I am a happy user of a menstrual cup since 2017. I moved to cup from pads and tampons because I wanted to be more zero waste, but it turned out that menstrual cup is eco-friendly and much more convenient in the long run. My first experience was not so successful, and I had to do a lot of research to find the right cup. After I did, I never looked back at disposable pads or tampons. That’s my motivation to share all my knowledge. So a little spoiler-alert, yes, you should switch to a cup too! And below you can see some of my reasons.
Why are menstrual cups better?
Disposable tampons and pads create a lot of waste and they are environmentally non-friendly.
If we take all the menstruating ladies existing in the US right now, they will go through 400.000.000 tampons/pads in their lifetime. Those products are creating a lot of synthetic materials and/or plastic, where those materials are not recyclable and not biodegradable. So lots of waste in the landfills and plastic pollution in the ocean – that’s, unfortunately, our period products too. And that not to mention that plastic / synthetic materials rely on the fossil fuel industry, which is polluting the environment.
Menstrual cups are environmentally friendly long-lasting solution
On the contrary, menstrual cups are made with a relatively sustainable material, which is high-grade medical silicone. And although silicone is not readily recyclable (but still recyclable if you look for places), it’s a long-lasting material, and the cup is supposed to serve you for about 10 years. Such a long shelf life will offset the footprint way better than single-use tampons or pads, no matter what they are made from.
They will save you money too
Keeping one cup for 10 years, it’s also a great money saver. Every menstruating lady will spend several thousand on tampons in a lifetime. Compare to a cup that can be bought for 15-35$ and kept for many years; it’s quite a great value. You are probably gonna spend more in few months on disposable period products.
Turns out menstrual cups are more healthy!
Also, interestingly enough, a cup is a better health choice if you compare it to tampons. First of all, tampons are associated with Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) – watch this video if you have never heard about TSS. Menstrual cup users have much less chance to has a TSS.
Another reason why a cup can be more healthy than a tampon: cups are chemical-free, and tampons are not. In most countries, tampons and pad manufacturers are not required to list the ingredient list on the packaging, and there is so much proof that tampons can contain bleached cotton and other things. Also, tampons can technically leave micro portions of fibers in your vagina, which is not gonna happen to a cup. Also, menstrual cups are made from hypo-allergenic materials! Good for your vagina too 😉
And more convenient too!
Cups are way more convenient than tampons or even pads. Tampons, for example, you are supposed to change every 3-4 hours (people who don’t risk having TSS), while a menstrual cup can be kept for up to 12 hours. Basically, most people do insert a cup in the morning, go about their day, and then empty and re-insert I in the evening. So much less hassle!
Cups are not only convenient but comfortable too. For example, tampons can give your vagina that weird, uncomfortable feeling because it’s basically dried out! Tampons are made from cotton (or rayon), and those materials are very absorbent. They not only soak up menstrual blood but all the lubricating fluid too. It’s actually not only about dryness, but tampons can also disturb the vagina’s delicate pH and bacterial balance, and this might bring those uncomfortable feelings too. Again that doesn’t happen with a cup because it doesn’t soak up anything; it works as a vessel containing blood inside.
One more thing makes a cup so much better than tampons and pads – it’s that odor that happens due to menstrual fluid sitting in the tampon without exposure to air. It doesn’t even happen with a cup. You are never gonna experience that smell again!
Btw if you are teenager or someone who never had penetrative sex before, you can use a cup too. Just choose a teen size.
Menstrual cups sound positive, any drawbacks though?
My biggest drawback with a cup that, for some people, it might have a longer learning curve. So after tried it once or twice, you might give it up before enjoying all those benefits I mentioned above.
Learning to use a menstrual cup is like trying contact lenses for the first time. It will take you half an hour to put them in or out, and you will irritate your own eyes so much, so you will hate thinking of putting them back again. But after you master the skill, you will not even notice having them on. Same with the cup!
Also, although most people can choose any brand or type of cup and it will work for them, for some people, a very specific cup is needed. Also, if you use UID birth control, you have to consult your doctor; not all cups will fit you (a very firm cup might pull your UID out 😉
To help you figure out whether you need a specific cup or not (and how to choose one anyway), I made this video below. Check it out, and good luck with a cup!
Everything you need to know about menstrual cup in this detailed video
Things you will learn in this video:
00:00 – Intro
01:00 – What is a menstrual cup
02:23 – Why it’s better
04:30 – How do they work
05:20 – Types, dims & brands
09:40 – How to choose the right one
12:29 – How to use it
16:30 – Cleaning your cup
20:00 – First experience
What brand of menstrual cups you would recommend?
In case you already decided about the cup, and just looking for recommnded brands, here is my list:
- Lily Cup (by Intimina) – that’s my personal preference, long cup, great for high cervix
- Lyly Compact – great collapsible (and small) travel menstrual cup
- Lena Cup – high-quality American brand, great firm cups, classic shape
- Lunette – Finnish brand, high quality, and classic shape
- Diva cup – Canadian brand, very firm cup, popular with many people
- Organic Cup – another popular brand, comes in plastic-free packaging
- Meluna – American/European company, they have many different types and shapes, both for high or low cervix