Did you know that between the age of 14 and 50 women spend on average one-fifth of their lives having their period? How can we explain that humanity has had the time to create more than 7 iPhones but that women are still using the same feminine protection that they used to decades ago? Well, that’s the thing, we don’t anymore, thanks to the holy grail of menstrual protection: please welcome the menstrual cup (applause in the audience please, that one deserves the cheering worthy of a movie star).
How does it work?
So one of the best inventions of the century is a small medical grade silicone device — meaning it is soft and won’t tear your vagina apart — that you insert into your vagina. It will then collect the menstrual flow, so the only thing you need to do after that is to empty it (and rinse it too) twice a day. Most women only need to empty it once in the morning and then in the evening. If you’re not feeling comfortable about the process of inserting it, that is entirely understandable. YouTube has tons of demos to help you get through that first step.
Contrary to popular belief, the vagina consists of a finite area, rather than a vast wormhole into space where things can be lost forever, so don’t you worry too much, nothing really bad can happen.
But let me tell you: you will have blood on your fingers, especially at the beginning. But that’s your blood right, not the neighbours’. One unsuspected advantage I’ve found from my experience of using a cup is that it has changed the relationship I have with my body. I have a much healthier relationship with my body than ever before: I know what’s going on with it, and in which quantity. We should never be disgusted by our own bodies, especially for something as natural and normal as our periods.
But, why changing?
So, for those of you who might still be sceptical at this stage, here are some other advantages of using a menstrual cup.
- It is more hygienic than most other menstrual protections. The thing is, when blood gets in contact with oxygen, it oxygenates (duh!). For the record, oxygenated blood stinks. The menstrual cup offers a closed environment, preventing any flowery scents from being released.
- It is the most eco-friendly menstrual protection so far. A menstrual cup lasts 10 years, depending on the brands. On average, a woman uses 2700 tampons or padsThose calculations have been based on a change every 4 hours(as recommended by Tampax and Vania) the first 3 days, with an interruption at night. It thus makes 5 tampons/pads per 24-hour slot … Continue reading in 10 years. That would be enough to fill in 6 big bean bags.
- It is very economical: the OrganiCup costs [CBC show=’y’ country=’uk, ie’]£20[/CBC] [CBC show=’y’ country=’be, fr, ch, lu, de, bg, cz, dk, de, ee, ie, el, es, eu, hr, it, lv, cy, lt, hu, mt, nl, at, pl, pt, ro , si, sk, fi, se, is, li, no’]23€[/CBC] [CBC show=’n’ country=’uk, ie, be, fr, ch, lu, de, bg, cz, dk, de, ee, ie, el, es, eu, hr, it, lv, cy, lt, hu, mt, nl, at, pl, pt, ro , si, sk, fi, se, is, li, no’]26$[/CBC]. Which means that even if you lose it once, you’d still save a ton of money. On average, 10 years of tampons would cost [CBC show=’y’ country=’uk, ie’]£410[/CBC] [CBC show=’y’ country=’be, fr, ch, lu, de, bg, cz, dk, de, ee, ie, el, es, eu, hr, it, lv, cy, lt, hu, mt, nl, at, pl, pt, ro , si, sk, fi, se, is, li, no’]450€[/CBC] [CBC show=’n’ country=’uk, ie, be, fr, ch, lu, de, bg, cz, dk, de, ee, ie, el, es, eu, hr, it, lv, cy, lt, hu, mt, nl, at, pl, pt, ro , si, sk, fi, se, is, li, no’]$510[/CBC].
- It is healthier. A menstrual cup is made of medical grade silicone. That’s it. When considering that we need to keep in mind that tampons manufacturers are not compelled to list all the ingredients required in tampons production, allowing the introduction of all sorts of nasties. Typical tampons contain plastics, petroleum and dioxins. And we haven’t even considered perfumed tampons yet.
- It is much more comfortable. Seriously, no more dryness caused by tampons, no more irritations due to that last tampon you use when your periods are almost finished, nothing! And you only have to think about it twice a day, instead of 3 to 6 times.
- It is much more convenient while travelling: you just need to bring your cup in its little pouch, not that maxi pack of tampons or pads (and the risk embarrassing a bit the guy at the airport when he opens your suitcase).
The OrganiCup comes in two sizes, A and B. Size A is recommended for women who have never delivered vaginally or by caesarean section. And you guessed it, Size B is recommended for women who have delivered vaginally or by caesarean section.
A menstrual cup is the most convenient, eco-friendly, hygienic, empowering and safe feminine hygiene product so far. I’ve personally opted for it around 3 years ago, and have never looked back ever since. I consider this as a real revolution in the way I live my periods, and for the best!
Cover image source: Charles Deluvio — thank you.
Morgane is a London-based writer passionate about sustainable living, ethical fashion and social justice.
|↑1||Those calculations have been based on a change every 4 hours(as recommended by Tampax and Vania) the first 3 days, with an interruption at night. It thus makes 5 tampons/pads per 24-hour slot for 3 days, then 3 per 24-hour slot during the 4 remaining days.|