva cup.

  • Amy July 20, 2011, 3:59 pm

    “And since I only have one vagina, I’m going to err on the side of caution.”
    Best. Line. Ever! =)

  • Natalie S. July 20, 2011, 4:07 pm


  • Pamela July 20, 2011, 4:10 pm

    Seriously Caitlin, I love how upfront and honest you are. I wish I had more friends like you in real life.

    When Instead debuted like 15 years ago-ish, my friend ordered a free sample from the internet. (I was seriously impressed with this – she also had computer games I had never seen before!) She called me up after school and demanded that I come over to watch the instructional video that came with the cup. I had no idea why…until we turned it on and saw my MOTHER demonstrating on a plastic model how to use it. Turns out, my mother (a GYN) was one of the first doctors harnessed to promote the product, and ended up on the video! Way awkward and awesome all at the same time. 🙂

  • Kristen (inspiredbydooce) July 20, 2011, 4:15 pm

    I’m with Amber- that thing looks BIG…almost scary big.
    I’ve always wondered about it but never taken the DivaCup plunge. After hearing that some think it contributed to fewer cramps, I might have to get one.

    • Marie July 21, 2011, 10:44 am

      I have fewer cramps, too. I have also heard this from several other people! Just go for it 🙂

  • Samantha July 20, 2011, 4:17 pm

    I have thought about this for over a year now and this just inspired me to buy one (I’m out of tampons anyway). It sounds like a great solution, environmentally and healthwise.

  • Baby Blue July 20, 2011, 4:19 pm

    Funny thing is, I just started using one today. Great to see it on my favorite health blog!

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 8:43 pm

      Thanks Baby Blue!

  • Elise July 20, 2011, 4:20 pm

    I didn’t know these existed, but I’m off to the store to get one now — I just started a cycle, and would love to try it out! Thanks for this post — I love how you blog about everything 🙂

  • Laura July 20, 2011, 4:22 pm

    I read your tweet when you first posted this and immediately started looking to the diva cup. But of course I had just bought a HUGE box of pearls from costco, so I’m like swimming in tampons right now. I was waiting for you (and that wife) to post your review of the diva cup so I could see if it’s something I should look into! I’m glad you had a good experience with it and I think I’ll buy one and start transitioning myself to that.

  • Andrea of Care to Breed July 20, 2011, 4:26 pm

    I’m so happy you did this post! More readers need to know there are other ways! I am cloth diapering my 3 mo old baby and in the process discovered “Mama cloth” and “Family Cloth.” I’m ready to try mama cloth when my period comes back – I actually wish I had known about it when I had my post-partum bleeding. Now, family cloth is another issue – I just don’t think I’ll be able to give up the TP! I use cloth wipes for my girl, but cloth wipes for adult poop is a whole other ballgame…

  • Heather July 20, 2011, 4:27 pm

    If I were stranded on a desert island, my number one item to bring with me would be my diva cup! I LOVE it!

  • jen July 20, 2011, 4:33 pm

    ok i’ll be the one to ask… can you poop with the diva cup in?!

    • Jenna July 20, 2011, 5:12 pm


  • AmandaonMaui July 20, 2011, 4:47 pm

    I have a LadyCup that I love, but if I ever get an IUD again I won’t be using it. The last time I had an IUD and used my cup I ended up pulling out my IUD. That’s not such a good thing. I had been using them together for around a year, but I eventually didn’t take proper care and suctioned the IUD down low enough by not breaking the seal well enough, and then the strings got caught and pulled the IUD out.

    I also like the organic Natracare tampons, or the Seventh Generation tampons. I have a Lunapad panty liner I won on twitter (brand new of course!) but I don’t use it much. I’d have to buy a lot more, and I think with my flow a reusable pad just wouldn’t be absorbent enough and I’d have to buy way too many pads to keep up.

    • Liz July 20, 2011, 7:06 pm

      That sounds really painful…

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 8:25 pm


    • Nicole (Mrs. Muffins) July 20, 2011, 11:02 pm

      Omigosh. I’ve been thinking about getting the Diva Cup all day but I’ve actually already had my IUD come out once… I don’t want to do it again! The device itself is so expensive, plus the doctor visit… Now I’m afraid to try the diva cup 🙁 Maybe when I have my IUD taken out…

  • Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me July 20, 2011, 4:56 pm

    I’m intrigued by this but I’ve never even used a tampon without an applicator. I’m super nervous about it for some reason!

  • Selena July 20, 2011, 4:57 pm

    So interesting that you post this now. I’ve been using OB for a long time now but since having baby #3 things are a little different and it is taking larger tampons to 1-stay in place and 2-absorb the heavier flow. I did use a diva cup for a few months and liked it but haven’t had the desire to re-learn how to use it. I’ve been having issues getting the OB in the right place with no applicator so I wasn’t sure I could do the diva cup any more.

    Strangely enough, just today I bought some regular tampons wiht applicators since I’ve been so frustrated with not being able to get the non-applicator ones in place. Now, you’re making me think I should return them and try the diva cup again. It really is the best option if you can get over the “gross” factor.

    Another “connection” to your post…I worked for the EPA during and after college. Some of the studies I was working on were on the effects of dioxin on hormone levels in rats. So, I bet some of my work is linked to those findings. How funny…

  • Peggy July 20, 2011, 5:08 pm

    I had a diva cup for a year or so in college, and I LOVED it. It surprised me that I actually thought that it was cleaner and way less gross than tampons (no string to pee on!!). But a word of caution: I could not get mine clean enough, even though I boiled it before I used it every time, and it gave me a string of nightmarish UTIs. I didn’t know why I was getting them, and then I stopped using the Diva Cup, and I haven’t had one since (2 years). I don’t know for sure it was that, but I’m a little afraid to go back. Anyone else have this problem?

  • Jenna July 20, 2011, 5:11 pm

    Under the category of things you might not think you’d find on the internet – there are some extremely helpful videos on youtube on how to insert and remove the diva cup.
    I found the way they suggested on there far superior than the package instructions for insertion and how to form a good seal.

  • Erin @ Big Girl Feats July 20, 2011, 5:14 pm

    Does anyone else remember in Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume that Margaret gets her period and uses these reusable cup/liner things that you have to wash and reattach to the belt? I remember reading it and being like “my mom did NOT prepare me for this period thing!” I was so confused. Seems like J. Blume knew what was up.

    • Meg July 20, 2011, 5:42 pm

      Have you read Tina Fey’s new book, Bossypants? She addresses this a few times and I couldn’t help but think of Judy Blume. I was really confused the first time I bought pads and there was no belt!

      • Annalisa July 20, 2011, 5:44 pm

        Love Bossypants! I was breastfeeding when I started reading it and it’s hilarious! The idea of watching Entourage while BF’ing was LOL hilarious! I love TF.

      • Erin @ Big Girl Feats July 20, 2011, 6:01 pm

        I haven’t yet, but this is another sign that Tina Fey and I are on the same wavelength. Love that she references it!

    • AshinMT July 20, 2011, 6:36 pm

      I have not thought of that book FOREVER. Yes, i was really really confused about the “belt” action.

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 7:05 pm

      Best. book. ever. I heard they recently re-vamped it to get rid of the belt and pads and replace with more modern stuff.

    • maria @ Chasing the Now July 20, 2011, 7:35 pm


  • Ellie@fitforthesoul July 20, 2011, 5:14 pm

    whoa whoa!! hahaha! Caitlin, you are just too crazy cool! I never ever would have known about all this and whether or not it’s all proven correctly, it’s worth thinking about!! You totally rocked my mind right now and I need to go think very deeply… 😛 And Those landfill photos are truly shocking! Yikes, this Diva Cup is really worth a try I think! HTPDad, are you reading this post? 0_0

  • Kristin @ Wounded Fawn July 20, 2011, 5:26 pm

    Thanks for another great post!

    Prepare to receive too much info!!!

