Still Using Tampons Or Pads? You Should Read This


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What is something that every woman has to endure in her lifetime? You got it, a menstruation cycle. On average a woman will have her period once a month, for about 5 days, for around 40 years of her life! During this time, we need to use various products stay clean and fresh. There has got to be a market in there!

The Tampon and Pad industry is a $718 Million dollar market, and tampons and pads are necessities. This got me questioning the production and ethical value behind these products. They are mass-produced, and heavily marketed and cheaply made, out of bleached rayon and plastics. Why is it that we never see ads for the much safer alternatives such as cotton products, reusable washable pads and menstruation cups? Any of these alternatives are much more economical and are about a gillion times safer for the environment. Up until a few months ago, I didn’t even know that there were alternative products, or even think that there was any potential risk from using generic menstruation products.

Almost all sanitary napkins and tampons are made with bleached rayon, cotton and plastics, how safe do you think that material is to be inside or very close to your Vagina? Not to mention these products leave behind fibers in your vagina that can cause bladder, vaginal infections, and Toxic Shock Syndrome. Tampons are also known to absorb the natural fluids and bacteria’s that the vagina produces to stay clean and healthy. Let’s look at the #1 ingredient in generic tampons and sanitary napkins: Rayon. Rayon is a fiber that is made from cellulose fibers, cellulose is a natural fiber, but to produce Rayon chemical procedures are needed that include: carbon disulphide, sulfuric acid, chlorine and caustic soda. Side effects from exposure to too much Rayon can include: nausea, vomiting, chest pain, headaches and many others. Rayon is not just found in tampons and pads, but a lot of clothes are made from it as well. Sanitary napkins also contain quite a bit of plastic, which does not allow sufficient air flow ‘down there’ so in turn can also cause an array of infections. Tampons and pads are also bleached using chlorine, which results in the production of dioxin, which is linked to breast cancer, endometriosis, immune system suppression and various other ailments.

 So, what are our options?

A menstrual cup is my first choice for a tampon/ pad alternative. It is a flexible silicone cup that is inserted into the vagina. Essentially this cup catches all the blood and you empty it every 12 hours during your cycle and reinsert it. I know what you are thinking… gross. That’s what I thought too; my initial thought was that this sounded so disgusting that I would never use it. I guess that changed as I researched all of the positive effects that came from using a cup. If it is properly inserted and taken out there is no reason that you should ever have to actually touch blood, but even if you do, what’s the harm? Just wash your hands, you big baby. :P It may take a few cycles to get the hang of how to use one of these cups, but once you do you will wish you had started a lot sooner! I recommend that you continue to use pads or liners until you have mastered the insertion technique, just in case. Not only will you save a lot of money using a menstruation cup, but you will be doing a huge favor to the environment as well. Think about it, If an average women uses about 17,000 pads or tampons during her entire menstruation period, x that by 3.5 billion women in the world, and yeah, you do the math…. Another great thing about using menstrual cups is that many women have reported to having less severe cramping during their period! I know that alone would encourage some women to making this change.  Some brands of menstrual cups are: ‘DivaCup,’ ‘MoonCup,’ ‘Ladycup’ and ‘Lunette,’ among many others.

cup_moon_cup

inserting-a-divacup

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pads-1

www.homesteademporium.com

There are also reusable pad products are made of safe materials that come with washable highly absorbent inserts to suit all different levels of flow. These would be a great option to women that do not like to products that you have to insert. These reusable ‘pads’ are made with safe breathable materials to keep your area healthy, and leak free! Some brands that are available today are: ‘Luna Pads,’ ‘Glad Rags,’ ‘Pleasure Puss’ and you can also make your own.

 

Now, if you are just not so keen on ever having to really see blood or wash your products, or don’t like these options there is another option, sit in a lake for your entire cycle. You will eventually come out very cold and wrinkled, but at least you won’t be throwing away tons of crap into the environment and you don’t have to worry about toxic chemicals being leached into your body…. Just kidding! :P OK, there is one last alternative to generic tampons and pads. There are some companies that make natural organic cotton products that do not leach chemicals, and do not leave synthetic materials behind. These can still absorb your natural fluids and they are still not the best things for the environment, but at least cotton is a more natural substance that can biodegrade much quicker and safer. Some brands of these products are: ‘Seventh Generation,’ and ‘Natracare.’

So there you have it! I hope that this article opened up your eyes to the health effects and environmental hazards that are associated with using pads and tampons, and made you reconsider what products that you are using. There are many websites that provide information with reviews on all of these products, do your research and find what’s best suited for you and your lifestyle.

If you are worried about how much fluid menstruation cups can hold in comparison to tampons and pads check out this video.

http://lunapads.com/

http://www.natracare.com/Default.aspx?CultureId=en-GB

http://divacup.com/

Much Love


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More From 'Awareness'

CE provides a space for free thinkers to explore and discuss new, alternative information and ideas. The goal? Question everything, think differently, spread love and live a joy filled life.

