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You Put Cups Where!?

5 Reasons to Switch to Menstrual Cups

Photo by Kira Ikonnikova on Unsplash

You wake up in the morning with a wet feeling. You jolt to the bathroom! Oh no. What do you grab for? Tampons, pads, cups? So many options and brands to pick from now; what do you choose? 

People with uteruses have one thing in common: PERIODS. It used to be taboo to talk about, but it's an important topic of women and trans men's health

I have five brilliant reasons why you should opt for menstrual cups! 

Try the Diva Cup!

Photo by Diva Cup

Reason 1 - Environment

11,000 is the average amount of tampons a woman may use in her lifetime, and about 43 million Americans use tampons. [1] That's not including pads, and it's still a huge amount. Let's do the math. Most women start their periods around 12 [2]. Then most women begin menopause around 51 years old [3]. That's 39 years of bleeding, 23 tampons a month, 282 tampons a year, and 11,000 in a lifetime. If 43 million women use 11,000 tampons, that is 473 billion in the trash in America alone. That's insane. How long do these last on Earth before they biodegrade? We aren't even thinking about the plastic tube that most come in. Which, by the way, plastic never decomposes [4].

Reason 2 - Health

Have you heard of toxic shock syndrome (TSS)? It’s rare, but still a possibility [6]. It involves the staph bacteria and sometimes the strep bacteria. That's a big NO-NO for me. Tampons today don't use the same material that was causing most of the problems, but as said, it's still a possibility. The possibility rises if you leave it in for too long and are using super absorbent. Most menstrual cups are made out of silicone and don't cause this problem.

Let's talk about an unfriendly guy named dioxin. Dioxin is a persistent organic pollutant. [8] Simply put, they take a very long time break down. Let's look at what the EPA has to say:

Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause cancer, reproductive and developmental problems, damage to the immune system, and can interfere with hormones. - United States Environmental Protection Agency

That's terrifying! The FDA states that tampons are "safe" in regards to dioxin, but there can still be trace amounts. These trace amounts are enough to cause harm. [1]

There are several other health concerns involving tampons that I encourage you to research yourself. 

Reason 3 - Financial

Remember that 11,000 number? If we say a box of 36 tampons cost $7 then each tampon is 19 cents. Multiplying this by the average length of menstruation leaves you spending around $2,000 on tampons in your lifetime. A Diva Cup (a brand of menstrual cup) costs $29.99 at Target [5] and could last you anywhere from a year up to a lifetime. This alone was enough for me to switch. 

Reason 4 - Comfort

Cups aren't stiff like tampons, and won't rub and cause rashes like pads. I have never felt the cup inside of me; it's wonderful! Another cool thing about cups is you can still be intimate and not deal with your blood. 

Reason 5 - Maintenance

According to Diva Cup, you only need to change your cup at least twice a day. [7] Cups can also be worn at night without worrying about leakage. Cleaning is super easy. You need to simply rinse your cup out between changing, and then boil it at the end of your cycle! You can also wash it with a water-based, unscented soap.

There are some things that put a lot of people off cups. The main issue is being so involved with your own blood, but I believe that it's a beautiful thing to be so in tune with your body. Another issue people wonder about is how to put it in. I use an origami method of folding it and sticking in it. It'll fill out and suction to your insides once you put it in. When I broke my wrist, I couldn't get in it, but I've had no issues other than that.

Whether it's for your health, the environment, or your wallet, I hope you decide to make the switch! Let me know. ♥



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