I have been thinking about writing this post for a while now. I was a bit hesitant as my mother in law is reading this website and would I like my mother in law to know how I deal with periods? Well, after giving it some thought, I would actually like all men and women in my life to know about menstrual cups and spread the word as well. So that’s what I am going to “talk” about today (note: my mother is also reading this website, but she saw a giant baby head coming out of me, so I am pretty sure a menstrual cup wouldn’t shock her).
So, here we go…
What is a menstrual cup?
It is a small, reusable cup made of silicone or rubber that you insert into your vagina and it collects period blood. Every 4 to 8 hours you empty it, rinse it and re-insert it.
What are the benefits of using a menstrual cup?
- No additives, chemical, bleach and BPA come in contact with your reproductive system when you use a cup. They do though, if you choose to use disposable pads or tampons.
- No need to worry about Toxic Shock Syndrome, that can be an issue with tampons. And a very serious one as well!
- You don’t pollute the environment. Marine life doesn’t exactly appreciate the disposal of feminine hygiene products into the ocean.
- You only need one cup for any stage of your period. Unlike tampons and pads, that you need to have several absorbency options, depending on your flow, a cup is good for any day.
- It is safe to insert the cup the night before the day that you expect your period (if you are regular) so no need to worry about murder scenes while you sleep.
- One cup can last for up to 10 years with proper maintenance (which basically means sterilizing between periods by boiling it for a few minutes).
- The long life span means that it is economical in terms of both money and resources that are used to produce it.
- Once you buy a menstrual cup you don’t have to worry about running out of period supplies ever again.
- You don’t have to empty it as often as you would have to change pads or tampons.
- You get to know your anatomy by using one. It can be tricky at first but once you familiarize with your body, it becomes super easy to use.
- It is as even more eco-friendly than washable pads, as you don’t have to waste water and energy to wash it that much.
You are really a hippie, aren’t you?
Nope, no I am not. I am just a sensible human being that cares about environmental impact and health. And once you think about those two things, menstrual cups are the only option that makes sense. I have been using tampons for ages but once I got my period back after giving birth, I thought it was a good time to make the switch and I don’t regret it at all.
Ok, you convinced me to try. But is it really easy to use? I am worried it’s messy.
If you have been using tampons or pads, you are already familiar with period blood. When you take out your menstrual cup, you don’t actually touch blood as it is inside the cup. It is true that the first couple of days taking it out can be messy, but you will learn really quickly how to insert and remove it mess-free. It is easy to use even in public restrooms. You can just wipe it and re-insert it and then just rinse it when you get the chance.
You will know that you have inserted it correctly because you won’t be able to feel it, just like with tampons. If you feel insecure, you can use it along with a liner the first couple of days, till you gain some confidence. Personally, I needed 2 days to perfect it’s use.
Great. Now I want one. Where can I get it?
There are different brands and types. Some have a stem while others don’t women that are familiar with diaphragms might find the ones without a stem easier to use. I personally have a moon cup, that has a stem, and I am happy with it. On this website you can read reviews of 10 menstrual cups. Please note that there are two sizes: one for women under 30 that have not given vaginal birth and one for women who have given vaginal birth and/or are over 30.
My daughter uses a Luna cup, and swears she’ll never use anything else now.
I am pretty excited about my moon cup too Cassidy! Glad to read that your daughter is enjoying her pad/tampon-free life too 🙂
A friend uses one and swears by them…but I am too squeamish! :O
I was too! But then I gave birth and that makes you much less squeamish, I think 😀 If you already have kids and are squeamish, you were lucky and probably got some neat and clean ones (mine is a sticky mess even right after bath time!) Give it a try, it’s worth it 🙂
There’s actually a really great website where you can see what stores near you stock menstrual cups: http://menstrualcupmap.com
That’s great for those who don’t want to buy online Beth! Thank you for the link 🙂