1. They are Reusable
It’s 10 o’clock at night and you just jumped out of the shower. You’re drying off and you spot a SPOT on your light blue towel! You go to grab a tampon from under the sink and are horrified to find out that you only have ONE left! This may last you a few hours… but then what?! Do you get dressed and go to the store, or do you wad up some toilet paper to hold you over?
A menstrual cup is a reusable menstrual product. You simply use it as needed for up to 12 hours at a time, depending on your flow. You can then empty it, rinse it, and reinsert it. One cup is really all you need, although some people like to have one or two more as a spare or back up.
Because it’s reusable, you’ll never open your cupboard only to find out that you forgot to restock. This also means that you save money every month!
Most cup companies state that a menstrual cup can last at least ten years with proper care.
2. No Waste
Whether you want to do your part to have an eco-friendly environment or you want to save a few pennies on trash pick-up, a menstrual cup has no waste aside from its original packaging.
No more running to the store or sending someone to pick some tampons and pads for you!
No more checking if you have enough supplies with you when you’re about to leave the house.
You carry ONE menstrual cup with you and it’s stored away in a safe place: your vagina!
When a menstrual cup fits you well and is placed correctly, you won’t feel it! It beats strings and wings!
5. Long-Lasting Protection
Again, a menstrual cup can be worn safely for up to 12 hours, depending on how heavy your flow is. For the first few days of wearing a menstrual cup, you will probably need to empty it after 4-6 hours. When your flow starts to slow down, you can use the cup for the full 12-hour duration. Make sure you remove, empty and rinse it out at that 12-hour mark, and then you can reinsert it again for another 12 after that.
6. Easy Care
Caring for your menstrual cup is no big chore! Most companies suggest boiling the cup before your first use. After that, it’s up to you if you want to boil it again or not. Some people boil it at the end of every period. Others don’t ever boil it after the initial time.
You can wash your cup with gentle soap and water. Try to stay clear of using antibacterial soaps or soaps with oils in them. These may shorten the lifespan of the silicone or TPE.
To avoid staining, rinse all of the blood from your cup with cold water first. You can then use hot water to rinse/wash it.
7. Keep Your pH
Tampons absorb. They absorb everything, including your body’s own natural secretions. A menstrual cup collects only your menstrual fluid and doesn’t interfere with the delicate pH and bacterial balance in your vagina.
Because it doesn’t absorb your natural secretions, you don’t get that cringe-worthy, painful, dry removal!
8. One Cup
Unlike tampons, you can use one cup throughout the duration of your period. You don’t have to switch to a smaller cup when your period lightens, although some people may choose to do that.
9. Sleep Longer!
Some menstrual cups hold more than the average super-sized tampon, which can allow you to get some extra zzz’s. The cup collects your flow and keeps it contained, so you won’t wake up to a river of butt-crack blood and stained sheets!
10. No Strings, No Wings
No more wet strings while you use the bathroom! No more strings in your butt crack when you wipe! No more wings stuck to your pubic hair!
Have you ever gone to the beach or pool and worried the whole time that either:
- You can’t swim because you’re wearing a pad, or
- Your tampon string is hanging out!
Many of us have! But the great thing about menstrual cups is that the cup can’t be seen or felt, AND you can use them during almost any activity, including swimming! Another bonus for ex-tampon users: a cup won’t absorb the pool or ocean water!
11. Gender Neutral
Not all women have periods, and not all who have periods are women. If you’re confused or offended by this, there’s no need to be. This may or may not apply to you. If it does, you’ll be happy to hear that using a menstrual cup may lessen the fuss of menstruating. Because it holds more than a tampon and there’s nothing to see when looking down at your underwear, it can reduce the emotional stress, annoyance, and anxiety of being reminded. However, if you have dysphoria about inserting a cup, it may not be the best choice for you.
12. Get to Know Your Body & Your Flow
It might be strange at first for you to get to know your body like you have never before, but it really empowers you.
A period tracker app can notify you when to expect your period so that you’re prepared. It won’t be 100% correct 100% of the time, but at least you know if you need to pack for it. And, like I said before, you only need ONE cup!
