12 Jan Advantages and disadvantages of a menstrual cup
A woman who uses disposable menstruation products comes into contact with hazardous plastics for nearly four decades. According to the Heinrich Böll Foundation, in 39 years (that is the average duration of menstruation in a woman’s lifetime) a woman will use 12 675 pads / tampons adding up to a weight of 152 kg in sanitary products. Tampons and conventional sanitary pads additionally need hundreds of years to fully degrade and therefore are an enormous environmental burden.
A Menstrual Cup is a responsible choice when it comes to plastic-free menstrual solutions. However, a menstrual cup can be quite a change. So, here is all you need to know about the menstrual Cups to make your decision whether or not this may be a good solution for you:
What are the advantages of a menstrual cup?
- Tampons are soaking up the blood like a sponge. Through this they can also dry out the vaginal mucous membrane. That can result in irritation and disrupt the natural barrier of the vagina. That means it makes it more susceptible for bacterial and fungal disease. The cup does not soak the blood up, it collects it. That is a better option if you are prone to get infections.
- It is reusable and saves a lot of plastic packaging. Also, conventional sanitary pads and tampons contain a lot of plastic themselves that ends up in landfills.
- There are no odours when wearing a cup.
- Over time it is more cost effective.
- You only need to empty it every 12 hours (max.) which gives you a lot of flexibility.
- It is perfect for traveling in areas where it’s hard to get hygiene products.
What are the disadvantages of a menstrual cup?
- It is only safer when you use it correctly. And this can take a while to get used to it. Use a reusable panty liner or a small sanitary pad in the beginning to be safe.
- Some women don´t like to see their blood and get in touch with it.
- Some women in general feel intimidated by touching their intimate area. I would like to encourage you to get to know your body and learn about it.
- The cleaning effort is higher than other menstrual solutions. However, it doesn´t take too much of your time to empty, wash, and boil your cup.
A lot of women are intimidated by the menstrual cup: too big, too unfamiliar, too unwieldy. Nevertheless, the cup is a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to tampons and sanitary pads. The right usage is a matter of practice.
To feel a little bit more comfortable, here are some tips how to use your cup
- Choose the right size. All vaginas are as unique as the individual, so choosing the correct size cup is important to insure that the menstrual cup works effectively. We offer a variety of sizes to suit each and everyone. Find your fit here by selecting the different cups.
- If you realize that the size doesn’t fit after using it a couple of times, try another size.
- Sanitize/boil your cup before and after each cycle. If you cannot do that in a dedicated pot, use a glass jar that you can fill with boiling water and let it stand for 5 minutes. Move your cup in there, so that all parts are being sanitized.
- It is very important to wash your hands when you put in and take out your cup. There are many ways to fold your cup, try them and find your favourite one.
- It is very important to relax when inserting and removing your cup. To aid insertion use clean water to wet the cup. It can also be helpful to squat down for insertion. To take our squeeze a little bit. Then pull at the stem.
- Test if the cup is sitting the right way. Turn it until it feels comfortable.
- Be patient with yourself.
- Empty your cup every 8-12 hours, don’t wear it longer. Empty the fluids into the toilet and wash your cup with warm water before putting in again.
- After the cycle, sterilize (boil) and store in breathable cotton bag that comes with the cup.
- When you are on the go it can be very uncomfortable to empty and wash it. You can take along a second cup, and simply clean the first cup with some toilet paper, store it in the bag and wash it thoroughly at home. You can also take along a water bottle to clean the cup in the public bathroom.
For more information on how to use your cup, read this blog.