Curious About Menstrual Cups? Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Them

It seems like women everywhere are trying to find ways to make their periods more compatible with their busy and expensive lifestyles. Some women are accomplishing this with menstrual cups, which have been on the market for years but recently they’ve been gaining more popularity and interest from millennials. Curious about them? Read on:

  1. You can run a marathon in them. Let’s say that you’re a super active woman who wants to run a marathon soon but the race falls on the week of your period. You should get the menstrual cup instead of having to worry about whether your tampon will suffice for the entire 26.2-mile race or if you’ll leak all over your clothes. Menstrual cups are good for up to 12 hours depending on the brand and they fit super snug inside of you. They’re basically a busy, active woman’s dream.
  2. They’re more sustainable for the environment. If you hate tampons and pads because they’re super environmentally unfriendly then the menstrual cup might be right for you because it’s reusable. Studies show that an average woman uses over 11,000 tampons in her life and there are 20 billion sanitary napkins, tampons and applicators dumped into landfills every year. Although some companies market feminine products that are more biodegradable and free of harmful plastics than your garden variety tampon or pad, they’re often sold at a premium cost. This is a much better option.
  3. They don’t leave toxic chemicals inside your body. ICYMI tampons and pads have a ton of toxic chemicals in them. One extremely toxic chemical, dioxin, is found in tampons and pads and it’s been linked to cancer. Yikes. Some products even have fragrances and odor neutralizers that might irritate your vagina. Plus, bleached cotton, plastic, and other microscopic fibers are left in your body after you remove a tampon. On the other hand, menstrual cups are made out of either latex or hypoallergenic silicone and are healthy for your insides.
  4. They collect fluid rather than absorb it. While both tampons and menstrual cups are inserted into the vagina, their mechanism for addressing the feminine waste that comes from your body differ. Simply, tampons absorb menstrual fluid as it filters out of your vagina. Menstrual cups collect fluid as it filters out.
  5. They hold more fluid than tampons. Tired of changing your tampon or pad 6 times a day? Try the menstrual cup. Most cups hold around 30 ml of fluid whereas tampons hold between 6-18ml depending on the size. Some advertise you can sleep overnight in them and be leak free in the morning too.
  6. They require cleaning and sanitization. Like a reusable water bottle, you’ve got to clean your menstrual cup after each individual use with soap and water, and also boil it to completely sanitize it in preparation for your next period. You can also buy sanitization tablets or sterilizing solution to help clean it, but it’s super important that you keep it squeaky clean.
  7. They’ll save you money in the long run. Some menstrual cups advertise as being a complete replacement for tampons and pads. You pay between $20-40 dollars for one and you might not need a new one from anywhere between a year and 10 years depending on the brand. It has been reported that a woman might pay over $1000 in her lifetime on feminine products. Imagine if you could cut that figure down to $40 dollars in your lifetime? That’s a BFD. Think about what you can do with that extra cash!
  8. It might take you some time to get used to them. Many women complain that it takes a while to get used to the menstrual cup. You have to learn how to insert it so that it feels comfortable and doesn’t leak. Each brand has a different insertion protocol so it may take a few tries before you figure out which one works best for you.
  9. You kind of need to know your vagina size to use them. Menstrual cups come in many different shapes and sizes. This is because every vagina is different. Some women have longer, shorter, wider or narrower vaginas. Some women have forward titling ones and others have backward tilting ones. It’s important to know your size to find the right one. My advice? You might want to check with your OB-GYN before you go hunting a cup to help you figure out which size is best for you.
  10. They might increase your chances of toxic shock syndrome. A recent study found that menstrual cups are more likely than tampons to increase your chances of toxic shock syndrome. This is because menstrual cups are likely to increase the growth of the bacteria that causes TSS by creating an environment in the vagina that encourages it to grow. If you’re still sold on menstrual cups, just keep in mind that it is mega important to clean and sanitize it like your life depends on it… because it kind of does!
  11. You don’t have to worry about people knowing about your business. You know how when you open a tampon or pad, all you hear is a ton of rustling from the packaging? Or maybe you need to pop out of a meeting to change your tampon but you have to awkwardly take your purse with you to change? Well if these a concerns for you, the menstrual cup pretty much eliminates that. First, many cups come in super adorable cloth pouches so you don’t have to deal with the annoying plastic sound. Two, you don’t have to take your purse with you anymore to the bathroom in the middle of a meeting because chances are you can go an entire workday without changing your cup. How about that for convenience?
Marie is an ambitious millennial woman, leading a corporate life by day and doing her best to live, laugh and love.