    I recently went off of birth control after having several issues including an insane amount of blood during sex. while discussing this with my psychologist I told her my period blood is always brown not red, and she said thats not normal so I have been tossing around the idea or the diva or moon cup and I guess since you mentioned you can look at your blood that would be a good thing for me in addition to not wanting to put chemicals in my vagina! Who knew I should know the stickiness of my cervical mucus and the color of my menstrual blood. No one ever told me these things…

    Good news though, First month with no birth control and I have red period blood! Hallelujah!

    • AshinMT July 20, 2011, 6:39 pm

      I have not had red period blood since being on the pill! So glad you mentioned this because i just thought that my business had gone way lighter/browner as a result of i dont know, getting older? Awesome to know its pill related. So is it not normal in a i should be concerned way?

      • Kristin @ Wounded Fawn July 21, 2011, 11:41 am

        I really don’t know what “normal” is really and I had never thought about it until all of my issues with birth control appeared. I currently don’t have insurance so I haven’t been able to see a doctor to go over this, I mean I have been to planned parenthood but I have to be honest, the doctor I had there seemed annoyed that I had questions about my body and the new birth control she wanted to start me on. For me personally, I may have cysts or something else since she said my uterus was “bulky” lol whatever that means. I am supposed to get an ultrasound but can’t right now.

        So, the long and short of it is, when I have health care I will ask a Dr. If you are worried about it like I am maybe you could ask your doctor if you have one! and then let me know… lol

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 8:52 pm

      Yay! I am glad your period blood returned to red :0)

  • Mary July 20, 2011, 5:37 pm

    Does the Diva cup work in place of a tampon?! I’d be way too afraid to use it!

    I’m so glad that I do not get my period more than every 3 months…

    • Liz July 20, 2011, 7:09 pm

      Yes. No tampon needed!

  • Jill in Chicago July 20, 2011, 5:39 pm

    No way, you did not just show a picture and a review of a Diva cup. Here in the Chicago improv and sketch community, its a source of a lot of jokes.

  • Meg July 20, 2011, 5:39 pm

    I have never used diva cup but I wholeheartedly endorse Natracare tampons. I used to get rather itchy down there after a few days of using regular tampons and frequently got yeast infections as well. I’ve had no issues with either since switching to Natracare 2 or 3 years ago. I go for the applicator free so they’re a little less wasteful and also cheaper.

  • Annalisa July 20, 2011, 5:43 pm

    I use reusable products too! I started right after my baby was born – if cloth diapers work for her (and I use them to avoid chemicals) why shouldn’t I do this for myself?
    Side note — I HATE how feminine hygiene items are taxed! I wrote to a few congress people with no response. It is a gender specific tax and that’s not fair. I know it’s not much but those products are pretty much forced on us.

  • liz July 20, 2011, 5:46 pm

    not sure if anyone else commented this: but I’ve read that conventionally grown cotton has the most chemicals applied to it as a crop — way more than any food crop, and probably way more than what is used on most tree farms.

  • Amy* July 20, 2011, 5:52 pm

    I’m surprised so many people use the cup. I read about it a few years ago, but it just seemed so crazy that I never really considered it. Hmmm something to think about.*

  • Mary @ What's Cookin' with Mary July 20, 2011, 5:55 pm

    This post rocks Caitlin. You’re always up for talking about the ‘stuff’ no one else would dare to. I love it. I read through many of the comments too. Got some good lolz @ the ‘haven’t you masturbated?’ comment ;P I was reading it thinking… ummm don’t most people NOT insert their hands into their vaginas to masturbate..?

    • m July 20, 2011, 6:22 pm

      Sorry to be TMI, but I think it’s really vital for women to get more comfortable with their bodies,a nd exploring their vagina is part of this .
      And trust me, you will have much more mindblowing orgasms
      once you include this along with clitoral stimulation.
      I know this is so personal, but since Caitlin is being so frank, I want to be frank and encourage women to
      get comfortable with their body parts-to truly know our own body and how it clicks we shouldn’t just wait for a man to explore this “unknown territory”-we should be finding out as much as we can about our own body .

      Just my 2 cents gals !! 😉

      • Mary @ What's Cookin' with Mary July 20, 2011, 6:33 pm

        I totally agree, even if my comment doesn’t seem that way… it was just my immediate thought that I should have probably thought through a bit more or kept to myself.

    • Marina July 20, 2011, 6:28 pm

      I really think it depends a lot on each individual! I don’t even know if there’s a majority. We should conduct a poll!

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 7:03 pm

      hahah we should poll it!

  • TC July 20, 2011, 5:57 pm

    I bought the Diva Cup a couple months ago, but must admit that I’ve been a little frustrated with it. I’ve never gotten it to feel comfortable, and some times it feels like it’s getting sucked up into no man’s land, if you know what I mean. I also had some issue with leakage. This has inspired me to give it another shot, though.

    • Katherina @ Zephyr Runs July 20, 2011, 6:31 pm

      Try and focus on the seal, sometimes one type of seal can work for you and others leave some room! Also consider emailing DivaCup support, they’ve been extremely helpful to me in the past!

    • Lunapads July 20, 2011, 7:11 pm

      Pop us an email to info[at]lunapads[dot]com. We’re happy to help with DivaCup troubleshooting!

  • zoe (and the beatles) July 20, 2011, 6:02 pm

    my roommate and i were talking about the divacup a few months ago! i have no idea where to find one though! i’ve always thought about how wasteful and resource sucking tampons are. it makes me feel uncomfortable. i’m not afraid of relearning or getting a little messy in the process. however, what makes me a little nervous is whether it will be comfortable or not. it took a really long time for tampons to not hurt (vaginal issues suck). still, i’m willing to give it a shot if i can find it!!!!

  • Katherina @ Zephyr Runs July 20, 2011, 6:03 pm

    I’m SO GLAD you went the route of the Diva Cup! I’ve had mine for around 3 years and will never go back. I wrote a love note/review of my experience with it:

    They have to say that it has a lifespan of 1 year for health code reasons but it should really last you around a decade if you clean it properly (ie at all).

    P.S. trying to comment on an ipad is HELL. I had to try and scroll down the 260+ comments while stopping to let it load every once in a while before I even got a shot at the “Leave a Comment” box. I ran to my laptop. Plus ipads don’t link to your blog for some reason. There’s no communication between an ipad and the “Website (optional)” text box.

    • Deanna July 20, 2011, 8:30 pm

      iPAD…no pun intended 😉

  • alanna July 20, 2011, 6:15 pm

    I read a lot of blogs…a lot and one thing that really bothers me about healthy living blogs is the lack of ‘greenness’ (as much as I am sick of that word). The vast majority of food that I see being praised on healthy living blogs is whatever the new super food is and they are all grown in far away lands and who knows how the farm employees are treated. My point is that I have three rules when it comes to buying my food and they can and should be adapted to really everything in life:

    1) My the growing (or raising of, if animals are involved ie cheese, eggs, or meat) of my food should not cause any environmental damage. Packing and shipping of food is also a big concern when it comes to environmental damage
    2) The people producing my food should not be harmed in anyway
    3) The food should not harm me in anyway

    I strongly belive that all of the problems can be solved by buying local food. I know that I am greener than most people and ‘normal’ people think I am extreme and take it too far.

    I’m really glad to see a healthy living blogger showing the correlation between ‘green’ products and our health. So thank you = you should get a commission on all the diva cups you sold today.

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 8:55 pm

      Thanks alanna! I know I’m not perfect but I do think small efforts add up! I admire your commitment.

  • Jamila6452 July 20, 2011, 6:16 pm

    I’ve been using a Diva Cup for years and LOVE it! When I saw your post title in my blog reader I thought “Oh, I’ll have to comment on this one with Diva Cup love” – I’m so glad you’ve already discovered it! My favorite part is that it’s always with you – you don’t have to worry about having a stash of tampons in your purse or whatever for mid-day changes. (Actually, there usually aren’t mid-day changes. I can usually go ~12 hours without needing to empty it.)

