With your period, you usually have two options: tampons or pads. However, there is a third option: menstrual cups. If you've ever been curious why a growing number of women have been making the switch, then this article is for you.
5 Benefits of Using Menstrual Cups
A menstrual cup is a reusable feminine hygiene product made of body-safe silicone, made to gather your menstrual flow. Using a menstrual cup is a challenge at first, as you will need to practice folding, insertion, and removal from the vaginal canal. Once you’ve gotten over the learning curve, you’ll be able to move comfortably during your period with much fewer worries! Here are some perks to expect when using a menstrual cup.
1. Menstrual cups can hold more flow compared to pads and tampons.
Depending on the menstrual cup size you use, each cup can hold about 30-60mL of fluids, almost twice as much as a pad or tampon! You’re safe in knowing that menstrual cups are better at preventing tagos or period leaks on your clothes. Because it can hold more fluid compared to regular menstrual products, you won’t need to keep changing all throughout the day. You can leave it in for as long as twelve (12) hours, depending on your flow.
2. They are better for the planet.
Napkins and tampons flushed down the toilet can clog sewage pipes. Even when disposed of properly, they end up in landfills and become biohazards. A single sanitary napkin could take up to 800 years to degrade because of its plastic parts.
Menstrual cups are environmentally better because they are much more sustainable to use. While there are disposable variants, menstrual cups can be used for up to two (2) years with proper maintenance. Because it is made of medical-grade silicone, cleaning and storage is actually easy: all you need to do is to clean it with a mild, oil-free soap and water, and sterilize by boiling for 5-10 minutes.
Some cups come with their own microwave-safe container where you can boil them, or you can also boil them in a dedicated pot at home. Drain and allow to cool down to room temperature while air-drying.
Once it’s completely dried, store your cup in a breathable cloth pouch and away from direct sunlight. If you don’t have a cloth pouch, any breathable cloth like a face towel or cloth diaper will do. Remember to sterilize your menstrual cup again before using.
3. Menstrual cups are more affordable long term.
Because you can reuse it for up to two (2) years, a menstrual cup can help you save on feminine hygiene products in the long run. Using a menstrual cup costs a fraction of what individuals pay for other popular menstrual products. According to one study, period cups cost only 5% of the price of pads and 7% of tampons on average.
4. Menstrual cups let you move comfortably.
If your cup leaks while exercising, you might need to practice a different type of fold or use a bigger cup. Brands also offer sports cups for more athletic women to give them a more snug support and prevent leaks during that time of the month. A more robust cup holds up and stays in place better for athletes or particularly active people with toned pelvic floor muscles during intense workouts. They also discover that stiffer cups are easier to open. Most of these athletic individuals also claim that it leaks when they use a softer cup. Even though the cup is a reliable feminine hygiene product, use a stronger cup when having physical exercise.
5. Menstrual cups are safer to use.
Cups, compared to pads and tampons, are much safer to use. Menstrual flow is a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause odor, infections, and even toxic shock syndrome that can be fatal sometimes. Unlike pads and tampons that still leave you vulnerable to harmful bacteria, menstrual cups hold the flow and keep your intimate area clean and safe.
Menstrual cup benefits are easy decision for many women. Make sure you know everything you need in a feminine hygiene product before making the switch:
- Will a cup be less expensive?
- Is it more user friendly?
- Do you want to have sex with your partner while you're on your period?
If you responded yes to these questions, use a menstrual cup. If you're still unsure, talk to your gynecologist about your options and which menstruation product could be right for you. Using a menstrual cup might be uncomfortable for some people. However, educational and peer support are critical in helping people feel more comfortable discussing and successfully using menstruation cups.
Sources: webmd.com, healthline.com, teenvogue.com, unelife.com.au, menstrualcup.eco
image sources: Vulvani from Wikimedia Commons, Kaitilyn Nicole from Wikimedia Commons, Errikaboo from Wikimedia Commons, PatriciaMoraleda from Pixabay