I started using a menstrual cup around 2 years ago and I wanted to update you all on my experience.
When I started looking at switching to a cup I had been using tampons and pads for years but in the last 2 years, I had been having ongoing issues with thrush. At first, I cut out tampons but was still having issues. As I was researching what could be going on with my body, I was learning so much about what actually goes into a tampon. While there are no significant findings that suggest tampons negatively impact your body, there were definitely affecting mine.
Since using my cup, these issues have (fingers crossed) disappeared. Menstrual cups are also chemical-free, and while this again wasn't something I was necessarily looking for in the beginning, it has put my mind at rest.
These are the 2 biggest positive changes I've felt since using my cup.
Menstrual cups are also environmentally friendly and cost-effective, while these weren't my reasons for switching they are a huge bonus! My cup is made of silicone and was £20. They have a LONG lifespan of anywhere between 5 - 8 years. This long lifespan is automatically environmentally beneficial as it is cutting waste. Silicone is pretty safe too, it is made of silica which is a type of sand. As it degrades it eventually go back to its original state, which is not hazardous to the environment.
Comparing this to the hundreds upon thousands of tampons and sanitary towels that will end up in landfills. With all that being said, we all need to be doing a lot more than just avoiding tampons or pads.
Does anyone else ever find themselves unprepared when their period starts? You would think having them month after month would allow us to stock up on menstrual products, yet I always found myself darting to Tescos in a panic. Since using a cup I have never had this feeling because it's reusable I'm never without it. I actually bought 2, one to use generally and the other I keep in my bag in case I come on unexpectedly.
As well as all these, the risk of getting toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is so minor in comparison to tampons. TSS is a rare, but potentially life-threatening, condition which is caused by bacteria getting into the body and releasing harmful toxins. As cups collect blood, rather than absorbing it, your chances of TTS are near impossible. If I'm honest, TTS wasn't really something I actively thought about when I was using tampons but was something I read about a lot when deciding to make the switch to a cup.
So let's talk about some menstrual cup disadvantages! Starting with the fact that they are VERY messy. I'm not trying to kid anyone and argue that using a cup is just like using a tampon, It's not. Tampons are much more discreet.
If you decide to use a menstrual cup you have to be more prepared, this again was something I hadn't thought about. Removing and cleaning a cup in the comfort of your own home is fine, but doing it in a public toilet is a different story. You're stuck in a situation where you need to clean your cup but you can't exactly walking out of the cubical and start cleaning it in the general sinks.
I wasn't really ready for that, I hadn't actually thought about how you manage that, so if you are thinking of making the switch remember to take a bottle of water with you!
I would recommend menstrual cups to everyone, I will admit they are something you have to get used to. While this isn't a negative, it's something to think about. Menstrual cups are invasive. You have to be somewhat comfortable with your body and your period to use them. The whole process of using a cup is very different and while I'd like to recommend them to everyone, I also realise that some people aren't quite as open as I am. I thoroughly believe the pros outweigh the cons, but it's also something that's just not for everyone. Just like tampons don't really work for me, menstrual cups may not work for you.
If you are debating whether a menstrual cup would be right for you, I hope this helped!