Knowing your body and your flow will help you know what’s normal FOR YOU.
13. Do What You Want, When You Want
Menstrual cups can be used at any time, even if you’re not bleeding. Discharge? Spotting? Expecting your period? You can use a cup and not have to worry about surprises.
You can use a cup while you sleep, work, lounge, hike, ride a bike, do yoga, swim, party, travel, fly, bungee jump, walk the dog, dance, etc. – the list is endless!
The only thing that most cup companies suggest not doing is having penetrative vaginal sex (I say most because not all companies advise against it)*. Some people are willing to try and are successful (SEXessful) and others don’t care to try or are not willing to try. It’s your choice. However, foreplay, oral, and safe anal sex are fine! 🙂
*Remember: menstrual cups will NOT prevent an unwelcome pregnancy and will NOT protect you from STDs.
14. Great for People with a Heavy Flow
I had very heavy and long periods. For several days, I bled so much that I was changing my tampon AND pad every hour. Sometimes I even had to change my clothes because I would saturate both. I was bleeding so much that the doctors were concerned. I couldn’t leave my house because I was anemic; it made me tired and faint. Having to change so often, it became a chore to go anywhere too far and I lived 30 miles from the nearest store!
Since I’ve started using a menstrual cup, my periods seem to have eased up and have even shortened, which has made my life a lot easier! It’s not going to be the case for everyone but using a cup may give you some extra time between changes/emptying.
15. Allergies to Disposables
Do you find yourself with an unbearable itch and/or rash every time you use a tampon or pad? You may be allergic to something that’s in them or that was added, e.g. fragrance/perfumes, bleach.
Most reputable menstrual cups are latex-free, plastic-free, odor-free, BPA-free, dioxin-free, PBE and PBDE-free, lead-free, mercury-free and cadmium free. Some have dye added to them to create colored cups, but the dyes should be tested to be body-safe as well.
16. Odor Free
Some might disagree and say that there is an odor to menstrual cups. If you do detect an odor, there might still be cleaning solution on them after they were manufactured and processed. So, make sure you wash your cup well and boil it before the first use; there should be no fragrance added to the cup itself.
Because menstrual cups collect instead of absorbing, the blood is kept in a liquid state. This doesn’t allow the blood to dry and create an odor.
Your cup might start to have an odor to it, as does your vagina. It’s nothing compared to the rotting smell of blood, but it’s not very pleasant either. Don’t be embarrassed; many people experience this with various cups. A good cleaning will do the trick.
Make sure to check with the manufacturer’s websites or pamphlets for what THEY suggest specifically for your cup, but some of the things you can do to remove the smell from your cup are: boil it, soak it in hydrogen peroxide overnight, use Milton sterilizing tablets or denture tablets, wipe it with rubbing alcohol, soak it in lemon juice or white vinegar, or even just allow it to sun bathe on a window sill.
17. Less Bathroom Breaks
As I mentioned above, some menstrual cups hold more than the average tampon.
Super absorbency tampons hold approximately 9-12 ml of menstrual blood, which is just under a half an ounce. An average menstrual cup holds up to 30 ml, or 1 ounce.
During a normal period, a person loses an average 20-60 ml of blood.
Although it may seem like you can use your menstrual cup nonstop for two days straight according to these numbers, you DO still need to empty it every 12 hours for a rinse!
18. Save $$$!
You only really need one and you won’t be throwing your money in the trash because they’re reusable!
Although the initial cost of a menstrual cup can be up to $40 (many are less expensive), you won’t need to purchase boxes or packs of disposables each month. For some, disposables can cost $20+ a month. If you have additional menstruating people in the house, the expense can be significantly greater!
If $40 is a little more than you’re comfortable spending, you can try reusable cloth pads for a few months and save up that money to purchase a menstrual cup. 🙂
These are just some of the reasons why a lot of people have switched to using a menstrual cup – I’m sure there are many more. Some have switched for even just one of the reasons and have since found additional benefits. I’m sure you will too!