Periods — none of us love them, but there’s no need to hate them all the time either. The “time of the month” can be stressful for some women and there is a lot of uncertainty that comes with getting your period. Will it be on time? Will it be heavy? What if I get it during class? Do I have tampons with me? We’ve all been there. Even if you’re using contraceptives to regulate your cycle, your period can vary from a lot of environmental factors [stress, diet, activity level, etc.].
Since women started getting their periods, pads and tampons were the only way to prevent bleeding through our favorite shorts and skirts. But recently, more and more women have been ditching their cotton tampons for silicone period cups. It can seem like a weird concept [a cup used in the same way as a tampon can seem unappealing] but, when actually thinking about the logistics, these cups can be a safe and healthy alternative to traditional feminine hygiene products. Periods cups are really similar to tampons because, at the end of the day, they’re doing the same thing a tampon does — stopping you from leaking everywhere.
The very first time I heard of period cups was probably four years ago at a family gathering. Everyone in the conversation, men and women, made fun of it and talked about how gross they thought it was. It wasn’t until about a year ago that they became more and more popular and I heard more people start to talk about them. They were becoming pretty common. Sure, I was hesitant for a while too. There’s always the stigma from some people and the fear of being judged. But your period is no one’s business but your own and it’s your body, so maintain it how you’d like. [Plus, if any of your close friends or family are judging you about a personal choice, then maybe something else needs reevaluating].
I was on birth control for about four years, but I stopped taking it in November of last year. While I was on it my periods became really consistent, weren’t heavy and I didn’t really worry about it too much. After going off of birth control, I was frequently changing my tampon and most of the time they weren’t even full. It felt like such a waste to be going through so many disposable products, and I was getting really annoyed and frustrated [not to mention, tampons aren’t cheap!].
I had wanted to buy a period cup for a few months but kept letting the stigma of it hold me back. I finally took the leap to buy one in August and haven’t looked back since! I did a lot of research and compared a few brands on Amazon before making my final decision. I ordered two cups on Amazon [one can last up to a year, some brands longer] for $16— which doesn’t even compare to the price of pads and tampons. Your average brand of tampons can run anywhere from $5-$10 per box. Say they’re $7 a box and you buy one box a month, you’re spending at least $80 a year on tampons. And we all know one box isn’t enough. My period cup has made my life so much easier when I’m on my period and I’m not constantly worried about the annoyances that come along with my body’s natural cycle. I empty it once in the morning and once at night, allowing me to leave it in for about 12 hours if needed. The one I ordered online even came with a bag to put it in so I can carry it in my purse if needed! How cute.
Here’s a short list of reasons why you should make the switch:
- Easy to use
- Less odor
- Lower cost
- Less landfill waste
- Regulates vaginal pH balance
- More time between changes
For more details about period cups, check out this website. It even goes over the potential cons if you are on the fence and like to weigh both sides! Period cups have proved to be convenient, stress-relieving, environmentally friendly and definitely worth it.
“Switching to a period cup was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Not only do I feel great about reducing waste usually created from using pads/tampons, but I love how secure and carefree I am on my period now. The cup I use lasts for about 10 hours, so during a long day at work, or a night out with friends, I don’t have to worry about leaking, frequently changing my tampon or carrying supplies with me everywhere I go. I recommend a period cup to anyone who is passionate about saving the earth, wants to save money or if you just want to live a more carefree life during that time of the month.” — *Jenna, 22
“Three months ago, I decided to make the switch to a period cup rather than use tampons or pads to be more sustainable. I would use around 10 to 15 tampons and five or so pads per month and I knew that by switching to a period cup I would be creating so much less waste. I’ve used the Saalt [grab it at Target ; ) ] cup for three months now and I am NEVER going back. Not only have I not used a single tampon or pad since getting the cup, I worry less during the day about my period. I change it in the morning and night and don’t think about my period for the rest of the day. The Saalt cup has honestly made my life so much easier and I would recommend a period cup to everyone I know!” — *Chloe, 22
*Names changed for privacy