A menstrual cup is worn inside the body to collect blood during a woman’s period. The cup forms a suctioned barrier against the woman’s vaginal walls in order to prevent blood from leaking. Cups can be worn for up to 12 hours, which means that the wearer can pour out the contents only once a day if desired. Menstrual cups can be made of various materials, but the one pictured above is medical-grade silicone.
It may seem disgusting at first, but it’s really not. There isn’t any blood rotting in your garbage. The blood is poured down the drain immediately and you wash everything. The only waste is your own blood, which is poured down the drain and washed out of the cup. The pros of using a menstrual cup completely outweigh the “ick” factor.
Here are 10 Pros:
- No More Tampon Strings! The cup is worn completely inside of you, so there is no string or anything else hanging out of you. The stem exists only so that you can find your way up to the side of the cup in order to break the suctioned seal with your finger.
- No Pain! Tampons absorb the other preexisting vaginal fluids besides blood, which is why inserting a new tampon immediately after one has been pulled out can be difficult and painful, particularly when a period is starting to end. Menstrual cups don’t absorb the vagina’s natural fluids, so there isn’t any pain during reinsertion.
- No Smell! If you use a menstrual cup, there will be no bloody products stinking up your cup does not smell. Silicone is odorless and the cup is washed each time before insertion. It may become stinky if you do not wash the cup or if you forget the cup is inside of you.
- No Diaper Rash! Pads are basically adult diapers. The moisture is sitting against your skin for several hours at a time and it does cause rashes for some people. You don’t have to worry about that while you’re using a menstrual cup.
- Zero Awkwardness! There is no awkward tampon-in-hand walk to the bathroom because the cup is worn internally. You don’t have to carry anything if you’re already wearing it. You do need a sink next to you when you are taking out the cup, but that’s only every 8-12 hours. By that point, you’re usually at your own bathroom.
- It’s Cheaper The cost of using disposable cotton feminine products every month adds up. Tampons and pads cost $5-$9 per box and some women use both products together to prevent leakage. If you buy 9 boxes of $7 tampons a year, you would spend $63 in total. The cost of feminine hygiene products per year increases if you happen to alternate between tampons and pads. The one-time fee of buying a reusable menstrual cup($20-$40) is much cheaper than the yearly cost of tampons/pads. Some users replace their cups annually, while others replace theirs after several years. It depends on the brand as well as personal preference.
- Less Bathroom Trips! Like I mentioned earlier in this post, you don’t have to empty the contents of your cup that often. You can wear it up to 12 hours. It holds more liquid than a tampon or pad.
- No Toxic Shock Syndrome! You will not get Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) from menstrual cups.
- No Chemicals! Medical-grade silicone is safe for the body. Tampons and pads contain chemicals called dioxins, which come from the cotton bleaching process. Dioxin is a carcinogen. Read more about the harmful chemicals in tampons and pads by clicking here.
- You’ll Get to Know Yourself! You’ll have to insert and remove the cup with your hands. It sounds gross, but you wash your hands afterwards and it really isn’t that bad.
Is using a menstrual cup all sunshine and rainbows? No, but I do feel that the pros outweigh the cons.
- Not All Brands are Created Equally Some users report leakage (improper cup suction) with certain brands, so they switch until they find a brand that works for their body shape.
- There’s a Learning Curve New users may accidentally insert the cup too high, which makes removal difficult. It is supposed to sit lower than a tampon, but not low enough to stick out. Removal can be initially bizarre because you have to bear down like you’re giving birth or going poo. You get used to the whole process after the first few times, though.
- It’s a Process You have to wash your hands before inserting the cup AND after. You should be washing your hands after a trip to the restroom, anyways. Additionally, it may take a few minutes for removal/insertion, but you do this less often than you would with a pad or a tampon.
- The Stem The stem is long. Many users report having to trim the stem, so it’s not that big of a deal. You don’t tug on the stem to remove the cup. You have to break the suction of the cup at the rim with your finger.
How big is it? I have the smaller size of the Mooncup. The larger size is for people who have given birth.
The size may seem large, but you fold it before you use it. It pops open to catch the blood once it has been inserted properly.