In recent years, the menstrual cup has become more and more popular. However, there is still a lot of hesitancy for a lot of people surrounding this product.
I, Abby, personally use a menstrual cup and have used it for a couple of years now. I absolutely love it and have converted a lot of my friends to the cup as well. There are pros and cons to using the menstrual cup but, in my opinion, the pros far outweigh the cons.
Con – You have to get that thing in there
The first time I inserted my menstrual cup, I’ll admit, was scary. It hurt to insert it, but to be honest after that it really wasn’t that bad. Once I got used to the best way to fold it, it was actually really easy. I have even inserted my menstrual cup in very uncomfortable positions and places. Some examples include squatting at a toilet in China, changing it while camping, and inserting it while in the car. At least for me, the first time was a little painful and scary but after that it became much easier and the more you do it, the easier it is.
Pro – Long Lasting and Less Leaking
The menstrual cup can be left in much longer than a tampon. It lasts 8-12 hours, depending on the intensity of your flow. I find that at the beginning of my period it will last around 8-9 hours and later into my period it basically lasts as long as I leave it in. This means that even on those heavy days you can still make through school or work without having to worry about leaking or being close to a restroom. I have found that I leak WAY less with the menstrual cup. I basically do not leak at all and it is so nice to not have to worry about having enough pads or tampons with me.
Con – The Learning Curve
The thing that I see as the biggest con for the menstrual cup is that there is a little bit of a learning curve when you first start to use it. You have to make sure that the cup has sealed inside of you, otherwise it will leak. It took me a few cycles to really know when my cup was inserted in a way that would ensure it would not leak. I had to find the best way for me to insert it and learn to know what it felt like when it was sealed. However, once I had this nailed down, it really changed my life on my period.
Pro – Less Waste
One of my favorite parts of the menstrual cups and one of the major reasons why I started using it was that I wanted to be more environmentally conscious. The menstrual cup lasts about 10 years and all you have to do is boil it at the end of each cycle. Before I used a menstrual cup, I would go through 3-6 tampons a day which were covered in plastic and had a plastic applicator for each one, not to mention the main package they come in. If you have a period and are looking for a way to reduce your waste, the menstrual cup is a great switch to make! Plus, they are more affordable. A menstrual cup costs $20-$30 and lasts ten years while a small pack of pads or tampons cost $6-$10. It’s a no brainer in my mind.
Con – Changing Your Cup in a Public Restroom
So, this hasn’t happened to me for a while since I learned how to insert my cup perfectly every time, but it did happen a couple times when I first started using the menstrual cup. When you do have to change your cup in a public restroom, it kind of sucks. It’s kind of messy because you can’t just rinse it off in the sink like you normally would. One time my cup was leaking while I was at school so I took it out so I could reinsert it. When I took it out, it kind of popped and blood went all over the bathroom stall. I kind of laughed and wiped everything down with toilet paper and put my cup back in and it was fine, but it was definitely a little stressful.
Pro – Getting to Know Your Body Better
One of the major benefits that I did not expect from using a menstrual cup was getting to know my body better. Using the menstrual cup will require you to put your fingers up your vagina and feel around for a variety of reasons. The cup helped me to appreciate how cool and beautiful my body is. I think everyone should have this experience because at least for me, and a lot of my friends who have used it, it just kind of seems like it is a bit of a black hole and something that we didn’t know very much about. It has been really cool for me to get to know my vagina better in a very non-sexual way. I now have a lot more love and appreciation for my body.In my opinion, the menstrual cup is a great switch from pads and tampons. It is cheaper, there is less waste, it lasts longer, and is more convenient. I highly recommend trying a menstrual cup for anyone who is even the tiniest bit curious.