If you know me, you know that ever since I switched from tampons/pads to a menstrual cup, I have been spreading the gospel about how great they are. It’s part of the reason I started Karasi in the first place. I started talking about the benefits and had an outpouring of questions and praise from my friends. Karasi was born because of this positive feedback and my need to help more womxn get in tune with their minds and bodies.
So what is a menstrual cup exactly?
A menstrual cup is a type of feminine hygiene product. It is bell-shaped cup made of medical-grade silicon or rubber. It is inserted into the vagina, below your cervix and it catches your menstrual flow. You then empty the fluid into the toilet or sink, rinse and reinsert. A menstrual cup can be worn for up to 12 hours at a time depending on how heavy your flow is because it collects menstrual fluids rather than absorbing it.
Menstrual cups have changed my relationship with my period forever. If you told me a few years ago that today I would be openly talking about my period and managing it positively, I would have laughed. I will never go back to using pads or tampons and here is why:
- Cost Effective: Who doesn’t love saving money? On average, womxn spend $120 a year on tampons and pads. A menstrual cup costs around $25-$40 and can last you up to 10 years with proper care (Properly rinsing before reinserting and sterilizing at the end of your cycle).
- Less Mess: I’ll be honest. There is a bit of a learning curve when you first start using a cup. You may get blood on your fingers while you’re still getting the hang of things. But, once you get over that hump, say goodbye to leaks, bloody toilet paper-wrapped pads/tampons and waking up afraid that you’ve soiled your sheets. Tip: For me, the easiest way to empty the cup is while sitting on the toilet. I just dump it directly in.
- Be One With Your Bod: A cup helps you be more in tune with your body and learn about yourself. Most people don’t know how much they flow a month. You’d be surprised! Thanks to the menstrual cup, there are no more guessing games with your cycle. Before using a cup, I didn’t even really know what my vagina looked like. Now, I know how to prepare myself for each day of my cycle.
- Eco-Friendly: Menstrual products account for a ridiculous amount of trash. An estimated 20 billion pads and tampons are discarded annually in the United States. These products will take hundreds of years to decompose. As I stated above, a menstrual cup can last up to 10 years. There is no waste associated with it from month to month.
- Chemical-Free: Menstrual cups are made of medical-grade silicone and they are hypoallergenic! They contain none of those chemicals you can find in pads and tampons, and they don’t throw off your pH balance.
- Doesn’t dry me out
- Little to no cramps
- I can put it in when I’m expecting my period to catch spotting.
There are so many options for products to use on your period and I am not here to tell you what is the best thing to use. I just want you to know that there are more options than just commercial pads and tampons. The only way to know if a menstrual cup is for you is to do your own research and get one to try out! Here’s a quiz you can take that will tell you which brand may be a good fit for you. If you find that the cup isn’t for you, there are other alternatives like absorbent panties, reusable pads or organic pads/tampons.