Why menstrual cups are the future of the bleed
Periods are not fun.
They’re messy, tiring, painful and, more often than not, the worst week of the month.
But fear not – there’s a product out there that can alleviate some of your period problems. (Yes, really!)
Menstrual cups are small, flexible cups that are inserted into the vagina, much like a tampon.
Rather than absorbing your flow, a menstrual cup will collect it. When inserted, the cup will spring open and rest against the walls of your vagina, creating a vacuum-like suction that prevents leaks.
Sounds scary, right?
They’re as easy to use as tampons and carry a whole load of other benefits that the stringed fiends can’t provide.
Here’s some of them:
The average woman will use over 9,000 tampons in her life.
A box of 20 Tampax from Boots will cost you £2.
That means tampons can set you back nearly a grand in your lifetime, money much better spent (in my opinion) on an all-inclusive to Santorini. But that’s just me.
Menstrual cups, however, can cost as little as £15 a piece and can last you for up to 10 years, meaning you’ll probably end up spending a grand total of £60 on your period in your whole lifetime. And you’ll still be able to afford that holiday.
They’re better for the environment
Plastic applicator, who?
Flushing period products, who?
Menstrual cups are made from silicone or latex. Whilst neither do the environment any massive favours, you don’t have to buy them as regularly as your plastic-encased tampons and chemical-filled pads, which can sit in landfill for 500 years after their brief 6 hours of usefulness.
Instead of absorbing blood, menstrual cups collect it.
This means that you’re not at risk of developing bacterial infections associated with tampon use, such as Toxic Shock Syndrome.
The lack of risk allows you to wear menstrual cups for longer than tampons; up to 12 hours at a time.
The long-wear nature of the cups is useful in all situations, but particularly long-haul travelling, overnight use and on-the go days.
It just means that you can pop your cup in at the start of the day, forget about your period (lose the dreaded ‘any dampness in my knickers is my period’ paranoia) and change it just before you’re ready to go to bed.
But how to use your cup?
It’s easy, I promise.
You simply take the cup, flatten it, fold it in half, pop it in and let it spring out into its original shape against your vagina walls.
If you’re a visual learner, here’s a video:
My Top Tips:
I know I said they’re perfect because you don’t have to change them regularly, but it’s always good to keep a spare one, just in case.
That way, if you finding yourself needing an emergency change, you can take it out, rinse it under the sink (which, by the way, is NOT proper cleaning, but it’ll do until you get home), and insert a new one.
Between uses, you don’t need to give it a real deep-cleanse. But make sure you wash it in soapy water. Use an odour-free, oil-free soap to prevent irritation and make sure you’re cleaning it properly, rather than just leaving it to soak.
Between periods is when you need to give it a real clean.
Boil the cup in water for 20 minutes between cycles to get rid of bacteria and keep it clean. It’s as simple as that.
Do your research
Menstrual cups are not one size fits all.
There are ones for heavy flows, light flows, women who have had children, women who haven’t.
Don’t overthink it; you’ll find one that fits. But doing your research is the only way to ensure you don’t waste money.
Don’t be scared
If it doesn’t work for you, you never have to use it again.
But it’s worth the investment and you might find it’s the answer to (some of) your period problems.
If you’re interested in starting your menstrual cup journey, I recommend the Diva cup, which can be found here. Their cups come in three sizes and Diva sell their own cup cleaner for perfect sanitation.