Beauty

My Happiest Period Ever

I’m writing this as a public service announcement for all women who have a period… my life will never be the same, haha, and I just had to share this because I wish I had tried it sooner.

But first some backstory.

I was a very late bloomer. I did have some periods in high school, but they were fleeting and unreliable. I think because they were so infrequent, I was terrified by them. I couldn’t count the days and know when it would come… it would just show up after not being there for eight months or whatever, and for those entire eight months I’d be convinced that today was the day it would come. My mom was also a late bloomer and I didn’t have any health issues, so it was more of an inconvenience than an actual problem.

While I did have a fear that it would show up at any given moment, it was nice to travel, swim, play sports, etc without a period. In fact, I had never had to figure out how to swim with a period or travel or compete in a regatta wearing a unisuit with a period because I never had one while I was swimming or traveling or competing.

I was a little more regular throughout college but would still label it as irregular. Again, frustrating when in the middle of some random day, without warning, I’d start my period. Ugh, hi there I guess.

Eventually, I went on birth control to try to regulate it a little. I did ultimately get one every month, but it was still random and did NOT line up with the sugar pills. It got to the point where I figured this was something I’d have to deal with until menopause and was, at least, thankful to be deemed healthy in every other regard. I stopped taking the pill because I didn’t like taking hormones… and weirdly when I went off the pill, I had regular periods. For the first time in my life. I have no idea why, but I was just thankful to be able to track it more easily (FYI, I use the app “Clue” and love it) so I didn’t question this newfound regularity.

Now that I could track my periods, I was never surprised or caught off guard. And I’m also super thankful/lucky to have a very manageable period. I know everyone’s is a little different and some are more challenging than others. Even with a short, easy period though, it can just be plain annoying at times. I did end up figuring out how to travel/swim/workout while I was on it and just went about my life as usual.

But with tampons, you have to kind of plan your day. Or least I did… For example, if I was traveling, I’d make sure I used the bathroom whenever I could so I wouldn’t be stuck in a pinch later in the day. I was always making sure I had tampons in every purse and made the monthly orders on Amazon to restock.

One of my friends is currently upending her lifestyle to eliminate as many chemicals and waste as possible. She’s the one who inspired me to use reusable straws and switch to natural deodorant. Every time I see her, she has some new tip on what to use to replace something… like what to use instead of Windex or some kind of glass canister instead of a plastic one. When she recommended switching from tampons to a menstrual cup, I thought she had lost her freaking mind. It was a hard no from me (and my other friend who shared the same sentiments as me lol). But we did have a lot of questions, which she answered as best as she could.

Diva CupI watched one video on Youtube and then for three months following that, I had a recommended video every day on my homepage about menstrual cups. I don’t know why but I’d watch another, and then another. I found it bizarre and oh so fascinating. It seemed way too good to be true. A little cup you insert into your vagina and you can just leave it there for 12 hours?! Instead of a tampon which absorbs, the cup collects. I liked the idea of not having to worry about my period for the entire day. Also, as I’ve been making changes in my life to reduce waste, not throwing away tampons multiple times a day for a few days in a row seemed like a no-brainer.

So, I bought a Diva Cup.

Spoiler alert: it’s amazing.

As I mentioned, I watched quite a few Youtube videos about using menstrual cups. There are women who go into extreme detail and bless them for it because it’s so informative. Whatever question you have, they have answered it. I highly recommend doing the same thing before using one for the first time. (This is a good video to start with.)

Very basically, when inserted correctly, it creates a seal and collects what you shed while menstruating. You shouldn’t feel it at all, too. As long as you’re relaxed (the key!!!!), it’s easy to insert and remove. My friend recommended trying to put it in and remove it for the first time while in the shower and it definitely helped to get comfortable with it. The first day was a little bit all over the place for me. I was nervous and not relaxed. I didn’t put it in correctly and felt it pressing on my bladder so I basically felt like I constantly had to pee. After 30 minutes, I panicked, removed it and decided to try again the next day. After that, it was a breeze, I had zero issues. I will say, it goes in farther than I was expecting and it kind of disappears “up there,” unlike a tampon. At first, it made me nervous, but after the first retrieval, all my worries disappeared… as long as you’re comfortable with yourself and able to relax, you will not have a problem.

