Menstrual Cup Pros and Cons

Title Menstrual Cup Pros and Cons with hand holding a cup.

Have you been curious to try a reusable menstrual cup, but have no idea how to insert or remove the reusable cup?  I had walked the aisle at drug stores looking at options numerous times, but always thought there is no way a menstrual cup will work. Let’s review some menstrual cup pros and cons so you can decide if it is right for you.

*This article includes affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Every April I try to do something specific for Earth Day.  In April 2020, while quarantined at home due to the pandemic, I finally decided I was ready to give a reusable menstrual cup a try.  It would be the perfect time to try the reusable cup since we were homebound. 

April 2021, has been one year of using a menstrual cup and I love it!  It was intimidating at first and a bit of a learning curve for the perfect fit.  After a year of using a menstrual cup I can’t imagine going back to disposable menstrual products.

While writing out the Menstrual Cup Pros and Cons post it makes me excited to share what I have learned and tips to encourage you to give it a try. I promise it isn’t as intimidating as it seems!

Grace holding Diva Cup
Grace holding Diva Cup

Menstrual Cup Pros

Hand holding menstrual cup with list of menstrual cup pros.

Less Landfill Waste 

The main reason I wanted to switch was to reduce landfill waste.  The average women uses 250-300 pounds of disposable menstrual products in their lifetime. 

Also, the processing of tampons and maxi pads have an even greater environmental impact than the actual disposal of these products.

Can you imagine the environmental impact we could have if more women switched to a reusable cup?  Switching to a menstrual period cup would be less waste and fewer trees would need to be cut down.

Empty Every 12 Hours 

I empty the menstrual cup morning and night.  If you have heavy flow days you might need to empty more often.  I have not needed to empty more than once every 12 hours even on my heavier days.

Last summer when we traveled for family vacation I packed tampons thinking I would use those instead of the menstrual cup.   I found the menstrual cup is so much easier because it doesn’t need to be emptied as often. 

Significant Cost Savings 

Just one reusable cup is needed and it can last numerous years.  I have been using the same cup for a year and I have had no issues.

Add up the amount you spend monthly on sanitary products such as a box of tampons or disposable pads.  Previously, I was spending $16 a month on organic tampons so that equates to $192 a year before tax. 

The reusable menstrual cup I purchased cost $39.99 for the year and I plan to continue to use it past the one-year mark.  Using it for just one year I was able to save $152.  The savings can add up with long-term use. 

Less Odor

The terrible smell of old tampons… oh you know what I am referring to and, yes, I said it.  The smell comes from when blood is exposed to oxygen.  The menstrual cup is suctioned and then the menstrual fluid is flushed immediately so there is much less odor.

Easy To Clean

Use boiling water to sanitize the period cup before the first use.  Add the cup to boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes. 

When using the menstrual cup while on your period, you simply empty the menstrual fluid in the toilet and rinse the cup clean with water.  If you prefer you can use mild soapy water.

Once you have finished your menstrual cycle for the month simply wash the reusable cup with gentle soap and warm water.  Let it air dry before storing.  Then store the cup in something breathable. 

Can Be Active

When using a menstrual cup you can run, swim, exercise, and sleep with no issues or leaking.

Chemical Free

Medical-grade silicone is used without the concern of all the harsh chemicals used in maxi pads or regular tampons. 

Menstrual Cup Cons

Hand holding menstrual cup with list of menstrual cup cons.

Learning Curve

Figuring out the perfect size and placement does involve a learning curve.  Learning the best way to remove the cup will take practice but totally worth it.

It Could Leak

The main disadvantage is that if the menstrual cup is not placed correctly in the vaginal canal, it could leak.  There needs to be a suction so the cup can collect the full amount of menstrual fluid.

It could also leak menstrual blood if it was not the right fit or someone had a heavy menstrual flow.  Women who have a heavy menstrual flow would just need to empty the cup more often.

Can Be Messy

Removing the menstrual cup can be messy if not being careful.  It could look like a small murder scene, but it is an easy process once you get the hang of it.

Additional Tips

Hopefully after reading the menstrual cup pros and cons it will help you see all the benefits. Below are some additional tips to make the switch easier.

Sizing

The menstrual cup is a flexible cup that comes in different sizes.  Be sure to read the label so you can get the right size.  There are small sizes for young girls and young adults.

Ingredients

When purchasing a menstrual cup, you want to make sure it is flexible and made with medical-grade silicon.   Medical-grade silicon can last 25 years.  While each brand of menstrual cup is different, some factors that can change the lifespan of the cup are vaginal pH, bacteria, cleaning and care.

A reusable menstrual cup is also a great option as you try to reduce your overall toxin load.  Disposable menstrual products can contain potentially harmful chemicals. If using disposable products I highly recommend checking the label of ingredients and looking for organic cotton products. 

How to Insert a Menstrual Cup

Tips for inserting cup. Fold with thumb and index finger in u-shpae.

Wash your hands first.  Be sure to relax as it will help get the correct placement.  Use your thumb and index finger and fold the cup in half.  Insert the cup using the thumb and index finger.  Once the cup is in, release your fingers from the cup. It should unfold once released.  The cup should be in the base of vaginal canal.

Twist the cup a little to make sure it is in place and suction sealed.  You can pull on the tip to make sure it does not move.  If you tug and it stays then you know there is a full suction.

How to Remove a Menstrual Cup

With clean fingers pinch the base of the cup with your thumb and index finger.  When you pinch the base, it should release the seal. Slowly pull it out the cup keeping it upright.  Then empty the menstrual fluid in the toilet.  Rinse with warm water and reinsert.

How to Clean a Menstrual Cup in a Public Restroom

If you need to clean a menstrual cup in public it is still simple.  Just remove the cup and empty the menstrual fluid in the toilet.  Then wipe the cup with toilet paper or tissue paper and reinsert it. Then once you can go to a private bathroom rinse out the cup.

There are also cleaning wipes specifically for the silicone cup.   The would be a great option if you are needing to empty and clean your cup in a public bathroom.

Best Option for a Menstrual Cup

After reviewing a few brands, I decided to purchase the Diva Cup.   It seemed like it was the right brand for me. 

A mother-daughter duo founded the Diva Cup. They were on the search for more environmentally friendly period products.  In 2018, they become a BCorp and they strongly believe in being transparent and accountable.  

They wanted to use their business as a force for good for the customers, the employees, and the planet.  As a company they are also focused on advancing menstrual equality through education, advocacy, and access.

Diva Cup also has a recycling option.  When it is time to replace your cup, visit their website to start the recycling process.  The recycled old cups are used to make playgrounds, flooring, and tracks. 

After Reviewing Menstrual Cup Pros and Cons

After reading about the menstraul cup pros and cons I hope it will encourage you to give it a try.

While the reusable menstrual cup may not be for everyone, I have clearly loved it. It makes my life easier and allows me to reduce my carbon footprint.  That is a win-win in my book. 

***Please consult your health care provider if you have any gynecological concerns before using a menstrual cup. 

*This article includes affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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