I’ve been using tampons relatively happily since I was 15-years-old. I know that they can be pricey, and their environmental impact is definitely problematic. But they’re a low maintenance option that work with my ultra busy lifestyle. I’m sure many of you who wear them agree. However, if you’re getting frustrated with tampons and pads, and you really want to try out another option, you should totally consider using menstrual cups.
A menstrual cup is a small vessel that you insert into your vag during your time of the month. Blood is collected and you simply empty it out at the end of the day. Everyone I know who uses menstrual cups absolutely raves about them and swears they will never ever go back to tampons or pads again. Intrigued? Well, check out these seven things you absolutely need to know about menstrual cups before taking the plunge.
Understand The Cup ItselfHere's the bare basics of what you need to know about the menstrual cup: It's a flexible vessel that collects rather than absorbs menstrual fluid. The stem is used as a guide to help you find the base of the cup, which you pinch upon removal. Photo source: Carrie
Insertion Will Take Some Getting Used ToIf you're not used to inserting anything in your vagina, a menstrual cup probably won't be a walk in the park to insert. This is especially if it is inserted incorrectly and sits awkwardly below your cervix all day. Yikes. But make sure to stay relaxed when you insert your menstrual cup. Since insertion relies on the way you fold the top of the cup before it enters your vag, consider different folding methods. There are a ton of tutorials about them, so find out which one works best for you. Consider using a water-based lubricant along the outside of the cup, too, if you want an easier insertion process. Don't hesitate to adjust the cup while it is inside of you. A simple shift might solve all of your problems! Photo source: Carrie
You Have To Clean It On A Regular BasisSilicone, which most menstrual cups are made out of, doesn't collect a ton of bacteria, which is great. But still, you want to clean it thoroughly between cycles. There are many ways you can clean a menstrual cup. You can sterilize it by boiling it in water. You could also swab it down with rubbing alcohol. Also, to remove any and all odors, consider mixing a bit of baking soda and nearly-boiling water. Let the cup soak for about 15-20 minutes and air dry. Photo source: Shutterstock.com
Know The Benefits Of Menstrual CupsMenstrual cups usually cost between $25 and $40. It's not cheap, but they usually last up to 10 years! So, $30 for a cup that lasts you up to 10 years versus 10 years worth of tampons which can cost up to $1000. Also, for those of you who care about the environment, menstrual cups produce so much less waste than tampons and pads. And for you health nuts, cups don't contain any fragrances or irritating chemicals that tampons contain. Photo source: Shutterstock.com
Find Out Which Menstrual Cup Is Right For YouCups come in a variety of sizes and finishes. Some are softer to the touch while others are firmer. It all depends on what is most comfortable for your body and most relevant for your flow. Photo source: Carrie
Find Out Where To Get ThemMenstrual cups aren't as popular as tampons and pads, which means they're not always as readily accessible for purchase. But every brand has cups available for purchase online and some even have a store locator feature so that you can find out what store carries cups in your area. In the USA, Diva Cup, Lunette and Keeper brand menstrual cups are usually available in stores. In the UK, UK Mooncups and Femmecups are usually available in stores. Photo source: Carrie
Make Sure You Have The Lifestyle For ItListen, menstrual cups are very hands on. You're going to get very up close and personal with your vag and the amount of menstrual fluid it produces during your cycle. You're going to have to dump the fluid into the sink or toilet every 12 hours or so (depending on the heaviness of your cycle) and you're going to have to have general good maintenance of your cup. For some people, this might be super high maintenance for your low maintenance approach to your time of the month. For others, this might be totally worth not having to worry about buying tampons and pads all the time. Give it a try and find out! Photo source: Carrie
Would you consider using menstrual cups? Have you already tried them? Do you use them regularly? What’s your verdict? Tell us in the comments!