Ladies: if you are unhappy with your current period options, switch from tampons to menstrual cup. Menstrual cups are affordable, comfortable, and eco-friendly.
As a longtime menstrual cup user, I will tell you all the reasons why I think it's the best option out there. Keep reading to find out my tips for using a cup, the dangers of conventional tampons, and the best brands out there.
This post is all about why to switch from tampons to menstrual cup.
Negative Consequences of Using Tampons:
Tampons are uncomfortable and sometimes painful. They are expensive and wasteful for the environment. Most importantly, tampons are made with harmful chemicals that should not come near one of the most sensitive parts of the body.
According to Dr. Aviva Romm, "feminine care products aren't monitored for ingredient safety, nor are manufacturers required to disclose ingredients."
Conventional tampons can contain harmful chemicals that you are inserting into your body for extended periods of time. Tampons and pads grown from non-organic cotton crops contain carcinogenic residues including but not limited to glyphosate. This harmful chemical is a weed killer which has been banned in close to 50 countries because of its harmful side effects. It should not be anywhere near our bodies.
The feminine reproductive system is a sensitive and important part of the body that controls your ability to have healthy children, regulate hormones, and filter out toxins. Overwhelming the vagina with chemicals can have harmful effects on your body like painful and heavy periods, endometriosis, allergic reactions, cancer, and more.
Over five years ago, my sisters and I set out to find a better option and discovered the Eva Cup.
Reasons to Try a Menstrual Cup:
- inexpensive (ranges from $20-$40)
- durable and long lasting (lasts 2-3 years)
- easy to travel with (bring one tiny menstrual cup and maybe some pads, instead of counting how many tampons of different absorbances you will need)
- nontoxic (no risk of toxic shock syndrome and no BPA, additives, rayon, dioxin, pesticides, bleach, fragrance, chlorine, or asbestos)
- comfortable (it's so safe and comfortable you can leave it in for 12 hours and might need to set a reminder on your phone to take it out)
Tips for Use:
1. Utilize your Kegel muscles
If you don't know what I mean, right now, I want you to pretend your are peeing and stopping, pushing those muscles down and up that you use every day without really thinking about it. These are the muscles that you will use when inserting and removing your menstrual cup.
When inserting your cup, you are going to push the muscles down (as if you were peeing). Once the cup is where you want it, run one finger in a full circle around the top of the cup, making sure it is not caved in on one side and that it is equally touching your vagina on all sides. Once it is straight and secure, release your muscles; this creates a seal. To remove the cup, you will push the muscles down to break the seal.
2. Be patient
Once you know and love your menstrual cup, it will lead to a deeper knowledge and love for your body and your period. But you may not feel that way immediately.
Because the cup requires you to get up close and personal with your vagina, inserting your fingers into it and sometimes getting blood on your hands, you may be uncomfortable. These are all normal feelings that will pass.
It's normal to take several cycles to figure out how to correctly insert and remove it. You will figure it out and it will become intuitive. Find a girlfriend who uses one or seek more information from a website, Reddit page, or Youtube video.
3. Find the method that works for you
There are many different folding methods that you can look up on the internet and play around with. There's no one right way to use the cup.
You will also discover your preferred method to clean it during and in between periods. Some women clean it with soap every time they dump it, other women simply dump, rinse, and re-insert. I clean it between cycles by boiling in water for 10 minutes, using a spoon or utensil to ensure it never touches the bottom of the pan. This will cause your menstrual cup to melt.
4. Have a plan for changing it in public
If you know you will be using a public restroom, bring some flushable wipes to clean off the cup when you're in the stall. That's the only time a cup can get messy if you're not prepared. If I don't have any flushable wipes with me, I'll bring some wet paper towels into the stall.
5. Find the best brand for you
I lucked out with loving the Eva cup, the first menstrual cup brand I tried, but that's not always the case. Recently I convinced a friend to try one and she complained of horrible cramps whenever she put it in. She got her money back, tried a different brand, and has loved it ever since.
Also keep in mind there are two sizes: one for before you've had kids, and one for after. Make sure you are ordering the right size. Most brands offer a 100% money back guarantee.