Menstrual Cups vs. XL Tampons – Which is the Best Option for a Heavy Flow?

Menstrual Cups vs. XL Tampons – Which is the Best Option for a Heavy Flow?

Although personal preference is going to play a large part in which menstrual product will be used for a heavy flow, menstrual cups will always tip the scale in its favor.  With so many choices in shapes, sizes, lengths, diameters, and even colors, there’s bound to be one that is suitable for you.  However, that doesn’t mean that it’s the perfect solution for everyone. The following article examines the intricacies of a heavy flow. 

What is Considered to be a Light, Regular, or Heavy Menstrual Flow?

Us ladies lose anywhere from 5-80 ml of menstrual fluid during a single period. However, our flows are completely unique:

  • A light period  – Can be spotting that might not need protection, to light bleeding that may require a low or regular-absorbency product that needs to be changed 2-3 times a day.
  • Moderate bleeding – May need a regular-absorbency product, to be changed every few hours.  
  • Heavy bleeding – Heavy bleeding is anything over 80 ml of menstrual fluid per period, and will need a high-absorbency product to be changed every couple of hours.

Why Do Menstrual Flows Differ Between Women?

Menstruation differs from one person to the next.  And for that reason, there is no “normal” when talking about periods. While periods can last 2-7 days and only consist of light spotting, some individuals may have it for longer and experience heavy bleeding.  Overtime, you will become aware of what is normal for you.

There are many things that can cause your period to become irregular: diet, exercise, medication, hormonal birth control, stress, alcohol, smoking, sleep deprivation, weight fluctuations, and health issues, to name but a few.  Since we all live and experience different lives and life-styles, no two people will have the exact same menstrual experience.  

Does Menstrual Flow Change Over the Years?

Age can also play a large role in how much you bleed and how often. An adolescent who experiences their first period might notice that the blood is darker, browner, and thicker than blood from a cut. Also, they might not have a regular period every month for several years, until their hormones balance out.

Individuals in their 30’s and/or 40’s can experience symptoms of perimenopause. During this time, periods can become irregular – either longer or shorter, or have gaps in between, and be lighter or heavier.  They may experience hot flashes, loss of sleep, vaginal dryness, and mood swings.

Around the age of 50, the ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone. If you do not have a period for at least one year, you are probably in menopause (unless there is another medical condition that affects your menstrual flow).

Can We Control Our Menstrual Flow?

There is a long list of things that people swear by that can shorten or end a period, but there aren’t enough studies to prove that these methods work. These methods include having more sex, using herbal remedies, and taking nutritional supplements. 

To have healthier, more regular periods, it helps to reduce sugar and consume more nutritious foods, exercise, and meditate to lower stress levels. 

Also, although some people stop menstruating while they’re on hormonal birth control, many experience spotting, and some still have a monthly flow.

What Are the Difficulties Women Experience with a Heavy Flow?

Oh, the joys of having a uterus!  While some people should be so lucky to only have spotting or light periods when they’re menstruating, others, unfortunately, experience heavy to very heavy periods.

Do you have to change your pad or tampon every couple of hours or sooner? You’re probably in this category. Heavy bleeding is anything over 80 ml of menstrual fluid per period. It really puts a damper on your week. You know you’re in for a week (or more) of interrupted sleep, and frequent trips to the toilet. You always have to carry an arsenal of period products, and maybe some clean-up items as well!  Forget wearing those cute new shorts!

If you also experience clots, big or small, you know that you better wear back up protection because those never get absorbed by pads and tampons!

As an individual who has experienced irregular and very heavy periods with large clots, I know this all too well. I used ultra-absorbency tampons with overnight sized pads for years. I always had a backpack stocked with extra supplies, wet wipes, a bag for my soiled clothing, a couple of extra underwear, pants/shorts, and a couple of socks just in case blood ran down my legs. I would feel faint, dizzy, and weak from all the blood loss. The doctors (I went to several) never had an answer. I sympathize with anyone else who has or is going through this.

What Options Are There for a Heavy Flow?

1) Tampons (A super-sized tampon)

Even the higher absorbency tampons are still small, easy to carry, and easy to use. A super-sized tampon holds approximately up to 18 ml of fluid. They’re readily available in almost every store, and some public bathrooms offer them onsite for free or a small fee. However, although a single box doesn’t cost too much, it adds up over the months and years. Not to mention that disposable tampons are a one-time-use item that will need to be thrown out after use. This can lead to foul odors in the house and once removed, will sit in a landfill for many years adding to environmental damage.

2) Sanitary Pads (Super absorbency or overnight pads)

Disposable pads come in various sizes, but if you have a heavy flow, you’re most likely to use super absorbency or overnight pads. These can be bulky to carry and even feel bulkier to wear. They’re definitely a no-no when wearing tights or leggings. Although overnight pads look large, they only hold approximately 15 ml of fluid.  And, just like disposable tampons, they’re a one-time-use item.

3) Period Panties (Specifically made for a heavy flow)

Period underwear has been a great addition to period management. They’re easy to use, easy to carry, and are great to use as back-up or alone, depending on how light or heavy your flow is. However, they can cost a lot during the initial purchase. On average, a single, well-designed pair of period underwear costs around $30-$45.  Purchasing more than one at a time can drive the cost up quickly. It’s best to buy them one at a time if you’re on a tight budget. 

