Ellen Gerst / Gavel Media

If You Have a Period, You Need a Menstrual Cup

For $25, you can buy a new best friend. It's small, sleek, and unassuming, and erases all your period troubles in one fell swoop. Why doesn't everyone use menstrual cups?

I spend way too much time trying to convince anyone who mentions their period around me to buy a menstrual cup. I’m not a brand rep, or crazy like your aunt who used reusable tampons in the 70’s.

The fact that there are still people who either don’t know about the wonders of menstrual cups or are too scared to jump on board is baffling to me. I was once a non-believer, too, until one of my friends raved about their Diva Cup so highly and incessantly that I finally caved and ordered one on Amazon (seriously, twenty-five dollars!).

My life hasn’t been the same since.

The benefits of menstrual cups are endless, and the drawbacks almost non-existent.

Benefits:

  1. You never have to buy another pad or tampon again.

Menstrual cups are meant to be used an average of five years, although some have even longer lifetimes. If numbers do it for you, that means you’re spending a $5 per year on your period, compared to the $95 that the average pad or tampon user spends each year on menstrual hygiene products alone. Take that $90 and do literally anything else.

  1. They’re great for the environment.

No more throwing away pads and flushing tampons. The only waste you’ll generate with a menstrual cup is the packaging it comes in, and even that’s recyclable. For the next five years, you can live guilt-free.

  1. Reduced chance of toxic shock syndrome (TSS).

Since menstrual cups are made of silicone, they can’t cause toxic shock. Of course, you still have to keep it clean and don’t leave it in too long to avoid TSS. But, it’s much less risky than a tampon, because:

  1. You can safely leave a menstrual cup in for much longer than a tampon.

Most menstrual cup manufacturers say you should change your cup at least every 24 hours. The average tampon is only safe and effective for 4-8 hours at the most, and anything after that increases your risk of leaking or worse, TSS. And leaving it in doesn’t give you cramps like a tampon would—in fact, I know several people who swear their menstrual cups actually alleviated their cramps.

  1. Menstrual cups don’t leak. Ever.

Cups form a tight seal with the walls of your vagina, which prevents any rogue blood from leaking out—it literally can’t. That means never worrying about bleeding through your favorite pair of underwear or jeans. You can forget you’re on your period for a blissful, worry-free 24 hours. You can’t do that with a pad or tampon.

  1. Once you start using a menstrual cup, you join the coolest club ever.

I have instantly bonded with every person I’ve met who uses one, and I have yet to meet someone who tried it and didn’t like it. It’s the best non-cult cult there is.

Drawbacks:

  1. It will be hard to use once. One time. Your first time.

But after you get over yourself and learn the best fold for you, putting your cup in and taking it out is a piece of cake, especially since you only have to do it once a day while you’re on your period. Do some Googling and watch a few helpful YouTube videos before you go in the first time, and by your next period, you’ll be a pro.

I'm not just being dramatic when I say that my menstrual cup has genuinely improved my life. If your body is spending 20% of your adult life punishing you for not having a baby, you might as well make it as comfortable as possible.

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