  1. Geraldine

    sea sponges also work well, used them for years

    Reply
    • Constance

      I strongly disagree with the use of sea sponges. They’re actually ALIVE; they’re not simply some marine form of cotton. I’m nowhere near vegan (not even vegetarian), but knowing this rubs me the wrong way.

      Reply
    • I used sea sponges for years. They work extremely well!

      Reply
    • your friend

      partypantspads.com for a free try! <3

      Reply
      • Pantypads.com doesn’t exist

        Reply
        • I just clicked the link (I know I was taking a risk) and my computer is fine and the website came up, if you are unsure just google search the website, the name is a little kooky lol “Party In My Pants” certainly isn’t what comes to my mind during my cycle!! This is what the home page says: Has a tampon ever made you look forward to your period? Does your maxi pad make you smile? Nope.
          Most menstrual products only make the whole affair more uncomfortable. What’s up with that? Women deserve better.
          Party In My Pants will change the way you think and feel about your period. Forget trashy disposables and say hello to soft, gorgeous cloth pads. For the first time you’ll actually look forward to that time of the month and when it comes you’ll be more comfortable than ever before. This isn’t marketing mumbo-jumbo. It’s what women tell us over and over — even ladies who’s sworn off pads till the end of time.
          The secret? A period product designed by real women for real women. A menstrual helper that doesn’t leak, bunch, or feel bulky. And did we mention Party In My Pants pads come in the loveliest, wackiest, cutest patterns ever? With Party In My Pants, you’ll be sittin’ pretty in style and comfort.

          Reply
        • I do not trust this link. The person has put it up twice just on this page.

          Reply
    • Taylor O

      I was just about to say that about the sea sponges! My old RA showed me that option!
      Due to a condition, I wasn’t able to use tampons until I had had sex a few times, so I was stuck with pads all the time. With sea sponges you cut them (after your hands and tools have been sanitised! At least with distilled water) to fit you perfectly. And they don’t smell as bad either which can only means good things are going on. You remove them and rinse them out in the sink as often as needed given your flow (not as often as you would think you need to, for me at least).

      Reply
  2. Can you please inform us of the possible side effects of using silicon (cups) inside the body please?

    Reply
    • I have a SupraPubic Cathetar which is made of silicon… It is not inserted into my bladder via the urethra, but via a hole just above my pubic bone and goes directly into my bladder. It is rare that I get UTI’s and such, I have had this for over 4 years now and there are no adverse reactions to it. The silicon used for the cups would be similar… they are long lasting and durable, and replaceable when needed. Hope this helped.

      Reply
    • They had similar products in the 70’s..called Tassaway. Seems they short-lived, from what I remember they were discontinued at the height of toxic shock syndrome. You may find more info from here. http://www.mum.org/CupTsway.htm

      Reply
      • It definitely helps to understand what the article is saying and read it fully.

        Either that, or you worded your comment poorly.

        The analysis was that it was a viable product. If the company hadn’t engaged in fraud and had legal troubles, they would have thrived.

        I can put it like this – I have had my cup for three years. I have had less bleeding and cramping than I did with tampons. I am an extremely heavy bleeder. Many women would have had hysterectomies by this point. THAT heavy. Even then, I only empty my cup 4-5 times a day. Most women should only have to deal with it once or twice.

        A silicone cup, unlike a tampon, does NOT dry out the vaginal cavity – the dryness is what allows these infections to set in and possibly enter the blood stream. The tissue was never meant to be dry, and it gets small cracks in the skin when that happens.

        If my daughter ever decides she wants to use more than just pads, I WILL be encouraging her to use a cup. It doesn’t do the damage abrasive, artificial fibers do, and it is safer. Cleaner, as well. I can’t express how much trouble I had with ALL brands of tampons. I won’t subject them to it.

        What I can tell you about the cups is that some companies donate one for each one purchased, as well as other organizations, to women in developing countries. The reason being is that the cups are sanitary and reusable. The women aren’t using dirty rags and getting sick. Many times, a quick rinse is sufficient, since the silicone is antimicrobial. There’s no place for bacteria to cling and thrive on them. The same cannot be said for pads and tampons. Why do you think they smell funky after they’ve been used? That ain’t your fluids you’re smelling.

        Reply
      • Karen

        Actually according to the article they disappeared in the early 70s because of issues with the company (legal issues) completly unrelated to the product. Cups have never been linked to TSS – the article even says that.

        Reply
    • - Collective Evolution

      From my research I haven’t found any adverse side affects from using a silicone menstrual cup, but please feel free to do your own research to make a decision that is best for you :)

      • Amanda

        It’s silicone people.

        Reply
        • crosswind

          yeah, when i think of silicone.. i think of silicone breast implants rupturing, which are linked to breast cancer, reproductive problems or connective tissue disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, one of my facebook friends is a strong advocate AGAINST anyone getting these implants. They ruined her LIFE & HEALTH. She has all kinds of auto-immune health conditions now from the toxicity exposure in her body. ~~I’ll stuck with ORGANIC TAMPONS INSTEAD ~~ Thank you anyway *~~ Blessings~~*

          Reply
          • kS

            Silicone is a broad term to describe a variety of compounds. The silicone used in menstrual cups is safe, as proven by endless research. Organic tampons are still a foreign material to our bodies and still pose various risks. Women should simply be careful with what they use and try things to find what works for them.

