When I first heard about menstrual cups years ago, I had zero desire to try them. I just didn’t see how emptying a cup of blood in a public restroom would work out when you’re at work, or anywhere, for that matter. Then I did some additional research, and learned that one of the benefits of using a cup as opposed to tampons is that you can wear them for up to 12 hours (no risk of toxic shock!), or even more depending on your flow and what you’re comfortable with. One of my least favorite things in the world is going to a bar restroom to change a tampon while hanging out with friends, so I figured that I would give it a try. And truthfully, I really do hate tampons. Shoot, I’ll take it there – I just plain hate getting my period. Anything with the potential to let me “forget” about it is something I needed to look into.

via Lena Cup

So for my next cycle, I decided to get a Lena Cup. It didn’t arrive until the third day, but oh my goodness, I fell in love off the bat. I was able to keep it in for around ten hours, even with doing yoga, and the lighter my flow, the more I loved it. My cycle lasts a full seven days, and for the last three, I wasn’t sweating it at all. I felt free! The Lena Cup was my primary topic of conversation with any woman I talked to for the next week; I was in awe. I even felt like the intensity of my cramps had decreased. However, the real test wouldn’t come until I used it for a full cycle during heavier flow days.

See, my flow, on my heaviest day, is the bane of my existence. We’re talking call out of work sick cramps and running to the bathroom to change an ultra tampon every 2-3 hours. I thought that cups, with their ability to hold much more than tampons, would save me from this personal hell…but unfortunately, that didn’t happen. From the night of day 1 until day 3, my cup and I were not friends – it started leaking if I didn’t change it after a couple of hours. “WHY?!” I asked the universe – I felt betrayed. It’s only a day and a half, but it was so irksome. Please note, I initially thought it was user error, but my cup wasn’t leaking right away, and when my flow got lighter again I didn’t have anymore issues. And so, I did more research on cups and decided that my solution would be to get a cup with a higher capacity. Enter the Super Jennie.

via Super Jennie

The Super Jennie is supposed to be the super hero of menstrual cups. A large one holds 41.61mL of liquid, while a large Lena Cup holds around 30mL. Because of this, I thought it would be better for heavier days, but alas, I had the same issue. I ended up needing to use a pad for back up, and again, this was only for a day or two, but I still found it annoying.

Overall, I’m still thrilled that I finally tried menstrual cups. I still don’t see how I would feel comfortable changing it in a public bathroom stall (personal preference as you could carry wipes if you needed to) and my heavy days are an issue, but it’s much more economical and greener than buying tampons monthly. And for the most part, it is more convenient. During my research, I also read that over time the use of a cup can make your period lighter, so I reeeeeally hope that happens along with the less painful cramps. I do know that I won’t be going back to tampons.

Have you tried a menstrual cup?

Elle

Elle is the editor and creative director of the YouTube channel and blog, Quest for the Perfect Curl at www.questfortheperfectcurl.com. Her channel focuses on natural hair, beauty, and fitness. She loves products that smell like dessert, yoga, and glitter. Follow her @qftpc.

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29 Comments on "I Finally Tried Menstrual Cups, And I’m In Love But Conflicted"

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Carla

I have been using the DivaCup for 4.5 years now and I can’t imagine going back to tampons aside from a true emergency. It does no last me 12 hours during the first two days of my period (more like 6 hours) because I have a heavy flow but it beats changing tampons every two hours, wearing a full pad for back up and the cost (I only purchased organic tampons and pads). I use a pantyliner as a backup – all the time really, but the DivaCup is here to stay.

Angelica

I love my cup so much! I actually use Lena cup (large) on my heavier days but I do have to change at least once mid-day. It’s all about knowing your flow!

Savannah

I love the cup (after I finally got used to it)!!! The only thing I need to start looking for is a larger cup for my heavier days that isn’t too big ? but other than that, they are pretty great! I’ve already converted one friend to the cup and she loves it too!