    I’m going to just ditto the above poster who said “I. LOVE. MY. DIVA. CUP.” 🙂

  • Jenn's Adventures July 20, 2011, 6:20 pm

    never heard of either of these products and I’m so stoked you blogged about this–thank you!

  • Jesse July 20, 2011, 6:25 pm

    Caitlin, thank you for always keeping it real 🙂

    And, thanks for sharing this info. I think this might be one of my fav blog posts. I am def going to look into the Diva Cup, and I always love how much more info you can learn about a topic in the comments! Especially here on HTP 🙂

    • Katherina @ Zephyr Runs July 20, 2011, 6:29 pm

      I was just thinking that – the comment section on HTP transforms into a message board and I love it 🙂

      • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 7:04 pm

        That is my favorite thing about comments!!! I love it.

  • Beth (Well I'll Be) July 20, 2011, 6:30 pm

    I am sometimes astounded by your honesty, in a good way! I’ve always been curious about the diva cups (could they have come up with a better name though?) so I’m glad to hear your personal experience with them!

    • Carrie H July 21, 2011, 11:39 am

      Agreed! I just ordered one — I’ve been thinking about it ever since my sister got one as she moved to Kenya last year for the Peace Corps. My husband and I are leaving for a month-long visit to see her in ONE WEEK (!!!) so I decided to just do it. Better than carting tampons over.

      Anyway, the NAME makes me cringe more than the product or process itself! I’d rather it be called “stick this in your vagina to catch your menstrual blood cup” than the “diva cup”. It’s like teaching your son to call his penis his “willy” or something or your vagina your “treasure garden”. Totally redic. Also, I do not consider myself a diva!

  • Jen July 20, 2011, 6:32 pm

    So funny that you posted about organic tampons today! I just saw an ad in a flyer for one of our local organic shops and thought “organic tampons? Really?” After reading this I just may pick some up, but that’s about as far as I’ll go to make my period more environmentally friendly. I’m more than willing to “reduce, reuse, recycle” in most areas of my life, but my period ain’t one of them!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing July 20, 2011, 6:48 pm

    Wow! I’ve never even heard of them. It sounds like a great idea but the idea of it kind of freaks me out!

    • Katherina @ Zephyr Runs July 20, 2011, 6:55 pm

      My Diva Cup is such a lifesaver! (We kind of sound like a cult now, don’t we?!) Scroll through the comments on this post, there are a lot of good questions & answers so you can see if it’s right for you!

  • Mallory July 20, 2011, 7:05 pm

    I love the frankness of this entire post and the comments! I am totally freaked out by this, but am also plagued by the most horrible heavy periods. I am will to try anything to feel more like a normal person and less like a diaper wearing grandma on those days (hello overnight pads…ew)But I have a question:

    I can’t figure this cup thing out. If it really is just a cup, and you have to squeeze it (at least a little bit) to get it out, doesn’t the substance inside the cup spill out? Wouldn’t that go back up into your body? And then when you take the cup out it falls out? Also when you take the cup out and wash it, I am assuming you are doing this at home in your bathroom, how long does it take? That sounds dumb, but sometimes I can’t walk from my toilet to the shower naked when I am on my period because I drip along the way! (TMI-sorry if it is!) So if I have to leave the toilet and clean this cup, then I would have to pull up my panties and at least put on a liner in the meantime. Does anyone else who has this issue use the Diva Cup?

    • Katherina @ Zephyr Runs July 20, 2011, 7:11 pm

      Unless the cup is filled to the brim, when you squeeze (gently!) it to pull it out there shouldn’t be a problem. If it IS filled to the brim (which happens for heavy flowers like myself) then it’s not a big deal, it just is the first few drops to fall into the cup when you pop it back in 😀
      It only takes a few seconds to wash, you really just rinse it out! If you’re in a public place without a sink (I always try to go to the handicap stall when I’m out in public and need to do my business!) you can just wipe it with toilet paper and pop it back in. Super simple!

    • Lunapads July 20, 2011, 7:20 pm

      I agree with everything Katherina said. You don’t actually need to wash or even rinse the cup out each time you empty it. You can just empty and re-insert, or empty, wipe with toilet paper and re-insert. The cup only needs to be washed once in a 24 hour period.

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 8:25 pm

      It can splash, which is why I recommend taking it out in the shower until you figure out how to do it without splashing. If you take it out and remove it in the shower, you can wash it in the shower and you won’t have any dripping problems!

  • Shelley July 20, 2011, 7:15 pm

    I have always been curious about these menstrual cup things, glad to know they work! I haven’t had a period for about 7 years, i stopped when i had an eating disorder and never back once i recovered. I have since had 2 children so it hasn’t affected my fertility but i’m quite concerned about the impact it is having on my body not having one and the doctors cannot seem to give me an answer

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 8:32 pm

      I would urge you to seek out an alternative practioner! 🙂

  • Liz July 20, 2011, 7:16 pm

    Caitlin – you should put up a poll to see how many people have converted to the Diva Cup due to HTP. I bought one a few weeks ago after reading the comments in your other thread on this topic.

    One thing that no one has mentioned yet… When I insert/remove it there is a noise that’s a bit hard to get used to. A suction sort of noise. Not a huge deal when I’m alone, but super awkward in public restrooms. Not sure if this is an issue for everyone – I only know one other person that uses it and she said she had that same issue.

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 8:32 pm

      heheh cough loudly??? That’s what I do.

    • Jamila6452 July 20, 2011, 10:42 pm

      The Diva does use suction to stay in place – the little tiny holes under the rim have something to do with it. One way to reduce the noise is to slide a finger up along the side of the cup before removing it and gently pushing against the rim to break the suction. There should be no (or very little) noise. Then pull it out as usual.

    • Lindsay July 20, 2011, 11:17 pm

      Count me as a convert! A friend of mind in the Peace Corps told me about the Diva Cup a few years ago, and I had forgotten about it until now. Caitlin, yourglowing (yet honest) review of the Diva Cup had me on amazon.com with my debit card in hand within minutes. I found myself wishing there were some way to indicate that you had been the referring party.

      Here’s my question for you (and I hope it isn’t inappropriate)- Why haven’t you jumped on the OpenSky/product endorsement train like so many other bloggers? I haven’t necessarily decided whether I like or dislike it when bloggers do this. I work in marketing and sales, so I certainly understand that bloggers are a powerful referral source (who deserve to be justly compensated for their impact on product sales), but I have also seen examples where a blogger’s credibility suffers as a result.

      I certainly don’t mean to offend anyone with my question- I am honestly just interested to hear your thoughts. You’re one of my favorite bloggers, and I trust your opinion on things. Then again, perhaps the reason I trust you is because I never feel “sold to” on your blog…

      All I’m saying is- a percentage of all the Diva Cup sales tonight would have been some pretty sweet change, you know what I mean?

      • Caitlin July 21, 2011, 7:59 am

        Hi Lindsay!

        I didn’t get on the Open Sky train (they did approach me – actually twice – and I said no both times) for several reasons:

        1) I didn’t like the idea of selling stuff to my readers and making a commission… I think I’ve only ever asked readers to buy something that would specifically benefit me (i.e. a commission) a handful of times over the last three years (one notable example: my book – and that technically doesn’t even directly benefit me because you don’t make royalties until you’ve sold like, a bajillion books, which I have not).

        2) I hit up readers for charitable donations all the time. I’d rather ask readers to donate to charities, like Girls on the Run or other organizations, than buy stuff. I figure you can’t really do both.

        3) I felt like too many bloggers in the same genre were doing Open Sky already so it wasn’t ‘unique’ enough.

        4) It seems like a lot of work on my behalf and I’m not sure how financially beneficial it would be for me.

        5) I personally do not like constant Open Sky sales pitches in blogs.

        That being said, a lot of my blog friends do use Open Sky and they like it and many of their readers like it. I’m just not sure it’s for HTP.

