Some say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Well, I’m not that old or I wouldn’t still need to even consider menstrual cups, tampons, or pads. However, I have had three babies and two are grown. So changing my monthly routine was a bit of a leap, after doing things the same way for decades.
Full Disclosure and TMI Warning…
I may be a bit of a trend setter in our home, because I am trying to get my teen daughter to make the switch.
1.) They are better for the environment:
They are reusable which means they are both eco-friendly and green. Considering a woman uses about 10,000 tampons in her lifetime, that’s a lot of kindness towards the environment from making one simple change. It certainly makes me feel better about one reusable and cleanable silicone cup than thinking of massive piles of menstruation-soaked cotton and plastic applicators sitting in a landfill somewhere for eternity.
2.) They are healthier and safer for you than many chemicals found in other feminine hygiene products:
No more bleach, dioxins, perfumes, polyethylene, polypropylene, propylene glycol, BPA, and other contaminants linked to hormone disruption and much worse, which are present in tampons, pads, and applicators.
BPA and phthlate-free food grade silicone is used in virtually every brand. You can run a check on the company or brand you are considering, to see where their materials come from, if it’s a concern. There has been some talk that a couple of companies are switching to inferior silicone. It’s not hard to do a little of your own research and due diligence on whatever brand you are considering. Here is a list of brands that are cleared by the FDA, if that is important to you.
Because they form an airtight seal there is less bacteria and no odor. Several studies show a far smaller risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome from menstrual cups than from tampons.
I asked my Naturpathic Doctor her opinion and she was two thumbs up on the entire idea.
3.) They save a lot of money:
Ranging from around $13 to $25 for most brands, I figured it pays for itself in just two months. That’s like saving about $100 a year on tampons and pads.
Some companies offer hippy soaps you can purchase to wash yours. Save money and use any oil-free, mild, water-based or plant-based soap.
4.) They are easy to use:
Goodness gracious it’s a game changer. Tell everyone. Hire a skywriter. Take out an advertisement. Tweet and retweet.
Regardless of whether your cervix is positioned up in Norway or hanging down around Australia, they work for virtually everyone so no need to lose sleep over whether or not you’re designed for these. Most companies offer at least two sizes, some offer three.
The smallest sizes are recommended for young, newly menstruating girls. One size tends to be for petite or younger women who haven’t had children. The other size is more for the rest of us or anyone over 30-35. Apparently, our cervixes hang down around our ankles after age 35. Who knew?
Removing a menstrual cup means simply emptying the contents in the toilet or sink to dispose of the scaries. Then you rinse the cup thoroughly with warm soapy water. It’s silicone and doesn’t absorb odors. You can finally, say goodbye to hiding or dumping mountains of garbage that look like they are left over from a murder scene at home or at your friend’s house.
Even though it requires dumping and washing, it’s way less disgusting than pulling out a blood soaked cotton torpedo, while grasping a slimy, sweaty, cotton rope that’s been dangling out of your crotch, getting peed on (and who knows what else, no matter how careful you are) all day long and then flushing it down the toilet while praying it stays down the pipes and doesn’t break your septic system or plumbing.
Unlike the fun surprise of a tampon that isn’t saturated, it’s pretty comfortable to remove. No more wincing as you drag dry sandpaper over your delicate lady-parts, while removing a dry tampon.
Public bathrooms are no biggy. Just dump, rinse, and replace as most of the manufacturers suggest. However, I personally think it’s easier and more sanitary to have a second menstrual cup in your purse and just dump the contents of the used one into the toilet while in the stall. Place it in a small sandwich baggy you carry in your purse for cleaning later.
You can deal with washing it when you get home or have access to any private sink. Some ladies report that they bring a water bottle into the public stall and rinse it over the toilet. Many companies sell two to a box anyway. Most come with a handy-dandy little carrying pouch. Not a problem. No need to overthink this.
Heck, I’ve managed to master cleaning my Invisalign braces in public bathroom sinks, discreetly, without anyone noticing. This is smaller and only one piece. And I don’t even have to brush and floss in front of strangers.
When used properly, menstrual cups don’t leak. No more gross, stained, period panties or diaper rash from back up pads. No need for panty liners when wearing white or gym clothes. No more messy vajay-jay.
Many gals prefer to change or remove a menstrual cup in the shower. Say goodbye to racing around frantically in an attempt to shove something quickly between your legs while toweling off, in order to avoid a Freddy Krueger scene in the bathroom, every time you shower.
Several websites talk about a learning curve. Not for me. First time I used one, quite recently, mission accomplished in less than 15 seconds. Although, truth be told, removing it did take about 30 seconds after the very first maiden voyage. If that’s the worst of it, where have these been my whole life?
A few reviewers on websites seem a bit bewildered as to how far to push the contraption into their bajingoes. I’m here to tell you, nobody needs to draw you a diagram. Speaking of diagrams, (yes, near rhyme) it does remind me of positioning a ‘diaphragm’ many years ago.
You simply fold the menstrual cup over, kind of like a taco, and slide it up the runway. (KY or not, you choose) Presto, you have a second, silicone, neighboring, and much-less-fun clitoris to keep the first one company. Keep the little pully, nubby, stemmy, stretchy, thingy attached to the menstrual cup, just inside of those curtains and you’re golden.
Light, medium, or heavy flow, they seem to work well for all of us. It’s reported that they are perfectly safe to be left in place for up to 12 hours. Most women with heavy flow find they can go at least 6-8 hours without needing to dump it. Personally, I have no problem with overnight use, 8 or 9 hours, but not sure I would leave anything up there, unattended, for 12 hours. Hey, that’s just me.
They are designed to hold as much as two large extra absorbent tampons, so that does equate, for most of us, to many more hours of freedom, away from the bathroom.
5.) They last for years:
I only wish I had gotten one years ago. They last for several years, or so I’m told. I’ve heard some women say they’re so awesome that they can’t wait for their next period. I don’t know if I would go quite that far, but close.
Darn, I will be done having periods before this thing wears out. Just think of the money I could have saved all these years. It’s crazypants, ladies…beautiful, clean, white un-stained, pristine, crazypants.