Making "That Time of the Month" Eco-Friendly and Body-Friendly

Men beware - this one is just for the ladies, unless you would like to hear about "that time of the month". :)

Okay, now that I've made that disclaimer, today I'm going to discuss menstrual cups. A few months ago I switched from tampons to a Lunette Cup, and I absolutely love it. It's so great because, my "lady time" seems to be shorter, I save a lot of money not having to buy tampons,I don't have to rush to the nearest gas stations when I forgot to get them, there is no waste (applicators and wrappers), it is non-toxic, you can wear them all day, and I don't even feel like I am on my "lady time" when I use it. I hope to help other women realize the convenience, health, and environmental benefits of these wonderful tools.
I believe there is a taboo about menstrual cups because the average woman is taught that their cycle is a dirty, smelly, gross, embarrassing, and disgusting time; and that the disposable, one-time use convenience of scented tampons is the best and easiest way to deal with it. Thanks to large corporations and those pesky commercials tampons have always seemed to be the only option, when in fact menstrual cups have been around just as long as tampons. Knowledge of the cups is spreading by word of mouth and gaining popularity; in the past few years we have gone from having four cup companies to at least twelve. Women should embrace the fact that "lady time" is part of who we are and what makes us the goddesses we are, what makes us WOMAN! Accepting the fact that IT HAPPENS for every woman, is a great step towards women feeling comfortable in their bodies. We don't have to be afraid of being close with the way our cycle works. The cup allows you to become more familiar with the duration and flow of your "lady time".  Once you realize how bad those disposable, bleached, trash producing tampons are for your body and the environment, the cup seems like a no-brainer.

Why tampons are bad:
  • Women use up to 15,000 tampon in their lifetime. There are nearly 4,000,000,000 women on this planet. Think about all of those plastic applicators and wrappers.
  • Tampons are chlorine-bleached to get them super white, which can cause Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).
  • Many tampons can contain Dioxin which is known to cause cancer, endometriosis, damaged nervous system, pelvic inflammatory disease, and reduced fertility. - Especially with repeated contact. - Does wearing 3-5 tampons, 3-7 days a month for 40 years count as repeated contact?
  • They can tear your vaginal lining when being removed.
  • They leak.
  • You have to change them 3-5 times a day.

Why cups are good:
  • They are reusable!
  • The Keeper brand is made from natural rubber, so it is biodegradable. (My next one will be a Keeper.) The others are made of medical grade silicone, which is incredibly durable, hypo-allergenic, does not absorb anything including bacteria or your natural moisture. So no worries about it tearing your vaginal lining.
  • They come in many different sizes, so you can find one to meet your needs.
  • Lasts up to 10 years! The average cost, $30, over 10 years is only 30 cents per month. Buying tampons, not including pads or liners, over a course of 10 years would cost nearly $500.
  • You usually can wear them all day, unless you have a very heavy flow. Which means you can wait until you are in the comforts of your own home before you have to deal with it. I only have to empty mine once a day before bed, but it is different for everyone.
  • Once you learn how fast yours fills up, you don't ever have to worry about leakage. You also know how long you have before you have to empty it.
  • No risk of TSS.
  • You don't have to worry about finding places to buy tampons while traveling.
  • You can wear it when you think your "lady time" is about to start so you don't have to mess with it in some inopportune moment.
  • You can't feel it.

Some help for those already using cups or wanting to try:
  • Practice putting it in and taking it out a couple of times before you are actually on "lady time".
  • Folding it and inserting upward and back slightly is the easiest way. Here are 2 methods of folding:
  • Once it is in, feel around the sides of the cup to make sure it is open completely, then you know the seal is made and there will be no leaking. :)
  • To remove, pull the tab and sort of push with your stomach. Once it is pulled down far enough, pinch the bottom of the cup to release the seal, then you should be able to pull it out keeping it upright so you don't spill. Then you can dump it out.
  • You can cut the tab on the cup to your liking, but I'd wait to make sure it doesn't move up in your vaginal canal after you have been wearing it for a while. If it is a flat tab, cut it in a U shape instead of straight across.
  • To clean initially and between "lady times" you should boil your cup for the time recommended by your cup manufacturer. Here's a good idea ------------------------>
  • To clean during "lady time" you can just use a mild unscented soap and cold water, cold water does not cause staining. Or if you are in a hurry, you can wipe it with toilet paper.
  • There are some disposable/one-time-use cups available. Of course, I don't like the idea of them because they are disposable. They also seem to be more difficult to maneuver into place because they are bigger around, and are made out of thin plastic so they would be more prone to leakage without the proper seal. (It is the bigger one with the pink ring in the photo above.)

These websites are really informative if you need more help:

Another thing I'd like to mention is washable, reusable, cloth pads and liners. There are many available for sale on Etsy, or there are lots of tutorials and patterns online if you want to sew your own. I have found I don't even have to use these though because the cup works so well! :)

These are from sewfussy on Etsy.
Ooo, and I wanted to mention I love chamomile tea for cramps. I like to hold the warm cup on my belly, too.

Please share your thoughts!!

love & light,


  1. I switched to a Diva cup a couple of years ago and my relationship with my body and my cycle has developed beautifully! Using a cup,I became more involved in the process of my menstruation, which was uncomfortable at first due to some of the societal messages you mentioned. Over time I have learned a lot about what my body tend to do during my cycle, and what used to feel like a huge limitation has become a time of the month I look forward to because I'm learning how to channel that creativity and emotion I feel. So yes, yay for menstrual cups! Only wish I could have read this when I started!

    1. Yay! I am happy it has been a positive experience for you!

  2. I bought a DivaCup a couple of months ago, but I switched back to tampons since then. I found the cup highly uncomfortable, it always leaked and I had a difficult time inserting it. I still have the cup and would very much like to use it, but it didn't work for me. I did everything I could; I followed the directions, got the right size and did research. Did you have to get used to it, or did it come naturally to you? I would really like to know what I did wrong because I love the idea! Thanks :)

    1. Honestly, it was pretty natural for me. It was never uncomfortable. I have read that the DivaCup is one of the longer cups, so maybe it is too long for you and that may be why it is uncomfortable? If it leaks, then it isn't forming a seal, which could be because it isn't open all the way - or - it was too full. I also read that spinning it once it is in place helps it to open properly. I hope this helps. :)

    2. Hmmm yes, it did feel like it didn't fit, even though it was right size! I'll try again next month and use these tips :). Thanks for bringing this subject up, not many people (at least the people I know) know about menstrual cups!

  3. Hi Claire, loved this post, I read about this awhile back and have been wanting to try it, I think I'm going to order it now! It will be way better then tampons for our health and the environment!

    1. Felicia, It's great to hear you liked the post, and I am so glad I could help you decide to try it out! Good luck with your new cup! :)