        • Caitlin July 21, 2011, 7:59 am

          Oh and I did not get a commission from this post, although LunaPads does want to send me free reusable pads now, which is cool!! Sometime fun to blog about down the road. 🙂

        • Sarah July 21, 2011, 9:14 am

          Thanks for explaining your thoughts (and keeping your blog Open Sky free).

        • Lindsay July 21, 2011, 10:46 am


          Thanks for your honest and thorough answer to my question! I respect and agree with all of your points. Kudos to you for maintaining the integrity of your blog.

          I would also rather donate to a deserving charity than buy expensive nut butter any day. You’re a good person and an inspiration to many.

        • Mandy July 21, 2011, 8:42 pm

          Good for you.

  • Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons July 20, 2011, 7:20 pm

    I didnt know the diva existed! I used to use nuvaring for BC so i’m sure it wouldn’t bug me.. hmm… For now I use the organic guys exclusively. I had c.dysplaysia and making the switch and upping my F+V intake got rid of it and brought my cells back to normal. I dont want to leave a long crazy comment but if you ever want to chat – email me! i’ve been through it and had many a cancer scare!

  • maria @ Chasing the Now July 20, 2011, 7:26 pm

    Gotta be honest, I am not a huge tampon fan to begin with, but I might consider ordering a Diva cup and checking it out just for the environmental friendliness of it all. Throwing away one cup a year vs. a bazillion pads a year… hmmmmmm

    • Elise July 22, 2011, 12:31 pm

      Hated tampons, loved the Diva Cup. They really don’t have much in common, so there’s hope!

  • Caroline July 20, 2011, 7:32 pm

    Wow, diva cup should pay you for this post considering how many women’s minds you’ve changed! I always thought it was a messy, happy thing but thanks to you I’m really interested to try it. I’ve been trying to reduce the number of chemicals I put on/in my body. I haven’t had periods for the past year and a half thanks to an IUD, but as of Monday that is gone (to rid myself of hormones). So I bought a box of talons but was wondering whether there was a better alternative. Thank you for being so open and sharing!

  • Sam July 20, 2011, 7:39 pm

    Yeah I’ve been thinking about getting one for a while. I hate the expense and the waste of normal tampons and pads. And if they are releasing chemicals into me i don’t like that either!

  • Jessica July 20, 2011, 7:45 pm

    A lady I used to work with used the Diva Cup and had a friend who did also… and the friend would save the blood and cook with it because it’s so full of vitamins. It sounds crazy… but figuring that non-vegetarians eat cow or pig blood, it’s not the most far-fetched thing I’ve ever heard!

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 8:36 pm

      Ew!!! Crazy. Kind of like eating your placenta.

      • alli July 20, 2011, 9:01 pm

        i ate mine!! i thought it was weird when i first heard of it, but after reading a ton on it i was sold. it was dried, ground and encapsulated so it’s not like i’m diggin’ my teeth into a hunk of meat, though some do chop it up and cook with it. that, i couldn’t do. i’m only so granola 🙂 i’ve noticed good side effects from ingesting it and actually noticed an increase of milk supply on days when i take it 🙂

        • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 9:10 pm

          I bet the Husband makes me eat my placenta. It’s nice to know it’s not so bad. LOL!

        • Jessica July 20, 2011, 9:18 pm

          that’s so cool you did that! haha Caitlin when that happens you could totally come up with some recipes.. or is that just crossing the line? LOL too funny!!

  • KJ July 20, 2011, 8:08 pm

    Wait, you’re worried about the environment and you FLUSHED YOUR TAMPONS?! Bloody hell.

    • m July 20, 2011, 8:19 pm

      I was surprised about the flushing,
      but we all make mistakes and learn!

      • KJ July 20, 2011, 8:21 pm

        Good it’s been a learning experience. This was an excellent post, I’ve just started uisng a Diva Cup and while I’m still getting used to it, I definitely prefer the idea of it to pads and tampons and I don’t think I’ll revert back to them.

        • m July 21, 2011, 8:40 am

          Just to clarify, I have never in my life flushed tampons as I know it is absolutely horrible for the environment,in this case I meant a learning experience for Caitlin. 🙂

          (although I have learned from many, many other mistakes in my life 😉

  • Alicia July 20, 2011, 8:11 pm

    There is not a single thing I dislike about this blog, and every time I come back, I like it even more. You are on a roll, Caitlin! Your posts are always the perfect mix of thoughtful, helpful, and interesting, but lately they’ve been downright inspiring and empowering. I’ve loved that you do things that let everyone get involved and bring together women from different states and even countries into one woman-fueled community. I so enjoy reading and commenting in this section, and it’s great to see your replies to others, as well. This was an especially awesomesauce post, and I know I am thinking the same as many other women when I say that I am beyond grateful to get to read this blog!

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 8:36 pm

      Thank you SO much Alicia. This was such a sweet comment. I really appreciate it.

  • alyssa July 20, 2011, 8:11 pm

    okay, this might be taking environmental issues just a bit too far. i’m thoroughly grossed out. lol.

  • Marysa July 20, 2011, 8:16 pm

    There’s an amazing organization, Huru, that raises money to buy those reusable pads for girls and women in Kenya and other parts of Africa. These girls have to miss 4+ days of school a month because they don’t have proper sanitary napkins. Check them out there and if you’re feeling generous please donate. 🙂 http://www.huruinternational.org/

    • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 8:36 pm

      What a great organization!

    • Carrie H July 21, 2011, 11:58 am

      Thank you for mentioning this organization! My sister is a high school teacher with the Peace Corps in Western Kenya and she says the poorer girls often get in trouble for stealing sanitary products from the girls who can afford to buy them.

      It truly breaks my heart. We have SO much here in the U.S.

  • Molly @ RDexposed July 20, 2011, 8:18 pm

    Eeeee. This is a bit intense for me since I’m going through this right now! HA

  • Kim @ Kim Lives Healthy July 20, 2011, 8:21 pm

    One of my favorite of your blog posts yet 🙂 Thanks for shedding some light – I’m new to the FAM method too and always thinking of how to get more in touch with “down there”.

  • Lydia July 20, 2011, 8:48 pm

    YES! I love my Diva Cup- I’ve been using it for over 5 years and have never had any issues. It is oddly empowering and it works better than tampons ever did. THANK YOU for spreading the word about this and normalizing menstrual cups!

  • Emily @ Comfortable Home Life July 20, 2011, 9:01 pm

    BAHAHa girl are you sure you only have a vagina? Posting something like this takes GREAT BIG BALLS! I love it! My first thought was hell no but now I’m seriously considering it due to your love of the DC and the comment love! Keep the awesomesauce posts coming. I think TMI Wednesdays should be a new series.. just sayin’ 🙂

    • Kristin July 20, 2011, 10:02 pm

      i agree with every part of this comment! I love TMI posts because it’s stuff we all secretly want to talk about and know that other ppl are going through the same stuff. I can’t wait to look into the DV more!! Caitlin you are awesome and I LOVE ur blog!

      • Caitlin July 21, 2011, 7:46 am

        Thats why I like TMI too!! 🙂 thank you.

  • Chetney (Czesia's Adventures) July 20, 2011, 9:06 pm

    Okay seriously, I love you for this post. I honestly never thought to think about my tampons in a more serious way than..gotta put another one in. lol. Thank you for broadening my horizons, and I’m going to get a Diva Cup asap! Never heard of it before!!!

  • Julie July 20, 2011, 9:11 pm

    I do use cloth pads, and you can get all different kinds of them on etsy which I love. It is hand made goodies, quite often supporting someone who is staying home rather than working and utilizing their crafting abilities to make some cash.

    I hated how the disposable pads felt, sounded and smelled, and you do not get any of that from a cloth pad. I just toss them in the dark laundry and hang them to dry, they come super clean and are easy to care for, and so comfortable and soft to wear. I’ve used cloth pads for probably about 5 years now and love that I’m not throwing them away to contribute to the landfill overflow as well as getting something much more natural next to my private parts and it’s also more comfortable!

