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Reasons You Should Ditch Your Pads and Tampons and Use a Menstrual Cup

By Fauna Mahootian

1. They’re environment and wallet-friendly

Menstrual cups are efficient in terms of both cost and material. Menstrual cups cost around $20-40 and last for around 10 years. According to Mooncup, an average user of menstrual products disposes of around 300 pounds of pad/tampon waste during their lifetime. And the price totals at around $2500 spent on menstrual products, as estimated by the office of Congresswoman Meng. Extending menstrual cup consumption to a lifetime results in a cost of around $250, a whole degree of magnitude lower than our conventional options!

2. They’re convenient

Menstrual cups can usually provide 12-hour coverage, depending on your flow. It can be convenient to change it only in the morning and at night. They’re relatively low maintenance, requiring rinsing with light soap and water during your cycle, and boiling for five minutes after your cycle. They are extremely convenient when traveling—you only need to pack one item to cover your cycle as opposed to 15.

3.Health benefits: Less cramps! Less TSS risk!

Menstrual cups can decrease cramps by strengthening your pelvic floor muscles. I can personally attest that this works—and works wonders. Another amazing benefit is that a cup is much less likely to give you toxic shock syndrome than a tampon. Tampons make you vulnerable to infection by TSS-causing bacteria. The cotton fibers in tampons can cause microscopic cuts in your vaginal wall, which allow the bacteria to enter your bloodstream. Menstrual cups are made out of silicon, which can’t cut you, so the risk of contracting TSS is much lower. Another concern for many people is the fact that most tampons and pads contain dioxins, chemical agents used to bleach the cotton, which are carcinogenic. Menstrual cups do not contain dioxins since they don’t need to be bleached, so you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that this, at least, won’t give you cancer. In fact, menstrual cups are made with high-grade silicon, which doesn’t break down in the body. This means no chemicals leaching into your bloodstream, unlike with pads and tampons.

4. They’re Trendy™

More and more people are using menstrual cups. By using one you become part of the community. It feels a little exciting and exclusive because cups are not very widespread right now, but they’re catching on. Being eco-conscious, health-conscious, and cost-conscious are all currently popular outlooks, and they are consistent with the benefits of menstrual cups as I’ve described above. Another trendy mindset, getting in touch with yourself and your body, is also consistent with the menstrual cup experience.

5.Get to know your body better

Using a menstrual cup means having a practical learning experience with the inner workings of your reproductive system. It helps you determine the details of your cycle. For example, how much you bleed. Some cups are labeled with measurement lines, allowing you to track the volume of blood leaving your body each time you change your cup. As you become more familiar with your cycle, you will get the hang of knowing how many times to change the cup for each day of its use. Inserting and removing the cup also teaches you a lot about the physical layout of the inside of your vagina.

Art by Chloe Wanaselja

Using a menstrual cup can be messy and a little uncomfortable at first, but for all the reasons above, getting over this gentle learning curve is worth it. Reminder: pantiliners are your friend. They’re a good safeguard against leakages as you learn about how often you need to change the cup over the course of your cycle. Some people find changing the cup in a public restroom to be a concern, but a simple rinse with water from your water bottle or wiping it off with toilet paper will do the trick. In my experience, it took about one to two cycles to get used to a comfortable method of inserting and removing the cup and handling the blood. I would 100% recommend making the switch. On top of the health, cost, environmental, and feel-good benefits I’ve outlined above, once you get used to wearing the cup, you can basically forget that you’re on your period! It’s fantastic, fun, and freeing.