Menstrual Cups are the New Tampon

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Menstrual Cups are the New Tampon


Ok, this one is for the ladies.  We are going to get a bit intimate here.  Did you girls know that over 12 BILLION pads and tampons are USED ONCE and disposed of annually?  That’s a heavy burden on our planet, don’t you think?  That’s why I’m here to tell you that  menstrual cups are the new tampon!


  • 6.5 billion tampons and 13.5 billion sanitary pads, PLUS their packaging, ended up in landfills or sewer systems in 1998
  • the average woman throws away 250 to 300 pounds of tampons, pads and applicators in her lifetime
  • according to the Center for Marine Conservation, over 170,000 tampon applicators were collected along U.S. coastal areas between 1998 and 1999
  • the most common cause of plumbing problems are pads and tampons being flushed down the toilet
  • it is not required by the FDA to label the ingredients in tampons anywhere in or on the packaging
  • in North America alone, here are 85 million women of menstruating age (source)

As responsible citizens of this planet, we do a lot to preserve and conserve.  We eat organic, we chose nonGMO, we shop local, we recycle, and  we compost  But can we do a little more when it comes to our monthly cycle and the effect it has on our environment?

Introducing the menstrual cup:

A menstrual cup is a flexible cup, usually made out of medical grade silicone, that is worn internally during menstruation to collect menstrual flow.  It differs from pads and tampons in that it actually collects fluid instead of absorbing it.


6 Reasons to Make the Switch to a Menstrual Cup:


  1. Once you find the perfect fit and learn how to use your menstrual cup, they are extremely comfortable to wear.
  2. With proper fit, they have less leakage than pads and tampons.
  3. They save you money.  Even though the initial investment may seem hard, with proper care, menstrual cups can last up to 10 years.
  4. Better for your health.  Have you ever seen the ingredients listed on a box of pads or tampons?  Me neither.  But I’m not into putting bleach, dioxin, pesticides, BPA, or phthalates anywhere near my most sacred spot.  Thank you very much!  Read more HERE on toxins in feminine hygiene products.
  5. They are good for the planet.  Just read the facts above and you will agree that a reusable cup is the best choice for our environment.
  6. They are super easy to deal with.  Just insert and forget about it.  It is recommended that you empty your menstrual cup every 4-8 hours.  Then you just pull it out, empty it, wash it, and reinsert.


How to choose the right one:

So this is the tricky part.  Just as we are all different people, our anatomy is different too.  We come in all different shapes and sizes, even in our private parts.  Some are long.  Some are short.  Some of us have had kids.  Some of us haven’t even had sex yet.

Most brands come in different sizes.  Small, medium, and large.  Some only come in small and large.  And there are a lot of brands to choose from

Things to consider when choosing your menstrual cup:

  • Have you had children?
  • Does your cervix sit high or low?
  • Is your flow heavy or light?


My personal experience:

When I first decided to get a menstrual cup, THIS is the only brand that I had heard of.  I bought it online.  Since I have had 2 children, I bought the the Size 2.  I have to be honest, I didn’t really like it.  Even though I loved how easy it was to use and how clean it was, it just didn’t fit right.  It wasn’t comfortable.

Come to find out, this particular brand is the longest cup on the market.  It is made for women whose cervix sits a little higher and whose vaginal canal is a bit longer. (I told you we were going to get intimate here.)

After a little research, I learned that menstrual cups come in lots of different lengths and diameters.  Check out this handy size chart.

I ordered THIS one next.  It was WAY better.  I loved it.  It was WAY more comfortable.  The one complaint I had was the capacity wasn’t quite big enough for my heavy days.  So I ordered THIS one as well.  PERFECT FIT!  It is my go-to menstrual cup now.  Perfect in every way!

NOTE:  I learned later on that if I turned my first menstrual cup inside out, it would make it shorter and more comfortable.  So if you have already bought THIS brand and find it too long, it’s worth a try.  It still works just the same turned inside out. 


My advice:

Think about what kind of cup would be best for you.  If you have never had children, look for smaller cups.  If you have had children, you will probably need one with a slightly bigger diameter.  If your flow is light, you can use one with a smaller capacity.  If you know your flow is heavier, look for one with a bigger capacity.

Check out this great size comparison chart 

Yes, I had to buy a few before I got the right fit, but it was totally worth it.  I will never go back.  Menstrual cups, in my humble opinion are the new tampon!

Want to learn more? Check out this post of Why Tampons are Bad.



Menstrual Cups are the New Tampon -


Have you ever used a menstrual cup?  Do you have one that you love?  After reading this, would you be open to trying one? I’d love to hear your thought.  Please leave me a comment below.








Katja is the creator, author and chef of Savory Lotus. Food is her passion, and food is also her medicine. Katja believes that good health starts with deeply nourishing foods and that healthy living doesn’t have to be complicated. Join her for easy to prepare recipes made with real food ingredients. Gluten and grain free. Paleo-friendly.

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: The information included on this website is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions expressed here are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for your own situation or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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  1. angelia says

    I have been considering purchasing one and had no idea there were different sizes! I really appreciate this article. It has convinced me to invest the money with the hopes of reducing my carbon footprint! Thanks so much.

  2. Holly says

    When I first heard about them over a year ago I said no way. Even though I was making so many better choices in my home, getting rid of toxins, I wasn’t giving up tampons for a reusable. Now, I am open to trying! But my biggest question….is what do you do when you need to empty when you’re away from home?

