Menstrual cups have been in use for decades, and they are now making a comeback in today’s eco-conscious and penny-wise world.
Benefits of Using Menstrual Cups
- Easy to use
- Lower cost (compared to using disposables)
- No embarrassing odors
- More time in between changes
- Doesn’t interfere vaginal pH & good bacterial balance
- Significantly less trips to the drug store (each cup lasts up to 10 years!)
- Great for the environment and reduction of waste
So, why isn’t every menstruator using a menstrual cup?
There are a few possible reasons such as hesitation toward trying something new and unknown, or other related fears.
Some Concerns You May Have About Menstrual Cups
Many people may be sitting on the sidelines and feeling nervous about using a menstrual cup. Let’s take a look at some important issues and their manageable solutions.
1. They cost too much
It’s true that a single menstrual cup costs more than a single package of tampons or pads. Most reputable cup brands range from $15-$40.
It’s also worth mentioning that just because a specific cup costs less than others, that doesn’t mean that it will work less efficiently or be lower quality. The same goes for a more expensive cup: just because it costs more doesn’t mean it will work better or is better quality.
However, if a cup is priced so low that it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Quality might be lacking, or the cup may be made of silicone that is not medical grade.
But, remember, you’ll only need to purchase one, maybe two, cups within the next TEN years. This means that, although menstrual cups are more expensive than tampons or pads up front, they actually cost less in the long run.
2. I don’t know which cup to get
There are a lot of cups on the market, and we understand how overwhelming it can be. There are some factors that can help narrow down which size and shape may work for you. Check out our article “How to Choose a Menstrual Cup” for more info.
3. They’re gross!
Disposable tampons and pads are made with a host of ingredients and chemicals from questionable sources. Menstrual cups are made of silicone. Silicone is a very resilient material that can withstand all sorts of abuse, including high temperatures. This is important to know because menstrual cups can be boiled to sanitize them. This makes them safe and hygienic.
Because the cup contents are emptied into the toilet or down the drain, blood won’t be exposed in the trash. This means there will be no bacterial growth, which is what causes the foul odors associated with putting menstrual products in the trash. Cups and their contents will also not be littered in landfills for many years to come.
4. I’m scared it will get lost or stuck
The vaginal canal is like a balloon: there’s one way in and one way out. There is no physical way for a menstrual cup to travel to other areas of the body, so it will never get lost. However, ill-fitting menstrual cups can be placed out of your reach. This normally happens when someone has a high cervix and the person purchases a cup that is too small or too short, which makes it hard to reach.
5. I don’t bleed very much
You don’t have to bleed at all to use a menstrual cup. They’re safe to use for discharge, when you’re expecting your period, spotting, a light flow, moderate, or heavy flow. If you’re a light bleeder, you can use the menstrual cup for up to 12 hours before emptying it. That still saves you some money and time dealing with your period.
So, What Are the Dangers of Menstrual Cups?
The only real danger associated with using a menstrual cup is not properly cleaning the cup and/or your hands, or leaving the cup in too long.
To keep infections down, make sure to wash your hands with soap and water, and rinse or wash your cup before inserting it.
Remove the cup at least every 12 hours or twice a day to empty and wash it well to avoid bad bacterial growth.
Silicone allergies are very rare, but there are menstrual cups made of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) or rubber if you are allergic.