Hear me out – it’s not as gross as you think.
Are you tired of shoving pieces of cotton up your vagina? Maybe you’re tired of wearing pads and sitting in your period all day. Or maybe you constantly skip your period all year to avoid the whole experience altogether. Let’s be honest, we can stick to the notion about how having your period is a natural function and all the rest, but really it’s a pain in the ass, a little inconvenient and just messy.
There are so many period mishaps: like when the string of your tampon breaks and you have to fish that baby out; or having your pad ride up your nether regions whenever you walk too hastily. Then there’s always going swimming and having your tampon swell up with water. It’s just plain annoying. So would you consider trying a menstrual cup?
If you’ve never heard of a menstrual cup, you might need to expand your vaginal health research. Menstrual cups have been a niche period tool for many years, but are really starting to gain popularity because of their convenience, comfort and environmental friendliness.
The rubber or silicone cup is a small bell shaped cup that is inserted into the vagina. It sounds a lot scarier than it actually is, however it can take some getting used to. The cup acts as a barrier to stop the menstrual blood from leaking out and catches it in the cup, so you can simply remove, rinse, and re-insert.
The cup is flexible and is simply pinched to insert up, and then released to be set in place. It’s cost effective, can be worn over night and can be sterilised at the end of the period. How is this not the best thing ever? Instead of buying tampons and pads every single month, we can just buy one device and reuse it.
There are many brands available for us women to choose from, for example: Lunette, Diva Cup and JuJu. It’s all about finding the right size cup for you and you can even personalise your colour to try and make that time of the month a little more fun. Menstrual cups have also not been linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) and they don’t need to be changed as often as tampons or pads. Speaking of changing your sanitary items, you also won’t have to go to your handbag and shove a tampon down your bra every time you need to use the bathroom.
It might be time to ditch the cotton absorbers and get on to the silicone catcher for your period week. That way we won’t have dogs finding tampons in the bin or dolphins choking on them in the ocean. Think of the environment, ladies!
Image via pinterest.com
I lived most of my adult life unaware that the menstrual cup exists. Then one day I was browsing an online cloth nappies shop and I got drawn into the mama cloth section. Amongst the pretty designs I found an unusual looking object labelled as a menstrual cup. I hesitated for a while, but my curiosity got the better of me. I decided to try it and I’ve never looked back.
What’s a menstrual cup?
In case you’re wondering what on earth I am talking about, the menstrual cup is exactly what it sounds like – a soft cup made of silicon or rubber, which sits in the lower part of the vagina and collects the menstrual fluid. It’s inserted manually, similarly to tampons, and it needs to be emptied, washed and re-inserted every so often (3-4 hours on heavy flow days and up to 12 hours after that). Between periods you disinfect it, usually by boiling.
Why would you want to give it a try?
- It’s a cheaper feminine hygiene option than tampons or pads. You only buy it once and with proper care (if you don’t leave it in a pot of boiling water and forget about it), it should last several years.
- There’s less waste, which makes it more environmentally friendly.
- You can use it while swimming and exercising.
- Like tampons, you can’t see it from the outside.
- Unlike tampons, its use has not been associated with toxic shock syndrome.
- It needs to be emptied less often than you’d need to change a tampon or a pad. For those of us with heavy period it’s a blessing – I was only too happy to give up the two-hourly trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night and reclaim my sleep.
- You don’t have to worry about running out of pads or tampons when you most need them. I’m not the only one who always forgets to buy them, right?
If you’re wondering which cup to get, I’ve tried the Lunette and the Mooncup (after I burned my Lunette), and they’re both excellent. You can get menstrual cups online and they cost around $25-60.
Image by Michelle Tribe via Flickr.com
By Tatiana Apostolova