By Mia Windisch-Graetz
3:21 AM. There I was, in the bathroom, about to do it and nervous as f***. It looked huge. “If other girls can do it, I can do it too”, I repeated to myself, holding the menstrual cup in one and its instruction manual in the other hand. I don’t know why I was so scared, there was just this certain je ne sais quoi about it. And having watched around 120 Youtube videos of “how to insert a menstrual cup” showing women who speak about how they failed to put it in let alone manage to take it out, did not necessarily help to overcome my fear.
I think I was more nervous than before my first time having sex. Because sex meant pleasure, sex meant adventure, sex didn’t mean being alone in the bathroom, trying it all by myself. Nevertheless, there is always a first time for everything and I had to at least give it a shot. And trust me, the only thing I regret after doing so, is that it took me so long to convince myself that the menstrual cup really is a woman’s best friend: as of now, you can count me among the 91 percent of the subjects who tried the menstrual cup and would recommend it to others. Because the menstrual cup actually means pleasure, it means adventure and it definitely isn’t something you are alone with: I hope that those 10 lessons I learned from using the menstrual cup will inspire you to give it a go and eventually fall in love with it too.
1. I Protect The Environment
Anything you can do, you can do bleeding too: my biggest motivation to ditch disposable period products was to help cure the environment. After I learned that pads stay in landfills for about 800 years (90% made of plastic, hence non-degradable) and that around 432 millions of tampons are dumped worldwide each month, I knew that I had to find a more sustainable alternative: made from reusable silicone, menstrual cups last up to 10 years and as you only need one, you can only imagine how many insane amounts of waste you can spare our planet.
2. I Save Money
In most developed countries an average woman uses around 11 000 menstrual products during her lifetime, spending more than 100 Euros a year. By switching to a €25 menstrual cup, you could save €1000 over 10 years. With this extra money you could go on vacation, get some Yoga classes or donate it for a greater purpose.
3. I Save Time
Depending on your menstrual flow, you can go between 8 and 12 hours without emptying your menstrual cup. This results in:
4. Having A Good Night Sleep
Because no more changing and leaking overnight.
5. It Lightens My Purse
You will never have to ask yourself how many tampons or pads you need to take with you to make it through the day/night.
6 Staying Comfortably Wet
Unlike menstrual cups which only collect your period blood, tampons absorb your period flow and your vagina’s natural moisture, which leads to dryness, irritations and itching.
7. And Healthy
Conventional disposable pads and tampons are bleached white, meaning they include dioxin and other dangerous substances, such as BPA or latex that could cause cancer, reproductive issues and immune system suppression. Tampons can also leave tiny pieces of fibre behind, creating a breeding ground for the bacteria that causes Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).
8. Understanding My Body Better
Since I use the menstrual cup, I feel less stressed and less annoyed by my period and thus more in line with my body. Also, as you can observe how much blood you actually lose, you will understand your cycle more.
9. My Period, My Business
When I stayed over at someone’s place, I would sometimes hide my used tampons or pads in a small bag in my purse to get rid of them only afterwards. Especially if I wasn’t close to the person, it would just make me feel uncomfortable to leave my period waste in their bathroom. Now, in case I have to clean my menstrual cup, I can do so any time, without having others knowing. Interesting: period blood only develops an odour when exposed to air, so using a cup means you won’t smell.
10. Forgetting That I Am Actually On My Period
As you can keep the menstrual cup in for 12 hours without emptying it, you practically only have to think about your period once a day. Then, when you get home, you just quickly wash it in the sink and put it back in – voilà! From now on, you also don’t have to go through the whole hiding-my-tampons-and-pads-in-my-bra-or-bag debacle at work. Facing stressful shopping adventures because you were running out of period protection as well as panic attacks caused by leaking tampons or slipping pads belong in the past too.
So are you ready to give the menstruation cup a chance now? I hope so, simply because it is the best!
Text: Mia Windisch-Graetz, Photo: MOCHNI