Although there is period underwear specifically made for a heavy flow, some individuals don’t feel that the protected area is wide enough, and find that they often bleed over the edge. If you think that you’ll need to change your underwear several times a day, you might want to invest in period underwear with side buckles, so that you don’t have to remove any clothing to change it. 

4) Cloth Pads (Heavier flow versions)

Cloth pads come in a variety of shapes, sizes, absorbency, materials, and colors or patterns. They can even be custom made to your liking, or you can make them at low to no cost on your own.  Because of softer (and silent) materials, cloth pads can be more comfortable and discreet to use over disposable ones. The downside of cloth pads is that you will need to store soiled pads in your bag if you’re away from home, until you can rinse and wash them. 

5) Menstrual Cups (With high capacity design)

Overall, menstrual cups have the highest capacity over each of the period products listed above. Even a small-sized menstrual cup can hold more than most and is safe to wear for up to 12 hours before needing to be rinsed.  You can insert it again immediately after. A cup can be worn at any time, like when you’re expecting your period but have not started it yet. 

Insert it, and there is nothing more to carry.  No extras!  Menstrual cups are completely inserted and are undetectable externally unless you prefer the stem exposed.  On average, a reputable menstrual cup costs between $25 and $40.  If you think that’s a lot, think again!  A menstrual cup can be reused for upwards to TEN years with proper care!  Savings for both your wallet and for the environment!

WHY the VENUS Cup?

The Venus Cup is an excellent option if you’re looking for a cup with a higher capacity.  

While V-shaped cups taper to a point at the base, and bell-shaped cups tend to be shorter, the rounded base and streamlined body allows the Venus Cup to hold a higher amount of menstrual fluid than the average menstrual cup.  All this, without being extremely lengthy, or wide in diameter; meaning, you get to wear it for a longer amount of time, while still being comfortable with its size.

Compared to other cups that hold 40 ml and above, the (large) Venus Cup has become more and more popular for cup users with a heavy flow.  Although it’s affordable, costing well below some of its competitors (either when purchased as a single cup or as a Starter Pack), its quality and FDA registration has made it a reliable and reputable source of protection without breaking the bank.

VENUS Cups are Already Working for Thousands of People

Thousands of both new and avid cup users have tried the Venus Cup. While there are always going to be some individuals who find it too soft or firm, a majority of the users were happy with the firmness, size, and capacity.  


Venus Cup Reviews

If you’re still on the fence about trying the Venus Cup, read about others who have said that it has changed their lives. Individuals who experience a heavy to very heavy flow have been able to get through their day, whether it be school, college, work, and life in general, without having to worry about leaking or changing their pad or tampon every couple of hours. 

Don’t take our word for it, check out what other menstrual cup users had to say about their experience with the Venus Cup.

  1. Check Venus Cup Reviews on Amazon
  2. Check Website Reviews Size LargeSize Small | Starter Kit (S+L)
  3. Check Venus Cup Review on
  4. Check Venus Cup Reviews on YouTube

Venus Cups Continually Get the Highest Place as the Solution for a Heavy Flow

Menstrual cup quizzes have become a staple in many cup blogs to help individuals narrow down what cup or cups might be right for them. We couldn’t be more pleased to be at the top of the list for heavy-flow users.



Combining a Menstrual Cup with a Backup Menstrual Product – What are the Options?

We understand that there are some individuals that have such a heavy flow that back-up protection may still be needed, even with the highest capacity cup.  We won’t pretend that you won’t need to use back-up if this is normal for you. We suggest using a liner or period underwear along with the Venus Cup if you need to. 

The 3 Main Reasons a Menstrual Cup Starter Kit (S + L) is the Best Option for a Heavy Flow

1) Comfort

Here at Venus Cup, we don’t believe that a person of a certain age or birthing experience dictates what size to use. We want you to feel comfortable while wearing the Venus Cup, as well as having the capacity that your flow needs. In this case, whether you have a light or heavy flow, the Venus Cup Starter Kit will have you covered. You can try both sizes to find the one that feels the most comfortable to you.

If you are new to using menstrual cups, you can practice using the smaller size until you’re comfortable using the larger one.

2) Affordability

The Venus Cup Starter Kit offers you both sizes; small and large, at the low cost of $15 per cup, compared to most menstrual cups costing between $25 and $40 for a single cup. Although the Venus Cup is affordable, quality is not compromised. It has become a reliable, reputable, and registered cup that has followed all safety measurements and guidelines with the FDA.

3) Circumstantial Change

You can use the smaller size when you’re expecting your period but have not started yet, and then change to the larger size when your period is heavier. The smaller cup can be used on a daily basis for spotting or discharge, and the larger cup can be used for your normal flow. If something should happen to your preferred size, you’ll always have a back-up. Some individuals notice a change in their cervical height and feel more comfortable switching to a shorter or longer cup during these times. 

4) *** Bonus ***

If a friend or family member is interested in trying a menstrual cup, you can give it to them (provided you haven’t used it).


The Venus Menstrual Cup is a wonderful solution to a heavy flow when compared to an XL tampon. It has the capacity to hold all your menstrual fluid throughout the day, up to 12 hours at a time. If you’re a busy lady without much time to spare changing tampons every 2 to 3 hours, it’s the exact product you need to simplify your life!

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