Why I Switched From Tampons to Menstrual Cup

One thing I’m dreading about my backpacking trip is going on my periods. The thought of traveling on a bus or train while on my periods or looking for the brand I’m used to buying in a foreign country is something I’m not looking forward too. To minimize the challenges associated with going on my periods, I decided to start using menstrual cup.

Menstrual cups are small, flexible cups that you insert into your vagina during menstruation. Unlike tampons and pads, cups collect your menstrual blood, rather than absorbing it. So I opted to wear a menstrual cup over a tampon or pad and this are some of the benefits I’ve been seeing.

Reasons to Consider a Menstrual Cup

1. There can be major health benefits. 
If you’re a tampon lover like I was, this info might make you reconsider. “Unlike tampons, menstrual cups keep all your other healthy vaginal fluids right where they should be: in your vagina. On the other hand tampons absorb anything they can get their cotton-y fibres. This includes healthy bacteria, hydration and lubrication.” While that might not sound so bad, a research I read said, “Tampons also cause friction in the vagina, especially when they are too absorbent for the amount of blood flow. This can cause little tears in the delicate vaginal wall. Menstrual cups have almost no history of causing toxic shock syndrome (TSS), a rare, but dangerous, build-up of certain bacteria in the vagina mainly associated with high-absorbency tampons.”

2. It might be more convenient. 
Think about how often you need to change your tampon — most recommendations say you should use them for no longer than eight hours. In contrast, most menstrual cups can stay in for up to 12 hours before being emptied and rinsed… That being said, you may need to empty a cup more often if your flow is at its heaviest, but you can use the same cup for your heaviest and lightest days. You are actually likely to have fewer leaks with a properly inserted menstrual cup than with tampons or pads. That means fewer uncomfortable moments searching for a bathroom. 

3. It’s definitely cheaper and more eco-friendly. 
Think about how many tampons you use per period, then calculate how much you spend a year on tampons. Switching to a single cup could save you money and cut down on waste.
Of course, there are some downsides I come across, but menstrual cups are easy to insert and remove, once you get the hang of them. Even so, adjusting to a cup can take time and be inconvenient. It takes about three cycles to get a realistic idea of how they fit with your body and life.

If you’re ready to switch, my top tip is be patient. Also don’t expect to make the switch flawlessly or all at once. It was a bit tricky for me to get the hang of removing a full cup at first. The first few times I used it was a bit messy, which is normal bumps in the road on the way to becoming a dedicated cup-lover. What I did first was to wear my cup around the house, and balancing with tampons or pads until I was felt confident.

Bottom line: its worth a try!