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Menstrual Cups: An Underrated Alternative

Periods. At least half of the world gets them, but options to properly deal with them have stayed relatively minimal. People who get periods are typically stuck with two options: pads or tampons, both of which can be uncomfortable, unhealthy for vaginal health, and wasteful for the environment. You would think that the market for menstruation products would be much more diverse considering that half of the world’s population has to use them, but it remains a relatively untapped market.

Recently though, menstrual cups have been surging in popularity as a newer alternative to pads and tampons. Not only are menstrual cups less wasteful for the environment, but they also lack fragrances and bleach that may appear on other period products, making them much better for vaginal health.

Despite these great bonuses, some people still express concern about using this product. As someone who uses them, I can personally attest that they are not as intimidating as they may look.

Menstrual cups are made of silicone and are completely reusable. To insert, you simply have to fold it up to make it smaller. As soon as it is inserted it pops back to its original size and serves as a cup to catch the blood. Most cups have some sort of suction that keeps them in place and prevents leakage. Depending on how heavy your flow is, it can last from 6-12 hours and can even be worn overnight! To take them out, you simply just have to pinch the bottom and pull it out. After each cycle, it is recommended to boil the menstrual cup to clean them of any bacteria they may collect, making it so you can keep reusing it for the next cycles.

Although it sounds relatively easy, I interviewed a woman who wishes to remain anonymous and has used menstrual cups before. She expressed why she stopped using them. “I decided to try them because of how environmentally friendly they are,” she stressed, “but I found the whole process to be much more complex and difficult than I thought, especially the insertion part. Sometimes the suction would not work, and the cup would just leak through, and taking it out can also be pretty messy.”

Overall, menstrual cups are a safe and environmentally friendly alternative to pads and tampons. Although they are not for everyone and can sometimes be difficult to figure out, I definitely recommend trying it at least once to see if you like it, as it has many benefits.

Tell us about your thoughts on menstrual cups on Instagram, @HerCampusSJSU!

Writer for Her Campus at SJSU Aviation Professional Flight Class of 2025 <3
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