The Benefits of Switching to a Menstrual Cup

Menstrual cups have gained a considerable amount of popularity within the past few years - and for good reason. With efforts to decrease the negative environmental impacts and health risks associated with traditional menstrual products, the menstrual cup has paved the way towards a more sustainable and cost-efficient method to managing your period. If you’re not yet convinced to switch, here are some of the benefits of switching to a menstrual cup.

You Can Wear Them For Up To 12 Hours

Yup, that’s right. No more worrying about leaving your tampons in too long or having to remind yourself to switch them out every 4-6 hours. With the menstrual cup, you can insert it in the morning and go about your usual day, not having to worry about taking it out until you’re back home that evening. This alone is such a relief when, for the longest time, it’s been constantly on your mind to go to the restroom every few hours just to switch out your tampon.  

They’re Much More Eco-Friendly

Unlike disposable menstrual products, the menstrual cup is a one-time purchase and can be reused over and over again, which significantly reduces the amount of waste produced. Lunapads.com estimated that “approximately 20 billion pads, tampons and applicators are being sent to North American landfills annually… each of the approximately 73 million menstruating people in North America will throw away 125 to 150kg of disposable menstrual products (or 16,800 disposable pads or tampons) in their lifetime.” These menstrual products are usually just partially biodegradable, thus requiring hundreds of years to fully biodegrade.

It’s no secret that the production and disposal of traditional menstrual products leaves a huge carbon footprint behind. A year’s worth of tampons leaves a carbon footprint of about 5.3 kg CO2 equivalents, but by switching to the menstrual cup, women can save 5.22 kg CO2 equivalents annually. Not only do we leave a huge carbon footprint behind by producing these products, we are also rapidly wasting our nonrenewable resources in the process. According to a study by the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, the biggest impact on global warming was caused by the processing of Low-Density Polyethylene, or LDPE, which is used in tampon applicators and the plastic back-strip of pads. The processing of this chemical causes massive fossil fuel and mineral depletion. By simply switching to the use of menstrual cups, we could significantly slow down the rate of which we’re depleting these limited resources.

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

 

They Don’t Mess With Your Vaginal pH

Every vagina has a natural, healthy pH level between 3.8 to 4.5, and these levels are controlled by the balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria living in our vaginas. Occasionally, though, our pH levels can go out of whack, putting us at risk for developing an infection. Bacterial vaginosis, or BV, is caused by an overgrowth of “bad” bacteria, causing the vaginal pH level to get higher than 4.5. This is usually triggered by some sort of external/foreign object disrupting the natural flora, and traditional menstrual products are especially guilty of this. Since tampons retain the fluids that cause pH to increase, they can contribute to the development of bacterial vaginosis, especially if you leave them in too long.

Pads aren’t exempt of this, either. Because they are made out of non-breathable material, wearing pads for too long can produce the perfect environment for bacteria to grow out of control. Both tampons and pads contain certain chemicals that shouldn’t be going anywhere near our sensitive vaginas, and they also expose our periods to oxygen allowing for bacteria to grow more rapidly. Switching to the menstrual cup will eliminate your chances of developing bacterial vaginosis because it collects the blood from your cervix without letting any oxygen come in contact with it.

They’re Way More Cost-Efficient

As you can probably guess, since the menstrual cup is just a one-time purchase, it’s a lot more cost-efficient than having to buy tampons and/or pads every month. According to theunitedstatesofwomen.org, “The Huffington Post calculated that – assuming four tampons a day on a five-day period from a $7 box containing 36 tampons – a woman will spend almost $1,800 on tampons over her lifetime. She will use approximately 9,120 tampons, or 253-plus boxes of 36. In the course of a year, she will have spent about $47.” This total can increase or decrease depending on the length your periods and how frequently they occur, but even then, investing in a menstrual cup would still be the cheaper alternative in the long run. So, make the switch – your wallet will thank you for it.

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

Hopefully, after all of this information, you’ll be inspired to make the switch and maybe even spread this knowledge to any of your friends who may be thinking of switching, too! You can purchase the Diva Cup at your local drugstore or at lunapads.com, and if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the infamous Diva Cup, check out rebelkate.com where you can get a pack of two (a smaller one for lighter flow and a larger one for heavier flow) – and you only need to pay shipping!