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5 things EVERY woman needs to know about menstrual cups

Posted July 27

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You should know that I am always looking for an opportunity to tell my lady friends about menstrual cups. It's one of those things where the timing has to be right (you can't just spring a menstrual cup conversation on people out of the blue) and yet, I want every woman to know about it. Because, you guys, this really changed my life. Because of the menstrual cup, I actually don't dread periods anymore (except the cramps and the PMS — if you have a solution for those, let me know). So, are you ready for your life to change?

What is a menstrual cup?

First off, you need to know what a menstrual cup is. It's a bell-shaped silicone cup that you insert into your vagina to collect the menstrual fluid.

It's not new. In fact, it was invented in the 1930's. However, its popularity hasn't spread until recently.

How is it inserted?

The cup is flexible so you can bend it into a shape that's easy to insert. Once inside your vagina, it opens up into its original shape.

Initially, it may be hard to figure out how to insert it. (The first time, I got comfy with Netflix on my phone while I battled with it.) But once you figure out the technique it's as easy as anything.

What makes it so great?

You guys, everything. For example:

  • You forget you’re on your period
I'm not kidding, I have actually forgotten that I'm on my period while using a menstrual cup. Unless I’m having menstrual cramps or other symptoms, it feels like nothing is going on down there. No dry, unclean feeling. Nothing. That's called living the dream.

  • You save a whole lot of money
Why waste money on pads and tampons when you could use that money to buy yourself a nice period pedicure instead? The average woman spends nearly 2,000 dollars on tampons throughout her life. Instead, buy one menstrual cup that will last you a couple years.

  • You learn more about your body
Women tend to be ignorant about their genetalia. (A study found that 62 percent of U.S. college-aged women were unable to correctly identify their vagina.) It makes sense; it's is on the inside of our bodies. Using a menstrual cup was a good experience for me because it made me much more aware of my own body.

  • You don’t have to use the secret girl code to get the goods
You are always prepared. I never get to work and realize that I forgot to refill the stash in my purse. It means that I could backpack Europe for a couple months without lugging boxes of feminine products around. I never am on a trip and my period comes early and have to ask someone to drive me to the store to buy feminine hygiene products (not that this has ever happened). You just always have that little guy with ya when you need it.

  • You don’t have to go to the store
Hasn’t everyone at some point looked into their cupboard and found only a lonely tampon sitting there, meaning you had to suit up on a snowy winter day to go buy a box? It may be a simple pleasure, but not having to make a special trip to pick up tampons is a plus for me.

  • You don’t have to make a special trip to the bathroom
When you're on the rag, you've got to take special trips to the bathroom to switch out your tampon every couple of hours. However, it's safe to leave a menstrual cup in for up to 12 hours. You may need to change it more often, depending on your flow but only visiting the ladies’ room when you need to is a joy.

  • It’s good for the environment
Over the course of her lifetime, the average woman produces 62,415 pounds of waste due to her period alone! I’m sorry, but that is a lot of of trash. With a menstrual cup, you aren’t filling the garbage with tampons after tampon.

Honestly, this is not even a comprehensive list of all of the positives.

What are the consequences?

People worry about it getting lost inside their vaginas — it won't. People worry about Toxic Shock Syndrome — that's not a risk. (This may sound too good to be true, but it is true.)

Just remember to wash your hands and to clean your cup between each period with boiling water or menstrual cup cleaner so you don't get an infection.

Where do I get one?

I bought mine on Amazon but they're starting to pop up in stores as well. I recommend:

It works great and you get to pick the color and pattern of the bag.

This is the most popular brand.

Now that you have this knowledge, go forth and live your best life.

Melinda Fox has a Bachelor's in English and is a member of the FamilyShare content team.

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