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Why Switching to a Menstrual Cup is the Best Decision I’ve Ever Made

Period horror stories: we’ve all had them. My first memorable one happened during my freshman year of high school.  I realized I had bled through my khaki uniform pants as I walked to the front of the classroom to give a presentation. I still shudder at the memory. 

Having a period can seem like such a burden that none of us signed up for. I have always been the type of girl who tried not to let her period get in the way of anything. I learned how to put on tampons so that I could enjoy summer nights in the pool, I would participate in school activities despite painful period cramps, and I would try to my best to forget I was on my period. Even with this attitude, I was still always annoyed at the fact that I had to buy new pads or tampons every few months, and that I still had to worry about changing them every couple of hours. Even more so, I imagined all the waste I was creating every time I tore off the plastic covering of my tampon.

The first time I heard of menstrual cups was my sophomore year of high school when I saw an ad for the Diva Cup. My first reaction was to completely dismiss this product. At first glance, it was daunting to think of inserting this huge object into my vagina. As someone who still had trouble getting used to the idea of tampons at the time, the idea of inserting a cup into my body seemed like an impossible feat at the time. (being comfortable with your body)

This all changed during quarantine during the summer of 2020. During my days of watching mindlessly scrolling online, I came across the organization Put a Cup In It. They are a menstrual education website that focuses on advocacy for menstrual cups. Since I had nothing better to do, I ended up watching several of their menstrual cup videos. I watched videos on educating viewers on how to use a cup, on which one to buy and on what to know before wearing one for the first time. 

The deciding factor that finally got me to try their “menstrual cup quiz” was the environmental benefits that came with using a menstrual cup. In North America, around 20 million tampons, pads, and panty liners are sent to landfills every year. This is a huge amount of waste produced solely by people who menstruate. It seemed pretty unfair to me that I had to take part in this waste, given that none of us sign up for this monthly feat! After a couple more hours of research, I decided to purchase my first menstrual cup from Saalt Co., a U.S. based menstrual cup company.

I’ll admit that I was a bit nervous inserting my cup for the first time, and it does take some getting used to, especially during your first cycle. However, after becoming a pro, I’d say it's one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. 

Aside, from environmental benefits (you only have to buy one cup every 10 years!) I began to save a considerable amount of money from not buying any other menstrual products. Those CVS runs I would make every couple of months whenever I would have to pay for a $15 dollar box of tampons were now gone! 

On a similar note, I no longer had to worry about taking off my tampon every four to eight hours. You are able to leave menstrual cups inserted for up to 12 hours, meaning you can basically wear them all day and just change them at night and in the morning. This can be a lifesaver as a college student with a busy schedule. I no longer have to use public bathrooms to change my tampon or ever carry menstrual products with me. Sometimes I even forget that it's that time of the month because my menstrual cup has taken away most of the burden. 

Finally, buying a menstrual cup has allowed me to be more confident in my own body. Talking about periods can often seem like a taboo topic. Growing up most of us try our best to be as discreet as possible whenever we are dealing with issues around this topic. It can even make us embarrassed to ask questions and educate ourselves on the different menstrual products available. Switching to a menstrual cup has helped me change my mindset into realizing that periods are a perfectly normal thing and nothing to be ashamed of!

With all of this being said, I do recognize that menstrual cups are not perfect for everyone out there. Therefore, it is important to check with your doctor to make sure that menstrual cups are an option for you. If they are, I would definitely recommend doing your own research on menstrual cups and trying them out. If your experience is anything like mine, it’ll be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made!