WRITTEN BY ANDI LOPEZ
Although menstruating is a vital part of female biology, for the most part it’s really just quite an inconvenience. As someone who’s always looking to live my best inconvenience-free life, it was a game changer when I finally decided to venture away from pads and tampons to a more environmentally and financially sustainable alternative.
I’ve been using my menstrual cup for about two or three cycles now and I can honestly consider most of my period woes vanished (hormonal symptoms aside). Now, I wasn’t easily convinced when it came to leaving my comfort zone of disposable sanitary items so I understand if you have your reservations when it comes to trying something new down there.
So here’s my personal pros and cons list - from a real life, menstruating human.
Wear it and forget it - Unlike pads or tampons that will usually need to be changed every few hours depending on your flow, period cups can be worn up to a maximum of 12 hours at a time. That means only having to deal with your period twice a day! Side note: I’ve got a pretty heavy flow at the start of my period and I’ve found that I still don’t really have to worry about leaking as much as I did with tampons or pads in the first few days.
So fresh, so clean - Did you know that menstrual flow only develops an odour once it’s exposed to air? Because a period cup is worn internally, you can forget about getting smelly down there every time you go to the toilet. Yep, that also means no more peeing on a tampon string.
It’s confronting - This first one I would probably consider both a con and a pro. Yes, seeing your period blood gathered up in a cup is pretty gross and confronting at first. But you get used to it and it actually really helped me embrace my body’s natural functions and become okay with my own bodily fluids.
Putting it in & taking it out - This part really only takes one cycle to get used to from my experience. A handy tip: avoid long nails & use those kegels!
Did you know that the average Australian will use up to 12,000 pads and tampons in a lifetime;? This contributes to approximately 120 kg of landfill per person. Depending on the brand, make, and care, a menstrual cup can be used from anywhere between a year to five years. Nuts, huh?
If you’re not so keen on the idea of putting anything up there, here’s some sustainable alternatives that don’t require insertion:
1.Period Absorbing Underwear
2. Reusable Cloth Pads
Reusable cloth pads like the Hannah Pad or JuJu Cloth Pads are a great way to start your sustainable sanitary product journey. It’s pretty much the same as using a disposable pad, except you’re greatly reducing your contribution to landfill!
Andi is a columnist for Maidenhair Press. She mainly writes about fashion and life advice as these are the things she is most passionate about. She also curates fashion shoots each issue for the magazine which you can find in her fashion columns and the gallery.