Ok, this one is for the ladies. We are going to get a bit intimate here. Did you girls know that over 12 BILLION pads and tampons are USED ONCE and disposed of annually? That’s a heavy burden on our planet, don’t you think? That’s why I’m here to tell you that menstrual cups are the new tampon!
- 6.5 billion tampons and 13.5 billion sanitary pads, PLUS their packaging, ended up in landfills or sewer systems in 1998
- the average woman throws away 250 to 300 pounds of tampons, pads and applicators in her lifetime
- according to the Center for Marine Conservation, over 170,000 tampon applicators were collected along U.S. coastal areas between 1998 and 1999
- the most common cause of plumbing problems are pads and tampons being flushed down the toilet
- it is not required by the FDA to label the ingredients in tampons anywhere in or on the packaging
- in North America alone, here are 85 million women of menstruating age (source)
As responsible citizens of this planet, we do a lot to preserve and conserve. We eat organic, we chose non-GMO products, we shop local, we recycle, and we compost. But can we do a little more when it comes to our monthly cycle and the effect it has on our environment?
Introducing the menstrual cup:
A menstrual cup is a flexible cup, usually made out of medical grade silicone, that is worn internally during menstruation to collect menstrual flow. It differs from pads and tampons in that it actually collects fluid instead of absorbing it.
6 Reasons to Make the Switch to a Menstrual Cup:
- Once you find the perfect fit and learn how to use your menstrual cup, they are extremely comfortable to wear.
- With proper fit, they have less leakage than pads and tampons.
- They save you money. Even though the initial investment may seem hard, with proper care, menstrual cups can last up to 10 years.
- Better for your health. Have you ever seen the ingredients listed on a box of pads or tampons? Me neither. But I’m not into putting bleach, dioxin, pesticides, BPA, or phthalates anywhere near my most sacred spot. Thank you very much! Read more HERE on toxins in feminine hygiene products.
- They are good for the planet. Just read the facts above and you will agree that a reusable cup is the best choice for our environment.
- They are super easy to deal with. Just insert and forget about it. It is recommended that you empty your menstrual cup every 4-8 hours. Then you just pull it out, empty it, wash it, and reinsert.
How to choose the right one:
So this is the tricky part. Just as we are all different people, our anatomy is different too. We come in all different shapes and sizes, even in our private parts. Some are long. Some are short. Some of us have had kids. Some of us haven’t even had sex yet.
Most brands come in different sizes. Small, medium, and large. Some only come in small and large. And there are a lot of brands to choose from
Things to consider when choosing your menstrual cup:
- Have you had children?
- Does your cervix sit high or low?
- Is your flow heavy or light?
My personal experience:
When I first decided to get a menstrual cup, THIS is the only brand that I had heard of. I bought it online. Since I have had 2 children, I bought the the Size 2. I have to be honest, I didn’t really like it. Even though I loved how easy it was to use and how clean it was, it just didn’t fit right. It wasn’t comfortable.
Come to find out, this particular brand is the longest cup on the market. It is made for women whose cervix sits a little higher and whose vaginal canal is a bit longer. (I told you we were going to get intimate here.)
After a little research, I learned that menstrual cups come in lots of different lengths and diameters. Check out this handy size chart.
I ordered THIS one next. It was WAY better. I loved it. It was WAY more comfortable. The one complaint I had was the capacity wasn’t quite big enough for my heavy days. So I ordered THIS one as well. PERFECT FIT! It is my go-to menstrual cup now. Perfect in every way!
NOTE: I learned later on that if I turned my first menstrual cup inside out, it would make it shorter and more comfortable. So if you have already bought THIS brand and find it too long, it’s worth a try. It still works just the same turned inside out.
Think about what kind of cup would be best for you. If you have never had children, look for smaller cups. If you have had children, you will probably need one with a slightly bigger diameter. If your flow is light, you can use one with a smaller capacity. If you know your flow is heavier, look for one with a bigger capacity.
Check out this great size comparison chart
Yes, I had to buy a few before I got the right fit, but it was totally worth it. I will never go back. Menstrual cups, in my humble opinion are the new tampon!
Want to learn more? Check out this post of Why Tampons are Bad.