            Reply
          • LB

            *facepalm*

            Reply
          • your friend

            partypantspads.com for a free try!

            Reply
          • Melody

            The silicone is not what causes the health adversities when breast implants rupture. It is the “gel” inside of the silicone that leeches out and causes health issues. The silicone reusable menstrual products do NOT have any other substance in them. They are 100% medical grade silicone. Silicone menstrual products are safe. I have found no adverse information regarding the use of these. “Organic” tampons on the other hand are mediocre at best. Yes, they are one step better than traditional tampons, but they still present many of the issues discussed in this article, like irritants such as fibers.

            Reply
          • It’s more like the silicon used in medical tools and artificial heart valves, the real problem with breast implants is the quality of the silicon and the fluid they use inside them, Though apparently the newer high end implants are much safer than they use to be.

            Reply
          • Diane

            particles of silicone from a ruptured breast implant loose inside your chest is completely different to a solid piece of silicone moulded into a cup and inserted temporarily into the vagina.

            Reply
          • Kristi

            Breast implants are obviously not 100% silicone. There’s all kinds of other crap in there.

            Reply
          • Its a different sort of silicone then what is going into breast implants.

            Reply
  3. lady v

    I have used a cup now for a few years, and it is great. I don’t find it yucky at all. If anything, it actually makes me feel quite intrigued when i look at the blood and more in touch with my body. This is more practical if you are at home when emptying it, or if you work somewhere where the sink & toilet are in the same room (like a disabled person’s toilet). Since I’ve started using the cup, i’d definitely opt for it over tampons and towels. It makes you realise how much waste you are Not producing, by just emptying the contents. Apparently it’s good for plants growth too!

    Reply
  4. Sarah

    I can’t stand to have anything sit in me all day and the lack of convenience keeps me away from the diva cup, can’t be on the run and cleaning a diva cup in a public bathroom. Same thing goes for the washable pads, lack of convenience in a modern world. Organic cotton sounds A+ though! Kudos to anyone else able to make the change to diva cup.

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Please give the cup a try before you dismiss the idea completely. I thought I had a very heavy flow when I used disposable pads, but I only need to empty the cup in the morning when I wake up, and in the evening when I shower.

      Reply
    • Natalie

      I’ve found because you can leave them in for 12 hours, i’ve never been stuck cleaning my moon cup in a public bathroom. You just time it so that never happens. I’ve found them to be much more convenient than tampons, you never ‘run out’ and
      caught having to ask someone to spare a tampon!

      Reply
    • your friend

      these are fantastic and you can try a liner for free. perfect for girls who thought they would never wear a pad again! partypantspads.com

      Reply
    • how would they be inconvenient? I honestly find cloth pads and a cup way easier.

      Reply
    • Julie M.

      @Sarah : Convenience, really ? I have a light to moderate flow, therefore my cup NEVER fills up, and I leave it in from morning until evening. In fact it’s never more than a third full. And even if it did fill up… just wear a cotton pad as back-up Only people with a really heavy flow need to change more than twice a day… So really, the cup is a lot more convenient, not to mention safer (no risk of TSS, bacteries simply don’t multiply in the same way around a cup than they do in the rayon fibers of tampons).

      @Ka : We are talkin about firm silicon, not th liquid in breast implants !! Firm (but flexible) silicone is a stabilized material that has been used for decades in the medical field, for instance in prosthetic & artificial limbs or other body parts. It is not to be confused with a plastic (made from petroleum products), and therefore, doesn’t leak any chemicals !!
      Whereas tampons are bleached and leaking dioxin, yuk.

      @Maelle : Vaginas come in different length, and so so various brands of menstrual cups. It’s perfectly normal that ayour cup ill ride up if your vagina is on the long side. Just bear down using your pelvic floor muscles as if you were using the bathroom, and the cup will come down. Alternatively, you could look for a cup with a longer stem : check the menstrual_cups community and sizecharts page on livejournal.

      Reply
      • crosswind

        NOT ALL Tampons are bleached ~~ just research Seventh Generation ORGANIC and UNBLEACHED tampons and sanitary pads. I’ve used them for years and love them. I change my tampons every couple of hours. There is no way in Hell i would leave a cup in for 12 hours and risk odor either. Yuck. I also heard they can be messy when pulling out. I do NOT want to deal with that at work or public restroom. I am concerned with using that “silicone” on my sensitive tissues. they say it’s not harmful NOW, but may come out in ten yrs with more truth. BPA and GMOs were safe, until the truth has come out.

        Reply
        • Kristy

          The problem I had in the first few cycles wasn’t mess, but discomfort because I hadn’t gotten my technique down. I would also occasionally leak a bit for the same reason, so I just wore a cloth liner in case. There is much less odor involved with a cup than with a tampon or pad, which don’t smell pleasant when being changed, either. You can also just rinse the cup off if you don’t have access to soap and wash it fully at night, which it says on the package so if you don’t work somewhere with a single stall that has a sink, bring a little squirt bottle of clean water and rinse it into the toilet after having washed your hands BEFORE you go in. Excuses are the only reasons people don’t do things that are better for them. It’s much less convenient to go to the store every month, remember enough tampons/pads, worry about changing every couple hours, and having a risk of TSS….