  • Katie (Sweet Tater) July 20, 2011, 9:12 pm


  • Christina July 20, 2011, 9:12 pm

    I’d never heard of the diva cup before! I had no idea. I am going to check it out!!

  • Brandy July 20, 2011, 9:14 pm

    LOVE my Diva Cup! Changed my life! Glad you found it too 🙂

  • Alex @ Working Housewife July 20, 2011, 9:39 pm

    Oh my goodness! Best post and comment section ever!

    I have NEVER heard of the Diva Cup put I am seriously looking in to it. Where can I buy one?

    Seriously, tears rolling down my eyes from the comments. I LOVE your blog Caitlin!

  • Becky July 20, 2011, 9:47 pm

    Thank you for this post!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Diva cup, and get really excited to encourage people to try them! So much better than tampons!!! I’ve been using a Diva cup for like 5 years and it is so.much.easier…with pads/tampons I was always thinking about when I would change them, if I had enough with me, etc. With the Diva cup, none of that is at all an issue. I’ve never had any leakage or bleed throughs, and I often forget that I’m wearing the Diva cup – not so much the case with pads. I’ve also used organic tampons in the past, but a few of the ones I used most recently pulled apart slightly when being removed which totally freaked me out – and that has never ever happened with the Diva cup!

  • Hannah July 20, 2011, 9:55 pm

    I just have 1 question, I know with tampons there is a risk of toxic shock sindrome, does teh dive cup have the risk too??? Great post btw, my period is all over the place some moneths really heavy and otehrs just light, i havn’t had it for a while though, but im nervous when I go back to school there’ll be some pretty BAD days and I dont want to be in the bathroom all day, this looks like a great option!!!

    • Jamila6452 July 20, 2011, 10:51 pm

      “with tampons there is a risk of toxic shock sindrome, does teh dive cup have the risk too??”


      • Caitlin July 21, 2011, 7:45 am

        Right, there have been no reported cases of TSS with a cup.

  • *Andrea* July 20, 2011, 10:02 pm

    to be honest, this completely grosses me out!!

    but i do admire you for posting this. you never hear this point of view in beauty magazine where health products are discussed. i’m definitely willing to look at my current usage of tampons and ponder these otheroptions…notsure i could make theswith though

  • CheezyK July 20, 2011, 10:08 pm

    Have been on cotton products for years now because of the chemicals in ‘normal’ products, they were making me constantly ill. Not sure that I can bring myself to do the Diva Cup or reusable pads though …
    Have never heard the recommendation about wrapping in plastic before – where does that come from? I’ve always just wrapped in an extra bit of TP before binning (not flushing).

    • Caitlin July 21, 2011, 7:46 am

      Esp for pads, they tell you to wrap it in the instructions.

  • Allison @ Happy Tales July 20, 2011, 10:10 pm

    Ohhhh my goodness. I think I am 99% sure i want to switch over to this. Thanks for the awesome post! Although, how do you go about emptying it/cleaning it if you’re in a public restroom? BTW… it in no way surprises me that you have so many comments on this post. LOVE IT!

    • Lunapads July 20, 2011, 10:25 pm

      Since you can leave the DivaCup in for up to 12 hours at a time, the chances that you will find yourself having to empty it in a public restroom are slim (I’ve been using the cup for 4 years now and have NEVER had to do this!)
      If you do find yourself having to do it it’s actually very simple. Just remove, empty, wipe out with toilet paper and re-insert. No big deal!
      You only have to wash the cup once every 24 hours so you can wait until you are at home to do that.

  • Kath July 20, 2011, 10:12 pm

    Great post!! I’ve wondered about the Divacup. Glad you like it!

  • Ciera @ Rose and Thistle July 20, 2011, 10:17 pm

    This post is AWESOME. Thanks for talking about something like this which clearly has a massive impact upon both our personal health and that of the planet, yet we never really consider.
    Currently I use the unbleached, applicator-free tampons as its always struck me as a big waste to have the plastic applicators. Although tampons are clearly very wasteful too as your post pointed out!
    I have always found the idea of the Diva Cup interesting but was put off by several things:the hippies always trying to promote it at my university (made me think it was only something for hardcore, hemp-wearing types), that it would feel uncomfortable (it looks way scarier than a tampon!) and the whole changing-during-the-day-issue. Both your post and the comments have been fab at putting these concerns to rest – I didn’t realize you could leave it so long! Will perhaps have to try…. Need to tough it out!

  • Lunapads July 20, 2011, 10:22 pm

    For anyone interested in purchasing a DivaCup, here’s a discount code for $5 off on Lunapads.com: LUNA11 (Just enter is at checkout)
    It’s already on sale for $34.99, plus we’ll ship it right to your door! We all use the DivaCup at the Lunapads office and we are always around to offer assistance if you have questions about using it.
    We’re so happy to see so many women engaged in conversation about healthier menstrual products!

    • Caitlin July 21, 2011, 7:47 am

      Awesome – thank you Lunapads!

  • Lu @ Clean Slate to Who Knows July 20, 2011, 10:31 pm

    So for a super personal question…How heavy would you say your period is? I’m just wondering because I’ve been thinking about trying something new and I haven’t made a step towards anything. And yes, you guessed it, I have heavy periods. Sorry if this is too personal.

    • Caitlin July 21, 2011, 7:50 am

      Mine is not heavy but there are lots of ladies in the comments section with very, very heavy flow (would bleed through a tampon in two hours) and they can use the Diva Cup just fine and don’t have to change it as often as they would tampons (I think one day said every 6 hours on a bad day.

  • Taylor July 20, 2011, 10:39 pm

    um I love this post. I have tried organic tampons before, they have some at trader joe’s. it’s so ironic i just went to the store last night to buy conventional pads & tampons since I started yesterday then i read this post! I’m definitely going to order the diva cup, and can I just say I got really excited looking at those reusable pads? I mean the colors & patterns are just too cute. When I was a baby, my mom used cloth diapers on me so I should be used to it!

    • Caitlin July 21, 2011, 7:48 am

      I think reusable pads are cute, too. I would definitely use them if I used pads.

  • Holly July 20, 2011, 10:44 pm

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOOOVE my menstrual cup. So happy to make the switch. I was never a tampon girl, but I used paper pads.
    I agree that the cup does take some getting used to, but really by the end of the first period I had gotten the hang of it. Definitely no turning back. I do my best to convert others now! 🙂

  • AJ July 20, 2011, 11:00 pm

    I thought I might add that there are several types of menstrual cups out there of all shapes, sizes and bendableness(is that a word?). I had the Diva at first because I could get it easily in the US and since I have a heavy flow, it’s large size was useful. However. my tiny sized vagina found it a bit painful. I now have the Ladycup, which I love. It’s slightly smaller than the Diva and more comfortable for me. I’ve also heard the Yuuki is good for smaller-sized women. Most other cups you have to order from other countries. You can find online comparisons of the cups as well as all kinds of helpful information here:


    • Caitlin July 21, 2011, 7:49 am

      I might check out the Ladycup, too. Thanks for commenting about it!

  • kyla July 21, 2011, 12:08 am

    Ha this post happened the day after I just got my period.

  • Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty July 21, 2011, 12:19 am

    I use a diva cup too, they are amazing I would NEVER go back to anything else. I get heavy periods, and this was a life saver for me, I’ve never had a single problem with it, works like a charm. I talked to a Diva Cup rep once and they said if you clean it properly, it can last for up to 10 years!

  • Jeanelle @ Glocal Girl July 21, 2011, 1:03 am

    I’ve always been too afraid to try the diva cup… it really freaks me out having it sit there, pooling with my monthly female blood. (and also it possibly wiggling out???) I have given the environmental thing a thought in the past, this may be the ‘tipping point’ that I need to try the diva cup alternative. Thanks for such an awesome, informative post!

