Menstrual Cup – 9 Reasons Why It’s Better Than Tampons

What The Heck Is A Menstrual Cup?!

Menstrual cups like the Mooncup are reusable menstrual cups, made from a soft, medical grade silicon rubber.

They are around two inches long, are latex-free, and without any dyes, BPA, toxins or bleaches.

Menstrual cups are worn internally like a tampon, but they collect menstrual fluid rather than absorbing it.

Unlike tampons, a menstrual cup is not a disposable product, so you only need to buy one, saving you a tonne of money!

How Much Fluid Can A Menstrual Cup Contain?

The Mooncup will hold 30ml of fluid, which is roughly one third of the average total produced each period.

A light seal is formed with your vaginal walls allowing your menstrual fluid to pass into the cup without leakage or odour.

You will probably find that you need to empty your menstrual cup less frequently than you currently replace towels or tampons.

I’ve been using one for about 15 years. No more painful cramps that I used to get with tampons. They’re amazing. — BellyBelly Fan

Why Is A Menstrual Cup Better?

Menstrual cups are so much better for your body, the environment and your pay packet!

Here are 9 reasons why menstrual cups are better for your body:

#1: Menstrual Cups Don’t Interfere With Your Healthy Vaginal Environment

When you use a tampons, it absorbs 65% menstrual fluid and 35% natural moisture.

This creates an imbalances of the moisture and pH levels of the vagina.

Menstrual cups do not interfere with your healthy vaginal environment.

#2: No Fibres Are Left Behind

Unlike tampons, a silicon made menstrual cup will not deposit fibres in your vaginal wall.

#3: No Toxic Shock Syndrome

Menstrual cups have not been associated with toxic shock syndrome.

#4: No Nasties

Menstrual cups contain no bleaches, deodorisers or absorbency gels.

#5: Gentle On Sensitive Skin Too!

A silicon menstrual cup will not cause irritation. They are perfectly suitable for women with sensitive skin, thrush, eczema or allergies.

#6: Safe To Use

Menstrual cups are made from a special medical grade non-allergic silicone. Silicone is derived from silica, which is one of the most abundant minerals on earth.

#7 Does Not Interfere With Your Vagina’s Natural And Healthy Functions

Because a menstrual cup has a smooth surface, it allows the mucus membranes of your vaginal wall to continue their essential cleansing and protective functions. The menstrual cup does not absorb your body’s natural defence mechanisms.

#8: Menstrual Cups Are Better For The Environment

Can you imagine the sheer amount of liners, pads and tampons you’ll use in your lifetime? They end up in landfill sites, along with every other woman’s too.

The average woman throws away around 125 to 150kg of tampons, pads and applicators in her lifetime.

Unlike pads and tampons, menstrual cups are reusable, eliminating the need to carry bulky spares. Your menstrual cup should last for several years, with proper care.

#9: They’re Better For Your Bank Account Too

Depending where you live (and if you’re taxed on sanitary products, like we are here in Australia), lets say it costs around $10 a month for sanitary items.

That works out to be $120 a year. If you had your first period when you were 12, and if your period stops at the average of 51 years, you’ve spent a grand total of $4,680 — you could have taken a nice holiday for that amount!

And that’s not including the times where you’ve had extra heavy periods or longer bleeding cycles.

I’m only on my second cycle using a cup. Why did I waste so many years, this thing is amazing! — BellyBelly Fan

How Easy Is It To Use A Menstrual Cup?

Correctly inserted, a menstrual cup is so comfortable that you wont even know it’s there.

It may take a little practice at first as you need to find the angle and position that is right for you.

Once you have perfected it you will be amazed at how simple a menstrual cup is to use. You will need to empty, rinse or wipe and reinsert your menstrual cup every four to eight hours depending on your flow. The fluid remains inside the cup, and the process is not messy or uncomfortable.

