Congenial to our sports collection we’ll have a girly and a bit sports-related talk today — but boys, maybe you’d like to do your girlfriend a favour; then please read on. We’ll talk about periods and all those sanitary products you could use; but we’ll especially focus on menstrual cups.
Every month, about the same time, you may have unbearable pain, spend quite a bit of money and produce a lot of waste. The average woman uses 16.800 pads or tampons in her life time. 16.800!! These get dumped and stay at the rubbish tip for more than 500 years because the plastic in them can’t rot. Is there anything to do against that? Yes, why not taking something reusable, something you don’t have to buy every month just for throwing it away afterwards?
Personal and in all honesty
When I first heard of menstrual cups I was positively thrilled and wanted to try them out immediately. Of course I had my concerns but I was curious and amazed that there is something reusable out there. I bought my cup at my local drug store for around 15 Euro. A thing that is reusable for approximately ten years costs as much as three packages of tampons? That sounded great. (Site note: I also found the cup in Prague and it was 30 Euro there. But still, after some months, it pays off.)
It may sound funny but I couldn’t wait to get my period. But when I finally had the chance to test the cup I was quite a bit disappointed as I had terrible problems with the leakproofness. I had to use pads and the cup in order to avoid feeling terribly insecure. Luckily my wish of doing something good for the environment was stronger than my laziness and so I continued.
Don’t give up
Because as always: Practice makes perfect. After some time (unfortunately it took me some months – everyone I know was so, so much faster!) I found the key and started to love them, much more as I loved them in the first place. I went swimming without worries, I went to bed without fearing of leaving spots on my white sheets and the best, I didn’t feel like poisoning my body with toxic chemicals.
The benefits are endless, I made a list with just some of them below. But first things first: Here are the answers to all the questions people asked me after I told them that I use menstrual cups.
Frequently asked questions
Where did you buy your cup?
I found mine at dm – you can even get it in the Austrian one. As I’ve already mentioned: It cost 15 Euro (the brand is MeLuna there), in some stores you can only get the Lunette which is about 30 Euro. I’m sure there are more drug stores or pharmacies out there that sell the cup. If you are really unlucky and can’t find it anywhere you can also order it online (at Waschbär for example).
How do you use it?
First you have to wash your hands. This is really important but I’m sure you know that from using tampons. After you’ve finished cleaning your hands you have to roll the cup. There are so many different methods but the most effective one for me was to just fold it in the middle. Then you insert it into your vagina – you may need a little bit of practice for this. With one finger make sure that the cup opened correctly.
Now you are free until you have to empty it. Then simply loose the vacuum, remove the cup, empty it and wash it with warm water. Afterwards it’s ready to be used again. If there is no sink in the toilet you can also change the cup directly in the shower.
As soon as your period is over boil your cup for about 10 minutes. Add salt and/or vinegar in order to avoid discolouration.
Do you have any tips for the first time?
Relax! Take your time. Especially if you haven’t used tampons (without applicator) before, it can be quite strange to insert the cup. And then: Patience, patience, patience. Some girls just need time to get the knack.
Would you ever use tampons again?
I had to do that once while swimming because I didn’t have a chance to get my cup. To be honest: It was the most annoying swimming time ever. I felt terribly insecure and went into the water just once in order not to waste too many tampons as you have to change them every time. So no, not voluntarily.
If there are more questions, feel free to ask in the comments below. I’d be so happy to help! Otherwise have a look at my pros and cons.
The amazing benefits of menstrual cups
- So much better for the environment
- No risk of toxic shock syndrome
- Doesn’t dry your vagina, so the risk of vaginal mycosis is much lower
- No toxic chemicals that will be absorbed by your vagina
- No bleached products, no plastic strands
- Lasts for approximately ten years
- Saves a lot of money
- Perfect for every day; perfect for sports, also swimming! (No annoying blue thread, no changing every time after you’ve been in the water.)
- Perfect for sleeping
- No leaking if you do it the right way
- Can be used for about ten hours in a row (compared to tampons with eight hours at the utmost!)
- For every woman, no matter what age, no matter if child or not, no matter if virgin or not
The few drawbacks
- Some menstrual cups are from latex. If you have an allergy you can’t use them.
- It could be difficult to use them at the beginning. But as soon as you found the key you’ll love them!
- That’s it! No more drawbacks.
Is there anything more to say? Just give it a try and see for yourself!
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Idea, Words: Diana Ranegger