Menstrual cups were seen as an old fashioned, complicated way of managing your period. But in recent years they’ve began to make a revival for a variety of reasons. Those concerned with environmental issues favour menstrual cups due to their lack of waste. Some favour the economical savings that come with purchasing a menstrual cup. Whereas others feel it’s better for their body as there are less chemicals.
My reasoning was a combination of all of those really. Though it took a couple of years of thought and some gentle persuading for me to finally take the plunge and order one. I hope this post helps inform others on menstrual cups and why I personally believe they’re better than some of the other more conventional forms of period management out there.Here are 5 things you should know:
1: It takes some getting used to.
From figuring out which way to fold the cup, to boiling it in a pan of water, the menstrual cup does involve a journey of discovery for what works best for you as an individual. It does require more work than tampons and pads, you just throw those away when you’re done with them, but it’s worth sticking with. It’ll pay off in the long run.
2: Menstrual cups are sooo much cheaper!
I used to spend a minimum of £5 a month on tampons and pads. Sometimes my period is a bit lighter and so I would have some tampons left over for the next month, bringing my costs down. But on average at least £5 per period for mid range priced tampons and pads. My menstrual cup cost me £17.20 on special offer from OrganiCup (Special offers for menstrual cups are flying around all the time, so make sure you have a look for them before you buy one). You can find cheaper ones but I wanted to make sure the packaging was biodegradable etc.
My menstrual cup should last for around 10 years. A one off £17.20 spend. In the next ten years I will save myself a minimum of £582.80 on sanitary products. That’s 38 Bare Minerals eye shadows or 92 Whetherspoon’s cocktail pitchers and a huge amount less waste.
Though there is a small price to pay for the savings…
3: It will be bloody.
There’s no doubt about it. But hey, that’s what periods are. You’ll have to get down and dirty with your body, fishing it out, cleaning it, then putting it back in. But I don’t see this as a bad thing really. Getting familiar with your bodily functions helps you to understand how your body works, boosts your confidence, and leads you to feel closer to yourself.
4: However, you will bleed less.
This newfound familiarity with my body means I’ve now found out that I bleed less than I thought I did and even less so now I’m using a menstrual cup. They are made of silicone and just in the little cup until you take it out, simple as. Unlike tampons or pads, which absorb vaginal fluids too, upsetting the PH balance inside your vagina which can cause dryness and discomfort (if you’ve ever had thrush whilst on your period, this could be why). Also, tampons and pads (unless organic) contain bleach, or bleach like products which actually make you bleed more – what a great strategy to make you buy more products eh? They’re profiting off you having periods.
5: You don’t need to worry about starting your period early or getting caught out by brown sludge a couple of days after you think you’ve finished your period.
There’s nothing worse than starting your period on a night out and being unprepared for it. Menstrual cups solve that issue. Again, unlike tampons, you can put your menstrual cup in before and after you’ve finished your period, because as I mentioned before, they won’t be absorbing any fluids your vagina needs.
Just a little note I thought I’d add about menstrual cups too. Unless you live alone, you will most likely have a few strange conversations with people about why you’re boiling something that goes up your vagina in a pan of water on the hob in the middle of the day.
So now you know some of the things there is to know about menstrual cups, here’s why they changed my life.
Tampons made my life easier. Especially with my bleeding disorder (I’ll write more about this soon). But I didn’t really know how to use them that well for a long time so was super uncomfortable for a week of every month until a friend explained to me how to use them properly. Even after that, tampons still left me sore and uncomfortable. Now I know it’s because they were absorbing the rest of my bodily fluids, but I had no idea at the time. I started paying for my own sanitary products when I wasn’t living at home very much and found out JUST HOW EXPENSIVE THEY ARE! So I bought a menstrual cup. For a while I couldn’t get to grips with it, so went back to tampons, but organic ones this time which I bought in bulk online. They were better, but still not ideal. So I gave the menstrual cup another go and now I’ll never go back. I’ve never been able to leave a tampon in for more than a couple of hours before and I can leave my menstrual cup in through the whole night without having to wear a pad for protection. I never worry about having enough tampons for a night out now, or making sure I’ve got a bag for them, because my menstrual cup is more than enough. It’s one simple product that has revolutionised periods for me, from a economical point of view, an environmental point of view and most importantly revolutionised how I see myself and my natural bodily functions.