It’s been years since I first heard of the menstrual cup and I am just now trying it out. When I first read about it, I thought what most people probably think, Ew….gross…why? If we’re being honest, the sound of it does not sound too appealing, but if you really think about the differences in technique of the menstrual cup than the tampons/pads – you will see that the cup is worth all the rave.
DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT A DOCTOR – PLEASE DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH AND IT’S ALWAYS WISE TO TALK TO A DOCTOR. I ALSO DO NOT HOLD BACK ON THESE DESCRIPTIONS, SO PLEASE BE AWARE OF THE POSSIBLE…TMI.
Pros of wearing a menstrual cup:
Balances your pH and bacteria levels
Once I changed my lifestyle into a healthy one, I was concerned as to why I was still suffering from horrible UTI symptoms when I was having my period & after doing some research I found that our vaginas are healthier when they have an acidic pH level. That’s because an acidic vagina provides the perfect environment for good bacteria to clean and keep healthy and bad bacteria has a harder time surviving in acidic environments, but the catch-22 of this is that blood has a higher pH level and some women, like myself, can be prone to infections because of this alone, but it is also because tampons are made to absorb, therefore, they absorb the bad AND good bacteria and leave your vagina vulnerable to an infection. Menstrual cups are obviously non-absorbing, and keep your natural pH balance in tact.
I don’t need my fiance to tell me that the trash or my vagina smell terrible when I am on my period. The smell is so specific and I cannot stand it, but I also hate how wasteful it is to take the trash out everyday. I knew that not producing scented tampons would erase the smell from the bathroom, but I wasn’t convinced that the odor would leave my body…but it did! I guess the absorption of blood really does intensify the smell & there was literally no odor coming from anywhere.
Helps Save the Environment
As I become increasingly more aware of my impact on the environment, I have to figure out ways to minimize my footprint. I knew tampons were wasteful before, and switch from my Playtex Sport to a natural tampon, but knew that I was still contributing to so much waste, but it wasn’t until I wore my menstrual cup for the first time that I realized just how much waste I was producing. It is said to be safe to wear your menstrual cup for 16 hours before having to empty and clean it. Of course this depends on your cycle and your flow, but being so used to wearing tampons and needing to change it every couple of hours, I just couldn’t believe that you could wear it for that long. My first day is always the heaviest and I think I go through 10-12 tampons on my first day, so when I finally took my cup out for the first time, I’d say around hour 7, I was shocked that it wasn’t even completely full (I also have the small version of the Lunette Cup). Within that same time, if I was wearing tampons, I would have gone through about 3-4. That gives you an idea of how much waste you produce when wearing tampons. When you wear a menstrual cup – you produce 0 waste.
You Save Money
Most states tax feminine products. Tampons are just too costly for my pocket I mean once I buy the tampons, the chocolate, the epsom salt & wine – I’m spending nearly $50. The truth is, it’s crazy that we have to spend money on these necessary feminine products. We could talk about the politics of this, but that is an entirely different conversation. The menstrual cup is a flat fee. Of course you have to replace them after a while, but that is really dependent on how you take care of them (wash after every use & cleanse in boiling water before first use and after every cycle). They typically last 2-3 years, before you should replace. Think about how much money you are saving. I go through a box of tampons every month, which typically costs me, rounding up, $10. 10 x 24 = $240. That means I spend $240 for 2 years to wear tampons. My menstrual cup cost $40. I also bought cleansing wipes which were 1000 for $15. So, after all of that math, I saved close to $200. That is not including the AZO pills and cranberry juice I had to use when I was on my period.
Cons of the menstrual cup:
The only con I’ve had with my menstrual cup is that it’s tricky to learn how to insert it and remove it, but because there really is no place for it to totally disappear to, there is nothing serious to worry about.
Tips for using a menstrual cup:
How to Insert a Menstrual Cup
Your instructions should come with folding patterns you can try when inserting your cup. There is no right or wrong way here. Everything depends on your body. I personally found that the technique of what I deem as, the fortune cookie fold, to be the best method for me. It’s also called the punch down fold. I practiced with all methods until I found the best one. I used the same method I used when I am drunk and want to cut my own bangs, Youtube. There are so many ways to insert the cup, but what I like to remember is that I might need to do it in a bathroom stall one day, and unfortunately standing with one leg up on the sink is just not possible. Get comfortable doing it on the T & relax.
How to Remove a Menstrual Cup
This still remains the most difficult part for me. There is nothing to be embarrassed about here ladies. After the first use, I had to push the baby so hard, just so I could feel the stem & then it ended up slapping back like a rubberband. The second time I couldn’t find the stem at all and had my fiance so worried that he put on rubber gloves and was ready to deliver the sucker. It takes practice and time, to really get a feel for how to remove it. There is no string you can pull on. Remind yourself to be patient and calm. Use those muscles.