Although menstrual cups have their downsides, they have plenty of benefits. In addition to saving money, their use produces no waste. In three words, a menstrual cup is economical, practical and ecological.
There are different models of menstrual cup, both in terms of shape and size. The fact the cup is being held by the vaginal muscle, it is therefore important to choose one that corresponds to your body.
Menstrual cups are getting popular as more and more women are considering them. For some women, wearing a cup brings more comfort than a regular pad, for others, it is the opposite. This is easy to understand as each woman manages her period as she wants. But you may be able to make it less unpleasant by using a menstrual cup.
In this article, you will learn the many advantages and disadvantages of using a menstrual cup. At the end, you discover a simple technique to help you put and wear your cup easily.
Menstrual Cup Pros
With the cup, you have no waste since you can use it for up to 10 years. Tampons thrown down the toilet often end up in sewers and then in the oceans. Pads, far from being recyclable, clutter up garbage cans and landfills for hundreds of years. And since each woman uses around 15,000 protections in a lifetime, that’s a serious environmental problem.
In nature, a disposable sanitary pad can take up to 500 years to fully degrade, which is as long as a plastic bottle. Every year, 45 billion sanitary napkins are thrown away around the world. These numerous wastes and their packaging are not environmentally friendly. As they are not recyclable, they must be incinerated or buried.
The menstrual cup is more ecological. It is reusable, and does not produce new waste every month. Its use therefore causes no pollution compared to disposable pads and tampons. A real eco-responsible gesture for the planet.
After a period of adaptation, women generally no longer bother by the presence of the cup, which makes it easy to sleep with it, but also to wear it preventively to prevent leakage in case of irregular periods.
Its large capacity allows users to comfortably go about their activities and do their favorite sports, until a suitable time or place to empty it. Without contact with air, the blood does not oxidize and therefore does not cause any odor. Another good reason to adopt it!
A woman spends over 28,477 over her lifetime to buy disposable sanitary pads: towels or tampons. Do you realize the savings you will make? Each box of tampons costs around $9. We often add a pack of sanitary napkins for the night, or thinner napkins to stop the bleeding. Each month you won’t really see it, but over a ten-year period the figure can climb to as high as $ 500.
Menstrual cups are particularly advantageous alternative that allows significant savings in the long term. As it can be reused for several years, the cup only constitutes a one-off cost of $20 to $40. The same cup can be used every month for up to 10 years. This means that in a lifetime, a woman will only need to buy 5 menstrual cups, an unsignificant number comparing to 11,000 disposable sanitary pads.
Some women worry about the cleanliness of the cup. Indeed, and like any female protection, you have to manage it with clean hands. The menstrual cup should be cleaned with soap and rinsed well after emptying. Second, the cup must also be sterilized at the start of each period. When you don’t use it anymore, it must be kept in its case.
Beyond a healthy and safe composition, the cup is more hygienic than disposable tampons and sanitary napkins.
One of the advantages of the cup is that it does not create the bad odors that are often found with sanitary napkins. Why this difference? In a sanitary napkin, bacteria come into contact with the air and encounter a hot and humid environment, favorable to their proliferation. Menstrual flow and perspiration then tend to “macerate”, creating bad odor.
Unlike napkins, menstrual cups do not cause bad odors for one simple reason: the menstrual flow does not come into contact with the outside air. A considerable advantage for hygiene during menstruation.
Without risk of leaks, the cup can remain in place for up to 8 or even 12 hours. But if you are a beginner, remove it every two or four hours in order to know your “flow” and adjust according to your need. If you are in a public toilet with no ability to empty the cup, you have more time in front of you than a tampon or sanitary napkin.
Due to its composition, the menstrual cup is hypoallergenic, and therefore particularly great for women who are allergic or get irritated by tampons and napkins, or in whom these protections lead to mycosis. Because the menstrual cup, when used properly and sterilized before / after menstruation, does not cause allergic reactions.
In addition, it is free from pesticides and other toxic substances, where tampons have a much more obscure composition.
Practical and discreet
Menstrual cups are practical and discreet. During menstruation, the use of disposable protections means that you must take with you, in your handbag or luggage, a stock of spare protections. This is, let’s face it, very impractical whether at school, at work and on travel.
Because only one menstrual cup is enough, its space-saving size makes it easy to slip into your belongings. It takes up much less space than packets of disposable pads and tampons in their packaging. Protected in its special pocket, the cup requires no unnecessary plastic packaging.
While practical, the cup also has the advantage of being invisible once inserted. It is the safest hygienic protection for swimming in a swimming pool or in the sea. No string sticking out of the swimsuit or absorption of unwanted products such as chlorine in swimming pool water. The menstrual cup can also be discreet in intimate moments.
Good for the vaginal flora
The menstrual cup does not unbalance the vaginal flora, which helps prevent yeast infections, irritations, infections and vaginal dryness. To maintain good hygiene, it is recommended to wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling, and to sterilize or boil it in water between each cycle.
Tampons have strong absorbent powers. This is good to absorb the blood, but they also absorb everything, including the secretions that protect the vaginal flora. Thus, the mucous membrane is no longer protected and remains in direct contact with the toxic agents present in the tampons, such as the chlorine used to bleach cotton, and dioxin recognized as carcinogenic. Infections, yeast infections, itching and irritations are often caused by fibers from tampons or towels. In fact, in some women, they are found in the fallopian tubes leading to the ovaries. In some cases, this can cause endometriosis or fertility problems.
Less risk of toxic shock
With tampons, the risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS) increases. It is a rare but serious infection. Toxic shock syndrome is linked to the spread of staphylococcus aureus and has serious health consequences. It can lead to sepsis, thus death. With menstrual cups, you automatically prevent this nightmare.
Ideal for sports
You can wear your menstrual cup during all sports. It does not bother you and does not move thanks to its suction effect, so no risk of leaks. You can also bask in the bath without any risk.
Another great benefit, you can put it on before your period starts. For instance, If you know your period is coming today and you don’t feel like putting on a pad, you can position the cup in the morning and start your day relaxed. As it does not contain any chemical agents, there is no risk to your health.
The question now is how to put on a menstrual cup?
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Menstrual cup Cons and precautions
The cup may be put off due to its mode of use, which involves inserting something into the vagina and removing it every 4 to 6 hours.
Dealing with blood
It is also not suitable for women troubled by sight of blood, although tampons and pads also involve blood less vividly.
Difficult at first
It takes a bit of practice to learn how to bend and insert a cup, but most women get a hang of it quickly, especially if they are highly motivated and knowledgeable.
Finding the right size
As there are so many menstrual cup brands on the market, it can be difficult to navigate this jungle, and find the cup size and shape that matches your flow.
Cleaning and sterilization
As we have seen, the cup must be rinsed and emptied regularly, which means having a small container of water with you in the toilet. It must also be sterilized for at least 5 minutes in boiling water before first use, then at the latest after menstruation or possibly just before. Because it fits into the vagina, the menstrual cup must be perfectly sterile, to avoid any vaginal infection.
Besides these 5 drawbacks, there are no major contraindications, although it is recommended to women who wear Intrauterine Device need to consult their doctor before menstrual cup.