They say blossoming into womanhood can be a beautiful and momentous occasion. It also can be extremely expensive, on average up to $18,000 in your whole lifetime! That’s where the rise of menstrual cups have come to popularity. We go over the pros and cons of this alternative solution to the traditional tampons and pads!
What is a Menstrual Cup?
A menstrual cup is a small silicone or latex rubber cup that is inserted into the vagina to catch and collect your period. Even though they have been becoming more popular in recent years, the menstrual cup actually came to the market in the 1930s. Additionally, the most popular menstrual cups are silicone and reusable. However there are types that are disposable. Similar to how you insert a birth control ring or diaphragm, a menstrual cup can be folded tightly and inserted like a tampon without an applicator.
Now that you know what a menstrual cup is, here are some of the common pros and cons for this current trend below:
1. Cost Efficient
Typically these reusable cups cost anywhere from $20 to $40. That can seem like a lot, but in reality a menstrual cup—if properly cleaned and cared for—can last for several years before being replaced. Not to mention, this is more eco-friendly as it means less paper product in landfills and more money in your pocket.
2. It Can Be Used Up to 12 Hours!
Typically tampons need to changed every 4 to 8 hours, depending on your period. However, cups can hold 1 ounce of fluid, which is nearly twice the amount of a tampon or pad.
3. Avoid the Chemicals
While some companies are using better methods of regulating what goes into their feminine products, there is still a present argument that many brands contain certain chemicals that may pose a long-term risk to individuals. While this topic is still undergoing, it is fact that menstrual cups pose less risk just by using them as they are made of hypoallergenic silicon, you’ll be avoiding exposing yourself to chemicals in the first place, especially toxic shock syndrome.
1. Removal Can Be a Challenge
One thing that tends to repel women away from menstrual cups is the removal and cleaning process. For anyone that is new to the process, it can be a little uncomfortable as well as messy. It is normally preferred that you rinse the cup after each use, which can make this lifestyle choice a challenge when it comes to public restrooms.
2. Finding a Fit Could be Difficult
Women come in all shapes and sizes which also includes their uteruses. Depending on if they have a low uterus or an abnormal one, finding a menstrual cup that fits properly may be difficult. Also, there are different sizes of cups that range due to the size of the woman, whether she has had a baby or not, as well as how strong her periods can be. Therefore you will need to test a few in order to get the perfect fit.
3. Maintenance is Important
After each period cycle, it is very important to sterilize your menstrual cup in boiling water or some type of sterilizing solution. You can also buy special soap that’s safe to clean with these cups, but boiling it in water is the best option. Also, as mentioned before, rinsing them every time you empty them during your period cycle is recommended as well. If you aren’t use to this much work when it comes time for your “monthly visitor”, this could be considered a hassle.
With any new product that goes into your body, you need to make sure that you do your research and find products that are safe and right for you. Before making the purchase, make sure to research the brands that are available to you as well as how to implement safe hygienic practices.
If you have concerns or questions about this topic and women’s health in general, our doctors are available to help. Make a call or fill out an appointment request form.