For Girls’ Eyes Only

For Girls' Eyes Only

If you’re of the male persuasion, welcome, but may I suggest you find another post to read?  There’s a wonderful list of recent posts just to your right.   This one is for the girls.

Ladies, we have a delicate subject to address today.  Did you know that the products commonly available for our monthly cycles likely contain carcinogens?  Yup, more carcinogens.  Sigh.  

Tampons contain dioxins, created during the bleaching process.  They’re in very small amounts and the FDA says these small amounts won’t hurt us.  BUT, the EPA hasn’t set an “acceptable” level of exposure since the real danger lies in repeated contact.  Would using about 4-5 tampons a day, 5-7 days a month, for about 40 years be considered repeated contact?

Studies have shown that small amounts of dioxin exposure over a long period of time certainly can hurt us – by causing cancer and endometriosis.   Fibers from the tampon can be left behind, causing a breeding ground for dioxins.

If the dioxins weren’t enough, the price of tampons definitely adds up over time, even if you buy them all with coupons!

A Natural Alternative
Thankfully, we have a great natural alternative!  Have you ever heard of a menstrual cup?  I started reading about them online and was a slow, skeptical adopter.  Now that I’ve crossed over (sorry if that’s TMI!), I’m a fan!   The cup I picked is made out of non-latex medical grade silicon and is reusable for 10+ years!   Many women find that their periods are much lighter when they start using the cups.  I used to cramp a lot on the first couple of days of my period when I used non-organic tampons, and that has completely stopped now!

The cup did take a couple of cycles to get used to, and I used a liner for a while to catch any leaks.  I also trimmed down the stem to make it more comfortable.  I like not having to worry about when I’ll start, or being caught out somewhere without a tampon, and there’s a LOT less waste!  The cup is easy to clean, just wash with soap and water, and it comes with insertion instructions.  There’s even a YouTube video with directions if you like.

If you’re interested, I suggest reading different reviews on the cups you’re interested in.  There are a number of different brands.  Ladies’ preferences tend to vary based on whether or not they’ve given birth.   I settled on the Moon Cup, Size A since I wanted the latex-free version and I’ve had two babies.

I’m really thankful to have found an alternative to carcinogenic tampons!

What do you think?  Have you tried menstrual cups?


  • Rachel Holland

    Okay, I’m going to comment here even though I’m not sure that I’m brave enough to post about it, lol. After having baby #4 I just started again (a year later) and I decided to give the Diva Cup a try after reading several reviews. Like you, I was WAY skeptical, but figured I’d at least give it a shot.

    And I’m never going back. Never ever ever. It’s amazing. LIFE CHANGING! And there are very few things that I would say are life changing too! If only I would’ve known about these for the past 19 years!!

  • Bethany B.

    Diva cup user here too 🙂 it did take a couple of cycles to get the hang of but I love that I don’t have to buy anymore of a product or create so much trash (in addition to the locator of less chemicals coming into contact with my body). It is so worth it!

  • Noble

    I could not agree more! I made the switch about 6 months ago and never looked back. The thing that had really scared me was the assumption that it would be very messy. So for anyone who has that concern – it is not.

  • Rachel

    I’ve been using one for three or more years and it’s great. My periods and cramping are lighter with it, too. I just use a cloth panty liner for back up.

  • Magda

    I love my Diva cup!! I’ve used it for 4 or 5 months now and I’m never going back. It’s very easy to use and pretty much spill-proof.

  • Connie

    Wild. I just heard of these for the first time yesterday and then I come across this post. I have some questions. …=)
    How is it at night? I have very heavy periods at times.
    I usually have cramps, at times severe. I avoid tampons except at night.
    I normally don’t use tampons during the day because the cramps are worse with them. Has anyone who uses pads switched to a cup? If so any problems with cramps?

    Thanks for this timely post.

    • Sarah

      Hi Connie, I find that my periods have gotten lighter since I’ve started using the cup. Once or twice, I had trouble with some leaking at night, but I would honestly have had that happen even with tampons. Glad you found the post!

    • Rachel Holland

      For me cramping got MUCH much lighter after using the cup. In fact, for my heaviest one (first after 2 years) I hardly had any cramping even with a super super heavy period.

      And I love it for night time because you can leave it in longer and don’t have to worry about TSS. 🙂

  • Tiffany A.

    I love my DivaCup! It doesn’t cause increased cramps the way tampons did, it also doesn’t irritate me like tampons did either. I love that I don’t need to worry about packing along extra tampons or pads, everything I need is already with me! I also feel great about not throwing away a ton of trash every month 🙂

  • Marie

    I also just heard about the DivaCup the other day! I read the reviews (All 62 of ’em) and was astounded to find not one negative review! And now this article? I think that seals the deal. I have to try it. @Noble, I’m glad you addressed the issue of it being messy because that was my greatest concern! Thanks ladies! 🙂

  • Cassi

    Hmm. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of a non-disposable menstrual cup. I’ve been using the disposable type for some time now, and was thrilled to find it, b/c since my first pregnancy and resultant uterine prolapse 9 years ago, I can no longer wear tampons, and I’m not a huge fan of pads. Might have to look into this! 🙂

  • Coyote Vick

    I used to use my divacup exclusively, but after being diagnosed with endometriosis I’ve been too nervous. The makers of the Divacup say there’s no issue with endo, but there have been instances of women getting endo after starting with the cup. It just frightens me that there hasn’t been any studies one way or the other. I’ve switched over to organic hemp resuable pads. I just can’t take a risk. I’m doing everything in my power to heal my endo, and I can’t take any risks. It sucks, I loved my cup, it was amazing, but it’s just too much of an unknown.