May Your Cup Never Runneth Over (Part 2)
Yesterday, I talked about some great eco-conscious reasons to make the switch from disposable menstrual products to menstrual cups. Today, I’ve got plenty of other reasons why switching to a cup is a great idea, even if you don’t give a fig about the enivornment.
1) We’re in a recession! Why flush your hard-earned cash (or dwindling savings) down the toilet – literally? Buying a menstrual cup may cost more than buying a box of tampons, but think of how many more times you’ll have to buy that box of tampons in the next ten years. If you’re internet-savvy, you can find different brands of menstrual cups for as little as $20. That’s like four boxes of tampons – that will last you a decade.
2) Awesome health benefits!
• First, cups eliminate the risk of the ever-looming danger of TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) when you’re a tampon user. Since cups are made of solid silicone or rubber and are not absorbent, they don’t create the conditions that allow the bacteria that causes TSS to grow.
• Because you’re not creating a warm, damp environment for bacteria to thrive in (and potentially altering the natural pH balance of your vagina) by using pads or tampons, you have a lower risk of bacterial and yeast infections. Additionally, cups that are made out of medical grade silicone (like the Divacup and the Mooncup) can be boiled to sterilize after your cycle each month – cutting your risk of bacterial infection down even further.
• Also, because there are no harsh chemicals in menstrual cups – like bleach, and dioxins, which are known carcinogens – your period can not only be a more comfortable experience, but a healthier one overall.
• You have no idea how much easier “that time of the month” can be when you use a menstrual cup. Wearing a cup, you will have the enjoyable freedom of only having to empty it twice a day – once every 12 hours (or even less, at your own discretion, although it is not recommended by any menstrual cup manufacturer). If you’re one of those lucky girls whose only period symptom is bleeding through your underwear – that means you only have to remember that you’re on your period twice a day (you’ll be surprised how easy it can be to forget after you start using a cup). Rather than having to angrily remember every four hours when you have to change your pad or tampon, or after you’ve ruined another pair of pants or sheets.
• Also, you will never have to remember to bring an arsenal of protection with you wherever you go – when you’re using a cup, you never run out!
• Finally, once you get the hang of using a cup, you will be leak-free forever. I know it’s a hard claim to believe, but I can attest to it, because I’ve lived it since probably the second month I’ve had mine. It’s awesome – and it’s saved me money on stain removal products.
As I mentioned in my last article on the subject – there are also other great eco-friendly alternatives if you’re just not into the cup idea, like buying washable Lunapads (or making your own cloth pads) and sea sponge tampons. The great thing about these products is that they also pack similar health and financial benefits.
If you just can’t kick your pad or tampon habit, at the very least, consider buying organic. You can find pads and tampons that have been made from organic, unbleached cotton and manufactured in a sustainable manner on the internet and in stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Using these kinds of disposable products will at least give your lady business a break from an onslaught of discomfort-inducing chemicals.