Menstrual Cups: Reusable, Alternative Feminine Hygiene Products
Menstrual cups are becoming more common in women’s bathroom cupboards everywhere. The menstrual cup is an alternative feminine hygiene product that can be re-used during each day of a woman’s cycle, and for many cycles. There are many different brands of menstruation cups available, each with slightly different shapes, sizes and colors, and there are also many benefits to using one. Read on to learn about the benefits and types available, as well as how to use these alternative feminine hygiene products.
Menstrual Cup Benefits
While some women may be reluctant to try out a new hygiene product that’s so personal, there are many benefits to using a menstrual cup.
- Price: Most menstrual cups are priced between $25 and $50. While the upfront cost is more expensive than a package of pads or tampons, a cup can be used for up to 10 years. Even if a woman has light, short periods and uses fewer packs of tampons or pads in a year, the menstrual cup will still come out as the cheaper option in the long run.
- Environmental Impact: Imagine how many tampons, pads and applicators (plus their packaging) a woman goes through in a year. Now imagine how much waste is created throughout her lifetime because of her period. This waste can be all but eliminated with a re-usable cup.
- Cleanliness: A woman cleans her own cup, and sterilizes it between cycles. Tampons and pads are not sterilized, and the ingredients aren’t even listed on the package.
- Ease of Use: It may take a few tries to get used to something new, but a menstrual cup is just as easy to use as a tampon or pad. Plus, tampons and pads need to be changed multiple times per day. Many women can wear their cups for 12 hours, meaning they’re not only easy to use, but need to be dealt with less often.
How to Use a Menstrual Cup
The basics of how to use a menstrual cup are quite simple. Before the first use, the woman should sterilize the cup by boiling it or allowing it to sit in a sterilization solution. The cup is inserted into the vagina by folding it, pushing it in, and then allowing it to expand to its normal shape, forming a seal. Cups can be worn for up to 12 hours, depending on the heaviness of the menstrual flow. To remove, the woman uses her pelvic floor muscles to push down on the cup, and a finger to push against the outside of the cup, breaking the seal. The cup can then be easily pulled out. Before re-inserting, the cup should be emptied and then washed. At the end of the menstrual cycle, the cup should be sterilized again.
LiveJournal hosts an active community discussion about menstrual cups, including tips for insertion and removal, personal stories, and brand comparisons.
Types of Menstrual Cups
There are many different brands of cups available. They come in various colors, and slightly different sizes and shapes. They are made of either rubber or medical-grade silicone. Women with sensitivities to latex should choose one made from silicone.
Some of the brands of menstrual cups available include: DivaCup, The Keeper, Lady Cup, Lunette, MiaCup, Mooncup and Femmecup.
Move over, pads and tampons! Menstrual cups, due to their convenience of use, price and environmental-friendless, are becoming a viable option for many women.