Women’s Hygienic Guide: Menstrual Cups vs. Tampons
Menstrual cups are now a fad in most women who fantasize about a stress-free menstrual period experience. These cups are unlike your regular tampons and other menstrual products you patronize.
Menstrual cups are unconventional, more economical, and eco-friendlier. If you are up to changes, here’s what you need to know about menstrual cups, specifically some reasons why you should drop your tampons and replace them with menstrual cups right now!
Menstrual Cups vs. Tampons
Basically, a menstrual cup is inserted into the vagina during menstruation. It is a small bell-shaped cup that seals against the vaginal wall right below the cervix area. While tampons absorb your menstrual blood, the cup catches and holds the blood like a container.
These cups come in a variety of materials that perfectly suits women’s preference. Medical grade silicone cups guarantee higher quality. It is best recommended for consumers with sensitive skin and allergies. Alternatively, other cups are made from natural rubber (natural gum or latex) and thermoplastic elastomer (TPE).
It also comes in different sizes, designs, and colors. You can choose from extra-small, small, medium, large, extra-large. Extra-small cups can hold up to 17mL of blood, while the bigger sizes can hold around 50mL in maximum.
Compared to regular tampons that can only hold 5mL of flow and supersizes that can only hold double the regular size, the cups can save you from potential leakage, as well as the hassle from changing tampons from time to time.
The stems are available in multiple hole designs too. There are solid, solid round, solid round nub, solid notched tab, solid flat, thin, thin solid, nub, hollow round, ring, pull, leaf, ladder, and pebble length. Not only for functional, but the stem also completes the cup’s aesthetics.
With all these choices, menstrual cups can cater to the different needs and preferences of women during their menstrual period, while guaranteeing comfort.
Safety and Health Risks Concerns
Any menstrual hygiene products, including tampons and menstrual cups, may carry some degree of risks, especially with mismanagement and improper hygiene practices. That’s why reading the instructions and warnings posted in the packaging should be done before using the item. It helps users to understand the possible risks of product abuse and mishandling.
Further, tampons are infamous for their association with TSS or Toxic Shock Syndrome and dioxins content. TSS is a rare but life-threatening infection that’s associated with women who religiously use tampons.
Menstrual cups, by contrast, are safe to use for up to 12 hours. One study conducted by the Lancet Public Health in 2019 indicated that menstrual cups are not linked to any vaginal or cervical abnormalities. They also promote these menstrual cups as safer alternatives for disposable tampons and pads.
Disposable tampons contain microplastics called dioxins that are infamous for being human-made synthetic environmental pollutants. Eight hundred million girls and women across the globe bleeds daily, which is equal to millions of disposable menstrual hygiene products filling the landfill. With menstrual cups, regular disposal of hygiene products will significantly reduce in quantity.
Also, dioxins can trigger cancer, reproduction disorders, and immunodeficiency disorders. There is no way you can wear tampons the whole day nor overnight.
On the other hand, menstrual cups are reusable and can last up to a decade. The materials used to make these cups are highly durable and intended for more extended use. Though reusable tampons are also available in the market, these tampons cannot roughly last longer than the menstrual cups.
Affordability, Accessibility, and Practicality
Another notable concern for most users is the worthiness of menstrual cup and tampons in comparison to deliver practicality without compromising its quality. But fret not. Since menstrual cups are long-lasting and reusable, they are also cost-effective and less expensive over time.
Its “wash and wear” characteristic is efficient for women who want to save their penny. What’s more, menstrual cups are becoming more affordable and accessible in the market these days. They can be purchased now on online stores and in physical markets. If it is a one-time purchase, it can be a bit pricey.
The main disadvantage of the product is the handling and washing of cups. Washing the cups after using can be crappy, and not everyone can handle them graciously, but with constant use, you’ll comfortably get used to it.
Avoid leakage by being prepared. Estimate your flow and choose the right cup size. Misfit sizes are often the reason for leakage aside from heavy blood flow. For new users, there might be discomfort, irritation, and pain at first. When you become familiar with the insertion and removal process, everything will go smoothly.
Reading more about the product and understanding its advantages and disadvantages is empirical to the menstruation experience as a whole. It all boils down to the different preferences and suitable choices the product provides and the dangers they pose to the users. Above all, for women, bear in mind that our feminine-comfort is our top priority.
By Allison Lewis