Lets Talk About Menstrual Cups

What exactly are menstrual cups? They’re an alternative to tampons and pads, except with two major differences:

Menstrual cups are reusable, and menstrual cups collect blood instead of absorbing it.

WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?
They are small, bell shaped silicon cups that you wear inside your vagina. Menstrual cups come in all sorts of sizes and colors.

As with tampons, there’s a bit of a learning curve when it comes to inserting one for the first time. There are a bunch of different ways to fold the cup to make insertion easier. Some come with rings that make removal easier, and others come with stems to assist in removal. Additionally, it’s important to get the size that works best for you. Keep in mind that bigger sizes are usually intended to be used by people who have given birth vaginally.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF USING A MENSTRUAL CUP?
They are more environmentally friendly than tampons & pads since tampons & pads will just end up getting dumped in a landfill.
It’s more cost efficient to buy and wear a menstrual cup for a year than it is to buy tampons/ pads every month.
You can wear menstrual cups for much longer than you can a tampon. In theory, you are supposed to change your tampon every four to eight hours. Menstrual cups can be worn for up to twelve hours, which is very convenient.
Tampons are far more likely to cause toxic shock syndrome than menstrual cups due to toxic chemicals found in some brands of tampons.

WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF USING A MENSTRUAL CUP?
They have the potential to be messier upon removal than tampons since you are having to put your hands in your body to take it out. Ideally, you should wash it after every time you empty it, but that’s not always an option in public restrooms.
The aforementioned learning curve that comes with figuring out the right way to insert and remove menstrual cups is real. It takes practice. Read up on all of the different folds you can use to insert the cup, and determine which is right for you.
Since menstrual cups are reusable, you should make a habit of sterilizing it when you take it out at night. That means doing more cleaning than if you were using a disposable menstrual product.

If you are interested in switching to menstrual cups, I would suggest talking to your OB/GYN to see what they think. Some people have anatomies that aren’t ideal for the use of menstrual cups, and your doctor should be able to determine that.

At the end of the day, It’s up to you whether or not you want to start wearing menstrual cups. But consider this, I’ve been wearing the same one for a few months now and couldn’t be happier. It’s such a relief knowing that I don’t have to buy tampons every few months, and it’s comforting knowing I don’t have to change my tampon after four hours.

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