Every reason why you should start using a menstrual cup instead of other sanitary products

Why waste £18,000 when you can spend £20?

We all know how expensive menstruating can be, especially seeing as tampon tax is still a thing. Research done in 2015 found that the average woman can expect to spend up to £18,000 on her period across her whole life.

According to this study, 24 per cent of women use tampons, 31 per cent use towels, 39 per cent use both, leaving a tiny six per cent left using the menstrual cup.

After finding this out, I decided to join that six per cent to save money and see if it was really worth it. A year on, I’m still using it and I will never go back. Here are all the reasons why you should too.

It comes in an adorable tiny bag for storage

First things first, it has a home for the weeks between periods. You can discreetly carry it around in your bag and if it falls out it’s less embarrassing than a million tampons spilling everywhere.

It’s a one time purchase of around £20

You only have to replace it every 10 years. There’s also the perk of never running out of supplies ever again, say goodbye to the awkward toilet roll sanitary pad substitute whilst you waddle to the nearest shop. Your cup has got your back.

The cup holds 30ml and can be used for up to 12 hours at a time

The average period is between 30 and 60ml per cycle and lasts for five days. I have endometriosis which means my periods are extremely heavy and around a week or two long. I was hugely skeptical that this cup would be able to control my flow but suprisingly, it has never let me down.

They’re actually really easy to put in, even though they don’t look it

Of course takes a bit of practice, but perseverance is key and the benefits of using it out-weigh the difficulty of getting it in. You just fold it whichever way you find easiest and insert it, then twist the bottom and it will open out and create a seal. And don’t worry because removal is easier than it seems, the first few times I took mine out in the shower because I was scared of spillage, but it is so easy to get a hang of.

Two recommended insertion techniques

No more smells

Although we don’t like to talk about it, it is a fact that sanitary towels and tampons can get a little smelly. As your period won’t start to smell until it is in contact with air, the menstrual cup eliminates the risk of smells and keeps you feeling fresh and odour-free throughout the day.

It’s easy to clean

Not only does it make you feel cleaner during your period, the cup itself is so easy to clean. A little rinse between uses and just a plain soap and water wash each day does the trick. It is also recommended to boil it in a pan of water every month for about five minutes to cleanse it more thoroughly.

99 problems but the menstrual cup ain’t one

You can record your flow

If you’re like me and you have a menstrual condition, it may be helpful for you and your doctor to keep a log of your flow. On the other hand, sometimes it feels like you’re bleeding to death and it’s reassuring to know you’re not going to die.

You only have to change it a few times a day

As periods go, mine requires constant attention and because tampons can sometimes only last around an hour or two, it means that leaving the house has always been public toilet dependant. However, now I can go up to 12 hours without having to even think about changing it. If you have long shifts at work, the cup is a perfect solution. I’ve found myself almost forgetting I’m on my period.

Worry-free at Reading Festival

It’s better for you and for the environment

Made from 100 per cent medical grade silicon, the cup leaves nothing behind inside you and produces a lot less waste. It also reduces your chances of toxic shock syndrome significantly.

Mine also helps a lot with pain as I tend to get a lot of extremely painful cramps and irritation. The cup takes off a lot of pressure and because it’s a completely smooth surface, my vagina isn’t so irritated by the removal/insertion.

There are a world of horror stories surrounding the cup, most mentioning it getting stuck or lost. The fact is that it can’t get lost, your vagina is not a void, there is nowhere for it to go. It can only get stuck if you’re tense, so relax and try again.

It forces you to get up close and personal with your period

We often forget that our bodies are supposed to be the way they are, and despite being a perfectly natural process, our periods can get us down. Using the cup has made me more comfortable discussing my period and I’ve even inspired my friends to start using it too.

Having to face my blood in such a raw way helped me to appreciate the beauty of it. Our bodies are amazing.

I’m still using the cup for every period, I love it so much and I don’t intend to change.

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