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The Virtues of a Simple (Menstrual) Cup

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If you're a woman reading this I'm sure you have experienced the following at one point or another - waking up in the morning only to have your first task of the day be vigorously washing your stained undies or sheets, the 'diaper' rash that can occur from scratchy, plasticky pads, pain from the drag created when removing a tampon...all this on top of the cramps, crabbiness and other 'side effects' of the monthlies!

Enter menstrual cups. "This thing has changed my life" may sound like hyperbole but it truly has completely altered how I experience my period. Thrilled with the discovery of fuss-free periods, I have now become quite the zealot about it, preaching its benefits to anyone who will listen (much to my friends' chagrin but stay with me here!)

No more leaks. No more ruined beach holidays. No more frequent 'freshening up' trips to the bathroom. First time at a crush's place and don't want to have to ask the awkward where-can-I-dispose-of-my-used-menstrual-product question? Yup, no longer a problem. Honestly, I pop it in at the start of my day and forget that I'm on my period.

Yes, it might seem a little intimidating at first (it does require that you be comfortable getting up close and personal with your body) and yes, there is a bit of a learning curve to using one (C fold? Punch-down fold? What fold?) but don't let that scare you off! Once you go on the cup, you will never go back.

As I extol the virtues of the menstrual cup, I keep hearing the same things from doubters:

  1. "But it looks so big. Won't it be uncomfortable?"
  2. "I don't think this will work for me. I have a very heavy flow."
  3. "Isn't it inconvenient to empty?"
  4. "Won’t it hurt or spill when I remove it?"

Those were the very same concerns I had about menstrual cups when I first heard about it but now I have the answers.

1. Just like tampons, once inserted properly, you won't feel it at all.

2 and 3. You may be surprised by what you'll discover about your flow when using a menstrual cup. On the first couple of 'heavy' days, I'll empty it once in the morning and once in the evening when I take a shower. On subsequent days, I have found it only necessary to empty it once a day. Pads and tampons require frequent changes because they work like sponges and can't hold as much fluid as a cup can. Stagnant menstrual blood on pads can also create an unpleasant odor which again means you have to change them more often. Menstrual cups eliminate this need. Of course, every woman’s period is different which is why menstrual cups come in different sizes to suit your unique requirements.

4. To remove, first squeeze the base of the cup lightly to break the seal then gently pull it out at an angle. While it might feel ‘odd’ or slightly awkward on the first few tries, it should not hurt, and you will quickly get used to doing it. If you remove it carefully, it is unlikely to spill.

If these advantages aren't persuasive enough, don't forget the money factor. Let's do the math. A pack of 20 sanitary pads costs on average $8. At 1 pack a month, a year's worth of pads would be approximately $100. With proper care, a menstrual cup can last you on average 5 years before you’ll have to replace it - some say, even up to 10. That's a huge saving!

As people the world over become more aware of the carbon footprint they produce, countless women are abandoning disposable sanitary products such as pads and tampons for more environmentally friendly solutions. With the menstrual cups’ popularity increasing, there are even message boards devoted to discussing them with tips, advice and reviews.

Isn't it time you joined the revolution? The only thing you'll regret is not making the switch sooner.

Loveislove carries the FemIntimate Ève Platinum Silicone Menstrual Cup.

 

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  • Lincoln LoveisLove