Menstrual cups are reusable, cost effective and able to hold more blood than pads or tampons. However, many people (including myself) are still incredibly hesitant to use them. So, to help you out, here’s some of the advantages and disadvantages to using a menstrual cup.
- Budget Friendly: While some cups are disposable, others are designed for more long term use–ultimately proving to be more cost effective than tampons or pads, which in total often cost more than $100 per year (Healthline). Some menstrual cups meanwhile can last up to 5 years (June Cup).
- Fewer Visits to the Drugstore: As I previously mentioned, menstrual cups (when well cared for) can last for multiple years. This means less trips to the drug store, less annoying moments of realizing you’ve started your period and are all out of pads or tampons and just less inconvenience in general.
- Holds More Blood: Menstrual cups hold about 1-2 ounces of menstrual flow. Meanwhile, tampons only hold a third of an ounce (Healthline).
- More Time Between Changes: Since menstrual cups are able to hold more, you can also go a longer time between changes. While you may change your tampon every 4-8 hours, and pads likely even more often, your menstrual cup can last up to as long as 12 hours (Cleveland Clinic).
- Eco-Friendly: Since many menstrual cups are reusable, less trees are sacrificed for paper based products and there’s less waste to fill up landfills (Cleveland Clinic).
- Odor Free: With menstrual cups, fluid isn’t exposed to the air like it is with pads and tampons –this means no odor (Cleveland Clinic)!
- Less Risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome: Menstrual cups collect blood instead of absorbing it, preventing bacteria from growing and decreasing the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) associated with tampons (Healthline).
- Can be Hard to Insert or Remove: Menstrual cups have to be folded in a specific way in order to be inserted, and pinched in a specific way in order to be removed. IUDs can also pose additional complications (Cleveland Clinic). The first few times you use a cup you may find this all very difficult, but as you adjust to it, it becomes much easier. However, if you have any concerns about insertion or removal, you should always contact your healthcare provider.
- Hard to Find the Right Fit: Individual anatomy can make use of the cup difficult; if you have a dropped uterus or a uterine prolapse, the cup may not fit properly (Cleveland Clinic). However, once again, if you have concerns, talk to your health care provider–and when you find the correct size, the cup can be an awesome period product to take advantage of!
- Can Be Messy: Menstrual cups do fill up, which also means they need to be emptied. This can be a daunting and (at times) messy process, but with proper practice it can become simpler and much more tolerable (Cleveland Clinic). Needing to clean your cup in a public bathroom can also pose its own challenges.
- Can Cause Irritation: If a menstrual cup is not cleaned and cared for properly, it can lead to irritation. Additionally, more discomfort can occur if the cup is submitted without lubricant (Healthline).
- Regular Sterilization Required: Reusable menstrual cups must be cleaned after each cycle or else infection can occur (Cleveland Clinic). It’s best to clean the cup using boiling water or a sterilizing solution used for baby bottles (Cleveland Clinic).
All in all, the menstrual cup serves as an awesome alternative to many other period products. However, what works best for one person may not work the same for another, and you should be using whatever works best for you and your body. Additionally, if you have questions or concerns, you can always check with your healthcare provider for additional guidance. I hope this was helpful and has given you some awesome options to consider!