A menstrual cup can safely be used overnight and is great for all sports, swimming and travelling. It can be cleaned in the same way as baby equipment: with sterilising fluid, or by boiling for five minutes in an open pan of water.

I only just started using a cup about 6 months ago and I swear, I’ll tell anyone who asks about it that I wish I knew about menstrual cups 20 years ago. It has saved me so much money and is soooo easy to use and maintain! Some of my friends think it’s gross, but I just think it’s because they haven’t done the research that’s needed. I will definitely be buying one for my daughter when the time comes! — BellyBelly Fan

How Do You Use The Mooncup?

  • Find a comfortable sitting, standing, squatting or kneeling position. Relax and take your time.
  • Press the sides of the menstrual cup together and then fold in half again.
  • Hold the folded sides firmly together between thumb and forefinger of one hand. The single curved edge should be away from your palm.
  • Stay relaxed. With your free hand gently separate the labia and push the curved edge of the folded menstrual cup up into the vagina.
  • Insert the menstrual cup fully following the natural angle of your vagina. Aim towards the small of your back, not the top of your head. You do not need to push the menstrual cup up high into the vagina, the vaginal muscle will keep it in place.
  • Once the menstrual cup is fully inserted grasp the base of the cup, not the stem, and rotate it once to ensure that it has fully unfolded.

Most women find that the stem is too long. You will need to remove the menstrual cup and cut the stem to your own requirements.

It’s important to keep your menstrual cup clean, so wash it regularly with mild soap and hot and water. It can be cleaned more thoroughly between periods.

Menstrual Cup FAQ’s

Here are the most commonly asked questions about menstrual cups:

Q. Can you use a menstrual cup in public toilets?

A. Yes, you can still use your menstrual cup in public toilets. Simply take a small bottle of water into the toilet with you and rinse it with this. Alternatively you can wipe with toilet paper and give your menstrual cup a thorough clean at a more convenient time.

Q. My flow is very light and I find tampons extremely painful to remove. Is it okay to use a menstrual cup with a light flow?

A. Yes it is fine to use a menstrual cup when your flow is light. Menstrual cups are not absorbent and will not cause dryness so you will find removal much more comfortable than with tampons.

Q. My menstrual cup is leaking, what can I do?

A. The most common reason for leakage is not placing the menstrual cup low enough in your vagina. The menstrual cup needs to be placed just inside the entrance to your vagina, not up near the cervix where tampons are placed.

Also, you need to check that the whole of the stem is fully inside you. Most women need to trim the stem. If you think you need to trim the stem, remove your menstrual cup and cut the end with scissors. Trim a little off at a time and reinsert your menstrual cup to check how it sits. Repeat this process until it is fully inside you and is comfortable.

Another reason for leakage is due to poor seal formation with your vaginal wall. You can try twisting and rotating the menstrual cup once inserted. You can also try pulling the menstrual cup down slightly and then gently pushing it inward. Clamping your pelvic floor muscles around the menstrual cup will also help to create a good seal.

Occasionally, leakage can occur because the small holes below the rim of the cup have become blocked. Use a clean pin and remove any debris blocking the holes. Sterilise your menstrual cup and re-insert.

Another reason why you may be experiencing leakage is due to the size you are using – the cup size may not be a good fit.

For more information or to purchase a Mooncup menstrual cup, please see the Mooncup website HERE.

Last Updated: September 3, 2015

CONTRIBUTOR

Kelly Winder is the creator of BellyBelly.com.au, a doula, writer and mother to three awesome children. Currently, she's travelling the world for 12 months with her partner and children, and hopes to inspire more families to do the same. Visit aroundtheworldpluskids.com.au for more information.


3 comments

    1. Menstrual cups will not come out if you cough or sneeze. I recommend them, menstrual cups are life-changing. There are many brands, most are online. I recommend that you find your cervix and go from there. The Lily Cup is great. There is a compact style that folds into itself so it is very discreet and easy to carry. The original is rather long, but it works great for most people if you cut the stem off. The Lunette is also great.

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