          Reply
        • Karen

          There is no odor at all from a cup. It’s completly contained inside your body, rarely fills and doesn’t leak – how could you have odors? It’s true that mess can happen in those first few cycles when you’re just getting the hang of it but since you’re only emptying twice a day (I do it first thing in the morning and just before bed) then you’re highly unlikely to have to empty it in a public restroom.

          As for safety, they have been using firm silicone in the body for decades already. If it was a problem I’m sure someone would have noticed something by now. Regardless though, there are silicone free alternatives (the Keeper is made of natural rubber – ie from a real rubber tree).

          Reply
      • Yeah, except on my heaviest day, my cup doesn’t need to be emptied until I’m home from the day anyway. Its not like a tampon that they say shouldn’t be in more than 8 hours…its more like 12 for a cup.
        Plus, getting my ass to a drug store or paying that high $ for throwouts is way worse than cloth pads or diva cups.

        Reply
  5. cheryl

    i have used the diva cup for 3 years . i flow very heavy so need to change it every 2 hours , i just dump the contents in the toilet and wash it in the sink at work . I wish i had been told about it years ago. If people ask what it is i tell them it way more convenience then having to take pads with you.

    Reply
    • CK

      I kind of agree about not washing your cup in a public restroom. I have used my DivaCup for a little over a year and you’d have to pry it from my cold, dead, hands at this point. I love it SO MUCH. I’ve never had to empty it during the work day. But I don’t always go home right after work, so I have had to empty before leaving the office. I suggest that you wash your hands before you go into the stall, dry them with 3 or 4 paper towels so that they get damp, take the towels into the stall with you and when you empty your cup, just wipe it out with the damp paper towels. Just empty and wash it as soon as you get home. Your co-workers should never have to see you wash your cup into the sink that they also have to use. At home, do whatever you want, but this is an HR fiasco waiting to happen.

      Reply
      • Jessica

        Well stated!

        Reply
    • thanks for reinforcing my fears about public bathrooms and sinks.

      Reply
    • Laura

      You should not was blood products in a community sink. Do you use gloves and disinfect the sink after you wash your blood in it?

      Reply
  6. Lisa68

    Sarah: Unless you have super heavy flow (like Cheryl below), the Diva cup doesn’t need to be emptied that often. I’ve gone eight hours with no problems, and I change a “super” tampon about every 3-4 hours, tops. And, while it sounds a bit gross, you don’t actually *have* to clean the cup every time. In a pinch, I’ve just wiped it off and put it back. I won’t do that more than once without washing, but it is an option in an emergency.

    Reply
    • Me

      I have a super heavy flow and while I’ve always wanted to try a diva cup, I haven’t because I shed about 500 ml per menstrual cycle. And for 2 days (day AND night) I change a super plus (15ml capacity) tampon hourly (overflowing). What is the capacity of the diva cup or any of them (the largest one)?

      Reply
      • Naya

        From the lunette website:
        “Tampons that absorb over 18 grams do not have an official term and are not recommended due to risk of TSS. Because
        Lunette menstrual cups function differently than tampons, their capacities are much greater:

        – Lunette, model 1: 25ml (.85 fl oz)

        – Lunette, model 2: 30ml (1 fl oz)”
        http://www.lunette.com/index.php?id=11

        You can look up menstrual cup capacity to find various charts on different cups, most of the larger capacities seem to be from 30-35 but there are a few that can hold more.
        Here’s one list.
        http://menstrualcup.co/brands/compare-menstrual-cup-table.html

        However it is more important you get a cup that will fit nicely rather than get one simply for it’s capacity, sometimes it’s the smaller cups that work better. Just do your research.

        If you get a little stuck you can get some help here.
        http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/

        Reply
      • Lisa68

        I soak a super plus in about an hour and a half for about a day of my cycle. At that flow, the Diva cup will usually last me about three hours. I’m not sure exactly what the capacity is, but it holds more than a super plus, ime.

        Reply
  7. When I’m in a public bathroom, I use a waterbottle in the stall to rinse out the cup

    Reply
  8. When will they market cannabis snatch pads is my question….Highly absorbent stuff hemp is….

    Reply
  9. E1

    I use cups =) less cramps now and everything goes quicker. Probably because I don’t have a chemical tampon crushing my cervix!
    No mess, no chemicals, can go about all day not thinking about it. Cups come in extra extra small to! (the one pictured looks huge compared to what I’ve seen!)

