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Lifestyles

5 reasons you should be using a menstrual cup

Posted September 18

The first time you see a menstrual cup, it’s a little jarring. People put that in them? And then take it out and reuse it again?

But using one is a game changer. This message is for every strong, independent women: you need this. And this is why:

You actually forget you’re having your period

One of the biggest beauties of a menstrual cup is that once it’s inserted, it can stay in all day. You can change it about every 10 hours. In contrast, tampons should be changed every four hours.

With the menstrual cup, if it wasn't for the PMS symptoms you experience, you probably would forget you were even on your period.

There is no smell

That disgusting fishy smell that sometimes accompanies your period is completely gone when you use a cup.

On a popular tampon brand website, a user asked whether or not it was normal to smell during her period. This was expert, Michelle Petropoulos’ response:

“To decrease odor, change your pad frequently.”

So, eliminate the pad and tampon altogether and you’ll eliminate the smell.

You don’t have to bother with those tampon strings

If you have to pee more often than you have to change a tampon, that little tampon string is obnoxious. Menstrual cups are removed by a small plastic stem that sits right inside your body, meaning there is no string to deal with. This makes peeing less of a hassle and the string problem nonexistent.

Cleaning it is not as gross as you are imagining

Some months it feels like you might die from losing so much blood. In all reality, the average woman only looses about one to two ounces of blood each cycle. While you do have to empty the menstrual cup of collected blood when you remove it, it’s likely much less blood than you are imagining.

A menstrual cup holds about one ounce, so unless you have a very heavy period, you likely won’t have that much filled up each time you change it. You simply dump the bit of blood in the toilet and wash out the cup with unscented, water-based soap before reinserting it. When your period ends, you sterilize it in boiling water and put it in its cute little storage bag.

Speaking of inserting … don’t stress about it

When you first look at the cup, you can’t imagine it fitting comfortably in you all day – especially when you compare it to the size of a tampon.

This can be a consumer’s greatest concern. Inserting it takes getting used to, but after a few days it feels natural. It’s not recommended to use a lubricant, but you can get the rim of the cup wet to help it slide in better. Once it’s in, it’s so comfortable you’ll probably forget it’s there.

It’s not just one-size fits all

As mentioned above, the inserting process can seem daunting. Most companies sell cups in two sizes and provide a guide on how to tell what size will work for you. The stem that is used the pull the cup down for removal can be trimmed so it doesn’t stick out and make things uncomfortable.

There’s no chance of it getting lost in you

This sounds dumb, but it’s a real concern for some! The DivaCup website (a popular menstrual cup company) explains why you don’t need to worry about this.

“The vaginal canal is an elastic, muscular tube only about four (4) – five (5) inches (10.2 – 12.7 cm) long! This means that the vagina does not connect to other parts of the body so The DivaCup cannot get lost.”

It will save you a LOT of money

On average, women spend about $1,229 on tampons in their lifetime and an additional $443 on panty liners, according to these calculations.

Menstrual cups vary in price from $10 to $30 and it’s recommended you replace them once a year. Women have roughly 38 years of periods. A $10 cup on Amazon that works just as well as some of the more expensive brands comes with two cups. At that rate, you can save $1,482. (And most people don’t have leakage problems, which means you don’t have to spend money on the panty liners either.)

Even if you went with the most expensive option and it only came with one cup, you will save $532 in your lifetime. There are a lot better things you can buy for $500 than feminine hygiene products.

But you do still need to be aware of toxic shock

Many articles that spout the benefits of menstrual cups mention that it eliminates your chances of toxic shock syndrome, but this is actually not proven. In fact, in 2015, a study was done on a woman who developed TSS while using a menstrual cup. So, still be careful.

Once you try them, there’s no going back

If you still aren’t convinced, go read the reviews on Amazon. Using a menstrual cup can be life changing for those with heavy periods who usually can’t stray far from a toilet during their special week. And for those with lighter periods, it makes everything more convenient.

EMAIL: alovell@deseretnews.com

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