Why should we use reusable period products?
Disposable & not sustainable sanitary towels and tampons are neither good for the environment or our health. They are so expensive on the long run that they will make our head spinning. Considering you need a box of tampons at €3.99 per period - it would cost €47.88/ year. Over the years, I've tried different products during my period and I've decided that I would share my experience with you. Today I will talk about the menstrual cup.
I bought my first menstrual cup, the Mooncup, about 6 years ago in a Boots store. The brand started to be really famous in France but I remember it is was not available in many stores in Ireland. Nowadays, many brands/shapes/colours/sizes are available and you can even find a few websites to compare them in terms of price and length.
How to insert menstrual cups?
Menstrual cups can be a bit scary: you don't know how to fold it, you are afraid to insert it then you are afraid to remove it (especially in public places), you check many times that it does not leak at the beginning.
If you already feel uncomfortable to insert a tampon with no applicator, it might be not the best option for you. However, the cup definitely help you to know your body a bit better as you have to get your hands a bit dirty at least twice a day and for a few days. The good thing with cups is that you can practice even though you don't have your period. I would strongly recommend to wear it at home first in order to be more familiar with it but also to feel comfortable. Also, you might need to cut the stem but it depends on your vagina.
How to clean cups?
It is paramount to sterilise the cup before using it by boiling it up in a pan for a 10 minutes (please check the manual of your cup for more details as some brands will recommend more or less time). Then, every 8-12 hours (again refer to the manual as each cup is different), you need to empty the cup and just clean it with warm water before inserting it again. If you are in a public toilet with no sink in your stall, you can either bring a bottle of water with you to clean it or exceptionally use toilet paper, just don't forget to clean it with water as soon as you can). As always, your hands have to be clean when handling the cup.
Pros: You can keep the menstrual cup up to 12 hours for some brands. You really feel free and forget about your period when you swim or doing yoga. The cup also lasts for years so it makes a very affordable option - the average price being €30, it would cost €5/year if you keep it for 6 years.
Cons: You need to practice a bit before being comfortable. Cleaning can be daunting/awkward, especially if you have roommates.
Price: €15.90 - €56