Why I Love My Menstrual Cup

Yes, you read that right. When I tell people I use a menstrual cup, it normally turns a few extra heads, and I get several curious or aghast expressions.

After the initial shock, I normally get some of the following questions: How big is it? Does it really fit up there? Does it hurt? Is it messy? And my favorite, WHY?

Here’s why.

1. It’s more environmentally friendly—Unlike the waste accumulated from using multiple tampons and pads over the course of your cycle and life, a menstrual cup decreases this because it’s reusable and lasts for years! Simply disinfecting it with water and soap between uses and cycles keeps your cup happy and healthy, in addition to the environment.

2. It’s safer—Since the menstrual cup is made of medical-grade silicon, there are no sketchy chemicals or foreign residue getting up in there or other places where we don’t need foreign chemicals. Tampons are bleached with Rayon, but cups are latex, BPA, dye and additive-free!

3. It’s cheaper—A menstrual cup may be more expensive on the front end, but with proper care, it can last up to 10 years. Imagine how many periods that is, and how many tampons and pads you don’t have to keep buying each month.

4. Worry less, live more—The maximum amount of time you should wear a pad or keep a tampon in is 8 hours. Menstrual cups can be left in for up to 12 hours! Not only does that mean less changes during the day, but it can also hold up to 5x more fluid! That means you can go about your day without so many bathroom breaks.

5. No unwanted odors—The thing I hated most about pads, beyond sitting in them, was the odor. You all know what I’m talking about. That gross smell we all hate happens because the pad’s contents come in contact with oxygen. Since menstrual cups are inserted into the body, the blood never has a chance to meet oxygen, and therefore, no more unwanted smells!

6. Make traveling easier—Every girl knows the feeling of getting ready to leave for a vacation or a trip when cramping begins. Suddenly, you have to make room in your bags for tampons and pads. Not anymore! Menstrual cups are the size of large strawberries and fit in the palm of your hand. That’s all you’d need, and could be free to pack that extra outfit you probably won’t wear but definitely need.

7. Less Conspicuous (until your roommate’s boyfriend asks what it is)—I think we’ve all tried to make our stash of emergency tampons and pads as inconspicuous as possible. Not only will the menstrual cup take up less space in your purse/backpack/etc., it will also be less conspicuous in the cute, little, jewelry-sized bag it comes in. No one will ever know what it is, that is until your roommate’s boyfriend asks what you keep in the pink, polka dot bag.

8. It’s empowering—This is one of the best reasons for me. For so long, I’ve received negative messages about periods and other mechanisms of the female body. Women’s bodies are treated as if they are a mystery that should be talked about in hushed whispers. But since using a menstrual cup, I feel more empowered and comfortable with my own body, and hope others will too after using this product. Periods are annoying and often inconvenient, but they’re also a powerful reminder of the incredible things the female body is capable of.

I won’t lie to you. The learning curve when using a menstrual cup is real. My roommate and I still joke about how we think we’ve mastered the cup, only to discover that we’re still learning every day. You have be okay with failing a few times during your first couple cycles. Getting the seal and the cup sitting right takes practice, and unfortunately one cycle a month doesn’t provide a lot of opportunities to do so. You also have to be ready to get very, very familiar with yourself down there.

That said, with the economic, financial, and personal benefits, I know I’m never going back to pads and tampons. So if you’re even slightly interested, look on Amazon or in your local drug store and give it try. Not to be dramatic, but it might just change your life!