    • Lunapads July 21, 2011, 1:52 pm

      There isn’t really a way for the cup to “wiggle out” unless you’ve inserted it incorrectly. The cup creates a suction seal against your vaginal wall that you actually have to break before you can remove it. If it did, for some reason start moving out of your body, you would feel it long before it made it all the way out.

  • Diane Sam July 21, 2011, 1:10 am

    Just wanted to add that I use both the lunapads and the lunapanties (panties with a liner sewn in) and the DIVA cup. No turning back!!! Let this post be a tipping point for anyone reading it. Seriously, stop the environmental and health madness of conventional tampons and pads!

  • Jess July 21, 2011, 2:50 am

    I have so many issues with my lady bits that (under doctors supervision) I have taken my hormone pills constantly and haven’t had a period in 2 years. If I ever have a period again I will look into a Divacup though, since I hated the waste caused by my sanitary products. At least I’m being good for the environment!!

  • Aine @ Something to Chew Over July 21, 2011, 4:09 am

    I’ve seen Diva Cups advertised in magazines and I don’t know…I have the same situation as Jess above so I don’t need to think about it, which I’m glad about!

  • Céline July 21, 2011, 4:45 am

    I’ve been using a divacup for a few years and LOVE it!It took me a while to figure out how to position it properly (that required figuring out where my cervix is)and now I’m a believer!
    I recently acquired some reusable pads to use at night and I’m pleased with them so far.
    Thanks for bringing up this topic.

  • Hwasun July 21, 2011, 6:43 am

    I heard some people use reusable pads and their pms symptoms get better. Chemicals in pads and tampons can cause some people’s pms worse. Honestly I can never see myself using reusable pads or diva cup yet because I will freak out by blood but this is a great post. It makes me think about environmental issues with tampons/pads.

  • Amanda July 21, 2011, 7:42 am

    I have used “Hag Rags” for 10 years now. I can’t imagine going back to disposable pads. They are comfortable, cute and “green”.

  • Clare @ Fitting It All In July 21, 2011, 8:55 am

    So Interesting! My mom is a pediatrician in adolescent medicine and so is always telling me about the newest birth controls and period info. I’ll have to ask her about these!

  • Amy July 21, 2011, 10:07 am

    This is so interesting! I’m just wondering if anyone has experience with the DivaCup during gymnastics? I’m frequently upside down and contorting my body. I worry that with all the movement and squeezing that my muscles are doing, I might pop it out!! Also, anyone who has done a handstand will be familiar with the phenomenon I refer to delicately as: ‘lady wind’, so I worry about if that would break the DivaCup’s suction?

    • Lunapads July 21, 2011, 1:54 pm

      As I said to Jeanelle above, there isn’t really a way for the cup to wiggle or pop out unless you’ve inserted it incorrectly. If it did, for some reason start moving out of your body, you would feel that something was wrong long before it made it all the way out.
      In order to break the suction you actually have to squeeze the base of the cup or insert a finger up along side it and press one side in gently.

  • Rob Runs to Remember July 21, 2011, 10:08 am

    I’ve been using a Diva for probably 7 years now. I adore it. I did just get a Paragard IUD though and I’m afraid to go back to it given reports of the cup dislodging the device. I don’t feel like the suction of my cup is that strong, but I’ll give it a few months before trying it. I’ll have to hunt down some organic tampons in the meantime, or go back to the Instead Softcups. They’re disposable but it’s possible to reuse them several times with a good rinse.

  • Allie Q (Fit Geek) July 21, 2011, 10:14 am

    I got a Diva cup a few years ago. I tried and tried and TRIED but I cannot figure out how to put it in correctly. I always leak 🙁

    • Elise July 21, 2011, 10:31 am

      Keep trying! I looked around online for tips when I first started using, because I couldn’t quite get the hang of it. Turns out there are entire online communities devoted to tips for folding. You have to make sure you “spin” or “rotate” the cup around once you get it in, because that’s what enables the suction that keeps the cup in place.

  • Elise July 21, 2011, 10:28 am

    This post made me happy.

    LOVE the Diva Cup–so much so, in fact, that upon using it for the first time I actively shared its wonders with every menstruating female I knew and convinced a number of them to try it out. It actually lasts for much longer than one year; I used mine for over three before I had to stop. I got an IUD last fall, and my doctor recommended that I not use it because the suction can potentially tug on the IUD strings and pull the device out. I switched to reusable pads, which are a good option since my “periods” on the IUD aren’t heavy at all, and I don’t have to worry about stench or major leakage. I have to admit, though, that I really miss using the Diva Cup. It was almost a deal-breaker when I was thinking about getting the IUD.

  • Brigid of Vegging out in T-Town July 21, 2011, 10:29 am

    I’m comment number one billion, but I wanted to spread some love for reusable cloth pads! I can’t wear tampons and haven’t tried a Diva cup, but I made the switch to cloth about a year ago and haven’t looked back! They are so, so much more comfortable and convenient. You never run out. Plus, mine have held up really well to repeated washings. My favorites are from Lola’s Loft: http://www.etsy.com/shop/lolasloft.

  • Erin July 21, 2011, 10:57 am

    I’m kind of shocked this hasn’t been covered in the healthy living blog world before. I’ve been using the Diva Cup for many, many years. It lasts way longer than 1 year, too! More like 5-10! It is fabulous. And so much comfortable than tampons that suck up all your moisture and screw with your pH!

    • Erin July 21, 2011, 11:00 am

      Oh, and the blood is actually incredible for your plants!

      • Elise July 22, 2011, 12:32 pm

        Whaaa…? Explain, please!

        • Erin July 22, 2011, 12:41 pm

          Seriously! At least that is what all my hippie friends tell me…okay, okay, I’m definitely one of them, but I don’t remember to do it all that consistently. BUT you really just save the blood (like in a bucker or watering can) and dilute it with water. Excellent fertilizer–its incredibly nutrient dense. After all, it would fertilize an egg if it didn’t turn into your period!
          Just google and I’m sure you’ll find any other info you’d like.

  • Autumn July 21, 2011, 11:05 am

    I use the Diva Cup on day 3-5. Days 1 and 2 I still use tampons because the Diva Cup leaks. Am I just super heavy or have others had this experience?

    • Marie July 21, 2011, 12:35 pm

      It’s probably just not positioned correctly or you’re not emptying it often enough. Email the Lunapads or DivaCup ladies for tips! Plus there’s a ton of info on insertion out there, just google around 🙂

  • Kailey (SnackFace) July 21, 2011, 11:56 am

    Hey Caitlin! This is a fascinating topic. Bringing attention to women’s health in any aspect is admirable, and especially bringing dioxin to women’s attention is important. I have to say that I probably won’t be in the Diva cup camp for reasons I’m not comfortable sharing, but kudos to those who are game for the switch!

    I do have to say, though, that this post brings up a feeling of, well, pissed-off-ness for the fact that this landfill issue is focusing on tampons and pads that women– of all income levels and backgrounds– need. It frustrates me that if men weren’t largely running our government, tampons and pads wouldn’t be the problem. Hell, they would be free! What I mean, though, is that if women are to feel bad for contributing to waste for something they have to use every month, I’m not about to feel ashamed for that. Where is all this information coming from? The company that’s selling reusable pads? How grounded is that information?

    I also don’t trust that I would properly sanitize Diva cups or reusable pads. Something could easily be forgotten or not boiled long enough or what have you. I wouldn’t suggest to hospitals to stop using fresh bandages for each patient– I wouldn’t trust that, you know?

    Additionally, if we’re worrying about tampon waste, then we need to take into consideration all other waste. What about the gas that goes into lots of travel? What about packaging for racing fuel? What about the cups from smoothie places? And how about the styrofoam and plastic that carries our takeout? I am guilty of all these types of waste, but I don’t think the argument should be so largely focused on women and something we truly cannot avoid. How dare we have periods and use conventional tampons, which are often the only tampons most women have access to?

