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The menstrual cup: What is it and is it right for you?

Switching over to a menstrual cup is a great way to save money and free yourself from carrying bulky pads and tampons around with you everywhere. But not many people know what it is and how to use it. This guide will help you get a better sense of what a menstrual cup is so you can decide if it’s right for you.

DivaCupWhat is a menstrual cup?

Menstrual cups actually originated in the ’30s but then fell out of style and became hard to find. More recently, companies such as DivaCup began manufacturing the product, and it has been rising in popularity ever since. A menstrual cup is a small, bell-shaped device constructed of flexible materials such as silicone. It is inserted into the vaginal canal, where it catches your menstrual flow just as a tampon would.

How is it different from a tampon?

Unlike tampons, menstrual cups are made of products that don’t dry out your vagina. DivaCup’s product, for instance, is odorless, latex-free, plastic-free, BPA-free and entirely made in Canada. It is constructed of silicone, which makes it flexible and easy for the fibres and muscles of the vaginal canal to mould itself around it.

Can anyone use it?

Absolutely. Different sizes depending on your age and life experiences are available, so you can pick the one suitable for you.

Is it messy?

Learning how to properly insert and remove a menstrual cup can take a little experimentation, but once you’ve gotten the hang of it, the mess is about the same as wrapping up a pad or tampon dispenser and placing it in the trash. A menstrual cup can easily be cleaned using mild soap and warm water or a cleaning solution specialized for its care. Many menstrual cups can also be santized in a pot of boiling water for added cleanliness.

Is it expensive?

Quite the opposite! When you consider the amount you spend on pads and tampons over the course of a year, investing in a menstrual cup saves you a great deal of money. The average woman spends between $150 and $200 annually on period supplies, whereas a menstrual cup, which will last at least one year, costs somewhere between $30 and $50.

Is it a “greener” option?

Without a doubt, a menstrual cup is a more eco-friendly alternative to pads and tampons. Think about how many sanitary products you go through in a single day when on your period. And then think about the fact that you do that for 5–7 days every month. That’s a whole lot of waste! A menstrual cup is a single product that can last you a whole year, which means that, by making the switch, you are significantly reducing your impact on the environment.

Is it convenient for all lifestyles?

Women engaged in all different forms of employment and ways of living find using a menstrual cup a practical option. A menstrual cup can be worn when travelling, exercising, camping and more. So don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor — and maybe some of your girlfriends — about this alternative menstrual product to get a sense of whether it’s right for you.


More on women’s health

Ways to make your period easier to handle
Why you need a Pap smear
Breast cancer: Truths and myths

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