A Review On The Menstrual Cup
It’s the wonder product you might have seen women on online forums and wellness websites raving about, and rightly so. But, swapping your regular tampons and pads for a new menstrual cup, or ‘moon cup’, might seem a little weird or even gross at first glance.
We’re here to change your mind. This is a product that this particular writer would shout about from the rooftops. It’s clean, easy, comfortable and affordable. My only regret is that I didn’t hear about it sooner.
What is it?
The menstrual cup is a reusable, bell-shaped cup made from medical grade silicone which, when inserted, sits low in the vaginal canal. It collects your menstrual flow rather than absorbing it.
How do you use it?
The silicone is super flexible so you just curl the cup up into a c-shape and insert it like you would a tampon, although it sits quite a bit lower. It then folds itself back out (slowly and gently!) to create a leak-proof suction to the walls of your vagina.
The cup can be removed every 12 hours by pinching the base and releasing the seal. Then, all you need to do is empty the cup into the toilet, rinse it with some soapy water and reinsert it for another 12 hours.
What’s in it for me?
What isn't in it for you?! Here’s the run-down of the world of benefits switching to a cup will bring:
- It’s cheaper: The average woman spends up to $85 a year on disposable tampons and pads. Your menstrual cup can last for years if taken care of properly and will set you back only $50-60 with no need for any other sanitary products.
- You can keep it in for longer: Your menstrual cup can hold 30 millilitres of fluid, compared to tampons which only hold from 6 to 18 millilitres, meaning you can keep it in for up to 12 hours! You’ll only ever need to change it twice a day, eliminating the need to fumble about in public toilets. It’s completely fine to wear overnight too so the nights of padding up like a low-order batsman are over.
- It’s better for the environment: Did you know that, on average, a woman throws away about 150 kilograms of feminine hygiene products in her lifetime? These end up in landfill and can take years to biodegrade. Compare this to the one silicone cup you can reuse for three or four years.
- It’s healthier: As the cup collects rather than absorbs, it doesn’t disrupt the pH levels and important bacterial balance of your vagina. The silicone is hypoallergenic and doesn’t contain harsh chemicals or bleaches like some tampons and pads can, plus there’s no risk of fibres being leftover in your vaginal canal. Also, as it’s not absorbent, there is much less risk of TSS, it doesn’t dry anything up down there and won’t leave an odour as oxygen is unable to get all up in it.
- It’s unbelievably comfortable: Seriously, you wouldn’t even know it was there. The soft silicone and trusty suction means it’ll sit tight and move with your body during any exercise from yoga to boxing, plus there’s no need to worry about a cheeky string making an appearance at the beach.
Where do I get one?
There are a few brands who sell menstrual cups in Australia, such as JuJu, Diva Cup or Lunette. The cup usually comes in two sizes – one for women who haven’t given birth vaginally and one for those who have.
Check the shelves of your local pharmacy, otherwise you can order your cup online directly from these brands.
Some quick tips for first timers
- Check in with your doctor during your next visit about before switching to a new hygiene product.
- Do your own research and understand the pros and cons of using a menstrual cup. You might like to start at this forum.
- Depending on what brand you purchase, the cup might come with a long ‘stick’ attached to the end (I’m particularly referring to the JuJu here). If, at first try, the stick is uncomfortable to protrudes from your vagina, feel free to cut it right off with scissors.
- To clean your cup, rinse it in soapy water and you might like to also disinfect it every couple of cycles by boiling it in some water for three minutes.
- If you ever do need to change your cup in a public toilet, just bring a wet paper towel in with you. Empty as usual, then wipe the residue from the cup and reinsert.
- The silicone softens the more you use it so inserting and removing will only get easier each cycle!
The menstrual cup lasts longer between changes, doesn’t leak, is cheaper over the long run, is better for you and the environment and is so easy to use. It might seem a little daunting at first, but you will truly be surprised at how clean and easy using a cup is. Sure, it takes a little getting used to, but after a couple of cycles you’ll wonder how you lived without it.
Do you have any questions before you make the big switch? Leave them in the comments section and we’ll be all to happy to answer!