Yup! That's right! We are talking about periods today. If you are a dude and NOT interested in learning why a menstrual cup can change your life, you might want to go read about Wort Brined Pickles or Beer Brined Chicken or Essential Oils for Men! You are welcome to stay of course. Your lady will appreciate your extensive knowledge on the subject I am sure!
This isn't the first time I have mentioned how something involved with your nether-regions can change your life! Have you tried the personal lubricant? You should. By the way, is two posts about periods in about a month too much? I hope not because you deserve to know about this!
I learned about the menstrual cup about two years ago. I read several articles about the down side of tampons and they got me thinking. Do I really need to add to my toxic load every month? No. I do not. Especially since I am trying to minimize my and my family's exposure to toxins! Besides, the thought of not having to buy tampons for the rest of my life was more than compelling! I mean, I was already inserting something to manage my flow anyway. It might as well be non-toxic and cheap!! And since you are interested in the non-toxic lifestyle, check out this awesome PDF that we created for YOU that will help you detoxify your personal care products!
Why Tampons Are Bad News
They are toxic.
Unless you are buying 100% organic tampons, you are getting exposed to pesticides every time you use a tampon. The Genetically Modified cotton that your tampon is made of is sprayed with pesticides and then combined with a bleached rayon. All of these chemicals are then absorbed by your vaginal mucosa. Go ahead and read up about dioxin – a toxin produced by rayon processing. Yikes. And remember Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)? Tampons are the culprit there.
They are irritating.
Besides the annoyance of having to change them every few hours so that you don't get TSS, tampons absorb EVERYTHING. Even the natural vaginal fluids present to make everything hunky dory. A dry and irritated vagina does not sound very fun. Tampons can also interfere with the natural pH of the vagina which then leads to other problems.
The Menstrual Cup Alternative
What is a menstrual cup anyway? Put simply, it is a small, flexible, reusable cup that is inserted just like a tampon. Besides being non-toxic (they are made of a medical grade silicon), there are many other benefits that menstrual cups provide.
They are inexpensive
Instead of buying tampons every month, you can spend money on a menstrual cup every few years. Using it is simple, too. Remove it, dump it out, rinse it out, put it back in. Then, in between periods boil it in water for 5 minutes and store it in its little bag for next time.
They are convenient
With no Toxic Shock Syndrome risk, a menstrual cup can be left in to collect for up to 12 hours! When inserted correctly it creates a seal and prevents leaks. Since the cup collects fluid and tissue on its way out, the uterus doesn't have to work as hard to get it out – so, less cramps. In the same vein, a menstrual cup doesn't create a back-up of fluid and tissue – so, shorter period. Has a period ever been more convenient??
My Personal Experience
I know what you are thinking, emptying and rinsing a cup does NOT sound convenient. I hear you. I had the same concern. Having never used a menstrual cup before, I had visions of having to head to the bathroom every 3 hours to empty and rinse. And what do I do in a public restroom??? Turns out, if I try to empty it after 3 hours it isn't full enough to empty. And I haven't ever had to change one in a public restroom because I can go longer between emptying, which means I can wait until I get home. I have heard of a lot of women emptying and rinsing in the shower, which makes it super convenient!
So how did it work out for me? I have to admit, I was a little grossed out by how all of this works. But if I have to pull on a string to get a tampon out, I can pull on a tab to get a menstrual cup out.
I will admit, it took a few tries to get it right. The menstrual cup comes with instructions for insertion, but it is trial and error that is the best teacher. I will say that doing a kegel squeeze when inserting really helps get it into position. And don't worry. It won't get lost inside of you. The little tab isn't far from reach and if it is, bear down a little and it will be easy to find.
Even knowing all of these great benefits, I was still a bit guarded to how they would benefit me personally. I simply couldn't believe that my period was over in three days the first time I used the menstrual cup. I dropped 2 whole days off of my period. I was sold. It was easier to use than I thought it would be, and my period was over faster. I am a menstrual cup user for LIFE!!
Personally, I use the Lunette menstrual cup. I also tried the Diva Cup but it didn't work for me. I feel like the Lunette is sturdier and I like that it snaps in to place once inserted. The Diva Cup leaked a lot for me. And the Lunette has a tab that is easier for me to grab, plus it can be trimmed!
So, are you thinking about making the switch? You should at least try it. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how awesome they are! You guys, menstrual cups are changing lives in East Africa!! And they can change your life, too!
Do you already use a menstrual cup? How have they changed your life?