    • says

      I find it super easy to use. If the public bathroom is private, I just remove, empty, wash, and reinsert. If the bathroom has stalls, you can just empty and reinsert. It’s OK if you don’t wash it EVERY time. Just wash it as soon as you get home. It took my a minute to get the hang of it. But since you can leave it in for so long, I find it super convenient. I have my system of removing, emptying, and reinserting down now. You will love it if you make the switch. Thanks for stopping by! :)

  3. Jenn says

    I have used a menstrual cup for about four years now. I use a Diva Cup size one since I have never had kids. I absolutely love it. And like you said the initial investment is an ouch but 24 bucks over four years… you do the math.

  4. sha says

    since we are being open and discussing could someone answer a couple of questions that have kept me from switching.
    1. how often does this need to be emptied? as in several times a day, every couple of hours, or once a day? i know it depends on your flow but i am trying to compare it to a tampon. does it hold more?
    2. how difficult would it be to change this in public? SORRY…but is it as messy as i would imagine? i am not easily grossed out at all….i am more concerned about being discrete for other people’s benefit.

    • says

      Great questions!
      #1 Most brands recommend emptying every 3-8 hours. I tend to empty mine every 3-4 hours, but it is NEVER full. I sleep with mine overnight. Never leaks.
      #2 There was a learning curve for me for using this but now I am super quick about emptying and reinserting. As far as public restrooms go, I seek out bathrooms that are single bathrooms (not stalls) so it’s super easy. It can be done without making a mess. I take it out and empty into toilet. I use a piece of folded TP to carry it to sink and wash it out super good. Then reinsert. Once you have the hang of it, it’s an easy process. If you are stuck in a public bathroom with stalls you can just dump and reinsert. Then wash it when you get home. Since you can leave it in for so long, I haven’t had to do this. I don’t find it to be messy once I got the hang of it.
      Hope that answers your questions.

  5. says

    I have a DiveCup, size 1. I bought it online just because I was making a whole bunch of better choices in one week. I was no worried about the price, it was less that $40, and that’s no big deal.. it’s very simple to see the savings.

    I leave it in for up to 12 hours, no problems. While I generally change it sooner, I have been out and about with no time, not a problem on light days. I will say the only thing I have trouble with is sports, I don’t think it stays and I can start to feel it, so I do use tampons for that.. unfortunately. Can’t seem to find away around it!

    Great post, love my cup!

  6. Dawn says

    I am looking to see if this would be an option for my 11 year old on swim days. I’ve never used this and no longer menstruate, so I can’t tell if it would work for her or not. Do you think it would be OK for her? Do you have any tips for very young girls? Thank you!

    • says

      It really depends on the girl. There are some really small, soft cups out there that would be perfect for a young girl. The issue is getting her to try it. Many young girls are resistent to the idea. If she is already using tampons, it may be an easier switch. I would talk with her about it. If she is open, there is lots of info online about insertion, etc. I would look at the chart that I reference in the post and pick a smaller cup to start. I would noy get one too stiff as they may be uncomfortable. If it is too flimsy, it may be harder to insert. It may take some practice. Let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help.

  7. Corey says

    I switched to the Diva cup last summer and haven’t looked back!! I’ve even turned my best friend and sister in law on to it. I no longer have cramping during my period, and my flow is an entire day shorter!! I also no longer have the dry feeling down there during and for a day or two after my period. I don’t have to worry about my heavy days and a heavy flow that even a super tampon cannot handle, and I can sleep well at night. I agree there is definitely a learning curve!! So don’t give up after your first cycle. I would say give yourself at least three cycles until you are really feeling comfortable with the cup, and insertion in particular. Before you know it, it won’t take any time at all and you will be able to feel if it is in correctly (has a good seal) and when you need to empty it (it feels heavy and sits lower when I need to empty). Good luck to all you ladies!!

  8. nanci says

    Great article! I’ve been a cup user for almost 2 years now, and wish I had discovered them years ago. I’ve converted my sister, oldest daughter and 2 coworkers. And the boyfriend of a coworker lol. One of the other girls was complaining about dealing with that time of the month and he told her she needed a cup! My daughter works on a cruise ship, and said it’s so much easier not having to worry about supplies or disposal since you can’t flush anything. She said she won’t ever go back to disposables ever agsin.

  9. Jessica L says

    I have actually using something similar called “instead softcup” since the 90’s, I love it and will never go back to tampons or pads again!!!

  10. Melissa says

    I read your article a while ago and finally decided to purchase a mentral cup. WOW!!! WHERE HAVE THESE BEEN ALL OUR LIVES?!! Although it does take a little “getting used to”–the benefits are so enormous!
    1. Will pay for itself in a few months (saves $ for every month afterward)
    2. No more WASTE (environmentally friendly)
    3. No more putting toxins near our bodies
    4. SOOOO COMFORTABLE!!!! (No more “diaper” feeling from pads or that uncomfortable “flared end” tampon)
    5. My “area” stays MUCH DRIER (being “moist” continually can lead to yeast infections)
    6. NO embarrassing odor
    7. No more having to embarrassingly lug my purse to the bathroom (when at work)
    8. ZERO LEAKAGE!!!! ZERO!!!! No more ruined panties or sheets! (Or embarrassing moments)
    I’m an ADVOCATE! Just for the record: I’m 45 years old, never had any children. (If it matters: I’m 5′ 2″ and weight 150)–I bought a “small” size (recommended for ladies who’ve never given birth) and it fits wonderfully. The “hardest” part was getting used to getting the thing OUT–but once you have that down-pat–you are good to go!

  11. says

    Thank you SO much for writing this! Not enough ladies have information about menstrual cups, in fact lots of them have never heard of one! I have a big campaign going for them on my blog as well, and I’m posting new reviews regularly of different brands. I just really want to get this information out there!


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