Menstrual cup -  a simple and safe alternative to live your period more sustainably

Menstrual cup - a simple and safe alternative to live your period more sustainably

Queuing in the public toilets of a Swedish night club, that’s where I first heard about the menstrual cup. I was listening to my friend complaining about disposable pads and how uncomfy and upsetting they were, when she claimed she wanted to try the menstrual cup. I was amazed and slightly embarrassed when I heard that people used some sort of rubber funnel as a menstrual device. My friend briefly explained how it works. I was curious and wanted to know more, but I commented sceptically, and we headed back to the dance floor.

I’ve been using the cup for more than 3 years now, and every time I think back to the day I discovered its existence, I realize that day should have come sooner. That’s why I want to spend a few words on the menstrual cup, as a simple, safe and sustainable alternative to traditional menstrual products.

The menstrual cup is a funnel-shaped cup made of silicon functioning as a reusable menstrual device. It is placed inside the vagina and in contrast to a tampon, it collects the menstrual fluids instead of absorbing everything it is in contact with. In this way the blood does not come into contact with the air and does not cause odour, which can be the case with external period care. The cup is sanitized using boiling water, at least once at the beginning and at the end of the period. You empty and rinse it every 2-3 hours, according to the heaviness of your flow, and you could possibly wear it for up to 12 hours. You can buy cups in different price ranges depending on the country of origin, material and the brand. They are available in most pharmacies, supermarkets, drug stores or online shops. But the most striking thing is that you can use the same cup for up to 10 years, if you take care of it properly. This makes it much more affordable than any other menstrual device.

The advantages of using a cup start from being more eco-friendly and investing much less money in your period to getting rid of unpleasant odours and feeling free to do any activity while having your period. On the other side, there are some little tricks you have to get used to. Indeed, using a menstrual cup might be messy at the beginning, sometimes you have trouble inserting or removing it and you need to give extra attention to cleaning the cup and washing your hands. But if you give yourself the time and patience, you’ll get the hang of it soon.

Human beings are diverse, complex, ever-changing systems. Even though switching to a cup in my 20s was a menstrual revolution for me, it might not be the same for someone else and it might be the case that I switch back to a different menstrual device later in life. The cup is just the one solution I wish I had heard about much sooner. However, there are many alternatives to disposable products, such as period pants, menstrual discs, and cloth pads.

Although it’s not necessary, it is advisable to consult a doctor, gynaecologist, or pharmacist, in case you have doubts about the menstrual cup. Here you can find some informative reliable information on the topic:

Everything You Need to Know About Using Menstrual Cups - Healthline

Menstrual cup a systematic review and meta-analysis - Pubmed

Whether it's in public toilet conversations, on the web or on social media, if you hear about an alternative to traditional menstrual products, don't hesitate to ask a few more questions and get informed because it could be the solution for you. You could become an inspiration to other menstruating people.