Sonia

Elle, may I suggest Softcups for your heavier days? They can be emptied by “bearing down” over a toilet, which you can do every few hours much more easily than actually removing and rinsing a traditional cup.

TWA4now

Wow, I used. it once…liked it, but . Messy but worth it. I imagine placement has a lot to do with it.

Robstar

I have been using the Diva Cup for 7 years. I haven’t bought any pads nor tampons since. On heavy days I empty every 6-8 hours, on lighter days every 12 hours. My period last exactly 4 days.

Bajangal

Thanks so much for this article!

Sadchick

I tried it and it got stuck inside me! My partner had to take it out with tweezers ugh I know the horror! At least I didn’t end up in emergency. Very envious of those who can use it

Savannah

Did you put it up too high?

Dee

After a few months of using the cup you will not have the same type of heavy days and you number of days will be less.

Nacho

How does the cup make your flow lighter?

Quanisha Washington

I’m currently using the Lena and blossom cup. I have to change 2-3 hours with the Lena and 4 hours with the blossom. My problem is my cervix sits in the cup taking up room. That could be your issue, as well. I didn’t have this issue the the Lynette so I’m thinking about repurchasimg the Lynette or a cup for low cervix

Amanda

There’s also a lot of information out there about “missing” your cervix. Which I did not understand until I saw pictures. Here are some illustrations.

Amanda

I had a similar problem! I have the same problem during my heavier days! After months of trying to make it work it’s not because my flow was too heavy, but because my cervix dropped so low during the first few days. So it’s possible that your flow is too heavy for the cup, but it’s also possible that the changing position of your cervix is to blame. If you really love the cup, it might be worth looking into.

Andrea

I love my Diva cup. I hate tampons and pads. Is it weird to give someone a menstrual cup as a gift? Christmas is coming.

Quanisha Washington

Make sure they’re the “right” person for it. My sister wouldn’t even let me bring it in her house ?

Eddiecation

I noticed with the menstrual cup my period went from 5-6 days to 4-5 after about 3-4 months. I do use a pantyliner the first 2-3 days; I don’t need a pad. On heavy days my cup last about 6-8 hours, then on other days I gets a full 10-12 hours. Also, everyone’s uterus is different. Maybe tilting the cup or shifting it would help with leaks.

Katherine

I love my cup and on heavier days double up with thinx underwear so I don’t have to work about leakage!

Marsha

I use Softcup’s (disposable menstrual cups) I love them! My period went from 7 days to 5 days using those. I had always heard it was something in tampons that prolonged your period. Not sure, but mine shortened when I switched to the cups and I’ve been using them for 6 months.

Felicia

It’s probably all those lethal chemicals they pack in there! I agree, I love menstrual cups, my period also shortened and I didn’t even notice it til later.

Alex

Marsha, are Softcups hard to “get in”? I tried using a regular mensrual cup and I couldn’t even get it in (even after folding).

Sonia

Alex, I use Softcups too and they are very easy to put in and take out — much easier than the regular Luna/Diva style. They fold up smaller, so you probably will have an easier time getting it in. Also, with the regular cups even if you can get it all the way in it’s very hard to tell if it’s seated correctly, but the Softcup will kind of “hook” into place on your pubic bone, making it easy to tell that it’s in place.

del
I used a Diva cup for years and I loved it. I told all my girlfriends about it (yes, they wished I’d shut up). But like you, on my heavy days, it wasn’t as effective. I since found out that I had issues that made my period super-heavy but I still loved the cup. I would have gone broke buying tampons and pads. I did buy backup pads but that was it. As for public bathrooms, I used the disabled stall when I could (because it usually has a sink inside) but if not, I wiped the cup clean, reinserted… Read more »
Dionne

Where do you live that there is a sink in the disabled stall?! In NYC we don’t have this.

del

Really? I never even thought about this. I’m in Florida, and not all disabled stalls have sinks but a lot do.

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