Pros and cons of the menstrual cup (and how to use it properly)

As the world is approaching a more environmentally conscious future, many of us are trying to find ways to keep up with the direction society is striving for. However, at times finding a way to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle can be complicated. Gladly, a tool that could potentially revolutionise the way we dispose of period product called “menstrual cup“, has recently started gaining more and more popularity. Its success is mainly dictated by the countless advantages this tiny object features, compared to the classic, and by now outdated, period products. So let’s see together what the fuss is all about and analyse the practicality of this cup.

What is a menstrual cup and how does it work?

A menstrual cup is a compact silicone or rubber latex cup designed to substitute tampons and pads. “The cup is inserted into the vagina and works by collecting (but not absorbing) menstrual fluid”, explains professional obstetrician and gynaecologist Anna Targonskaya. Menstrual fluids accumulate in the cup, which, thanks to its shape and waterproof material, completely prevents any leaks and unpleasant surprises.

Menstrual cup

Perks of using a menstrual cup

  • It’s eco-friendly: on average, a person who menstruates disposes of 180 kilograms of period products in a lifetime. When using a period cup, you are reducing your pollution caused by pads and tampons by 100%.
  • It’s cheaper: a menstrual cup can last up to ten years and only costs between £10 and £25, which means that in the long run would represent a very positive investment.
  • It helps you to track your monthly period fluid loss: a menstrual cup can hold up to 30 millilitres of liquid, roughly twice the amount of a tampon or sanitary pad. By checking the amount of liquid in the cup every time you empty it, you can easily acknowledge the exact quantity of blood you lose each month.
  • It’s more hygienic: tampons and sanitary pads tend to smell bad after using them for a few hours. On the contrary, menstrual cups frees you from unpleasant odours and, in addition, it is extremely easy to clean and sanitise.
  • It’s safer: it is a renowned fact that tampons can cause Toxic Shock Syndrome or TSS. The latter is a rare, yet extremely dangerous condition, often caused by the frequent and prolonged use of tampons, especially in young women. Period cups can be safely stay in for as long as 12 hours, depending on your personal menstrual flow.
  • It’s comfy: if you put it in correctly, you’ll forget your menstrual cup is even there. In fact, once you find the right cup size, – which can variate based on your age, the length of your cervix and your menstrual flow – you won’t be able to feel it, giving you total freedom of movement.

How do you insert a period cup?

Dr. Sherry Ross M.D., women’s health expert and author of She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women’s Intimate Health explains that “after washing your hands, you can insert a period cup while sitting, standing, or squatting. To do that, you fold the cup in half and, with your legs spread, guide it rim-first into your vagina. Once the stem is about half an inch from the opening of your vagina, rotate the cup so it can open all the way up and lock into place”.

No more excuses, now that you have all the information regarding the menstrual cup, you can finally decide if this alternative could work for yourself and your body. The final step is to try it out and let us know how it goes!


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