menstrual cup pros and cons
I know all too well how difficult it can be to make the switch from disposable menstrual products to reusable ones. Once you find your favorite or perfect product you continue to purchase it for life. I can tell you first hand, I am a creature of habit and once I find something that I like, I do not deviate from it. The same goes for something as intimate as your menstrual products.
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This post is not to convince you to switch to a menstrual cup. Our goal is to provide you with additional information to help you make your decision. Ultimately, the decision is yours, but it is important to get different perspectives and weigh the pros and cons of using a menstrual cup. If you are considering making the switch here are the pros and cons of using a menstrual cup.
menstrual cup pros
There are several menstrual cup pros with the most important one being the environmental impact. Although this is a great reason to switch to menstrual cups, there are a lot of other pros to using a menstrual cup.
Menstrual Cup Transparency
I am not sure about you, but I would like to know what I am putting into my body. Menstrual cups are manufactured with FDA approved medical-grade silicone. This makes it acceptable to place inside your vagina without a huge risk to toxic shock syndrome (TSS).
The most common ingredients used to make tampons are rayon, dioxin, non-organic cotton, chlorine, BPA, and fragrances. I was not sure what many of there so I wrote an in-depth post of what is used in menstrual products and should be concerned? Manufacturers are not required to list the exact amount of chemicals used to produce disposable menstrual products.
Every year more than 45 billion tampons and pads are disregarded and contribute to the evergrowing concern over climate change. Menstrual cups reduce the amount of waste created by each woman throughout their lifetime (over 30 years).
One of the major selling points for the menstrual cup is their environmentally friendly design, unlike disposable products menstrual cups can be reused resulting in less waste. When your menstrual cup has reached the end of its shelflife you there are a lot of ways to recycle your menstrual cup.
One of the major advantages of menstrual cups is their longevity. They are designed to last at least 5 years, with some lasting up to 10 years with proper cleaning and care. This eliminates the trips to the store, phone calls with your boyfriend or husband to buy the right brand, and the need to carry several pads or tampons “just in case”.
With longevity comes cost efficiency. Tampons cost an average of $8 per box, depending on the size and brand. After almost 20 years I was tired of paying $10 – $20 a month for tampons. Oftentimes, the prices vary drastically depending on where you purchase them. For the same price that you would pay for a box of tampons for one month, you could purchase a menstrual cup that will last for five years. The math seems pretty simple to me.
I would rather spend that money on something else, like food for my period cravings. Some menstrual cup manufacturers recommend replacing your cup annually, but that’s not too bad. I would rather spend $20 a year instead of $20 a month.
This is debatable depending on who you ask. I think menstrual cups are a lot more comfortable them tampons. If you purchase the proper size and insert it properly you can not feel it. They ave even helped with my intense cramps. This may not be the case for everyone, but it was for me. Also, if you are active it is a lot easier to move around with a menstrual cup.
If you are a menstrual cup beginner give it time, once you find the right size and fit you shouldn’t feel it. That means you can spend more time doing the things you enjoy like swimming, dancing, or exercising.
Fewer Changes Throughout Day
Menstrual cups can be worn for up to 12- hours, as opposed to up to 4 to 6 hours for disposable menstrual products. This means you can go throughout your day without having to constantly run to the bathroom to change your menstrual pad or tampon. You can even go to the bathroom with the cup inside and not worry about wet tampon strings.
This is one of my favorite pros about menstrual cups because I do not like waking up in the middle of the night to change my tampon. Most women insert their cups in the morning and empty it when they get home.
No More Leaks (Peaceful Sleep)
Once you find the right menstrual cup brand, size, and fit leaks will become a thing of the past. You can sleep, run, sit, stand, and sneeze with no worries. If you have a heavy flow this will make your menstrual cycle more manageable.
A lot of women report their period flow has decreased after using menstrual cups. This could be life-changing for women who experience heavy flow periods. Think of all the money you will save on underwear.
No Period Smells
Menstrual blood does have a smell when it interacts with oxygen. If you use pads, you know what I mean. Menstrual cups do not have the period smell.
Reduced Risk of TSS
Tampons have been associated with toxic shock syndrome (TSS)since the early 1970s. TSS, as defined by the Mayo Clinic, is a rare life-threatening complication of certain types of bacteria.
Please be advised menstrual cups do not eliminate the risk of TSS. Since the 1930s only 2 cases of TSS have been reported from using a menstrual cup, likely the result of prolonged use. The manufacturer’s instructions must be followed when using a menstrual cup.
Helping Women and Girls
Many menstrual cup companies are providing education for underprivileged women and girls locally and globally. They are providing menstrual cups to girls who otherwise would not have access to feminine hygiene products. Girls are taught to be ashamed of their periods, but no more. This allows them to no longer be ashamed of their periods, but to be empowered by them.
menstrual cup cons
We all know that no product is perfect, there can always be improvements. The biggest con when switching to a menstrual cup is the learning curve. There is a lot to learn about menstrual cup sizes, width, and firmness.
Difficult to Find the Best Fit
The initial investment for menstrual cups can be a large expense if you did not do the proper research on the size, firmness, and length. It can take a few tries to find the best brand for your body type, activity level, and menstrual flow. This is the major reason most women shy away from menstrual cups. Although it is a learning curve, this allows you to become more familiar with your body. and can learn more about your menstrual cycle.
It can get a little messy trying to remove a cup full of menstrual blood. If you are not careful you may spill the blood or drop the cup in the toilet. A lot of women refuse to try a menstrual cup because of the gross factor. I understand that it may seem “gross”, but it is a natural process that after some time will seem no different from using a tampon or pad.
Menstrual Cup Cleanup
One of the major cons of using a menstrual cup is the inconvenience of having to clean it. Although the process to clean your menstrual cup is easy it does take time and attention. Ultimately, you will only spend less than 10 minutes cleaning your cup monthly.
Difficult to Remove
Some women have a difficult time removing their menstrual cups. It takes time and practice to find the best technique that works for you. It can become frustrating and sometimes painful to remove your menstrual cup if you have not found your technique. The good news is with practice you will be able to insert and remove your menstrual cup with ease.
Menstrual Cup Pros and Cons: Final Verdict
If you are considering making the switch to menstrual cups the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. Although, it can daunting to find the right size and fit for your body once you find the perfect fit for you your relationship with your period will change.
A lot of women report no longer dreading their monthly cycle. You could potentially shorten your cycle, decrease menstrual cramps, save money, and help the environment. If those aren’t good enough reasons to considering making the switch, I don’t know what are.