It was the most liberating period I’ve ever had. I forgot that I was even on my period. You can go to the bathroom, swim, workout like any other day. Because the cup creates a seal, you’re free to do ANYTHING. I will likely use a menstrual cup now for every period I have for the rest of my life. But if you’re not into it for frequent use, it would still be valuable if you have a big trip coming up or compete in sports or are heading to the beach. I kept thinking how nice this would be for long trips when you’re not guaranteed to be near a bathroom at all times or on a vacation with frequent dips in the pool or ocean.

I have a super short and light period and can get away with light tampons on the first and last days of my period and regular on the middle (heaviest) day. Even still, I was shocked at just how little fluid there was. For my first time using it, I was emptying it out frequently because I was a little paranoid. Then I decided to test it during what would be the heaviest 12-hours of my period. It was a whopping 1/4 of an ounce. One. Quarter. Ounce. (The DivaCup holds up to one ounce and you could always empty it earlier than the 12 hours. Even if you had to remove it every six hours, I’d still consider it worth it.) After that, I went to just emptying every morning and right before I went to bed (so ~12 hours).

My biggest takeaway was how this tiny, tiny bit of liquid can cause such annoyance in a woman’s life. Beyond being liberated from tampons, I kept thinking, “THIS is it?!?!” Obviously, menstruation comes with other side effects like cramping that can be uncomfortable if not completely debilitating for some women. But even to pull the curtain back and make one element of it easier is liberating.

I can’t stop talking about it with my girlfriends. The idea of a menstrual cup was so terrifying and just plain weird, but to actually use it was…. nothing. It’s a big deal at how little of a deal it actually was. I wish I had tried it a whole lot sooner and want all of my friends to convert now too.

I have to know if I’m just totally late to the game on this one or if you’ve been afraid to try it too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

62 Comments

Logan Christine Ranhofer

I have never heard one bad thing about The Diva Cup, but I’m still too nervous to try it out. I’m not a tampon girl (yes, I know I’m crazy). I just always get weirded out thinking that my blood is just sitting in there. Maybe one day I’ll get out this irrational fear, because it does sound quite liberating to be free from the annoyance of always being “prepared.”
xoxo Logan

http://www.habitsandhues.com

Reply
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

I’ve been afraid to try Diva Cups too – in fact, I’m still afraid! I don’t think I’d give them a go anytime soon, haha.

I used to enjoy having my period as an excuse for skipping swim class during PE in high school. Not because I couldn’t swim, but because I hated exercise in general. 😛 I basically had my “period” every single week, lol, dunno how I got away with it!

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
http://charmainenyw.com

Reply
Anna Lorraine

I started using the diva cup a few months ago as part of my effort to cut more plastic out of my life. In total agreement, they are amazing! The first time I used it I was super aware of it but after that it’s been a breeze. Like you said, it’s like not being on your period. I haven’t had any leaks and it’s been great for traveling and camping trips I’ve been on. Also the cost is great. You buy the diva cup once and then you don’t have to pay for expensive pad and tampons anymore. I’m trying to get my friends to try one too!

Reply
Taylor Cunningham

I have a few friends that swear by them! I am also trying to reduce waste but have been very hesitant… just ordered one and planning to try it out!!

Reply
Robin Mann

Carly, thanks so much for positing about this!! I had an almost identical experience with my menstural cup and I never looked back. It is so liberating and took away all of those same anxieties and worries I had. I do my best to tell my friends and pass it along, but I love seeing positive reviews from “influencers” because i just want everybody to have as happy periods as possible!
Thanks for all your honesty and being so open with us:)
-Robin

Reply
Kristina Rhodes

YES! Thank you for taking about this! I’ve been hearing about this for a while and totally share your initial sentiments. Hearing about your experience really helped me think about it more.

