The first commercial menstrual cup was invented in 1932 by American actress, Leona Chalmers. She designed the cup, which was initially called “Tassette”, as a solution for her own menstrual issues and discomfort with traditional period products at the time. Chalmers saw the potential for her menstrual-focused invention to improve women’s lives everywhere and founded the company Tassette Inc. to manufacture and distribute the cups.
Top physicians at the time debated the safety of menstrual cups and tampons in major medical journals, and still even more doctors worried that such menstrual products would break a young woman’s hymen, sexually stimulate her, or encourage promiscuity. Over the decades, menstrual cups have evolved and knowledge about them (and their minimal risks) has expanded in popularity around the world, providing women with a sustainable and effective alternative to single-use, disposable menstrual products that make their way into the world’s landfill.
Menstrual cups are a reusable alternative to traditional tampons or sanitary pads. They are small, flexible, bell-shaped cups made of BPA- and chemical-free medical-grade silicone that are inserted into the vagina to collect menstrual blood for up to twelve hours. They are extremely eco-friendly. In a lifetime, a single person who menstruates will use between 5,000 and 15,000 pads and tampons and is expected to throw away roughly 400 pounds of period product packaging. It is estimated that over 20 billion pads and tampons are being dumped into landfills every year, and these disposable menstrual products have the potential to take 500 to 800 years to break down. Some components of disposable pads and tampons that contain plastic may never biodegrade, so swapping out these with menstrual cups can have a significant positive impact on the environment.
Keep reading on so you can decide for yourself if menstrual cups are a good fit for you and worth a switch to sanitary pads and tampons.
Why Are Menstrual Cups Good to Use?
Menstrual cups can hold more fluid than traditional period products, providing longer-lasting protection and less frequent changes. They are also free of harsh chemicals found in disposable pads and tampons, which can be irritating to the skin. With proper use and care, menstrual cups are an excellent option for managing monthly period flow. For peace of mind, menstrual cups can be worn overnight and during physical activities like swimming, running and much more, making them a convenient option for women on the go.
How Do I Use a Menstrual Cup?
A menstrual cup is a small and bell-shaped device made of BPA-free and chemical-free medical-grade silicone that collects menstrual blood for up to twelve hours. To insert a menstrual cup, first, wash your hands thoroughly and sterilize the cup if necessary. Find a comfortable position, such as sitting on the toilet or squatting. Fold the cup using the C-fold or Punch-down fold, then gently insert it into your vagina, aiming towards your tailbone. Let the cup unfold, ensuring a proper seal. Check the position and adjust if needed. With practice, inserting a menstrual cup becomes easier and provides a reliable, eco-friendly menstrual care option. The cup needs to be emptied every 8 to 12 hours, depending on what cup size you use and your typical daily blood flow during menstruation.
How Easy Are Menstrual Cups to Use?
Some women find menstrual cups easier to insert and remove than tampons or pads, while others prefer the familiarity and convenience of traditional menstrual products. Menstrual cups require less frequent changes and can hold more fluid, providing longer-lasting protection. They can also be eco-friendly and cost-effective. While some may need to adjust to the learning curve of using a cup, many find it to be a comfortable and an easier, more comfortable option for managing their periods.
– article continues below –
The Menstrual Cup Essentials
Menstrual Cup – Small
Menstrual Cup – Medium
Menstrual Cup – Large
Menstrual Cup Wash
Menstrual Cup Kit
The greatest thing about menstrual cups is that they are environmentally friendly. A single cup can be used for up to 10 years, significantly reducing the amount of period waste produced by disposable menstrual products. Menstrual cups hold more fluid than tampons or sanitary pads. A standard menstrual cup can hold up to 30 ml of fluid, which is roughly the equivalent of two tampons. A menstrual cup is very cost-effective – while the upfront cost of a cup may be more than traditional menstrual products, the long-term savings are significant as menstrual cups can last for upto 10 years. And, with respect to Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), you will be happy to know that menstrual cups do not pose any risk. TSS is a potentially deadly condition associated with tampon use.
The Gaggler team is passionate about finding and sharing great products with our readers. We take pride in researching and testing products to find the best of the best, and we only recommend things that we love and think you will, too.