Easier Periods, Increased Wellbeing: The Health Benefits of Menstrual Cups
Periods can be messy, but they’re normal. Important, even. Our strong, fabulous bodies were designed to release a monthly flow of blood and hormones, hibernate briefly, and then replenish. But if menstruating is the gift that keeps on giving, sometimes it gives too much. Like, enough down there! We’re crampy, halfway between tears and a yell, and adding that constant red drip from the ladybits isn’t exactly what you’d call convenient.
Disposable period products like tampons and pads are supposed to help us control the flow so we can live our lives of tennis, swimming, and wearing white jeans in peace—and without causing offense to any bystanders. They’re supposed to be “discrete” and “advanced.” But ask any woman who’s tried to go swimming in terror, or spent a miserable few minutes extracting a half-dry tampon ,and then inserting another stick of cottony sandpaper into a vaginal Sahara, and they’ll tell you otherwise.
Inconvenient AND harmful
Apart from the inconvenience of tampons and pads, they come with many questionable health side effects. The super-clean bleached white look of products commonly comes from chlorine bleach, the corrosive disinfectant. When we used tampons and pads that have been bleached for aesthetics, we allow that substance to soak inside our vaginas for hours while it releases dioxin byproducts into our thin, vulnerable interior skin.
Ready to learn what’s really in those disposable products?
Single-use feminine hygiene products frequently contain synthetic fibers, dioxins, and petrochemical additives. One sanitary pad contains the volume equivalent of about four plastic bags—and science tells us that plasticizing chemicals such as BPA and BPS3 are linked to all sorts of disease. The phthalates used to give paper tampon applicators a smooth finish have been shown to dysregulate gene expression. Because these methods of feminine hygiene involve storing the blood away from the body, where it is exposed to air in a damp, hot environment, they often develop odors and promote the growth of yeast and bacteria. Luckily, manufacturers have solved the “stink” problem for us by adding fragrances (unregulated, loaded with synthetic chemicals, and linked to cancer!) Inserting and removing tampons can also irritate and tear the delicate skin inside the vagina, increasing the potential of infection and bloodstream exposure to harmful bacteria.
How to avoid the health risks from traditional period products
It’s not just a fairytale: there really are great alternatives to tampons and pads. You can have your period and go about your day mess-free without fear of those health risks. Alternative menstrual products have come a long way since the onset of the Sea Sponge Tampon. (Yes, we know they’re still in use, but check out the science on their dirt-, sand-, and bacteria-loving bad-boy tendencies before coming to its defense.)
The menstrual cup—Queen Bee of tampon alternatives—delivers incredible results in a simple, easy-to-use little package. Gently inserted by hand, it eliminates the need for a phthalate-coated applicator. Made from BPA- and toxin-free medical grade silicone, menstrual cups like the V-CUP don’t release itty bitty chemtrails of sadness inside your delicate vagina skin. Their liquidy-smooth nature eliminates scratches and thread fragments left behind by tampons and potential rashes from pads. Menstrual cups can be worn much longer than tampons with a drastically reduced risk of toxic shock syndrome—up to twelve hours. They’re easy to clean and disinfect, so you don’t need to worry about putting anything unsanitary up there.
Menstrual cups like the V-CUP have given the gift of a happier vagina to countless women, but every decision about your reproductive health should be carefully researched and based on what works best for your unique body. Exploring menstrual cups as an alternative to tampons and pads is an empowering way to take charge of what goes into your body.