    Reply
    • Ilea

      When I bought mine they only had it in one size. (I must be small because it hurts and my body keeps trying to push it out.) I’ve only had two successful uses from it and both were before I had kids. My body naturally pushes out tampons too, which gets quite annoying when you just went into the bathroom to change your pad/tampon and your body won’t allow you to replace it. However I have the same issue with the Diva Cup. I liked the idea but am disappointed with the lack of use I am able to have with it! I’ve been looking into buying/making my own pads lately too as pads (natural/unbleached or otherwise) seem to cause me to get a ‘diaper’ or ‘raw’ rash. NOT FUN!!! (I’ve always had sensitive skin, but it’s been getting worse with age and after pregnancy.) I am glad to have new information, but want to know how you would ‘size’ your vagina in order to ensure you buy the right sized ‘cup’ for your body!?!

      Reply
      • Naya

        I’m thinking it might be your cervix pushing them out, get to know how low your cervix is when you’re on your period (it can change from day to day) and what position it’s in (center, right, back… you’ll want the opening to face that direction), if it gets low you’ll want a shorter cup (like lunette or ladycup for example). Figuring out the position of your cervix can be tricky at first if you haven’t done this already, you can also check the difference from when your tampons get pushed out, maybe you’ll find your cervix to be lower on those days so you can try to figure it out that way. If you have a heavy flow you might want a short but wide cup.

        Here are some good tips.
        http://www.wikihow.com/Buy-a-Menstrual-Cup

        You can google menstrual cup size charts to find some like this.
        http://menstrualcupinfo.wordpress.com/cup-stiffness-comparison-chart/
        Though they may not make much sense at first.

        When you get an idea of what you may want look up comparison photos or videos as well (it’s really helpful for the visual people like myself, size charts are gibberish to me…)

        A great place to ask questions is the livejournal menstrual cup community where others can help you choose a cup and answer all sorts of questions/problems.
        http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/

        Reply
      • CK

        My cup was too big too. UNTIL I modified it. I have the larger DivaCup with modifications. I bought the larger one because I’m 35, even though I don’t have kids (its what they recommend). I suggest you cut off the tip on the bottom to as short as it will allow, and then turn it inside out when you use it. Its a freaking MIRACLE. Seriously, its an amazing change. It works just as well, it just doesn’t take up as much space and is smoother all over. No rubbing on the bottom, and that stem isn’t poking either. Try it. Good luck!

        Reply
        • Al

          bad idea. people’s bodies are all different, and change with time.
          I had to use a pair of pliers to remove this product last time I utilised it.
          awful experience. wouldn’t have been able to without the piece on the end.
          Needless to say, I will be finding an alternative from now on.

          Reply
          • Karen

            I cut the stem off both my Keeper and then my Diva Cup (have been using a cup for over 10 years now) and never had any issues. In fact this was suggested in the user guide of one or both cups (they say you can shorten the stem right down to the base if you have to, just be careful not to cut the base itself). The has always sat really low for me so no worries about ‘finding it’ at all. If I didn’t cut the stem off I simply wouldn’t be able to use a cup as it would constantly poke me when I sit down!

            Reply
      • lynsey

        meluna do a mini cup which is for those with smaller anatomy/lower cervix etc.

        Reply
  10. ozmommy

    They actually DO make hemp cloth pads, erniepaul. I use cloth pads (mostly flannel) and occasionally sea sponges. Cups never worked for me; I think it’s just the shape of my body.

    Reply
  11. Minxann

    I have been using the cup for over a year and love it! I have a very heavy flow so I have to change it often and I opt for cloth pads at nighttime. I really wish I had been told earlier it’s been a dream to have! My flow has actually regulated and reduced in days since I began using it. My cramps have decreased well. Not to mention it pays for itself after a few months and I am no longer sick about how much waste tampons and pads are.

    Reply
  12. I am confused a bit about the cup. That device looks HUGE and I am not sure how one would expect to be NOT in pain while inserting it and leaving it in place. Seems like a torture device for me. I also have mennoraghia which essentially means I lose enough blood each month as most blood donors each donation. About a pint I suppose. When I sneeze I basically blow through a pad nearly immediately as well. I have to use the Always purple pads for ultra heavy and change about 4 times per day for 2-3 days of the 6 day period cycle. I would love to find a solution if anyone can advise. What about these sea sponges?

    Reply
    • Karen.

      No pain at all – in fact it’s a million times more comfortable than a tampon ever was! Granted it can be uncomfortable when inserting/removing those first few times, till you get the hang of it. After that it’s so darn comfortable that I’ve even literally forgotten I’m having my period sometimes! I’ve actually gone 24 hours a few times (which probably isn’t a good idea) because I’ve forgotten it’s in there!

      Reply
    • lin

      Like you, I also have a very heavy period (before the mooncup I had to wear a tampon and a pad, and still I had to change both of them every 2/3 hours during my first 2 days – my nights used to be nightmares!). Using the mooncup actually made things much easier for me because it keeps more blood than a super-tampon, doesn’t suddenly leak and once I learned how to apply it properly I managed to stop using pads altogether, as long as I clean it every 2/3 hours.