    I just feel as though we need to look at the larger issue (aside from the heath aspects of conventional tampons and pads that you mentioned) of waste and help women not feel guilty for not wanting to use a Diva cup or reusable pad. I know that I, personally, have a hard time not feeling guilty about being environmentally healthy about EVERYTHING . As in, if I feel bad about using conventional tampons, I will then feel guilty about absolutely every piece of waste I produce.

    This is obviously something that interests me, so thank you for allowing this conversation to happen!

    • Sara July 21, 2011, 2:57 pm

      You make a really good point, Kailey. I don’t think women should be made to feel guilt for the waste generated by a normal part of life (and, indeed, the very process that allows life to exist in the first place!). But I also don’t think Caitlin wrote this post with that in mind either. I think she was calling attention to the fact that widely-used products contain potentially dangerous chemicals, and there are alternatives people can explore, if they choose to. She’s mentioned being in the process of swapping conventional personal care products out for ones without harmful chemicals, and this is part of her process! We can all “green” our lives in different ways (using CFLs instead of regular lightbulbs, carpooling to work, bringing reusable shopping bags to stores, etc.).

      Point being, by simply existing, you will generate waste. I think Caitlin was just presenting one way in which we can change a habit to reduce that waste. Being environmentally conscious isn’t all or nothing. Small changes lead to big ones! Maybe you’ll keep using Tampax, but you’ll bike to work two days a week or go vegetarian on weekends.

      • Kailey (SnackFace) July 21, 2011, 3:21 pm

        I completely understand what Caitlin was saying and feel you! It really isn’t an all or nothing thing, but it can start to feel that way. I wanted to point that out as well as the fact that this isn’t the most accessible option. Then again, awareness to alternatives brings demand, and then the accessibility will grow as well (ideally, that is)! It’s a fascinating option that could be helpful down the line. I was just expressing some struggles that I personally have or would have if I started to be concerned with the waste my tampons produce, and listed examples of waste (and related guilt) readers can relate to.

  • Dani July 21, 2011, 12:36 pm

    Awesome post, Caitlin! I have a pretty large stockpile of tampons from Costco, but I think once I’m done with those I’m going to give the divacup a shot! I’d heard of it before but was too scared to give it a fair chance before your post. Thanks for opening my (and a lot of others) eyes! You rock!

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed July 21, 2011, 12:43 pm

    Caitlin, seriously you rock! I never really thought about any of this and I’ve definitely never heard of the diva cup. Thanks for always “going there” on your blog. And omg some of the comments above had me CRACKING UP!

  • Lindsey July 21, 2011, 12:54 pm

    just ordered one, thanks for the review!

    and OMG at the comments to this post. LOVE IT.

  • Amber K July 21, 2011, 1:10 pm

    I have never used a tampon, but I’m definitely going to check out that review for reusable pads. I actually never even thought about that. Although, I actually have to get my cycle to start back up before I use anything!

  • KRISTY July 21, 2011, 1:33 pm


  • CH July 21, 2011, 2:24 pm

    I have to admit, it does sound a little bit creepy to have a standard tampon with all kinds of chemicals and beach nestled up against my lady parts. I might look into trying organic tampons! I didn’t even know they existed. I have always thought the Diva Cup sounded funky, but I might have to give ti a try…Thanks for the informative post!

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) July 21, 2011, 2:32 pm

    LOVE that you posted about this, and also LOVING reading the comments 🙂

  • stacey July 21, 2011, 4:26 pm

    I was at the gym reading the August issue of Self magazine. There was an article called: Should you choose it or lose it? There was a section on cotton(they said we should tolerate it). In this section they state” As for tampons, they expose us to 13,000 to 240,000 times fewer dioxins than our everyday diet does, according to a report in Environmental Health Perspective. Be confident choosing any brand that works for you, organic or not.”

    I thought this was interesting considering what we are discussing on this topic. And Caitlin, thanks for this awesome post!

  • Rika July 21, 2011, 4:35 pm

    you are so freaking awesome caitlin. i want to order one right now but i still have tons of pads and tampons to use up! it’s a matter of whether i want to be wasteful or save my health..

  • Mila @ loftyappetite July 21, 2011, 4:39 pm

    wow thank you for keeping it real and writing this post! the whole time i was thinking “ew” but “wow” at the same time, haha. it was really informational! I had heard of it, but wasn’t really familiar with it, and I really hate how much money I spend on tampons, it really adds up!

  • Alison July 21, 2011, 9:18 pm

    Another Divacup fan here! I haven’t used tampons or pads in a couple years now. love the financial savings as well!

  • Amber, Blonde and Balanced July 22, 2011, 9:28 am

    I am so bummed. I totally bought one after I saw this post. I even told my husband, “I’m going to save money, save the save the earth and save my body!” ha ha. Anyways, it’s WAY too big for me. I definitely wish they had a smaller size.

    • Lunapads July 22, 2011, 4:00 pm

      Don’t give up on it so soon! It might not be too big for you, it may just be that your not inserting it correctly. It takes many women 3-4 cycles to really get the hang of it so I would suggest hanging in there and giving it another go on your next period.

    • Kady July 23, 2011, 10:40 am

      Check out some other brands, they make them in smaller sizes than the divacup. Look up youtube videos from ‘MenstrualCupInfo’ she shows all sizes and brands and tips on how to use.

      FYI I just went on amazon to buy one and I thought it was funny… “customers who bought this item also bought… Super Bass by Nicki Minaj Mp3” haha we have good taste in music 🙂

    • Kim July 27, 2011, 4:39 pm

      The Divacup comes in 2 sizes. One is for women 30 and under who have not been pregnant, and the other is for women 30 and older or women who have been pregnant.


  • Krista July 22, 2011, 3:01 pm

    After reading this post you do not know how HAPPY I am that I don’t have to deal with my period anymore(had a hysterectomy when I was 30).

  • Sonia (the Mexigarian) July 22, 2011, 6:48 pm

    What a great post. I had always wondered about the whole flushing tampon thing (now I know so I better move out of my apartment soon before the plumber needs to be called) and had been curious about alternative methods to the whole containing the flow.

    My only concern is with exercise. Swimming and yoga are a big part of my routine . . . any issues pool wise? Leaking? Spillage? Popping out while in triangle?

    I also have a moderate to heavy flow so it makes me worried how much it can hold, but from what you say, it should hole a lot.

    Thanks for such a great post 🙂

  • Lauri (Redheadrecipes.com) July 23, 2011, 3:02 pm

    Thanks for posting about this!! I’ve NEVER even thought about using something other than tampons–> or the environmental/health aspects of using them! I just ordered a ‘diva cup’. Excited and nervous…

  • Melissa July 26, 2011, 1:59 pm

    Wow, I had never really thought about that before! Thanks for sharing. I definitely want to look into the Diva Cup

  • Nikka July 26, 2011, 5:09 pm

    Just got back from a weekend away and did my blog catch-up 🙂
    Read your post and 20 minutes later I was driving to my local health food store to buy a Diva Cup so I could use it now while I’m on my period. I have questioned my tampon usage for a while now, but hadn’t sought out an alternative…then HTP gave me my answer!
    I found it easy to understand, took 2 tries to get it right and I don’t feel it at all! Sooooo cool! Thanks Caitlin!

  • Kim July 27, 2011, 4:36 pm

    Sorry for the late post, but I was told by my gyno to not use tampons since I’d had 2 bad PAPs and 2 low grade cervical biopsy results in a 1 year period. From what I understood, she said that the uterus/cervix/vagina are “self-cleaning” and will try flush out whatever irritants/bacteria/viruses are in there, but a tampon will inhibit the cleaning process. I stopped using tampons completely for 1 year and would use the Diva cup if I absolutely had to (swimming, running), but would take it out once I was done with the activity. My last PAP in April came back clean, so I hope my next one is September has the same result.