Reply
Lidia Longépé

Hello Carly, thank you for this interesting post !
Where is this swim suit comming from ?
Thank you,
Lidia

Reply
Nina Dhollander

I’m loving the cup life, would love to try period underwear next for days where I might start my period or the last day when I’m like hmm am I still on my period or..?

Reply
Amber

I had the same experience! I never pictured myself using one but it’s AWESOME! So freeing and comfortable!

Reply
Rieke

I absolutely loved this post, I’m super happy you talk about these things on here. I’ve been using a cup for the past two years and it makes such a difference!

Reply
Katherine

You’re absolutely NOT the only one! I had been wanting to switch to a menstrual cup for years, but I was convinced that it would be uncomfortable or messy or more difficult to keep sanitary than an individually wrapped tampon. I eventually ended up making the transition because (this is such a weird story) a friend had a dental emergency, but didn’t have any gauze. She had read that cutting up a tampon would act as a serviceable substitute until she could get to the store, but when she tried it, she said she could taste all of the chemicals in the tampon. I was beyond freaked out by the idea of putting something like that in my body, so I bit the bullet and switched to a cup. There was definitely a learning curve in that first cycle, but I’ve been using it for almost two years now, and I couldn’t be happier. It’s more convenient, healthier, less expensive, and has made my cramps less awful.
I would also recommend trying out Thinx, if you have any concerns about spotting or if you’re worried about unexpectedly getting a period early! They’re period-proof underwear that comes in a variety of styles (everything from bikinis to boyshorts to thongs) and still feels like normal underwear. They’re also a great backup for anyone who is worried about leaks during the aforementioned learning curve when they’re making the transition to a menstruated cup.
Thanks for the great post, Carly!

Reply
Andrea

YESSSS welcome to the Diva Cup club!!!!!!! I agree 100% it’s life changing. I’ll never go back!!!

Reply
Kathryn

Yesss! I was also late to the game – I started using the Lunette cup about 9 months ago when I began transitioning to a zero waste lifestyle. It is wonderful! Like you, it took me a few days to really feel comfortable with it, but now I don’t think I could ever go back to tampons. And when talking with friends about it, I realized there’s a lot of misconceptions or just intimidation surrounding the idea of a cup, but I take it on as my personal mission to bust those myths and tell everyone how great they are! 🙂

Yay for better periods and super yay for less waste!

Reply
Shelly

I’ve had a divacup sitting in my bathroom cabinet for at least my last 4 cycles – You’ve convinced me to finally give it a go!

Reply
Ali Koch

OMG, I watched a youtube video the other week about this and have not been able to stop thinking about it. I still wasn’t sure if it was for me, but weirdly I trust your opinion more than others lol. You’ve just convinced me to by one, thank you!

Reply
Cassie L Falat

I have looked into menstrual cups a few times, but been too nervous to try them. After reading through your post I ordered one and I am going to try to use it on my next period! Mine tends to be super heavy so I was always worried about trying them out, but as I am trying to also reduce plastic in my life I am going to take the plunge. Thank you for writing this and testing them out!

Reply
Meagan H

Yes, Carly! I am so glad you wrote this post. Like other women in the comments, I started using one this year in an attempt to limit my waste. I also liked the fact that it was ONE thing that I needed for my periods instead of a whole box of tampons that ended up in every corner of my life 😉 I think it’s worth noting that I have a much heavier flow than what you described and my diva cup still works wonderfully. It is so much more comfortable than any tampon I have used and I feel cleaner while using the diva cup. Ladies, I was hesitant for months and now I’m annoyed with myself for not trying it sooner! Thanks for sharing, Carly!

