6 Reasons Why It’s Time to Trade in Your Tampons/Pads For A Menstrual Cup

 

by: Brit’ny J. Hawkins, M.E.M

Fed up with messy, leak-prone and sometimes unpleasantly fragrant pads and tampons? Perhaps you’re concerned about chemical exposures via tampon/pad use? If you’re looking for an effective alternative that addresses the aforementioned concerns and more, a menstrual cup may be just what you need!

What are they?:

Menstrual cups are medical grade silicone cups (available in latex) worn inside the vagina to collect up to 1 ounce of menstrual flow. The average woman releases 1-2 ounces of flow during one menstrual cycle.

Why should women use them?: 

1. They’re discrete:

Since menstrual cups are worn internally, made of noise-free, medical-grade silicon/latex and can be carried in small pouches (pictured below), they are an extremely discrete option for women who don’t care to broadcast their menstral cycle to the world.

2. They have extended use:

Although the menstrual cup is worn internally like a tampon, it collects flow while tampons absorb flow. Due to this unique factor, menstrual cups can be worn significantly longer than tampons and can be worn overnight. Menstrual cups can be worn for up to 12 hours before needing to be emptied.

3. They drastically reduce concerns of Toxic Shock Syndrome:

Since the menstrual cup collects flow as opposed to absorbing it, bacteria don’t have the opportunity to develop to cause Toxic Shock Syndrome. Thus, Toxic Shock Syndrome is highly unlikely with menstrual cup use and has not been detected in its users.

4. They eliminate exposure to toxic chemicals: 

As unjust as it may sound, pads and tampons are bleached to achieve their sparkling white color. To make matters worse, trace amounts of dioxin: a known carcinogen, have been detected in tampons. Bottom line, women should not have to worry about internal exposure to toxic chemicals via menstruation supplies. –> Click to learn more

5. They save you money:

Unlike pads and tampons, menstrual cups are REUSABLE; therefore, users pay approximately $35 and can use their cups for up to 10 years when caring for their cups as directed.

6. They reduce stress on the Environment:

The Center for Marine Conservation reports that approximately 170,000 tampons were collected from U.S. beaches between 1998-1999. Additionally, waste consultants report that nearly 6.5 billion tampons and 13.5 billion pads ended up landfills or sewage systems in 1998. Tampons being flushed down the toilet often cause plumbing problems for home owners. As seen in other areas of waste, these numbers have increased in the past decade.

How to use them:

Using menstrual cups is actually a lot easier than you might think! Click here and here for succinct, yet comprehensive videos on how to insert & remove menstrual cups.

Keeping It Clean:

Simply empty the cup of its contents, rinse with warm water, then use an oil-free/fragrance-free soap and warm water to clean your menstrual cup. Harsh household cleaning agents should NOT be used to clean the cup, as the chemicals have the ability to deteriorate it. While some women boil their cups in attempt to thoroughly sanitize them, doing so reduces the cup’s durability; as a result, the overall life-span of the cup is reduced. Some menstrual cup manufacturers recommend using vinegar and water for cleaning since vinegar has naturally occurring anti-bacterial properties; however, others suggest that vinegar deteriorates the cup. My vote is to apply the precautionary principle and keep things simple–stick to using oil-free/fragrance-free soap and warm water when cleaning.

Where to get yours:

So, are you convinced?! Are you ready to TRANSFORM the way you feel about your menstrual cycle?! The brand links provided below offer a myriad of menstrual cup options.

Diva Cup

Moon Cup

Lady Cup

Link to more articles on Eco-friendly menstrual supplies & how to “Detox the Box”:

The Keeper

Detox the Box

For those who make the transition, we’d love to hear about your experiences!

Warmest wishes,

Brit’ny J. Hawkins, M.E.M

Brit’ny J. Hawkins is an enthusiastic environmental professional. She is a recent graduate of Duke University’s Master of Environmental Management program and received a  Bachelor of Arts from Spelman College in 2012. Brit’ny is extremely passionate about educating young girls on the importance of understanding beauty product labels, reducing body burdens through use of sustainable products and honoring their bodies through consumption of healthier foods. While the aforementioned points are critical to Brit’ny, pillars of self-love, self-worth and natural beauty are at the forefront of her message to young girls. Brit’ny’s ultimate goal is to launch a global organic beauty company that empowers, educates and offers products to minority women–a demographic with limited access to healthier options.

Source: Ecomenses & Empowered Sustenance

10 Responses to “6 Reasons Why It’s Time to Trade in Your Tampons/Pads For A Menstrual Cup”

  1. Denia
    August 19, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

    I absolutely love this post. I can’t stand that obnoxious noise that happens when you open a pad in the restroom stall. eek!

    I have tried these before years ago, but I just seemed to struggle so much with insertion and removal (and messes). I would definitely give it another try, though. I never considered the environmental benefits that the cups offer.

    Awesome!

    • Brit'ny
      August 27, 2014 at 4:55 pm #

      Thanks for sharing, Denia!

      Definitely understand your points on insertion and removal. It does take patience and requires you to be relaxed. Like anything else, once you get the hang of it, it’s a breeze! I hope you have a positive experience the next go round!

  2. Raven
    August 19, 2014 at 5:03 pm #

    GREAT ARTICLE! I use menstrual cups and I love them. This was very informative. I didn’t realize the chemicals that were also on menstrual pads. It definitely seems as though menstrual cups are the best option.

    • Brit'ny
      August 27, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

      Thanks for the comment, Rae! Didn’t know you were a menstrual cup girl! I’m glad the article gave you even more reasons to continue using them! :)

  3. DeeDee
    August 20, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

    Menstrual cups are great for women who do not experience heavy cycles. Unfortunately, if your menstrual cycle is heavy, then I predict issues with the use of a menstrual cup. The cups are designed to hold only one ounce of fluid. If your flow is heavier, then be prepared for many trips to the restroom. Just my two cents.

  4. Women's Voices for the Earth
    August 21, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

    Thanks so much for writing this, and for linking to our Detox the Box campaign! http://www.womensvoices.org/DetoxTheBox

    • Brit'ny
      August 27, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

      I am so inspired by the work that you all do, thank you!

  5. Lieke
    August 21, 2014 at 9:26 pm #

    Or how bout this for a radical concept? Washable 100% cotton rags.

    • Brit'ny
      August 27, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

      Thanks for the message, Lieke. Surely the reusable cotton cloths are an option. I think the cup offers an alternative for active women who need full protection without feeling like they’re wearing a diaper e.g swimmers, cheerleaders and other athletes.

  6. sanitary protection
    October 27, 2014 at 5:55 am #

    Great information. My aunty Isolde told me about this and sanitary protection and said to look at http://www.angelssecret.co.uk/ .. I think you will find it helpful. Regards Marovich Simo

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