Most women are already pretty comfortable with using either sanitary napkins or tampons when dealing with their period. But did you know that there is a third option available called the menstrual cup? The menstrual cup is a small, flexible silicone cup that is inserted inside the vagina to collect your flow (Click here for details about how to use a menstrual cup). Even though the menstrual cup has been around for decades, it’s still relatively unknown to most women. I only found about it a little over two years ago myself, but I decided to give it a try and it has made an amazing difference for me. I will never be going back to using napkins or tampons! Recently, the cup has been gaining more notice, and it’s even available in the Philippines now, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to share some facts about this wonderful device and some reasons why you should make the switch!
1. It will save you money—and is better for the environment.
Although the cup is a bit pricey when you buy it (depending on the brand, current retail prices range from around P1,300 to P1,750), it will actually save you a lot of money in the long run. The menstrual cup is reusable and will last you around 10 years. You will spend far more on napkins or tampons in a decade than you will spend on one cup that will last you that long on its own. Just think about that for a minute—in 10 years, you will have around 120 menstrual cycles. How many hundreds of single-use products will you be throwing away in all that time? Even if you’re not thinking of yourself, think of Mother Nature. All the plastic and other material used to make and package napkins and tampons gets tossed in the trash and could take ages to get broken down, and you probably won’t use more than three or four in your lifetime, even if you start using them really early.
2. It’s better for your body.
One of the reasons many people don’t like to use tampons is because of the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome, or TSS. The risk of TSS is significantly decreased when using a menstrual cup because of the material. The cotton of a tampon absorbs more than just your flow; it also absorbs your natural vaginal lining, and this makes your vagina more susceptible to diseases and infections. With the cup, nothing is absorbed, so this is no longer a risk. There are also no chemicals to worry about. Both napkins and tampons use chemicals such as bleach, dyes, and additives; the cup doesn’t. In addition, using sanitary napkins can cause rashes and chafing. This too will no longer be an issue with the menstrual cup.
3. It holds more than a napkin or tampon.
Most menstrual cups can hold around 30ml of fluids, whereas most regular tampons can only hold around 8ml. That means the cup can hold more than 3 times the amount of a tampon! This means that you don’t have to empty/change it nearly as often. The recommended time to leave a cup in is no more than 12 hours, so that means you would only have to empty it twice a day. Napkins and tampons typically only last 4-6 hours, less if you have a heavy flow. Using a cup saves a lot of time and hassle because of the frequency you have to empty it. This also makes it ideal for women with heavier periods; you will still need to change it more often than other women, but far less often than if you use napkins or tampons.
4. There’s barely any risk of leakage.
As long as the cup is properly inserted, there’s nearly no chance of any leakage. In the two years I have been using a cup, I have never once experienced any leakage, not even when I’ve accidentally fallen asleep and left it in longer than 12 hours. I have absolutely no worries anymore about my flow leaking in my sleep and staining my sheets and panties, or worse, it happening in public and showing through my pants. This also makes it ideal for physical activities like swimming, jogging, or sports. The cup will stay in place through it all, and you never have to worry about any leaking or wonder if your tampon string is showing through your bikini bottoms. Additionally, there will be no smell like there sometimes is with napkins.
5. You don’t have to carry around supplies for your period.
When using tampons or napkins, you’ve always got to make sure to have extra in your purse so that you can change as needed, or you’ll be in trouble. With the cup, there’s no worry there. You’ve only got to have a single item with you, and since it lasts so much longer than napkins or tampons, you probably won’t even have to worry about changing it in public places anyway. It’s also more discreet; most of them typically come with a small cloth pouch so there are no rattling wrapper noises or anything like that.
Overall, switching to the menstrual cup has saved me so much time, money and hassle when dealing with my periods, and I will never be going back to napkins or tampons! If you decide to give it a try, chances are you will find the change as wonderful as I have. Many women even say that since using the menstrual cup, they experience less cramps during their period.
However, the cup isn’t always for everyone. If you’re already too intimidated by the idea of using a tampon, then the menstrual cup will probably be pretty daunting for you. There is a bit of a learning curve when you first start using it, and it may take you a few tries to become comfortable with it, but once you get used to it and learn how to properly insert and remove it, it becomes very worth it. You won’t even notice that it’s there! Click here to decide which brand and size is right for you and order one now from local retailer Mama.Baby.Love!
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Abby is from the USA and moved to the Philippines to be with her husband, David Christopher Hizon, who also happens to be her photographer for most of her writing endeavors. A gamer, a bookworm, an animal lover and a self-proclaimed foodie, she is passionate about everything that she does and hopes that will come across in her writing. Follow her at http://facebook.com/WritersInTandem & http://www.thewritersintandem.wordpress.com