      Reply
    • - Collective Evolution

      Hey, its really not that big, if you are looking at the one that is in the video that is a larger than normal one for people with a very heavy flow, the smaller size diva cup is only 1 11/16″ in diameter. If it is inserted properly, you cannot even feel it. As for sea sponges, they are no longer FDA approved for use during menstruation. I am not saying that they aren’t a good alternative, I will be updating this article soon with information about the sea sponge. I guess the idea of sticking a dead sea creature up there sounded somewhat off-putting to me, but I am going to look into it lol

      • Gen

        Can u have sex with the cup in place?

        Reply
        • JoD

          As Naya says, there are disposables, but I have a friend who has been using a cup for several years and has been able to have sex with it in place. As long as her partner was aware of it and took care, of course… I don’t imagine the stem would be a particularly welcome addition to the proceedings.

          Reply
        • Naya

          There are disposable cups that do allow one to have sex.

          Reply
          • You do have to be careful with the disposable ones. First, they don’t allow very much natural lubrication to your lower vagina so you either have to use lube or *ouch!* And for me, I can’t use them for my period because my tissues tend to swell so badly that I sometimes end up pushing it out, which also kinda hurts. However, I have no pain with it otherwise.

            Reply
  13. Emily

    Thanks so much for this article Alanna. Every month when I use the mooncup I’m always so appreciative of the fact that I don’t have to throw away anything, only wishing I’d been doing it from the start! The reusable pads are pretty good too. I rub them with a bar of normal soap then soak them in cold water for a few days in a clean old yogurt container that isn’t transparent (No need for everyone in the house to look at them!) and they are completely clean. I change the mooncup in the shower so once or twice a day, no mess no fuss!
    One of the best changes I’ve ever made!

    Reply
  14. E1

    @valdoria you can get smaller cups! I reccomend Meluna!

    Reply
  15. Nina

    Hey. Iheard about the cup some month a ago already, but dismissed it again. But now it made me curious again. But what makes me wonder, if there is a problems with tampons because they have palstic …why isnt the cup a problem, since its made of silicone? That’s plastic you have in your body too, isnt it? So can anyone explain that?

    Reply
    • - Collective Evolution

      Hi Nina,
      Silicone is not made of plastic, it comes from a natural occurring element called Silicon, there is a process involved to design it into a menstruation cup, but from what I researched it is non-toxic for humans… this is what the DivaCup website had to say:
      “One could have sensitivity to any substance, but it is extremely rare to have sensitivity to silicone. Studies indicate that silicone is biocompatible with the body. This is why silicone has been used in healthcare applications for over 50 years. If you do experience skin sensitivity, immediately discontinue use and contact your health care provider.”

      I hope this helps :)

      • Nina

        Thank you for the information. There is always more to learn :)

        Reply
  16. Julia

    I stumbled over the mooncup, because some guy made fun of it on facebook. Well, to me it sounded very interesting. I got one for six month now. It took t´some time to get used to it. Now no more vaginal mycosis!

    Reply
  17. Maelle

    Hi,
    I have a question for the girls who use the diva cup : I bought it 2 months ago : first time, I didn’t like it, I think I didn’t insert it really well and it wasn’t working. Second time, much better! But during the whole time, I always had to wear liners, and the cup was always really far away and lost when I had to empty it…. What is it? Is it not well inserted or too small?

    Maelle

    Reply
    • Julie M.

      @Maelle : Vaginas come in different lengths, and so do the various brands of menstrual cups. It’s perfectly normal that your cup will ride up if your vagina is on the long side. Just bear down using your pelvic floor muscles as if you were using the bathroom, and the cup should come down. Alternatively, you could look for a cup with a longer stem : check the menstrual_cups community : http://www.menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/ and sizecharts page on livejournal : http://sizecharts.livejournal.com/ Also slight leakage could simply be the blood already hanging in your vagina, lower than the rim that the cup couldn’t catch (unlike tampons, they don’t absorb everything in their way).

      Reply
  18. mely

    Please! Just the last option was the one I´d choose, I wouldn´t put anything inside my vagina or wash something full of blood!!! And I find it very difficult to get those I like here in Argenitna :(

    Reply
  19. Ka

    I am sorry but silicones are not good or “better” for the environment, not at all. just search for critics on silicones used in cosmetics par example.
    Ok you can use your cup for a longer period of time, but sooner or later you will have to throw it away. And if you read somthing about what i just told you, i think, you will not want to have more “silicone-waste” in the environment.
    And on my opinion it’s aswell not good to have inside you or near your inner body. Just read on wikipedia how silicones are made. I think you will have toxic chemicals inside your body. or why women are dieing if there implants in their breasts are breaking, par example?

    On my opinion thats not a really good alternative. if you want something intoxic better use the sea sponges. thats a good alternative on my opinion, by the way.

    ( I am sorry if my english isnt that good. ^^ It’s not my native language.)

