Making your Hygiene Routine Zero Waste: How to Transition to a Menstrual Cup
- Apr 8, 2022
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If you have a period, this is a sign to consider transitioning to using a menstrual cup. Today, almost all sanitary pad companies have come out with their own menstrual cup. And for good reason – there are so many more benefits. What are you waiting for?
Why should you make the switch to a menstrual cup?
Most menstrual cups hold up to 15mL of blood, so you can go up to 12 hours before changing it again. You can change the cup before you leave the house for the day and again when you come home. Most people find they do not have to change their cups when they’re out in public. Because the silicon material is anti-bacterial, there is no risk of toxic shock syndrome, even if you leave it in longer than 12 hours.
Unlike conventional tampons and pads, menstrual cups are made from 100% medical-grade silicone and are completely toxin-free. Conventional products contain bleached cotton and plastic materials that can cause skin irritations and allergic reactions. Organic sanitary products may contain less of these substances but will be significantly more expensive.
Save hundreds of dollars
If one cycle’s worth of pads or tampons costs $5 per cycle, and you go through an average of 450 periods in your life, you may end up spending $2250 on your period products. If you use organic sanitary products, the cost will be even higher. Compare this with a $40 menstrual cup that lasts around 10 years each. You will be saving hundreds!
The most comfortable choice
Many people forget they’re wearing a menstrual cup. With a pad or tampon, you may start to feel uncomfortable when they get full. The menstrual cup is inserted into an area where there are no nerves, so you cannot feel it at all. You may even forget you’re on your period!
How to use a menstrual cup
To correctly insert a menstrual cup, it’s easiest to start by visualizing how the cup will go into the vagina. Your cup should come with instructions and a diagram of the angle to insert the cup (it’s not the same as a tampon, which is inserted more vertically). The easiest position will be squatting over a toilet as if you’re just getting up from the seat. In this position, your vagina opening will be wider. Fold the cup so that the tip is smaller, then insert it into the vagina. You should hear a small “pop” sound if it is inserted correctly. If not, you can use a finger to push the sides of the cup until you hear it. Over time, you’ll be able to get it open faster.
Best options: Nixit, Diva Cup (3 sizes available)
How to remove the menstrual cup
To remove the cup, you must be in the same position, squatting over the toilet. Use your pelvic muscles to push the cup down. Use your thumb and index finger to pinch the base of the cup. This breaks the seal on the cup so that you can pull it out easily.
How to clean the menstrual cup
It’s easier than you think. The cup can be cleaned and sanitized at the end of every cycle by boiling it for 20 minutes. You can have a pot that you keep just for this purpose. If you’re on the go or don’t have time to boil the cup, you can use special wipes or soap to clean it. Make sure you use brand-specific soap or wipes because normal ones may be too harsh for the material of the cup.
Becoming comfortable with using a menstrual cup
If you’ve been using pads or tampons for most of your whole period of life, it may take time to make the transition to a menstrual cup. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get used to it after trying it once. Most people need at least 3 cycles to get the hang of it. After that, it’s a seamless process every month!
Grace Tien is a women’s health holistic nutritionist. She helps her clients optimize their nutrition habits so that they can get rid of afternoon slumps and live each day full of energy. Grace specializes in nutrition for healthy periods, you can find out more at @gracetien.ca on Instagram.