Zero-Waste Periods - An Honest Q&A on Period Cups
Period cups seem to be the new talk of the town. They have actually been around since the 1930’s, but have gained increasing popularity over the last 4-5 years. More and more women are discovering the positive benefits of using menstrual cups over tampons and pads. They offer cost savings, a preferred environmental impact and are a chemical-free alternative.
A few things to know about conventional tampons + pads –
- Made with bleached rayon
- Contain conventional cotton (uses pesticides!)
- Contain plastic
- Contain dioxins, furans, fragrance (linked to endocrine disruption, cancer, and could be toxic for the reproductive system)
All of these chemicals are not meant for our bodies or our insides— and on top of that, once you’re done, they go into landfill. Tampons + pads contain the equivalent of 2-4 plastic bags. So, if you are into using reusable bags, then this might be your next big step!
What exactly IS a period cup?
It is a cup made of medical grade silicone that is inserted and worn like a tampon, but collects (rather than absorbs) your period.
There is a slight learning curve with using the cups, so we sat down with an Edify customer and veteran cup-user to get the deets! Allie gives us honest answers to all of our questions.
Allie - Edify Customer
How long have you been using a period cup?
-About 3 years!
Why did you make the switch?
I got to a point with my period where I felt like I couldn’t rely on any of the products I was using. I do not consider myself to have a heavy flow at all and I would still leak through my tampon. It just led to more waste. I ended up using more products like liners and pads to make up for the lack of absorption I was getting when using tampons. So, I figured I would give it a try and I’ve been using one ever since.
What was your first time using one like? Give us the deets!
-TRIAL & ERROR! Going into it I was a little nervous. Will it be messy? Will I do it right? What if it gets STUCK!? My first time was tricky and consisted of some failed attempts. But in reality, all it took was some patience and a little bit of reading. Once you have it down, you’re golden.
How many times did it take for you to become a pro?
-I would say by the time I made it through my first period using the cup I had it down. Take your time. You will probably have to make some adjustments. It’s a different angle than when using a tampon. But, just like a tampon, you’ll know if it is wrong. There is no shame in starting over until you are comfortable.
How do you clean it?
-Easy. Just rinse well and boil for 10 minutes. My cup has its own pot and I boil it both before and after my period. There are cleansers specifically formulated for menstrual cups but do your own research. It is a sensitive area down there and soaps/cleansers are often unnecessary and can throw off your pH balance.
Best part about using the cup?
-So, I have a few. Number one is cost. If you take care of your cup it can last for up to 5 years. I can’t begin to add up all of the money I have saved since switching. Number 2: Convenience. Menstrual cups are the crockpot of period products! Set it and forget it! I am lucky in that I do not have a heavy flow so I am able to leave it in for the full recommended 12 hours. Lastly, I will never be perfect but knowing that I can limit my waste is a huge added bonus.
Thank you to Edify for highlighting and investing in products that are good for our planet and for our bodies. I can’t wait to order my next cup!