We all know the period products available to us and what they do.
However, menstrual cups are a more recent product that present you with an abundance of benefits both personally and environmentally.
A menstrual cup is a reusable period product. It is a small, flexible cup made of silicone that you pop up there (similar to a tampon). While the cup is in, it catches and collects your period.
Menstrual cups can hold more blood than other methods, with some people being able to wear their cup for up to 12 hours depending on their flow. In the most basic of terms, a menstrual cup is an eco-friendly alternative to tampons.
The thoughts of using a silicone cup instead of a tampon may sound scary or make you uneasy, but they are a much safer and environmentally safer option.
Menstrual cups hold blood rather than absorbing it like a tampon, so you aren’t at risk of getting toxic shock syndrome (TSS), a rare bacterial infection associated with using tampons.
A person can spend on average €132 on period products a year, amounting to almost €8,100 across their lifetime, according to Plan International. With menstrual cups, you simply pay for one cup you can use time and time again, making these the most budget friendly period product.
Three women told the College View why they opt for a menstrual cup.
One of the owners of Eco Dreams UK, a UK based company who sell reusable period products said: “I started using one because I love the fact I could leave it in for up to 12 hours. Without meds that was as close as I was going to get to making my period disappear. Been using one for 10 years now and haven’t looked back… Not having to get up to change in the middle of the night is amazing.”
Twitter user @mbird_makes prefers to use a cup because there are “no chemicals, a better understanding of what my bleed is actually doing, no waste so environmentally friendly, no products to carry with me.”
@mummytash said: “Love mine, it’s just so easy, you never have to carry anything else in your handbag and it’s a complete game changer for me when camping.”
According to Organi Cup, tampons, pads and panty liners along with their packaging and wrapping generate more than 200,000 tonnes of waste per yet. All period products contain plastic, with pads being made of up to 90% plastic.
They go on to explain that the average person throws away 125 to 150kg of pads, tampons and applicators in their lifetime. This is contributing to pollution and climate change, as a year’s worth of period products can have a carbon footprint of 5.3kg CO2 equivalents.
Menstrual cups are a lot safer for the environment as they are generally a once-off investment that you clean and reuse. This means they will have minimal CO2 emissions and will contribute to an absolute minimum of landfill waste.
A menstrual cup is an option that everyone should consider the next time they need to stock up on menstrual products. Not only are you presenting yourself with a range of safe benefits, you are also contributing to a cleaner, safer environment.
Author: Emily Clarke
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons