By Mia Windisch-Graetz
There I was in the bathroom holding the menstrual cup in one hand and the instruction manual in the other. If other girls can do it, I can do it too, I repeated nervously. I don’t know why I was so scared. It just looked huge. And having watched about 120 Youtube videos of women who failed to insert or remove the cup, did not necessarily help me overcome my fear. Nevertheless, there is always a 1st time for everything and I had to at least give it a try. 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 my vagina’s best friend. As of now, you can count me among the 91 percent of people 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. Here are 10 lessons I learned from using the menstrual cup.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Staying Comfortably Wet
Unlike menstrual cups which only collect your period blood, tampons absorb your period flow AS WELL AS your vagina’s natural moisture, which leads to dryness, irritations, and itching.
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 fiber behind, creating a breeding ground for the bacteria that cause Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).
5. 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 afterward. 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 odor when exposed to air, so using a cup means you won’t smell.
6. Having A Good Night’s Sleep
Because no more changing and leaking overnight.
7. Saving Time
Depending on your menstrual flow, you can go between 8 and 12 hours without emptying your menstrual cup. This results in:
8. Traveling Light
You will never have to ask yourself how many tampons or pads you need to take with you to make it through the day and night.
9. Spending Less Money Long-Term
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 or donate it for a greater purpose.
10. Protecting 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.
So are you ready to give the menstrual cup a chance now? I hope so, simply because once you go menstrual cup you will never go back!
Intimate Talk: Sustainability & Health in Sex and Menstruation
At CONSCIOUS LOFT presented by MOCHNI during Berlin Fashion Week
Ticket: 25€, 10% Discount Code: ConsciousLoft10
17 January, 14:00 – 16:00
Oranienstraße 10, 10997 Berlin
Kestrel Jenkins, Founder Conscious Chatter
Written by Mia Windisch-Graetz, Photos by Antonia Böhlke
Mia is a Paris-based freelance writer from Vienna. When she was a little girl, she dreamed of living in the Amazon jungle, where she would protect the rain forest and animal life. Now living in the city jungle of the French capital (things sometimes turn out differently than expected), she found her calling in raising awareness about pretty much everything sustainable, vegan, organic and ethical. The trained copywriter received her MA in Global Communications in Fashion at the American University of Paris. miawindischgraetz.com