Tuesday, June 22, 2010


ATTN: This post is about menstruation. That is all. You have been warned.





Ladies and... ladies! I cannot believe I've gone most of my menstruating life without even once hearing about something called a menstrual cup. When I'm done explaining what it is, you might decide it's not for you but at least you will have heard about it and hopefully will spread the word to those who may be interested. Of course I'm hoping you'll decide it's worth a shot and enjoy happier periods than you ever thought possible.

What is it?
It's a silicone or latex cup that collects menstrual flow.

Why would I want to use it?
Let me count the ways!
: when inserted properly you cannot even feel it's there. At all. I'm not kidding. I've forgotten I'm on my period.
Two: reusable! You won't have to buy as many pads or tampons - save money and save the environment! Menstrual cups can be used for many years!
: no unpleasant smells. I don't think I need to go into that one.
: it's so comfortable.
Five: did I mention that I've (temporarily) forgotten I'm on my period while using it? Forget about all those ridiculous tampon/pad/pantyliner commercials. THIS is truly a happy and comfortable period.
: you'll probably have to empty it much less often than you would have to change a pad or tampon.
: you can't feel it at all. Jumping jacks, summersaults, horseback riding, exercise, whatever. It feels like nothing is there, not even your period.
Eight: you don't have to take it out to use the bathroom.
Nine: many women think that switching to a menstrual cup has resulted in less menstrual blood. 
: have I mentioned how great it feels? No gross pad or tampon to worry about.
Eleven: it's much less likely to leak or result in stained clothing.

When would I use it?
Every day (and night) of your period. Heavy days, light days, medium days. I choose not to use it at night because, well, because. Many users say they only need to change it every TWELEVE hours. I wholeheartedly wish that was true for me, but it's not. Sadly, it appears I'm neither average nor typical. On my heaviest days I empty it every 2 to 3 hours and can go half to the whole day on my medium to light days. Again, once you know your body's patterns it's a piece of cake.

How exactly does it work?
The menstrual cup is held in place by the vaginal walls. It is not a cervical cap (like a diaphragm.) Wash your hands before inserting it. Once it's in, you just take it out however often you need to, dump the blood into the toilet, wipe or wash the cup out and reinsert. Most of the time you'll need to do it so infrequently you can usually manage to do it at home, but I've used public restrooms without too much difficulty. At the end of your cycle you boil it to sterilize it and then put it back in the cute little cloth storage bag until next month. There is definitely a learning curve to inserting it correctly and discovering how often you need to empty it but once that's taken care of you're SET. Yes, this means you get blood on your fingers and having to learn about your body a little, but for me the benefits FAAAAAR out-weigh the minor inconveniences. Really, it's no more inconvenient than having to remember to bring and then dispose of feminine hygiene products.

Where do I get me one of these?
I thought you'd never ask! I have a DivaCup, and have been using it for about six months.
There's also a Moon Cup.
And a Keeper.
And a Miacup.
And a Lunette.

Softcups are single-use menstrual cups designed more similarly to a diaphragm, so not all my reasons to use apply here, but it's kind of in the same category.

Also, it should be noted that I would certainly recommend some sort of liner to wear in conjunction with the cup because spotting is typical when the cup is full. Also, in the (very!) rare event that the cup changes position and leaks, a back-up of some sort is nice, particularly as you adjust to using the cup. For this I highly recommend Amy's Rag Bag.


And that's it! Who among you currently uses a menstrual cup? What has your experience been?

If you have further questions I am more than happy to answer whatever I can. Email me: beck[at]superbeck[dot]com!


  1. I'm so glad my reader pulled your last few posts. I can't believe you just heard of menstural cups! Everyone should use them! I've been using one since shortly after I had Erik and I love love love love it. I love it for all the reasons you mention. I couldn't get it in the first time I tried it, but it went in perfectly the second time and I've never had any trouble since.I find that my period blood flow is significantly less than it used to be. I used to have five heavy flow days and before I got pregnant again was down to about three light flow days. I also find that I don't get bad cramps when I have my cup in. Before I bought my Diva cup I was using Instead, which are disposable cups. I thought I loved them, but they still did leak. I have no leaks at all with the Diva. I still keep the Instead around since you can have sex while wearing them. I know this is a way late comment, but I was so excited to read your post that I had to share.

  2. I totally read about those a couple of years ago... I think the author of the article was advocating it for foreign travel or maybe hiking or something. I thought it sounded way too good to be true, but maybe it's not!Have you seen anything about these:http://www.glamour.com/health-fitness/blogs/vitamin-g/2009/04/ladies-meet-the...It's sort of similar (well, not really, I guess), but it lets girls pee standing up!

  3. Wait, what? Bethany is pregnant? I am clearly slacking on the stalking!I've heard several people sing the praises of the Diva Cup..but...well, I'm grossed out. I know it's pathetic, but that's how it is.

  4. bethany actuallyJune 22, 2010 at 9:32 PM

    When I first started menstruating again after pregnancy, when Annalie was about 14 months old, I used a Diva Cup and I LOVED it. I sang its praises to everyone who would listen. Fast-forward a year, maybe 18 months, and...I wasn't loving it so much. I noticed that when the Diva Cup was in, I had worse cramps than usual, and I couldn't get it adjusted to the point where I was unaware of it, even though that's how it used to be. I kept trying it every cycle for a while. I tried adjusting it, I tried waiting till after the first couple of days when my cramps were mostly gone, but nothing seemed to work. I was just AWARE of it all the time and it was uncomfortable. So I gave it up. Then one day I was talking to a friend about it, and she said, "You know, you're on the petite side. Maybe because you didn't have another baby within a couple of years of your first, your body just snapped back and now you need the smaller size!" (I had been using the larger one, which is recommended for all women over 35(?) and anyone who's given birth.) She might have been on to something. I never did get the other size Diva Cup, though, and now I won't be needing one for a year or two, since I'm currently 16wks along. :-) So maybe after I get my period back again I'll try my old one and see how it works!