I know, it’s maybe hard to believe, but I’d never heard of menstrual cups until 5 years ago. I’m not sure if I was hanging around the wrong crowd, or most people didn’t know about them either. Whatever the case, I’m thankful to have (finally!) made the switch.
Menstrual Cups (aka period cups, sanitary cups, Diva Cup, Moon Cup) are better than tampons for a number of reasons. I’ll share a few of the most important ones here.
Reason #1: Menstrual Cups are Better for your Health
Tampons often contain trace amounts of toxic chemicals from the pesticides used to grow the cotton as well as the manufacturing process. In many countries, manufacturers aren’t required to disclose what’s in these products, so they don’t!
Although there are only small amounts, exposure to this stuff (1 week a month, for 40-ish years) can add up. It only makes sense to reduce our exposure to toxins, particularly for stuff that we put inside our bodies.
Of course, organic tampons come without this risk, so they are a better option. However, they are also very expensive.
The best option of all when considering our health is a menstrual cup. The top-quality ones are made from medical grade silicone, latex or Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) that is very stable, and doesn’t degrade easily.
Reason #2: Do you Like to Save Money?
If you like to save money, then you’ll LOVE menstrual cups. This article estimates that the average Australian woman spends $19,000 on her period over a lifetime. In many countries, you’ll also have to pay the “Pink Tax,” which are taxes on things like feminine hygiene products.
The good news in all this is that you can save thousands of dollars over a lifetime by making the switch to a menstrual cup. If you care for them properly, top-quality menstrual cups can last for 5-10 years.
Sure, it’s $30-40 AUD for a period cup, but when compared to tampons, you’ll recoup your costs in only a few months. Then it’s years of money in the bank!
Reason #3: Higher Capacities with Menstrual Cups
Do you have a heavy period? Then you’ll definitely need to consider a menstrual cup.
Jumbo tampons have a capacity of around 10 ml, while the average menstrual cup holds 25-30 ml. There are even some high-capacity menstrual cups that hold around 40 ml. That’s 3-4x less period hassle!
If you have to get up in the night during your period to change your tampon, making the switch to a menstrual cup might mean being able to sleep through the night. Did you ever think this was possible?
Reason #4: Save the Environment!
Tampons, particularly the ones with plastic applicators create a lot of waste, some of which is non-biodegradable. Due to the nature of them, they’re not recyclable. That means that tampons will still be hanging around the landfill in hundreds of years from now.
The average person uses 11,000-16,000 tampons during a lifetime. Compare this to menstrual cups which last for 5-10 years.
Let’s assume a lifespan of 5 years, and a person who menstruates for 40 years. That’s 8 menstrual cups.
8 vs. 11,0000. It makes a big difference! Also consider the packaging, manufacturing process, and transport of all these products.
Reason #5: Lower your Risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome
There have been lots of articles in the news lately about how menstrual cups come with an increased risk of toxic shock syndrome. However, this isn’t really the case and to date, there have only been 1 (or 2?) reported cases of TSS associated with menstrual cups. Compare this to the thousands of cases from tampons.
Of course, there are more tampon users than menstrual cups users, so this should be considered. However, it does seem that the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome is indeed lower with menstrual cups than with tampons.
Which Menstrual Cup do you Recommend?
If you live in Australia, you’ll definitely want to consider the Juju Cup. It’s locally made, and has lots of different size and style options, so you’re sure to find the right one for your body type.
Blog lovingly provided by Jackie Bolen -Jackie is a tree-hugging, friend of the Earth. She’s a lover of all things reusable period products and she hopes that one day, every single menstruating person will have one of them in their hands. You can find her at her website, Reusable Menstrual Cups.