Reply
Abs

I’ve thought about using them on and off several years. I looked into it recently and found out they also increase risk of TSS just like using tampons does. To diminish this risk it is recommended you should sterilize the cup between each use. Washing with soap and water doesn’t kill bacteria. Still sounds healthier than tampons if you are sterilizing between each use or at the least daily. But boiling menstrual cups on my stove top daily sounded unappealing enough for me to let the idea go for now. Here is the Consumer Reports article I read about it for those curious. https://www.consumerreports.org/women-s-health/menstrual-cups-linked-to-toxic-shock-syndrome/

Reply
Chels

AH! Carly, you are the third person I’ve heard that has loved the switch. I don’t know why this is so terrifying to me but this post has definitely made me curious. I guess I’ll watch some YouTube videos and learn more!

Reply
shannon

so happy you wrote about this topic! i have been using sea sponges instead of tampons for the past few months to cut down on tampon waste but i have been wanting to try a diva cup as well!

Reply
Katie

Ok, so I have been hearing about these for YEARS from various paleo/crossfit/holistic sources I follow, but it was something I just could never get behind. For some reason, though, I think hearing this from you is the nudge I needed to give this a try! Gonna start with the youtube videos right now, haha

Reply
carly

I think with anything that goes into your body, yes, there is a risk! But again, with everything, there are things you can do to reduce great risks (like proper cleaning of the cup in between uses, complete sterilization in between cycles, and not leaving it in for extended periods).

Reply
Lauren

I tried the Diva Cup a long time ago, but I stopped using it because washing it was a pain. I was always nervous I was doing it wrong or using the wrong soap and I would end up with an infection. I started using Flex a couple months ago, which are disposable menstrual cups so they work the same, but you just toss it after 12 hours. I’m never going back to tampons!

Reply
Jess W

Thank you for posting about this! Diva cups are amazing. They are such an important way to reduce paper waste and treat your body better. Thank you!

Reply
Alex C.

I’ve heard so many good things about the Diva Cup, but I’m still just a bit nervous about the whole thing. Do you have any recommendations for YouTube videos from those who use it? I’m just wondering about the nitty gritty of hygiene (i.e. how do you clean it, haha!).

Reply
Rebekah

Here is way more information than you’ll ever need about menstrual cups. https://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/
It’s what I used (along with a million YouTube videos) before the switch. I just wash mine out in the sink with soap and water, then disinfect with boiling water at the end of each period. I have never had to change it outside of my own home except for the first day I tried it when I was paranoid that I was going to leak everywhere. Hope this helps! 🙂

Reply
Aoife Laughlin

YES I’ve been raving about the Diva Cup to anyone who will listen for so long!! It’s so amazing not having that little worry on your mind all day long that you need to change your tampon.

Reply
Alyssa

Yes! I started using a menstrual cup just before moving to a part of West Africa I knew I wouldn’t have easy access to tampons and I can’t believe I didn’t start before. I also have pretty easy periods in general, but a cup pretty much allows me to forget it even exists! It may seem scary and a little weird at first, but I’d still suggest everyone try it for at least one period to check it out.

Reply
Danielle Janay

I’m totally in love with them as well!
I’ve been terrified of TSS and hate the idea of chemicals in my body so I just jumped in head first a few years ago and never looked back!

I’ve tried a few and my favorite is the Lena cup. They have so many colors and are not as stiff as diva. I got mine off Amazon!

Here’s to our health and to our planet!! 🙂

Reply
Tori

I used the Diva Cup for the first time for my last period after a friend recommended it to me, and I LOVE it!! I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I wish I’d watched a few videos beforehand like you recommended. I’m still getting used to taking it out, though–I worry about spilling it when I need to take it out, but I usually empty it every 12 hours or so like you do, so I’m usually at home, which helps. But I’d 10/10 recommend!!!

