Let’s talk about periods! More specifically, let’s discuss one of the sanitary products only a handful among us use in order to tackle that inevitable week of blood and tears (too graphic? Get over it). Let’s collectively overcome the stigma attached to speaking about something perfectly natural that happens to half the world’s population once a month – and let us reconsider our own choices together.
According to the Women’s Environmental Network, every woman in the UK uses an average of over 11,000 disposable menstrual products in her reproductive lifetime.  Female sanitary product options are plentiful and reveal themselves to be rather expensive when added up – Huffington Post estimates the amount of money every woman spends on sanitary products at about £5,850 in total.  As we are presumably all students on a budget, let me first try to woo you with the financial aspect of my argument: Imagine swapping this insane amount of money with a product that only costs about £15 – and is reusable!
The advantages of menstrual cups are numerous: As soon as inserted – if you’ve purchased the correct size – you won’t even notice the cup anymore, and you can go about your daily business without unpleasant dryness or leakage. To disinfect, you simply have to boil the cup for a couple of minutes. Additionally, traveling is much easier with that little bad boy; you will never have to worry about bringing the right number of tampons or pads on a trip. According to everyone I talked to about this, it only takes a couple of times to insert the cup to get used to it (if even). Too good to be true? Stay with me, there’s more to come.
Do you like the planet you’re living on? Do you enjoy the fresh air you’re breathing (as soon as you leave London’s smog behind)? Do you love long walks on the beach? Well, consider this: 200,000 tonnes of waste result yearly from the usage of tampons, panty liners, and pads; per kilometre of the British coastline, a beach clean in 2010 found an average of 23 sanitary pads and 9 tampon applicators.  Really, friends? Let’s be better and do better. If the simple purchase of a menstrual cup can help reduce the tragedy that is the global plastic waste problem whilst also saving you a significant amount of money – why wouldn’t you give it a chance?
This article wouldn’t be an honest discussion of menstrual cups if it didn’t shine some light on their assumed disadvantages. Users of menstrual cups are encouraged to empty the product two to four times daily depending on the heaviness of the individual’s flow. If you work 9-5 and don’t feel comfortable following these instructions in your office restroom, this could obviously be perceived as an issue. But may I remind you of the fact that tampons and panty liners are supposed to be changed even more frequently than four times a day? Perhaps the hesitation we may feel in regard to the thought of emptying our menstrual cup outside of the comfort zone of our own flat is more of a psychological barrier than an actual physical difficulty? Just some food for thought.
In addition to this common worry, another one of the concerns people seem to foster is connected to the fear of leakage. As mentioned earlier, menstrual cups are available in different sizes, and as soon as you have found the right size for you, there is absolutely nothing to be scared of: The soft silicone cup will adapt to the shape of your vagina and seal it until you remove the cup yourself.
A menstrual cup may seem a bit like an enigma at first, and you may not feel secure in trusting that small object, but I promise: Once you go cup, you’ll never turn back. Do the planet and your wallet a favour and give it a shot!
Amazon offers a wide palette of menstrual cups in every desired size or colour. Prices start as low as only £6 and max out somewhere around £40.