A Menstrual What? Why You Should Consider A Menstrual Cup
A few years ago, I started delving into low-tox living and was researching safe alternatives to many common products I frequently used. While browsing the internet, I came across something called a menstrual cup – yes, a menstrual cup! I didn’t know what it was let alone how it worked but I was told it was an eco- friendly and non-toxic feminine hygiene solution. I had even heard reports that some people experienced less period pain or shorter cycles when using them.
Up until this point I had always used tampons and overnight sanitary pads, so I was intrigued but also rather hesitant! I wanted to know more but seeing as I didn’t know anyone that used one (that I was aware of any way!) and my curiosity had gotten the better of me, I ordered online and decided to give it a go!
A menstrual cup is a reusable, ecological alternative to sanitary pads and tampons. It is a flexible silicone cup that you insert during your period to collect fluids, unlike tampons which absorb them. Despite initial hesitations (which very quickly subsided), I discovered there are some really great advantages to using one. I thought I would share the reasons I love mine, and why
I thought I would share the reasons I love mine, and why you should consider making the switch from tampons to a menstrual cup too!
1. Happy environment.
There are literally over 100 billion disposable sanitary products used every year – an estimated 325 for the average woman per annum.
These products are often flushed down our loos, polluting our waterways or end up in landfill. Not only that, can you imagine the resources needed to make these products, including the packaging and manufacturing processes such as bleaching, etc? That is a whole lot of pollution going on! A menstrual cup is reusable, and lasts
A menstrual cup is reusable, and lasts form 5 – 10 years! You simply rinse while using during your period, before sanitising and storing it for your next cycle. That gets a huge thumbs up from mother nature!
2. Happy wallet.
Because a menstrual cup is reusable, and most last 5-10 years, they are super economical! I worked out that I would save myself approx. $750 over 5 years using my cup instead of disposable products. Cha-ching!
3. Happy body.
The initial reason I looked into a menstrual cup was due to the toxicity concern of the disposable products I was using. Have you ever actually stopped and thought about what is in a tampon – you know those things we willingly put inside our bodies!?
Of course there are some wonderful low-tox brands out there now, but most are absolutely not. They are mostly made from non-organic cotton, rayon (which is made from wood pulp by the way) and other synthetic absorbable materials. Throw in some dyes, fragrances and other chemicals and you have quite the chemical shit-storm on your hands, or your vagina!
Firstly, the cotton has most likely been heavily sprayed by pesticides and of course the rayon bleached. The bleaching process results in trace elements of a chemical called Dioxin being present in tampons.
Dioxin is an endocrine disrupter, toxic to our immune systems and a cause of birth defects. We are subjected to Dioxin in our environment, and as mentioned above there are only trace elements found in tampons.
This would maybe be fine if we only used them once in a blue moon – not 11,000+ times in our lifetime, and not against our vaginal tissue that absorbs almost everything that touches it! A menstrual cup is typically made from soft medical grade silicone and is toxin free!
4. Happy me.
If you are not yet convinced, what would you think if I told you that with a menstrual cup there is no more watching the clock to ensure you go to the bathroom every 4- hours max!
My favourite thing about the cup is that you can leave it in place for up to 12 hours! I typically empty and rinse in the shower in the morning and again in the evening – that’s it!
That means no worrying about your period while at work, out at functions, or even during the night. If needed, particularly if you have a heavier flow, you may want to empty it during the day. If you have access to a bathroom where you can rinse it, great! If not, simply wipe it with a wet wipe or toilet paper before reinserting and be on your way!
Also, they are comfortable – in fact you almost forget you are using one. Because they collect fluid rather than absorb it, you don’t have to worry about dryness or discomfort.
Oh, and lastly, the rim creates an airlock seal so you don’t need to worry about leaks even during the most strenuous exercise or crazy yoga positions!
For the sake of less than $50, I would highly recommend trying a menstrual cup! Your body and the environment will love you for it! They suit most people and there are various sizes available to accommodate for different bodies and women.
I would also recommend visiting one of the many brands websites (such as DivaCup, Lunette or Juju) for all the nitty gritty info such as how to choose your size and how to insert the product (which is actually super easy!). I have been using mine for over 2 years now and believe it has contributed to a more carefree period. Give the tampons the toss and try a menstrual cup next month!