    Reply
    • .
      And on my opinion it’s aswell not good to have inside you or near your inner body. Just read on wikipedia how silicones are made. I think you will have toxic chemicals inside your body. or why women are dieing if there implants in their breasts are breaking, par example?
      On my opinion thats not a really good alternative. if you want something intoxic better use the sea sponges. thats a good alternative on my opinion, by the way.
      ( I am sorry if my english isnt that good. ^^ It’s not my native language.)
      One cup can last 15 years ,I’ll probably only need 2-3 from here to menopause, which is pretty good compared to 20000 (give or take) pads and tampons I would need. The problem is that the fluid inside a lot of silicone implants becomes infected or rupture. The silicone injections are placed pertinently straight into tissue wear it can be broken down and circulate around the
      body. They type of silicon used in a cup is closer to the kind used in artificial heart valves,and you could always get the natural rubber one if you want.
      Personally I can’t use the sponges, the main issue I was having with tampons was that because they were absorbent they were drying me out and giving me infections all the time. Because the cup only catches the blood not soaking it up it solved my problem.

      Reply
    • Julie M.

      @Ka : We are talkin about solid silicone, not the liquid in breast implants !! Solid (but flexible) silicone is a stabilized material that has been used for decades in the medical field, for instance in prosthetic & artificial limbs. It is not to be confused with a plastic (made from petroleum products), and therefore, doesn’t leak any chemicals !!
      Whereas tampons are bleached and leak dioxin, yuk.

      Reply
    • I haven’t said that the silicone material is better for the environment, but I did say that using the menstrual cup does produce WAAAY less waste than tampons and pads, also, the reusable pads may be a great choice as well. Yes if silicone implants burst it can be very bad if not fatal to your body, but that is liquid silicone that is released directly into your body, which is much worse than having a solid material inside. And still, my research shows that chemicals do not leach from the silicone menstruation cups so they are in fact non-toxic to your body… Sea sponges might be a great natural alternative, but as I said before I am unsure of any health effects that may come along with having a dead sea creature in your vagina. I have yet to research more about this alternative, but I will! Thanks for your input!

      Reply
      • I’ve been using Sea Pearls (sea sponge tampons) for years and never once had a problem resulting from “dead sea creatures” in my vagina. They’re super comfortable – I have never once been able to wear a commercial tampon without some degree of discomfort and usually it’s actually painful (and yes, I do know the shape of the vagina and that it’s not straight up and down but tilted towards the back, I’ve tried long and short and different diameters and different brands and etc). I don’t even feel the Sea Pearls until they start to get full and have some more weight to them. The way they are harvested actually causes the plants to reproduce, so it’s a sustainable product, and when it’s not absorbent enough you can compost them. You can disinfect them with hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, tea tree oil, and other non-toxic things that also won’t hurt the environment when rinsed out.

        The main issue I have with them is that as they get full, they are prone to leakage. And late in my cycle when they aren’t getting full, they still get full of a great deal of moisture (I assume it’s either serous fluid from the uterus or possibly the vagina produces more fluid to help clean out the last of the blood, I don’t know), and any cough or sneeze will make them leak as those muscles contract. It’s tricky to know how often to rinse anyway, and since you don’t know when a cough or sneeze is going to come, you can wind up squeezing a bunch of blood out of them and into your panties. *sigh*

        I am intrigued by the cup, but still rather terrified of trying to insert the dang things. And get them out again. And how they’ll feel in there. I may be in my 30s but I’m still a virgin, so things aren’t particularly stretched out down there… (probably why commercial tampons bug the hell out of me too).

        Reply
        • I have never had a problem with coughing or sneezing when using the cup. Mostly because it holds enough that I rarely get to capacity when using it. I had to go with a second brand of cup, but it still works out. The first was a little larger than my body could deal with (I’ve had three kids… not being a virgin doesn’t necessarily translate to “stretched out”), and it caused a little bladder pain due to pressure it was putting on my bladder. Once I went with a slightly smaller, softer brand, (from a Diva to a Mooncup), that problem went away. I still keep the Diva around in case I need something with more capacity while I’m out and about, since the pressure issue is really only at bedtime, when I’m laying on my side.

          The vagina doesn’t produce THAT much fluid. Neither does the uterus or cervix.

          Insertion is actually easier than a sponge. It has a smooth, non-abrasive surface. The worst thing I’ve had to deal with is at the end of my cycle, when my cervix moves back up to its normal position, and I can’t get hold of the cup as easily to break the seal and remove it. However, since I have pretty well worked muscles in the area, a little pushing helps bring it down enough.

          The very best part about the cup is that all I need is a mild soap and warm water to clean it. It rinses out quite easily, and I use a special toothbrush I set aside after my cycle is done to give it an extra good scrub. They’re entirely antimicrobial, since they’re in no way porous and have completely smooth walls that give bacteria no place to get a foothold.

          Reply
        • Heather

          The cups look scary large, but you fold them in half. When I first tried them, I was very skeptical, especially since I’m still pretty young and therefore smaller than the average customer. However, since the cups kind of bend to fit your body, you can’t even feel them after insertion, providing they’ve been inserted properly. :)

          Reply
  20. Diane

    To those who are suffering from very heavy menstrual flow, can I pass on my experience. I used to have terrible heavy flow every month until I quit having dairy in my diet. The first month after quitting I had an extra period one week after the last one and ever after that my flow has been a lot lighter. I also used to get terrible cramps but that has stopped now as well. I think that all the hormones in the milk were affecting my cycle. p.s. I don’t use any contraceptive pill either.

