What are menstrual cups? What are they exactly?
Menstrual cup is a type of feminine hygiene product that is alternative to tampons and sanitary pads/napkins. It is flexible, shaped like a bell and made of silicon or TPE (thermoplastic elastomer).
How to use it and how does it work?
During menstruation, it is worn inside the vagina to catch menstrual fluid (blood containing uterine lining). It must be removed from vagina about every 4–12 hours (depending on the amount of flow), empty the collected menstrual blood into a sink or toilet, wash the cup under running water and insert it again. The cup can be sterilized, usually by boiling in water at the end of the monthly period, The cup collects menstrual fluid, unlike tampons and sanitary pads/napkins which absorb menstrual fluids.
Below are the reasons why you need to ditch those disposable products and try the menstrual cup :
1. It can hold more than sanitary pads/napkins or tampons.
Depending on your menstrual flow, you probably check your pad every 2 to 4 hours, and change pads around the same amount of time. With a menstrual cup, you can put one in the morning and it’s good enough to last you the entire day.
2. You don’t leak as much.
You will never leak unless you wore it incorrectly or didn’t adjust it properly. It can hold up to an ounce of liquid, which is 5 times more than what a tampon can hold.
3. It won’t dry out your vagina.
It won’t cause that familiar dryness or even irritation you tend to get with a napkin or a tampon because it is made of silicone, and not cotton.
4. It can help you sleep better.
No need to worry about leaks while sleeping because it collects all the fluid!
5. It lasts for 5 to 10 years.
No need to stock up like with pads/napkins or tampons. However, although it can be used for years, some people claim that it should be replaced every year.
6. It is affordable.
You can get a menstrual cup for as cheap as P335 pesos in the Philippines and about $18.99-30 in the US.
7. Reduce Your Chances of TSS.
Toxic Shock Syndrome or TSS is a bacteria-spurred illness that can kill you. If the tampon you are using, has even a slightly higher absorbency than your actual flow, you risk shredding. Small bits of cotton can cause small cuts in your vaginal walls, which is a perfect breeding ground for the bacteria causing TSS.
8. It is environment friendly.
In average, a woman discards up to 14,000 tampons in her lifetime, and these can sit around in landfills for centuries, therefore leaching various surfactants, adhesives and additives. Menstrual cups, on the other hand, are waste-free and environment friendly.
With proper care, you can use these menstrual cups for up to 10 years. Compare that to the 10 days that it takes for most women, to go through a box of standard tampons or pads.