Menstrual cups have become increasingly popular in recent years and you’ve probably heard of the Diva Cup, Lena Cup, or the MoonCup. They’re bell-shaped cylinders make from medical grade silicone or latex that are designed to collect menstrual fluid. Basically, menstrual cups replace tampons. There are a lot advantages to them that we’re going to discuss here. Hopefully you’ll be inspired to ditch the tampons and give them a try!
Reason #1 to Ditch the Tampons: Money-Savings
Money talks and I’m sure we all like to save a bit of it if we can? The first reason to ditch the tampons and to switch to a menstrual cup is how much money you can potentially save. A box of pads or tampons costs around $5, and organic ones are even more expensive. Most people use $5 worth of these products per cycle, and even more if they have a heavy and/or long period.
Menstrual cups average cost is $30, for the high-quality ones (don’t be tempted to get the cheap ones because they don’t work well, and are made from sub-par materials). Although it’s a bit more money up-front for a menstrual cup, you’ll recoup your costs in only six months. And the good news is that menstrual cups can last for up to 10 years with proper care and cleaning.
Reason #2 to Ditch the Tampons: Environmental Considerations
According to the Guardian, the average woman uses 11,000 tampons during her lifetime. That’s a lot of waste going to the landfill. Also consider that most applicators are plastic, which is non-biodegradable—they’ll still be around in decades from now.
If a menstrual cup lasts for even five years (many last longer), a women will need approximately eight of them during her lifetime. Eight menstrual cups, or 11,000 tampons? That’s a big difference! Also consider that depending on where you live, menstrual cups can often be recycled.
Reason #3 to Ditch the Tampons: Health Benefits
The final reason to ditch the tampons is perhaps the most important one—tampons are not good for our bodies. According to Time Magazine, there is a serious lack of information about what exactly is in tampons. This is because they’re considered medical devices by the FDA, and manufacturers aren’t required to disclose what’s in them. What is known is that they potentially contain all sorts of pesticides and chemicals that don’t belong anywhere in, or near our bodies. Finally, tampon use is associated with Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).
Menstrual cups have none of these risks associated with them. The best menstrual cup brands in the world are made from top-quality, medical grade silicone that is FDA approved. You should, however, boil them for 5-10 minutes before using them to wash off any residue from the manufacturing process. There have also been no reported cases of a menstrual cup causing TSS.
If you’re convinced that it is indeed time to make the switch to menstrual cups, check out Reusable Menstrual Cups for help in choosing the best one for you.
About the Author
Jackie Bolen is a tree-hugging friend of the Earth who can usually be found catching a wave, on top of a mountain, or drinking organic coffee around Vancouver, Canada. Her hope is that one day, a menstrual cup will be found in the hands of every single menstruating person, because this has the potential to change the world for the better.