Reply
Brittany

Thank you for writing a real post! I can tell this is something you truly care about and have a real opinion on. This attitude has gotten lost in a lot of your posts recently and I’m glad you’re having a authentic conversation with readers.

Reply
Jessica Alvarez

Okay. SO many women have talked about the Diva Cup on the internet, and honestly… I’ve been holding out on actually trying it. But you’re one of the most honest/down-to-earth bloggers I follow, so I feel like this post might be the final nudge for me to actually go and buy one!!

Reply
supal // @chevronseclairs

ah yes! I use another brand and the cups are amazing! My friend who was in the Peace Corp in Ethiopia swore by her cup.

I didn’t really use one until I went out to the UK for grad school and pads and tampons were a very different quality. On top of that, I was traveling a lot to sub-saharan Africa, Middle East and India for work–so it just became easier to handle!

Thanks for talking about this!

chevrons & éclairs

Reply
Chelsey

OMG YES!!! I’ve had mine for over two years and I still love it just as much as I did when I first got it. It is especially amazing when I have to work a 12 hour shift and don’t have time to go to the bathroom constantly to change a tampon. When my period is done I soak it in a mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide overnight and it looks completely new! Best decision ever!

Reply
Tiffany Johnson

The Diva cup has always freaked me out b/c I’m worried about how to prevent spillage when removing it and the cleanliness factor if you need to insert or remove in a public bathroom. I have friends who swear by it, though. Thankfully, I haven’t had my period in 1.5 years (hallelujah, pregnancy and breastfeeding)! Maybe I’ll give it a go once my period returns.

Reply
Katie

I have so many friends pushing me to try but haven’t bit the bullet…yet! I keep adding it to my amazon cart and then pressing “save for later” every time I checkout. There are also SO many more options now that I even took a quiz on “which one is best for you”. Crazy. My only fear is my OBGYN told me that the cup still has a huge TSS risk (i’ve used pads my whole life because I have a fear of TSS or any infection). I feel like I need to try it and also am curious to see how much blood I really do have each cycle because I swear it’s a lot!

Reply
carly

I wouldn’t say a “huge” risk, just a regular risk like anything else. From what I’ve read there have only been two cases globally!

Reply
Caitlin

I keep hearing things about how great they are and have been meaning to try them. Somehow the idea of one just freaks me out a bit. Do you know if they’re BPA free? I think the idea of plastic up inside is what’s turning me off to them.

Reply
carly

The diva cup is “Latex-free, plastic-free, BPA-free, odor-free and free of colors and dyes”

Reply
Anna

I’ve used different brands and I find that they’re just meh. No matter what size or brand I use (I have both Diva Cup sizes) they always leak a little.

Reply
K Ann

I have always hated the idea of tampons, and they always felt uncomfortable to me. So I don’t think I would like the cup either. However, I use reusable cloth pads. They also reduce waste, are healthier, and they seem to have lessened my cramps. I just throw them in the washing machine when I’m done!

Reply
Caroline

I’ve been using a menstural cup for about a year and a half now, and I LOVE it! I tried the Diva cup, and it didn’t fit me properly, but I have a Luna cup and I love it! My biggest advice would be to read up on them if a Diva cup doesn’t work out for you. It’s great as a teacher, I don’t get breaks that often. I also just spent four weeks backpacking across Europe and didn’t have to worry about buying or carrying tampons. So to anyone who just started using a menstural cup, I say, welcome to the club!

Reply
Sarah

I switched to a menstrual cup about a year ago and have never looked back!! So much better than pads or tampons!

