Yesterday when I wrote about Kotex tampons being recalled for fear of bacterial contamination, several people commented that this was one more reason to try a menstrual cup. Not to sound completely ignorant, but I wasn’t quite sure what that was, so I did a little research. And…eww!
In case you too are not a part of the menstrual cup user cult, it’s a basically a small container made out of silicone or latex rubber that holds about an ounce of period blood. You are supposed to insert it into your vagina like a tampon. Then, twice a day, you take it out, pour your blood into the toilet, wash it and then stick it back in there.
While this has an extremely high ick-factor in my mind (can’t I just wrap up the lining of my uterus, toss it and never have to touch it?), some women apparently love it and make a good case for why we should make the switch from tampons and pads. (And, much to my surprise, they’re not all a bunch of crunchy granola hippies.)
1. It will save you some cash. A menstrual cup costs between $20-$40. One popular brand, the DivaCup costs $32.49 and another $9.99 for their special DivaWash that is used to clean the cup. Proponents say we spend that much in tampons and pads in a matter of months, but the DivaCup can last for years. One cup for years? That kinda grossed me out when I think about possible germs and slimy fluids harboring for that long (yes, I get that you wash it, but still…). And what if a dinner guest opens your medicine cabinet and mistakes your cup for something to use with mouthwash or a dose of Pepto-Bismol? Maybe we are supposed to label it with a Sharpie: Period blood only.
2. Mother Nature will love you. Cup lovers also say that we females generate pounds of landfill waste every year with our throw-away pads, tampons we don’t flush and their pretty pink plastic applicators. Yes, your vagina can go green.
3. You will forget you have your period. No longer will you have to be embarrassed by running into your hot neighbor in the tampon aisle. No longer will you have to worry about leakage (even when running or doing other sports) because supposedly this guards against red-stained underwear. And, this one is very important, no longer will you have a little white string hanging from your ladyparts when you’re trying to look all sexy for your man.
Supposedly, after taking a bit of time to hone your menstrual cup-inserting technique, you will get used to the process and won’t even know it’s there. They even come in different sizes to fit our small or large va-jay-jays. Oh, and you don’t have to worry about toxic shock syndrome (a bonus for tampon-forgetters like me).
Want more details on a menstrual cup? Here is everything you need to know. Take a look and then let us know if you would try one (or are already using one). Meanwhile, I’m going to see if I can get over it.