Why Choose A Menstrual Cup?
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I know this is a topic that will either interest or turn off a lot of people but it’s something I’ve become extremely interested since I stopped breastfeeding Miles at 5 months. Like it did with Jackson, my period came back full force after 1 cycle & I was quickly reminded about how much I HATE feminine products. Pads feel like a diaper that either create some super glue bond with my underwear or never stay in place & tampons are just a hard pass. Not to mention the amount of trash I’d be starting to contribute to again. I’m trying to grab this reduce, reuse, recycle mindset by the horns so this step towards limiting my feminine products will be a massive contribution.
Menstrual cups have been around for a while now & I know a good number of women are totally against them for the mess associated with them. & that’s fair. But I figured I already cloth diaper & am literally handling my kids shit - blood can’t be too much more disgusting, can it? There are multiple different brands of cups on the market with a bunch of different reviews - even some disposable ones but that kind of goes in the opposite direction of the recycling mindset. I could always just go free & bleed everywhere [GAG] but that’s just not for me.
With the help of SAALT, I’ve created a list of PROS & CONS for menstrual cups. We can agree to disagree about the gross factor but you can’t beat the facts.
SAVE MONEY & SMALLER FOOTPRINT
Let me break it down for those that needs the numbers [I.E. my husband].
Pads advertise you can wear them up to 8 or 9 hours a day but honestly, I would change mine every 5ish. Out of 24 hours in a day, that’s almost 5 pads a day. If you’re buying in bulk & get the 42 pads per pack [$20], that’s about 12 days worth of pads [depending on your cycle, that’s 1.5 or 2 periods]. Under the assumption you’re having a period every month [12 a year], you’d need about 6 more packs of the 58 bulk pack to compensate for your period for the year.
1 pack of 42 pads is about $20. 6 of those for the year would come to about $80. This is without considering any potential or possible accidents, should they happen & you need to replace or lend one to a sister in need. 1 Saalt Cup is $29 one time purchase & you can reuse it over & over & over again! There’s also the cup wash for an additional $13.
With the reuse concept really being the face value characteristic, there’s obvious less waste contributing to landfills. Just double check the cup you’re purchasing is a reusable one or a disposable one.
You remember the math I did above to show you how much you’d save? You don’t have to change a cup nearly as frequently as you would a tampon or pad, depending on your flow. Even if you have an extremely heavy period, changing it twice a day is better than multiple times & worrying between changes. Cups can hold up to 3x as much fluid as tampons, hence why you can wear the cup for much longer. For reference, the largest tampons can hold about 18 ml of fluid. Cups can hold up to 30.
Don’t even act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. There’s iron in blood & we’ve all been there. At least with a cup, it’s not exposed to the air & there’s a chance someone can smell it. YOU’RE WELCOME.
Mk there’s a lot of stuff happening down there & cups help balance it out to keep it at its best. Tampons & pads not only soak everything up [things that should remain to help maintain the balance] but also leave behind little remains of chemicals used to soak up the blood. I know you didn’t think it was just a raw piece of fabric you’re using & it’s harmless. Cups don’t soak up anything. They simply catch it all but keep everything where it should be to keep your bodies pH level where it should be. Basically, it keeps the peace.
It took me a few times to really get the application but once I figured out the technique that works for me, it became so easy! If your birth control was a diaphragm, this may be easier for you. Simply fold as desired, aim towards the back of your vagina [not straight up] & give it a little push. In the push, your vagina should actually accept it in & suck it up. Once in, you just walk around to let it get into it’s natural place & you shouldn’t even realize it’s there! It’ll take some practice at first but I feel like once I get the hang of it, it’ll be cake! If you’re visual person, check out the illustrations on their user guide.
When people talk about menstrual cups, this is probably 90% of the reactions “but what about the blood?” You’ll definitely be touching blood, there’s no way around it. It can be extremely messy, especially the first few cycles because you’re still learning! For me, it’s not a terrible issue because like I said before, I’m 2 years deep in cloth diapering my kids & the washing process is not pretty at all. At least with the cup, it’s my own bodily fluids I’m handling.
Again, it’s gonna take some practice & a lot are discouraged because of the learning curve. I haven’t heard many stories of women nailing the application on their first try so expect some leaks until you get the hang of it. Practice makes perfect.
TAKING IT OUT
This goes hand in hand with the bloody show. DO NOT PULL ON THE STEM TO REMOVE. Girl, that’s like pulling the plug on a soaking tub. Everything that’s been held up there is about to greet you & the floor around you. Instead, pinch the base & pull down into the toilet. What’s not in the cup will fall directly into the toilet & do half the work for you.
Remember the cup wash I mentioned earlier? It’s necessary to maintain the life of your cup. Washing with this helps keep your cup clean from building bacteria & protect the silicone that it’s made out of. You can still rinse with water but if you plan on using your cup all day, everyday of your period, you may want to take the extra care & clean it properly too.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE before your first cycle with the cup. It took me about 5 times to feel remotely comfortable with how to insert it, which fold I preferred & it’s placement. I can’t imagine fumbling around with it WHILE bleeding so practicing before your cycle is my biggest tip!
Like I said before, there are SO many kinds of Menstrual cups on the market. I’ve done my research & settled on THIS one. Their cup is not only a LITTLE bit cheaper than others, it also gives back. They commit a percentage of their revenue to donate period care & fund projects in education & empowerment. They’ve partnered with charities across the world from the US, Sudan, Kenya & Nepal by providing menstrual health education to girls. To this day, they’ve donated over 2,000 cups & started 12 cups programs around the world!
For reference, I use this cup & the cup wash I mentioned before. They did just release a new Soft line which I’m sure is incredible! I went with Regular over Small because I’ve had 2 kids so my cervix should be a tad bigger in theory. I hope this opens the minds of some that really considered menstrual cups so not for them & really helps someone decide to give them a try. I’m not kidding when I say the peace of mind factor combined with the constant saving really helped make the decision for me. It just makes sense!!