So You Wanna Talk about Menstrual Cups
Have you ever thought about getting a menstrual cup? I have used tampons since forever. Even my first period, when my family and I were on vacation, no stores were open, and it’s all Barb had brought with her (mother-daughter synced out of the gate). And since then, I have not given much thought to my period or its accoutrements. I had heard about menstrual cups, but they always seemed like a lot of work, and the only benefit people mentioned was that they were more environmentally friendly. No offense to the environment, but the trade-off didn’t seem worth it.
But now could be time to consider one. Why? For one thing, they’re more cost effective than tampons. Women can spend up to $150 a year on tampons, and though it’s still an investment at around $40, menstrual cups can last up to ten years! For another thing, menstrual cups can be a safer health option. Usually made of silicone or rubber, you insert the cup into your vagina, and it collects your flow. You know, like if your roof has a leak and you put a bucket beneath it to collect the rain water. It’s pretty much exactly like that. And just like the bucket, the cup needs to be emptied when full. However, it doesn’t need to be emptied as frequently as tampons need to be switched. And because the cup collects as opposed to a tampon that absorbs, there isn’t that same risk of toxic-shock syndrome associated with tampons! Once you empty the cup, though, you should rinse it off/out and make sure it’s clean before reinserting.
So to sum up: they’re better for the environment, more cost-effective, and they’re healthier. And that’s all well and good, but how effective are they? What do they feel like? How would I even put one in? Are they easy to use?
Two of my friends, Audrey and Valentina, have used one for years. (Note: they each use their own, they don’t co-own a menstrual cup). I wanted to ask questions that the articles never seemed to address. They each had done their own research before trying one, and had some ideas and tips when trying out a cup. And that was one of their biggest tips: trying them out. We all come in different shapes and sizes, on the outside and the inside, and one size does not fit all. You may have to try a couple different ones before you find the right fit. Literally. Many brands have different sizes, but a brand might fit you differently than another. Some brands include the DivaCup, the Lily Cup, the Lena Cup, and you can even find some disposable ones if you want to try it out before making the investment. Instead Softcup is one my friend Audrey tried.
If you’re used to using tampons without an applicator, my friend Valentina said placing a cup isn’t that different. This article also had some tips to make sure the cup was in place and had a tight seal. Not quite right-y tight-y left-y loose-y, but helpful all the same.
According to them, not only do they work just as well, but going back to a tampon was just flat out uncomfortable. So I’m convinced.
It is worth mentioning one logistical issue they present: public bathrooms. Maybe you’re really comfortable with the people you work with, or people in airports, I don’t want to tell you what to do. But the good thing is the cups need to be dumped infrequently enough this shouldn’t present too much of a problem. But now you can’t say you weren’t told!
If you're also looking for something else to try, our cookie nectar is on sale!