What the Heck are Menstrual Cups?

menstrual-cupMenstrual cups? Some of you may be wondering what I’m talking about. Menstrual cups are an alternative to disposable pads and tampons. Just like the name suggests, they are a cup that you insert during your period to catch menstrual fluid. Every few hours (as often as you would change a pad or tampon or even less frequently), you empty the cup into the toilet, rinse or wipe off, and reinsert.

There can be a huge learning curve and major ick factor for some of you. But proponents of menstrual cups and other reusable menstrual products (like cloth pads) are even more grossed out by the bleach used in disposable products and by the tons of trash we’re adding to the landfills each month. Fortunately, most menstrual cup brands are reusable month-to-month. With some washing and sterilizing (either by boiling carefully or with a vinegar bath), menstrual cups can last years. Imagine all that money you’ll be saving!

Most, if not all, of these cups have different sizes depending on your age and whether you’ve had children. In general, size and shape are similar between brands, but there are differences in material and thickness. In this blog post, I’ll go through some of my thoughts on the pros and cons for some of the major players in the menstrual cup market.

Instead Softcup
Website: http://softcup.com/
Pros:
– Undecided? Instead Softcups are disposable, so if you’re afraid to take the leap to a reusable product, try these first to see if they’re right for you!
Cons:
– Some users report leakage from the cup not sealing or fitting correctly.

DivaCup

Website: http://divacup.com/
Pros:
– Silicone: For those with rubber or latex allergies, silicone is the way to go!
– Popular in the U.S., making it easy to find at co-ops and health food stores.
Cons:
– Thicker material means harder to fold to fit during insertion. Not so beginner friendly?
– You may have to widen the holes on the sides of the DivaCup to allow air to escape the cup more efficiently as menstrual fluid goes in.

The Keeper

Website: http://keeper.com/
Pros:
– The darker color means less worry about discoloration.
– Made of natural gum rubber and not made from petroleum byproducts like synthetic rubber.
Cons:
– Made of rubber, so those with a rubber/latex allergy should avoid!

Mooncup UK

Website: http://www.mooncup.co.uk/
Pros:
– Made from silicone (latex-free) and contains no dyes, BPA, or bleaches.
– Comes with a cute pouch where you can keep your menstrual cup.
Cons:
– For U.S. women, the Mooncup UK is more expensive.

La Luna Cup

Website: http://www.lalunacup.com/
Pros:
– Pretty in Pink: These cups are super fun and colored bright pink.
Cons:
– It’s so pretty, you’ll want to look at it more than use it!

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About This Blogger

June Owatari

June Owatari is a professional writer who is passionate about reproductive and mental health, craft beer, and anything DIY. She plays in two bands Mariel and Raymond the Sparrow and feels lucky to be fully immersed in the San Diego arts community. Her biggest dream is to write while traveling the United States. You can find June on Twitter @juniejuniejune.