There are alternatives
Do you use disposable sanitary products? It could be worse, but it could be better. Menstrual cups are one alternative to the usual product cycle. Instead of absorbing, cups collect fluid and you flush the contents down the loo.
Nicer for you
Women who try them often find menstrual cups to be less noticeable, more comfortable, and to have less odour than disposable sanitary products.
- Can be worn safely and comfortably for 12 hours.
- Can’t be felt or seen while wearing.
- Often said to be more comfortable and to reduce cramping.
- Can be worn while exercising and swimming (and they don’t get waterlogged).
- No odour, as not exposed to air.
Less hassle for you
Women who try them often find them easier to use and to be less awkward in many situations. They mean a whole lot less stuff to carry around (and hide) and get rid of. They save you a lot of money.
- More control over when and where you change them.
- Better value: you buy and use far fewer of them, and they last for about 10 years. At about $40-$60, they pay for themselves after about 4-6 months.
- Avoid the annoyance of disposing of sanitary items at home, work, shops and restaurants, public toilets, camping, pubs and clubs, parties, friends’ houses, the beach, travelling.
- They mean less packaging to carry around and always having to take your bag to the bathroom.
- Some of the types you can wear, without mess, while having sex.
Nicer for the environment
On average women use 22 sanitary products each cycle, and over 10,000 over their lifetime. Cups last for years and vastly reduce the amount of waste ending up in landfills or waterways. They also save on waste from packaging, and the risk of clogging up pipes (especially in septic systems) and sewers.
- Environmentally friendly: contributing either nothing, or far less, to big piles of garbage (landfill).
- Also avoids waste winding up in waterways and on beaches.
- Way less packaging.
- You don’t have the threat of clogging up plumbing, especially in septic systems.
- No link to toxic shock syndrome.
- Suitable for women with allergies and don't contain bleaches - only medical grade silicon.
- Reduced potential for dryness and irritation.
- Proven, established technology - starting to gain broader popularity in some countries.
- A woman's average monthly flow is 35mls, ranging from 10-80mls (1-6 tablespoons). The cups hold about 30mls. Why deal with all that extra mess from disposables?
It could be worse, but it could be better.
Sound off-putting? It's true - these things are somewhere between being a space-aged gadget, a strange medical item, and a hippy cult. Maybe you're not sure, but unless you’re 100% comfortable with the products you use now - and the ways you buy, handle, wear and dispose of them, it might be worth looking into your options.
You might find, like many women, that cups are one option that is less hassle for you than disposable products. You can read some testimonials from converts to different brands, and research your options yourself (see the FAQ page for some useful links).