Sustainable Lifestyle: The Menstrual Cup
I've been educating myself on period care determined to find the best products out there that help women have the best period experiences but also to cut back on waste and harmful toxic chemical crap that's often used in tampons and pads. Through my education I found menstrual cups and decided it was time to see if I could ditch tampons all together and switch to the cup. Now, it's a well known statistic (well, well known by those who know their period care) that the average woman uses about 12,000 tampons over her lifetime and that is a HUGE amount of waste. Tampons are often made with chemicals and pose a risk of TSS (if you think TSS is a myth, think again, it's real and it's horrible). Tampons, when you really think about it, just don't make a lot of sense, especially now that the cup has arrived. Menstrual cups can be worn for up to 12 hours at a time, that's four times longer that a tampon. Cups can be reused for many years (I've read that they last about ten years) so you'll save yourself money and eliminate your tampon waste. They also don't pose a TSS risk and are hypoallergenic made from silicone so they're suitable for people with latex allergies (double check with the cup manufacturer about the materials of your cup to ensure this). All this sounds great, right? But the cups look seriously intimidating. What's it like to actually use them and make the switch? Well, here's my experience:
I bought a cup from Blossom on Amazon and I also purchased Diva Wash to keep it clean. The cup comes with some helpful tips on how to insert and remove the cup and after you've done it a few times, it's a piece of cake. Once in, the cup forms a seal so there aren't any leaks (I've even worn my cup with no pads or liners but you'll want to experiment to fit your specific needs/flow). I couldn't feel my cup at all; it's the most liberating feeling. Usually, with tampons I can feel them when they're in and no matter what I do, they're always uncomfortable. With the cup, however, it's flexible so it bends with your body. I use my cup for everything from sleeping (no more sleep leaks or midnight tampon changes!) to working out and my cup can withstand an advances contortion class of bending into all sorts of uncomfortable and unnatural positions with no problems so I deem that a success!
I clean my cup before, and after each use with Diva Wash and I keep it in the little carrying case that arrived with it from Blossom. All in all, I'm completely in love. It has changed my period for the better and I'll never go back to tampons.
Read the reviews for a bunch of different cups on Amazon to give yourself an idea of what other people experienced; it'll help you find out which cup will work best for your needs.