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The Menstrual Cup: Towards a Period Revolution, One Vagina at a Time

Move over toxic tampons. Take a hike, sweaty pads. There’s a new player in town and it looks like she’s here to stay – 12 hours at a time. It seems women are going crazy for the menstrual cup, a reusable, bell-shaped silicone device inserted into the vagina to collect menstrual blood, and they’re taking it to the web with countless YouTube videos, blog posts and tweets praising its benefits. So what’s all this commotion about?


menstrual cup revolutionThroughout its surprisingly long history (early versions of the menstrual cup were patented as far back as in 1932!), the menstrual cup has not been a popular option for period care. Despite several attempts to launch the product in mass markets over the years, it was never able to compete with disposable tampons and sanitary pads. Although it is still a foreign concept to most women, the menstrual cup is slowly claiming its place in mainstream markets. It is no longer a mysterious apparatus only found in natural health stores; the product is now available in some major drugstores and can be easily bought online. An increasing selection of brands is also popping up worldwide: from Lunette, to Mooncup, Meluna, Yuuki, Fleurcup, Sckoon, Ruby, Femmecup and The DivaCup – to name but few.


Diva International Inc., the makers of The DivaCup, one of North America’s most popular menstrual cup brands with over 1 million cups sold to date, have definitely noticed the new trend. For the past 10 years, DivaCup International’s sales have been growing at double digit rates. “In the past ten years we have received great enthusiasm and acceptance around The DivaCup in both natural health and more recently, mainstream markets,” says a spokesperson for The DivaCup.


While they acknowledge that better marketing, social media campaigns, education and awareness programs have contributed to the increasing popularity of menstrual cups, Diva International Inc. believes “we are switching our many day to day products for sustainable solutions, and period care is no exception.”


In a recent survey presented on the Internet, hundreds of women from around the globe were asked to share their thoughts on the menstrual cup. Although official statistics are not available yet, women using the menstrual cup said they made the switch mainly for environmental, financial and practical reasons.


Mary, a convert since January 2013, says she made the switch out of curiosity when one of her close friends shared her positive experience with the menstrual cup. She had never been completely satisfied with her usual menstrual protection and felt this new option was worth looking into. The environmentally-friendly aspect also greatly appealed to her. “With my menstrual cup, I have no worries,” she says. “This is the best part for me. I put it in, forget about it, and clean it when I come home. I can now go to school and to work without thinking about my period. I can now sleep at night without a big pad. I honestly thought I would never be able to do that.”


Even though the menstrual cup users surveyed were satisfied with the product, many had reservations prior to trying it for the first time. Their most common concerns were leaking, comfort and cleanliness, which isn’t very surprising since traditional period protection women are accustomed to are disposable pads and tampons.


Alisha, a menstrual cup user for almost 7 years, has also noticed its increasing popularity. She believes people are more receptive about these products given the health, cost and environmental benefits to menstrual cups, though “we still live in a world where it is somewhat taboo to discuss menstruation, therefore spreading the word can be challenging in some contexts.”


Though menstruation clearly remains a taboo subject, women are now turning to the Internet for information on period care. Many women surveyed said the Internet facilitates the discussion because women are sharing their experience with the menstrual cup and other types of period care on social media. One quick search and you’ll find thousands of videos posted on YouTube of girls waving around little silicone cups and giving their opinion. Other popular social media websites like Reddit, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram are filled with tweets, blog posts and pictures on the subject. Although #menstrualcup isn’t nearly as popular as #onedirection or #herecomeshoneybooboo, there is no question a worldwide virtual discussion is taking place.


As our awareness of what we expose our bodies to and how our choices affect the environment increasingly heightens, it is possible that even more women will consider the menstrual cup as a safer and more sustainable way for dealing with their period. Menstrual cups have yet to reach the same status as disposable tampons or sanitary pads, but they are slowly forging their way through mainstream markets, one vagina at a time.

By Michelle Béland

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Revolutionizing Periods: Menstrual Cups & Cloth Pads – See more at:



7 Comments | Leave a Comment - We'd love to hear from you!

7 Responses to The Menstrual Cup: Towards a Period Revolution, One Vagina at a Time

  1. Victoria Fox says:

    I just received my first menstrual cup in the mail yesterday! I chose the Lunette Cup and I’m so excited to try it! Thanks for spreading the word!

  2. Tayler says:

    When someone first told me about menstrual cups, I was weirded out. But since, I have learned about all of the benefits and pros to using them over traditional period products. I can’t wait to try one out!

  3. Mae says:

    I had no idea cups have been around since 1932! That’s amazing!

  4. Jenna says:

    I have been using a menstrual cup for almost a year now. I love it and really believe it will be what I use for the rest of my menstruating life. It is the easiest thing I have ever tired and leaks so much less than tampons.

  5. I agree with this article that menstrual cups are now getting its space over tampons, as using this would really help the women’s to be comfortable and relaxed and also be useful in sustaining the environment.

  6. […] gaining in popularity — are still kind of underground. DivaCup, one of the biggest makers, has reportedly sold a million cups. That’s not a lot considering how many menstruating women there are in the […]

  7. David o keeffe says:

    In my own opinion,menstrual cups would be the best option for many activities such as swimming,gymnastics,watersports,etc and are the best option to prevent unwanted leaks,thus greatly reducing the need for pantyliners or pads for backup in comparison to tampons or other menstrual products

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