  • Mel July 30, 2011, 12:53 am

    I really enjoyed this post! I am leaving to join the Peace Corps in a few months and heard from quite a lot of female volunteers about the Diva Cup. I was a little skeptical at first, but your post clarified so much for me. I will definitely invest in one before I ship out. Lots of love for anything that can help me be a little bit more ‘green!’

    • CaitlinHTP August 10, 2011, 8:53 am

      So glad you liked it!!

    • Katherina @ Zephyr Runs September 9, 2011, 9:48 am

      That’s really where I wish the Diva Cup was growing in popularity! In programs where it’d difficult/uncomfortable to be changing pads/tampons all the time. My boyfriend was just in the woods for 6 months with a crew and I don’t think any of the ladies used Diva Cubs. Oh if only they knew… it probably would have saved them some disgusting moments.

  • Maria August 17, 2011, 1:35 pm

    A big giant thank you for writing about this. I had no idea that this was even an option and thought I’d have to live with nasty tampons until menopause. I purchased my Diva Cup a few weeks after reading this and I couldn’t be more happy. Yes, it was frustrating at first trying to use it, but it is incredibly exciting! So comfy and it makes feel food knowing that I’m doing something healthy for the environment, my body, and definitely my wallet. I need to stop telling everyone I meet about this really cool new menstrual product I found 🙂

  • Maura van der Linden August 24, 2011, 4:16 pm

    I love my Diva Cup. I can’t use tampons when exercising – they always chafe and slip out of place. Plus I have some heavy periods and I have to change them constantly.

    When I discovered the Diva Cup, I was thrilled and will never go back. I actually bought two so I could have one washed and drying while the other was in use.

  • Cameo August 24, 2011, 7:45 pm

    Wow. I think I am sold on the Diva Cup…though I am such a klutz that I fear the worst…but you make a great argument against conventional tamps.

  • Stephie September 20, 2011, 11:18 am

    THANK YOU for posting about this. I ordered the DivaCup the same day I read this….and it seriously has been life changing. If only I knew about this years earlier.

  • Lisa Fine November 21, 2011, 4:55 pm

    I wish I read this post sooner. I used to use a DivaCup – for years – but when I used it in India and rinsed it in the water, I think I might have gotten some kind of bacteria in it, because I had infections for a long time. Not good.

    I threw out the cup, and haven’t worn one since, even though I loved it and still believe in it.
    Just a warning to anyone traveling to countries where you aren’t meant to drink the water. Bring some tampons with you, or use bottled water to rinse the DivaCup.

  • Brooke November 27, 2011, 11:13 pm

    Wow. Just last week I was looking at 2 1/2 empty tampon boxes and thinking that enough was enough! Over 45 used in 14 days! My first thought was how expensive and now my second thought is truly, ENOUGH! I am switching over. Not only for cost, but for the chemicals that are leaching into me. They probably are contributing to the repeated heavy, heavy days. Stumbled across you in my suggestions for google reader. Lucky me!

    Thank you.

  • Victoria March 3, 2012, 9:42 pm

    fascinating – thanks for sharing – will have to try this thingy out.

  • Lynette March 3, 2012, 9:45 pm

    I just found your post linked from baby kerf…and oh my gosh I can’t even tell you how much u love love love my diva! I actually used to run an adventure program at a university and that was in every Pretrip meeting…how to be friends with your period in the backwoods! And what a fabulous list of facts…I knew the landfill numbers and knew there were bad chemicals but I didn’t know how bad.

    And- I totally get the empowering aspect! I actually just kind of look forward to being on my period…in that, it doesn’t run my life for a week because I can forget bout it with the diva kind of way!

    Thanks for a great post!

  • Michaela@PilgrimageOfHealth March 12, 2012, 9:08 pm

    I use reusable pads at night and biodegradable tampons during the day. After I read about a whale washing up on shore with HUNDREDS of plastic tampon applicators…I gave up pearl forever.

  • Tessa April 29, 2012, 10:54 pm

    I bought my first DivaCup maybe 4 years ago. I haven’t used a disposable menstrual product in exactly one year. I LOVE my cup (even though I still do have some issues with leakage, though the cup isn’t to blame) and I LOVE my LunaPads-especially their built-in pad underwear!

  • Maggie May 14, 2012, 6:18 pm

    I have used OB most of my life but, about 5 years ago I got my diva cup and love it. Between my glad rags and my diva cup i’m set. My girls are set too. It’s a beautiful thing to be in control of your body. I try not to invite corp giant into my home and this is a simple way to keep a few more out. I love that my girls will grow up knowing their body in a way I didn’t. Blood flow, what all their lady bits feel like, where they are located, how to care for them. This is all a good thing. The fact that i’m saving money, bettering our health, AND not contributing to a landfill all in one shot ….. Beautiful!

  • Sarah T July 12, 2012, 2:21 pm

    I can’t thank you enough for this post. Without being overly graphic, you have solved a reoccuring problem I have had with tampons. I had no idea an alternative was even available! Truthfully, until I read your post I never gave the idea of organic tampons or any other option a second thought. In hindsight, it makes sense so many of us have girly issues, when you think about how many chemicals are on a tampon! I’m so glad I found your blog. The DIVA cup is awesome and works like magic!

  • Bethany November 7, 2012, 2:47 pm

    So 15 months after originally reading this post (and 15 periods) I have finally bit the bullet and ordered a Diva Cup. I have no idea if it will work for me, but I’m willing to try it out. Fingers crossed it will work for me like it does for you and most of your readers who have commented above. Thanks for always being so open to discuss anything on your blog!

  • Shelly June 29, 2013, 8:00 pm

    I don’t use a Diva Cup, I use a high capacity XL MeLuna Ring Stem Cup, which I absolutely love! The cup has changed my life. I no longer hate my period.

    I have extremely heavy periods. I’d flood a super plus tampon and a pad in a hour or so. I literally couldn’t leave the house the first two days of my period. Now that I use a cup, I can go about 4-6 hours on my heaviest days before having to dump. On my lighter days, i leave the cup in for 12 hours. I don’t have any leaks, and I can use the cup before my period actually shows up so I don’t get caught off guard. My period has gone from lasting seven days to only lasting five days.

    The cup is a life changer!

  • Julie - Comfy Cloth Pads July 1, 2013, 4:44 pm

    Great article. Thanks for helping to spread the word. I was SO not going to try cloth pads – now I have been using them for years. I save money. I am more comfortable and I help the planet. How cool is that?

  • Guest November 23, 2013, 1:05 pm

    I don’t even wear tampons, so I am not sure if this would work for me. Also how far are you supposed to put it in? Has anyone ever got one stuck inside? This just seems to weird for me.

  • char eats greens December 19, 2014, 10:12 am

    OMG. Thank you for this post! Oddly enough, I don’t know why I’ve never done this yet. I was period-free for over two years (between pregnancy and breastfeeding) and just finished my fourth or fifth period since having it return after having my daughter and I try to be “green” but have been neglecting this area. I actually heard about the diva cup way back when I was pregnant and it’s been in the back of my mind ever since. I think I just needed an informative post like this to see how it works (stupid me thought it somehow sat externally and I was worried about it being uncomfortable). I seriously will be getting this for my next period. This is such an amazing product. If I can do one more thing to lessen the load of landfills, I’m all for it. 🙂

  • Regular Gurl April 17, 2015, 4:56 pm

    I had just finished reading the instructions and trying it for my self when I came across your blog. Being use to O.B. to not particapte in putting plastic in the landfills I thought I’d give it a try. As it has been on the market for awhile I feel like its the progessive step to take. And we’ll…it wasn’t that complicated and I don’t even notice it. I think I noticed the Nuva Ring (birth control ring of plastic that hangs out in your vagina) I have a pad just incase, but I’m pretty confident it’ll hold up on its own. I enjoyed you article and it definitely seems like I did the right thing in choosing DIVA.

    Now to tell all my friends to make the switch.

    Yours Truly, Regular Girl

Healthy Tipping Point