Reply
Julia

Oh my goodness. I LOVE my diva cup and was so excited when I saw the title of this post – had my fingers crossed it was about this! It made me laugh so much when you said you ended up watching quite a few YouTube videos because when I first got my diva cup 8 months ago, my husband literally said out of the blue to me one night: “all you do is watch period videos now” 😂 I watched probably 15 videos about it because I was so scared and clueless about how to use it!! So I can totally relate. Thanks for making my day with that comment 🙂

Ps for real- bless those heroes who made the videos with the real details! SO helpful. #girlpower

Reply
Rachel Gallina

LOVE my menstrual cup. I actually started with the disposable cups to test, but the real things are much more comfortable. I have the Super Jennie now, and am obsessed. It’s definitely a topic that you want to share with every other woman, because it’s just that amazing.

Reply
Rebecca Barnes

This post reminded me of Megan Markle (or should I say, the Duchess) because I watched a Youtube of her speaking at Create and Cultivate in 2016. She totally talked about periods, and I already knew she was amazing, but that solidified it! You are in the same boat! You are amazing and I am so inspired by this post! I hope to try it!

Reply
Ashleigh

I’ve been using the diva cup for about 3 years now and can’t imagine going back to tampons! It did take me a few cycles to get completely confident with it though. So much easier when out and about or camping/at the beach- no need to worry about having a spare tampon! On heavier days I do have to empty it mid-day at times but otherwise just morning and night which is great since I’m a nurse and hardly have time to go to the bathroom every couple hours like with a tampon. Most of my friends/family are still too afraid to try it despite my recommendations and praises though haha.

Reply
Angelina

WOOHOO! I’m so glad a (and I mean this kindly) not-“crunchy” blogger has gotten on board. I’m definitely a little hippie-ish and have been using a cup for almost two years, but I’m glad more “normal” people are starting to catch on and promoting them!

Reply
Kassandra

Oh my gosh – I’ve totally been afraid to try! Thank you so much for this blog post though! You’ve definitely got me thinking…

Reply
Anne

YES!! I just did my first period on a menstrual cup (I went with the Lena) and I will never go back! It’s so easy to do, and I only have to change it out twice a day. I also love how little waste there is (and how little room it takes up in my house compared to a basket full of pads and tampons.)

Reply
Sydney

I’m definitely one who has always been too squeamish about trying a cup (I don’t even like tampons), but your post has certainly made me more open to the idea! I hate the inconvenience of a period, and like you said–it’s kind of maddening that just a little blood can cause such an annoyance that nearly every woman has to deal with. Thanks for being so open with us!

Reply
Emily

I’ve heard such good things about them, but have always been sooooo nervous to try one!

I see videos all the time on YouTube too, and I tell myself ok I’m going to try this … and then totally forget until my next period and I wish I had one.

Thanks for the vote of confidence on it – will be trying it soon 🙂

Reply
Lindsey

Yes! I discovered the diva cup when I was vegan and looking into brands that don’t test on animals, which most major brands do. Technically, the tampon isn’t tested on animals, but I didn’t want to support the company that tested other products on animals. Then I came across this and it was perfect! I bought it before I went to college and I never had to worry about leaks during class or finding a bathroom between classes. Also, no more tampon waste! I had the first Diva Cup from freshmen year until two years after graduating. I just bought my second one, and I expect to get many more years out of it.

Reply
Rebekah

I have used the DivaCup for a year now and will never go back! It’s the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I also try to tell everyone to switch. The only issue I had was the little “stem” at the bottom of the cup. I could feel it all day long, no matter how I tried to readjust. So I just carefully cut it off and problem solved!! I can still reach the bottom of the cup and pinch it to release the seal. So glad you wrote a post about this because menstrual cups are literally life changing. 🙂

Reply
Dana

I’m a little late to reading the post, but I switched to using one about a year and a half ago and it’s amazing. I absolutely love using it and I don’t know how anyone could go back to tampons after it.

Reply
Brigid

Hi Carly! Late to comment here, but curious if you’ve continued using the cup. I was inspired by this post to try one and I’m struggling a bit to get the hang of it, but not ready to give up! Keeping my fingers crossed that I get used to it because I think it’s such a great concept. Thanks so much for this informative post and bringing light to a not so “pretty” topic!

Reply