I’ve been wearing a combination of pads and tampons since my menstrual cycle began sometime in middle school. Tampons usually during the day and pads normally at night. It wasn’t until very recently that I pondered on just how much waste I was producing and how much money I was spending on tampons and pads…
I’m not going to lie, when I first heard of the menstrual cup, the idea of a reusable blood collector grossed me out and I immediately dismissed it. For me, my periods were already stressful enough. Why complicate it with an unfamiliar contraption!? It just sounded too messy, “in there”, and weird (aka different than what I was used to).
But something in me decided to give the menstrual cup thing a try one day (i.e., I read a million blog posts, reviews, and comments about it), so I ordered one off Amazon, and the rest is history! I haven’t purchased pads or tampons since. It took me about 2 full menstrual cycles to get used to it fully (shoutout to YouTube), and now I swear by my menstrual cup.
So why exactly did I dump my old-and-trusted tampons for the weird menstrual cup?
It holds a lot more fluid than a tampon, and thus does not need to be changed as often.
Menstrual cups can hold anywhere between 30 and 60 mL of fluid, compared to tampons, which can only hold about 5mL and maxi pads which can hold up to 10mL. This means fewer trips to the bathroom!
It doesn’t interfere with the vaginal environment.
Menstrual cups are made of food-grade silicone, which means they’re super safe for our bodies. No toxic chemicals in your reproductive organs, and best of all: no risk of deadly toxic shock syndrome. pH balance (and the safety of your life) on fleek. Seriously… Is anyone else deathly afraid of toxic shock syndrome?!
It’s actually more comfortable than tampons.
So my period is typically heavy for one day, moderate for another day, and then light for about 3 days. When I was an avid tampon-wearer, I would seriously dread my light-period days because I could feel the pain before it arrived, just thinking about it. It would be too much flow for a pantyliner, but not enough flow for an entire pad! I wouldn’t wish that painful-dry-tampon-but-I-have-to-wear-it feeling on anyone. With my menstrual cup, none of that even matters. Heavy, moderate, light — I feel nothing. Except comfort and peace of mind.
It’s safer for the environment.
The average woman will use up to 17,000 pads or tampons in her entire lifetime. Tampons contain toxins, chemicals, pollutants, and plastic — which takes a long time to break down and end up polluting our fresh water supplies. Not to mention all the resources it takes to package and ship the tampons and pads… Tisk tisk.
It’s better for your bank account.
The Huffington Post calculated that the average woman will spend about $2,216 in her entire lifetime on tampons and pantyliners. (If you use pads in addition to tampons, the number might be even higher.)
Menstrual cups on the other hand, cost anywhere between $25-$60 a pop and last between an entire year and an entire lifetime. Menstrual cup makers say that they’re safe to hold onto until you notice discoloration or a tear in them. Other than that, as long as you clean it properly between wears, it’s good to go!
All thanks to my ditching of the tampons for the menstrual cup; my comfort, my pH balance, my bank account (cha-ching), and peace of mind are beautifully in tact. It’s safe to say that I will be #TeamMenstrualCup for life! (Or at least until I hit menopause.)
Be well. ♥