When I was about 18 years old, I was walking through the feminine hygiene aisle in Wal-Mart looking for tampons. I looked up on one of the shelves and saw a box with pretty pink flowers on it that read 'Diva Cup'. Curiosity struck and I grabbed it, saw that it was a menstrual cup and nearly threw it back at the shelf thinking "ugh, that's SO gross!".
Flash forward 10 years and guess what, I will now recommend a menstrual cup to anyone who will consider listening to me. So, what allowed me to make such a drastic change? A few factors did, really. The reality is though, a menstrual cup isn't that much more messy than a tampon is, once you've got the hang of it. (It's actually not messy at all)
I didn't make the switch until the past year, however I wish 18 year old me had of been more mature and bought the darn cup, because if I am being honest, it was a life changer.
I'm so delighted to hear of menstrual cups becoming more popular now, as they truly do have a lot of benefits. I even noticed that Tampax is hopping on the bandwagon and making them!
If you've found yourself considering the switch(or even if you're not), here are some things to consider:
One of the best things about menstrual cups is the 'green factor'. Can you imagine how much waste is created each year from feminine hygeine products alone?! I know my garbage bags are thankful for the lesser amount of garbage I'm putting into them.
Save Your Money
A box of pads or tampons isn't exactly cheap, especially when you consider that you have to buy a box or a couple each month! The average cost of a menstrual cup is around $35, it may seem steep for a such a small item, however you'll probably spend that in two or three months on hygiene products. Cups last for years! So spending that $35 may not seem so daunting when you put it all into perspective.
Moisture Is Good
Tampons can be known to dry the vagina, which can lead to infections - cups will preserve the moisture and good bacteria.
Toxic Shock Syndrome
Unlike tampons, cups are not linked to this rare, sometimes life threatening condition.
Unfortunately, most feminine hygiene products have bleach and harmful chemicals in them (some even that according to The World Health Organization are known carcinogens), something cups do not have. This being said, if a menstrual cup is just not your cup of tea, but the prospect of chemicals also worries you, there is always the option of reusable pads - also cost effective and environmentally friendly!
Those are just a few 'pros' to consider when debating making the switch. Not everything comes without downfalls, so a few things to prepare for or consider in the way of 'cons' when it comes to a menstrual cup are here:
There's a Learning Curve
It may take one or a few months to really get the hang of things, sometimes there's a trick to inserting it, you may end up needing a different size, and emptying it may get messy for the first bit. My recommendation - be patient, take your time, and research techniques for insertion. Have toilet paper prepared for a spill the first few times you empty it, just in case. It's unlikely this will happen, and if it does it will probably only happen a couple of times.
It Needs to Be Rinsed
Each time you empty it, you also need to rinse it. This isn't exactly ideal if you find yourself in a public washroom with stalls (not everyone would appreciate you rinsing your cup at the public sink ;) ) However- the good news is that you can go 6-12 hours between emptying it (another pro- possibly?) so it should be easy to plan between those public washroom visits.
Truthfully, that's all I have for cons. As you can see, there are definitely benefits to making the switch to a menstrual cup, and as I wrote earlier, I highly recommend it. Coming from a place of thinking they are disgusting, to now proudly letting anyone who may seem interested know that I use one and love it, I can say that they are absolutely in no way 'gross'. (18 year old Taylor just hadn't yet come to terms with the fact that period blood is blood, it's not something to be grossed out by, especially when it's her own).
So, if you are on your way to making the switch- I truly hope this helped, and I wish you many happy periods (as happy as they can be, really) to come!!