Menstruation is a biological cycle that accompanies women during practically their entire life, since it tends to begin around 12 years of age and occurs each month until menopause, at approximately 50 years.
During all this time, the menstrual cycle is accompanied by numerous devices and products, to regulate it, control it and make it interfere as little as possible in daily life. But the appearance of the menstrual cup can change all the dynamics and beliefs that persist around menstruation.
What is the menstrual cup?
The menstrual cup, also known as the vaginal cup, is an invention that, although it may seem novel, has patent registrations since the beginning of the 20th century. However, thanks to the advances of recent years, today could change the way of living the menstruation of women around the world.
This menstrual cup is a barrier device that is inserted into the vagina to retain the menstrual flow throughout the days of the period. Like tampons, the menstrual cup is used internally, but the main difference with these is that the latter does not absorb blood; but, having been designed with a bowl, stores the flow inside.
In this way, the menstruation is stored in the cup until it is time to extract it from the vaginal cavity, being able to discard the flow in the toilet. Then, it is only necessary to wash it with soap and water, and it can be reintroduced. Once the cycle is finished, it is highly recommended to sterilize it by boiling water before being used in the next period.
These containers can be made with different materials, being latex, medical silicone or thermoplastic elastomer (TPE). Although they look like very artificial materials, the menstrual cup does not cause allergies, it does not contain whitening components or chemical substances, so the risk of toxicity is eliminated, as well as the possibility of suffering vaginal irritations.
But perhaps the most relevant feature, which has enriched this product, is that it is reusable. Unlike other methods such as pads and tampons, this is not a disposable item, having a lifespan of up to 10 years.
In addition to the cup-shaped model, there is another somewhat less known prototype in the form of a diaphragm. The advantage of this type of cup is that it is even more flexible and can maintain sexual relations while wearing, although this does not imply that it is used as a contraceptive method.
Advantages of the menstrual cup VS traditional methods
As previously mentioned, the use of the menstrual cup carries with it a large number of advantages and benefits, both at a healthy, hygienic, and economic level, etc .; against traditional methods of menstruation management such as tampons and compresses, which in comparison are already outdated.
Advantages of the own body
The human body can absorb virtually everything that comes into contact with it, and the body also consumes the bleaches, perfumes and other chemicals used in the manufacture of tampons.
Also, the mode of action of the tampons, by absorbing the menstrual flow, can cause vaginal dryness, inflation, and itching. However, the cup works by storing the flow, eliminating any possibility of dehydration or irritation of the area. Besides, unlike tampons, this can be inserted even before the bleeding starts, thus avoiding possible unwanted surprises.
Other benefits for the body itself are:
1. Protects vaginal flora
By picking up the bleeding, instead of absorbing it like traditional tampons, it protects the vaginal flora from possible infections.
2. Does not produce odors
Unlike the compresses, the menstrual cup does not generate bad smells when not in contact with the air. Therefore, neither absorbs nor produces them.
3. Compatible with contraceptive methods
Its format makes it entirely compatible with some contraceptive methods such as the IUD and the contraceptive ring.
4. Menstrual cup comforts
The advantages over tampons and compresses regarding comfort are more than considerable.
5. It's like not wearing anything
Thanks to its design, the cup fits perfectly into the vaginal cavity while remaining firmly attached to the vaginal walls without the possibility of moving. Also, unlike tampons, the cup does not leave any filament in view, so it is completely safe and discreet.
6. Compatible with any physical exercise or activity
The menstrual cup is introduced as a tampon, staying entirely inside the vagina, so it allows to keep the usual rhythm of life and even do all kinds of physical exercise and sports, including those for which you need high mobility.
7. It can be carried up to 12 hours in a row
By having a storage capacity much more significant than a tampon, and even more than a compress, the menstrual cup can be worn for a much longer time, reaching 12 hours, unlike the tampon, which at most can remain inserted for 8 hours. hours.
Also, with a single menstrual cup can cover all the days of the menstrual cycle, from which the flow is much more intense, until the last days of the period.
8. It is not necessary to carry spare parts
If there is something bothersome during the days of the menstrual cycle is that it is time to change either the tampon or the compress and not carry more, as well as the discomfort of taking a lot of spare parts both in the day to day and in the case of going on a trip.
With the menstrual cup, a single cup is enough to cover the entire cycle. Once full or after 12 hours, it is only necessary to extract it, empty it in the toilet and clean it with soap and water; being able to use it again and again.
9. Can be used overnight
Unlike tampons, whose use at night is highly criticized for being harmful. The menstrual cup can be used correctly during sleep hours. Being as safe as during the day and without the possibility of staining underwear, pajamas or bedding.
The menstrual cup is reusable, that is, you only need to have one, and if it is well taken care of it can last up to ten years, which means ten years without buying any other type of tools for menstruation.
Finally, the price of the menstrual cup is around € 20 or € 30, so taking into account its duration, the cost of amortization in much less than half a year.
Advantages of the environment
Considering that a single menstrual cup can replace the use of all tampons and pads that we use over ten years, the positive impact on the environment is more than considerable.
Decrease the volume of waste
A single woman can reach up to 6 kilos per year of waste in tampons and compresses; taking into account the long duration of the life of the menstrual cup, this means a reduction in the level of garbage very important.
The manufacture of compresses does not involve the use of a large number of layers of materials and packaging, so its production has associated high levels of pollution.
In comparison, the menstrual cup is only made of a single material, and it is not necessary to resort to so many throughout life.