Conventional tampons and pads are made from chemical synthetics and cotton that has been sprayed with pesticides, and then bleached in a way that contaminates them with cancer-causing chemical byproducts. For example possible hazardous Ingredients like, Dioxins and furans (from the chlorine bleaching process), pesticide residues, and unknown fragrance chemicals. These Exposure Concerns may be: Cancer, reproductive harm, endocrine disruption, and allergic rash.
Ever saw that crazy news story of Women getting drunk by, soaking their tampon in alcohol? Well if you have you can pretty much understand how the tissue we have down in our life canal (too soon?) is very sensitive and can absorb chemicals quickly.
If that isn't enough to change your mind remember that toxic shock syndrome (TSS), a rare bacterial infection that can lead to a potentially fatal drop in blood pressure (shock) and organ damage is most common to happen during the use of Tampons especially the "super" size when left in for too long.
I for one am so busy during my days I have to set up an alarm for changing time, as if I were a baby so annoying but before the cup this was my life.
A menstrual cup simply collects the blood, it is flexible and soft and it works by inserting into the vagina during your period. This little invention can last up to 12 hours inside without a leak, once you get the hang of it They are not painful, and easy to apply but tricky at first. The advantages of having a menstrual cup are:
- Convenient: They are great for longer wear, you can sleep in them without using an eakky pad. There are no strings attached great for active women. Heavy flow? This is your go to since it holds as much liquid as a super tampon would, and no pad needed. Great for travel, trips vacation, anything all you need is your cup and Go!
- Healthier Alternative: As we have discussed holding a tampon for too long can lead to (TSS) and that you can do without. No side effects, No Chlorine, No GMO cotton, No BPA, No Fragrances, and no adhesives. Plus it wont make you Dry since all tampons absorb even the good and healthy moisture. Great to wear on light days, since it does not absorb like tampons do. Did I mention they are Hypoallergenic too so if you have an allergy don't worry you will be fine.
- Blood Odor: Yes this is actually a thing that period smell comes from the air that is exposed to the menstrual fluid, and it brings out a smell. Well Menstrual cups prevent the air from reaching the blood so this will not happen.
- Cramps? Many women have reported that they have fewer cramps and lighter periods.
- Save Money: Yes, did you know that the average cost of purchasing tampons liners and pads can range to over $4000-$5600 in a lifetime that is $120 a year. Compared to about $140 to purchasing cups for a lifetime. An average cup can last up to 10 years.
- Environmental: Did you know that a Woman can dispose of over 1k pounds of waste from tampons, pads and applicators in a lifetime. This equates to 1,000,000 tons and get this, it is an equivalent to 2.8 Empire State buildings in the US alone. The majority of this ends up in landfills and sewer systems (now that is gross).
There are two common used sized for example the Diva Cup has a Sz 1 for teens and Women that have yet to give birth vaginally the common size for this one is 23ml) and diameter (40mmX40mm). Then there is a Diva Cup Sz 2 this is intended for women who have had children vaginally or older Women. This size 2 has a 30ml capacity and is slightly larger; 45mmX50mm.
2. Cervix size?
Yes this is important to know if you aren't familiar with this take a minute in the bathroom and measure. Ok once again for all my newbies out there have no shame in your game and time to explore. It is very easy just insert your finger( inside vagina) and touch the tip of your cervix (see a picture of a cervix here) Remember the spot on your finger that is outside your vagina and use that to measure it and see how far it is to your cervix. When you insert your finger and if you can touch your cervix with less than half of your finger; you have a low cervix. Or if you only insert half or two thirds of your finger; you have an average length cervix. If you can insert your entire index finger into your vagina before you touch your cervix, you have a high cervix.
Ok once you have that figured out check out this awesome chart (scroll all the way down) to see the different types of cups, to choose your own special one.
3. Heavy, Normal or Light Flow?
This is not that significant when choosing a cup but from what I hear for heavier flow you may want to consider some of these (See Chart Here)
- Getting Started: First let us look at our cup (See Image above) Once you have figured out what is what lets settle down. And remember these very important facts:
- It will get messy the first time, but hey it is just blood and come on ladies it's not like you are touching someone else unknown fluids.
- Be patient; you might not get it on the first try I recommend using an organic panty liner in the meanwhile.
- Only for periods: Do not practice if you are not on it, it can be painful.
OK if you are all ready to go here is the 101 to application of the menstrual cup.
- Wash your hands, have plenty of toilet paper near by and start by folding the cup: (Remember your vagina is a remarkable space where even though it looks like this thing might not fit it will, without any pain)
- Get into a comfortable position: (I suggest the same position, you place tampon in) Stand, Sit, Squat or lay down find your comfort zone.
- Stay relaxed, do not tense your pelvic muscles. Slowly insert the cup in your choice of folding method (see previous video) don’t push it straight up it's not a tampon. It needs to be pointed at an horizontal angle toward your tailbone to align with your cervix, see picture below:
- You will hear a Pop, or not but if you do don't be alarmed. Make sure the cup is in the right spot. All you do is touch the base of the cup, if it feels round you are in. If you rotate the the cup around in 360 degrees, holding the stem it will ensure that the cup is on right.
- Warning: You may be have to try a few times keep toilet paper and sink handy the first couple times.
- You will not get it right, on the first try or maybe not even the fifth wear panty liner on your first few tries. But DO NOT GIVE UP!
- Young Women: If you are a younger girl who is yet to have intercourse do not use, a menstrual cup can break the hymen which is used as the evidence of virginity in some cultures.
- If you have fibroid (benign tumors that develop on the walls of the uterus) or a dropped uterus (the uterus sags into the vagina itself) this may not be for you, since finding a fit may more difficult.
- Lastly i've done some research and id you have uterus didelphis you can use the cups :)