Let's talk about periods!
"Every month, those of us with periods expose our bodies to toxic chemicals, and have to bin or flush plastic due to the unhealthy disposable menstrual products we are sold" (The Women's Environmental Network, aka WEN).
Every year two billion period products are flushed down toilets in the UK alone. Many people are unaware that there are sustainable alternatives for these disposable products. The fact that menstrual cups are reusable can put some people off using them, as they prefer to stick with what they are used to. This is absolutely fine, but if you are open to and comfortable with making a swap why not give it a try. Personally, I think menstrual cups are fantastic. I wish when we had our sex education talks at school that someone had done real research into what is available to us, rather than just a tampon and a pad!
So what is a menstrual cup? A menstrual cup is a bell-shaped silicone cup that when popped inside creates a seal against your vaginal wall. Everything is trapped until you empty them, they work much like a tampon really. I was surprised to find out that versions of the menstrual cup have been around since the 1860's, would you believe it!
What are the benefits of using a cup?
They help to preserve healthy bacteria in your delicate area which is usually disrupted by tampons.
You can use them for up to 12 hours rather than a tampon's 6-8 hour window.
Menstrual cups are NOT associated with Toxic Shock Syndrome which is a rare medical issue associated with tampons.
There are no harmful chemicals found in cups like those often used in tampons and pads.
Some women have said that they even experience fewer cramps using a cup.
But best of all they are completely reusable and don't add to single-use waste going to landfill!
They can seem like an expensive investment at the time, but I have found menstrual cups to save me money and are more comfortable than usual disposable alternatives. The fact that there is no danger of toxic shock makes me more comfortable with using them, but I can understand that someone might be put off of using something different than they are used to. I would recommend them to anyone who has the joy of a period and is looking to make a sustainable swap. If you are going to make the swap to a menstrual cup then here are some I would recommend giving a go:
1) EcoGirl Organicup for £21. 35 - https://ecogirlshop.com/product/organicup-menstrual-cup-eco-friendly-periods/?wpam_id=62
2) Amazon Saalt cup for £24.99- https://rb.gy/hpwsjw
3) Hey Girls Menstrual Cup for £9.95- https://www.heygirls.co.uk/shop/menstrual-cup/ (I found this one is also available in my local Co-op).
4) Fair squared rubber cup for £18- https://coconutandcotton.co.uk/product/fair-squared-natural-rubber-period-cup/
5) Mooncup for £22 - https://coconutandcotton.co.uk/product/mooncup-silicone-period-cup/
Let me know what you think about menstrual cups in the comments and if it will be your next sustainable swap!