    Reply
    • Debra

      Oh My Gosh!!!!!
      I have had very heavy periods my whole life. This winter i have been eating a lot of cheese, drinking more milk and have gained a lot of weight and my periods are so irregular im lucky to have two weeks off. I blamed the milk for my weight gane but never made the connection wth my cycle being messed up. Will be dairy free for awhile and see what happens.

      Reply
    • Harriet

      I noticed after using reusable pads for a couple of periods my cramps completely went away. About a year after I started using them, I had to use a tampon because it was all that was available to me at the time. Almost immediately after I inserted the tampon ALL THE CRAMPS came right back.I was miserable until I was able to get home and get back to my stash.

      Reply
      • Diane

        I don’t use tampons so they were not the cause of my cramps. Last month, for the first time in a long time, I indulged in cheese and some dairy chocolate and this time around, my period cramps and heavy flow came back.

        Reply
    • Christina

      I’m lactose intolerant and my flow is still ridiculously heavy. It may depend on the individual, but for me, not having dairy certainly doesn’t decrease my flow.

      Reply
      • It’s the same with me Christina (except I choose to not eat dairy) and I have an extremely heavy flow (about 1 super plus tampon an hour).

        Does anyone know if the cup would effect the copper coil iud? (can’t be all too worried about silicone when I already have copper up there :p)

        Reply
    • Do you use a menstrual cup?

      Reply
      • Diane

        No, I haven’t tried one, but I would be interested in reusable pads.

        Reply
        • Are you not interested in the cup? A lot of women with a heavy flow prefer it to pads, also, thank you for sharing your experiences, I wonder if there is any link between eating too much dairy and having a heavy flow…. hmmm

          Reply
          • I’m a vegan and still have realllly heavy flow that I’ve had my whole life. No noticeable difference before/after I quit with dairy. I use reusable pads for the most part. I have a cup but did not like it. On my first few heavy days I had to empty it every couple hours and couldn’t easily do that at work.

            Reply
          • Diane

            I think there was definitely a link with dairy and heavy bleeding/pain for me anyway. Maybe I would try the cup but I tried using a cap for contraception before and I didn’t like putting it in/taking it out. I don’t know if the cup would be easier or not or if there is any chance of it leaking?

            Reply
  21. Just bought some cups, I am tired of changing out my super tampons every 2 hours. My flow got crazy after I got an IUD.

    Reply
  22. Sim

    I like the article, but it’s not true about every woman menstruating :)

    Reply
  23. Miz Laydee

    I don’t have a negative judgement of people using these products or the thought behind using them. I don’t think I would try anything like this. I am way too busy and I have way too many fears of blood and bacteria to get on board with this. Rinsing it in the sink: to think about it… no. The reusable pads really scare me because how do you clean them; how will you get out all the blood and stains? Do you put them in the washing machine?
    I fear these products will have me smelling extra “natural” as there is probably build up of old blood and bacterial lurking on it.
    Some of the names of the products gave me a good laugh. Pleasure puss is great!

    Reply
    • I find the cup way more accommodating of a fast pace life style, when I’m out and about I don’t need to worry about whether I grabbed enough or need to run out and buy anything last minute, granted it does take a little practice but after a few month I was confident enough to do it while out drinking.

      As for the pads, personally I keep a cute little cookie jar in my bathroom to soak the pads I use with a little bit of vinegar.Once they’ve had a good soak I just toss them in with my normal laundry, sometime when I need an excuse for an extra long shower I’ll wash then out by hand while I’m in their. The only pads I ever had any issues with staining are the blue ones (I have no idea why, even the white parts on my zebra print ones are still in great shape).
      I’ve notice that their was next to no smell at all, because they breath you don’t get that “leather pants” felling. Between the soak and the wash in the laundry they come out just as clean as any other clothes you put in, no it didn’t have any effect on the machine or stain anything else in the load .

      Reply
    • Sim

      It’s difficult to describe what it’s like using reusables to people who don’t and don’t want to. When I first started using then 11 years ago, it was like not having a period. I used to detest using disposable pads at night. I used to sleep completely still with my lega crossed all night. The smell reminds me of school toilets. All I can say about sell is: trust me, disposable pads SMELL, and I’m convinced its not an accident. I don’t remember tampons smelling, but I do remember the cringe of pulling one out since it had suck all moisture out of me.
      I can count on one hand how many times I’ve ever emptied my cup in public toilets. And on those few occasions, I’ve just emptied it and put it back in again without washing. It’s not messy, since you can dump the blood, bang it back in and THEN clean yourself up. Meaning you’re not fighting a losing battle because no more blood will come down.
      As for cloth pads, what do you do if you accidentally bleed onto your clothes? Or between periods when you have discharge? I’m betting you just bang everything in the washer. I don’t even soak mine. Just stick them in the wash. I never soaked, just seemed a massive faff. I’ve still got pads from ten years ago. Promise they don’t smell, and they aren’t stained either :)

      Reply

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