Hey everyone! Specifically, people with uteruses.
You have probably seen by now that there is a lot of hype about menstrual cups (mooncups, divacups, softcups etc.) I have certainly seen/heard a lot of people singing their praises, and with good reason – wouldn’t it be lovely if we could all throw away our tampons (and resulting taxes) forever? Our vaginas would be happier, and the environment would be much, much happier.
I’m just going to throw this out there: there is absolutely no reason not to try a menstrual cup. Although they can be a little pricier than regular sanitary products, they can last for up to 10 years, so comparatively, they pay for themselves in a couple of months and work out much cheaper in the long run. Since it’s a one-off purchase, you also avoid a lot of that awful, despicable tampon tax. To make the deal even sweeter, have a look on Amazon and you can find models for about £5, so even if it doesn’t work out for you (spoiler: it might not) it won’t be a ton of money down the drain.
Another huge advantage of menstrual cups is that there is basically 0 risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome, which although very rare, scares the shit out of me. You can leave a cup in for up to 12 hours, you can wear it even before your period has started, and sleep easy with it in, unlike tampons, which run the risk of killing you if you forget about it or use the wrong absorbency. All you have to do with a cup is make sure you keep it clean – sterilize it by leaving it in boiling water for a few minutes. It really is clean, too, none of the nasty chemicals used in tampons and pads, which probably shouldn’t be anywhere near your lady bits.
The final plus I’m going to write about is perhaps the most important. As we all know (I hope) our planet is pretty much dead, and it seems like not many people are really bothered…anyway, that’s for another post. On top of the rest of the waste humans produce, menstrual hygiene products amount to 200,000 tonnes of waste per year. Pads and tampons end up in landfill or in the ocean (well, if your dog doesn’t fish them out of the bin and eat them first.) So, do your bit for the environment and try an alternative, reusable product.
Now, onto the nitty gritty. I might face some backlash for saying this, but periods are gross. Sure, they are natural, but they are gross. Good for you if you think menstruating is beautiful and you can make art out of it or whatever, but I, personally, can’t think of anything much grosser than blood (and lumps) leaking (read: pouring) from my nether regions for several days a month and having to shove a wad of cotton up there to avoid total chaos. Hence, using a menstrual cup is also kind of gross. If you’re not good with blood, or aren’t comfortable getting that close and personal with your own uterine lining, cups may not be the way for you to go. Things can get messy.
Another common downside to the menstrual cup, and what actually prevents me from using one, is that it’s tricky to get the hang of. I’m not just talking about trying to use it without getting blood everywhere, I mean it’s not easy to actually get it to work as it should. I did a few (a lot) of trial runs, but I just could not get the damn thing to pop open and form a seal once it was all folded up and in the right place. It wasn’t uncomfortable (just a little scary) but, I don’t know, no matter how hard I tried or what way I folded it, it just would. not. stick. Perhaps with a little more trial and error I could get it, but to be honest, when I’m on my period I kind of just want everything to be easy.
Basically, I really, really wanted to love the menstrual cup, and it clearly works for a lot of people, so I strongly recommend trying it out. I will definitely try again in the future, maybe with a different brand. The pros outweigh the cons by a long, long way. It might take some time to get the hang of it and get used to it, but if it works for you, it will probably change your life.
Read more about menstrual cups here: https://menstrualcupreviews.net/
And more about alternative menstrual products here: https://www.bustle.com/articles/124170-i-tried-6-alternative-menstrual-products-and-there-were-2-clear-winners