quite sure what a menstrual cup is or how it works? You are
though menstrual cups have been around since the early 1930s,
only in the past few years have they become a more popular
choice for women.
of hypo–allergenic rubber or silicone, a menstrual cup is
inserted into the vagina during your period to capture
fluid," says Emily Linklater, D.O., Mayo Clinic Health
System obstetrician and gynecologist. "How often you need
to empty or replace the menstrual cup depends on the size of
the cup and your menstrual flow, but the cup can hold up to
three times as much fluid as a regular tampon."
recent popularity? Linklater identifies a few factors that may
contribute to this trend, including:
average woman spends between 50 to 150 dollars per year on
tampons or pads, depending on duration, amount and regularity
of their periods. On average, a menstrual cup costs between 20
to 40 dollars and can last from six months to 10 years.
Depending which brand of cup you choose and how often
replacements are required, this can add up to significant
menstrual cup can be worn up to 12 hours before it should be
removed, cleaned and reinserted. Typically tampons or pads
should be changed every four to six hours. The cup allows
women to have more time before changing out, especially on
light days. Also, it prevents the need to carry extra pads or
tampons, which many women find burdensome and even
embarrassing. The menstrual cup can even be inserted around
the time of an expected period to avoid first-day leakage.
tampons and pads are not required by the FDA to list
ingredients on packaging, many women are concerned about
reports of tampons containing bleached cotton, rayon/viscose
fibers and dioxin. Although rare, toxic shock syndrome has
been long associated with tampons. The menstrual cup is made
of flexible hypo-allergenic silicone, alleviating concerns
that fibers or chemicals are left behind in the vagina. Most
menstrual cup companies report a suction seal that is formed
between the vagina and the cup, claiming a decrease in risk of
bacteria, although this statement has not been scientifically
often attribute disposable diapers for causing landfills to
become full, but tampons and pads accumulate in landfills too.
A Huffington Post article estimates 9,120 tampons are used
over a woman’s lifetime. The menstrual cup is reusable and
significantly reduces the impact on the environment.
of any age can use a cup. Most cups come in different sizes,
with sizing charts on the manufacturer’s website.
THERE ANY DRAWBACKS?
may find that emptying the cup can be messy, especially if
changing the cup at a public restroom. Rinsing the cup after
removing is preferred, which can be difficult in a large
public restroom. The cup may not fit all women, especially if
the uterus is low or abnormal. Also, the menstrual cup does
require a certain amount of upkeep. It should be sterilized
between periods, similarly to sterilizing a baby bottle
between feedings. Some women might find this cumbersome and
the menstrual cup does appear to be a safe option for women
during their period. Individual preferences may vary, but if
you have concerns or questions, discuss them with your health
care provider," says Linklater.