This post is sponsored by Sckoon Menstrual Cups.
Have you heard about menstrual cups before? I’m sure you’re intrigued since you’re reading this and wondering how they differ from tampons and sanitary pads. I promise, this is not a “hippie thing” and all women should at least consider making the switch from disposable tampons and pads to reusable menstrual cups.
Everything you need to know about making the switch from tampons to menstrual cups.
1. Did you know that tampons actually dry out your vagina? Your body is always working and your vagina is always producing fluids to help maintain a perfect balance. Tampons are meant to absorb but they absorb everything, blood and natural fluids. Menstrual cups are made of medical grade silicone and do not absorb your natural body fluids, instead they collect the blood flow.
2. Did you know that tampons contain hazardous ingredients? Tampons contain dioxins, pesticide residuals, and other chemicals that can contribute to cancer, rashes, and act as endocrine disruptors. Menstrual cups are safe and do not contain any toxic or hazardous chemicals. Menstrual cups are free heavy metals and phthalates. Read more about the hazardous ingredients in pads, tampons and other feminine care products at Chem Fatale.
3. Menstrual cups hold 2 1/2 to 4 times more blood than tampons. Did you know the average menstrual period only generates about 1-1.4 ounces of blood flow each month? Most menstrual cups hold around 1 ounce of blood flow.
4. Menstrual cups can hold 10-12 hours of blood flow. With tampons you might find yourself changing them every 2-4 hours, menstrual cups may only need to be emptied 1-3 times each day (depending on your flow). For the majority of my menstrual cycle, I only need to empty the cup in the morning and at night.
Are menstrual cups comfortable?
I know, they look big in size compared to a tampon, but menstrual cups are so comfortable that you’ll forget that you have it in. Menstrual cups come in different sizes and lengths. They are surprisingly easy to insert, but there is a learning curve. Yes, you do have to get more familiar with your body, but we shouldn’t be afraid of our vaginas! I have some insertion tips with pictures on a previous blog post; A Greener Period – Menstrual Cups, Mama Cloth and More. I prefer the “c-fold” or “heart fold” but there are several ways to fold a menstrual cup.
Are menstrual cups messy? How do you clean a menstrual cup?
Again, there is a small learning curve with menstrual cups and they can be messy until you get the hang of them. With a little practice you’ll be a pro and you’ll appreciate how un-messy they are compared to tampons and sanitary pads. All of the blood flow gets flushed down the toilet (or down the sink or shower) and not in your bathroom trash can. Once you’ve emptied your cup, rinse briefly in warm water (in a sink) and re-insert. If your bathroom toilet and sink are next to one another this is quite easy to accomplish. Trust me when I say that your husband or partner will appreciate the switch and not finding wrappers in the trash can. I actually prefer to empty my menstrual cup in the shower so any mess is washed away with nothing to clean up. If you are away from home and find that you need to empty your cup, I recommend finding a handicap stall that has a sink. Otherwise, simply wipe out the cup with a piece of toilet paper and reuse the cup. Another tip for emptying on the go, carry a small bottle of water with you into the stall to rinse your cup. At the end of your cycle, you’ll want to wash well with hot water and a gentle wash. You can also boil your menstrual cup to prepare it for your next cycle. Just follow the manufacturers recommendations for your brand of cup; the Sckoon cup recommends boiling for 5-10 minutes. You can store your cup in the cotton bag that came with it; just don’t store it in plastic because they need to breath.
How do you choose a menstrual cup?
With Sckoon Cup, there are 2 sizes available. The size 1 is intended for tweens, teens, and women who have not had children vaginally. They are slightly smaller in capacity (23ml) and diameter (40mmX40mm). The size 2 is intended for older women and women who have had children vaginally. The size 2 has a 30ml capacity and is slightly larger; 45mmX50mm. Both sizes measure 2.8″ in length. Each brand varies slightly in size. If you’ve never measured your cervix it’s actually pretty easy to do, it just requires one finger! Insert your finger into your vagina and touch the tip of your cervix. Take note of the spot on your finger that is outside your vagina and use that to measure how far it is to your cervix. If you can insert your entire index finger into your vagina before you touch your cervix; you have a high cervix. If you only insert half/two-thirds of your finger; you have an average cervix. If you can touch your cervix with less than half of your finger; you have a low cervix and may require a different cup. If you aren’t super familiar with your own anatomy, here’s a picture from WebMD to help.
I’ve tried several different brands of menstrual cups. I have an average cervix; not too low or too high. I have had 2 children vaginally and I’m over 40 (shhhh….that’s our little secret). I haven’t had any problems finding a menstrual cup to fit. All of the menstrual cups I’ve tried have been the size 2 and they all have fit well. I have tried the Diva Cup, Lunette, Luv ur Body, and the Sckoon Cup. Here is a comparison picture of the Lunette, Luv ur Body and Sckoon (I didn’t include Diva because my cup is older and not very pretty for pictures). The only one that I can’t wear comfortably is the Luv ur Body; the large is too long for my body.
The Anatomy of a Menstrual Cup
Rim – the top opening of a menstrual cup.
Suction holes – the tiny pin-sized holes just below the rim of the cup.
Base – the bottom of the cup, just above the stem.
Stem – the small slim part that sticks out the bottom of the cup. Stems can be hollow or solid and vary in shape. Women with lower cervix have been known to trim the stem of the cup so they don’t stick out.
Seam/Seamless – some cups have seams down the side of the cup from the mold, while others are seamless and smooth.
Can I _______ with a menstrual cup?
Yes! You can lay down, you can swim, you can shower, you can bathe, you can bounce, you can jump, you can jog, you can skip, you can do backbends, anything you would do without a menstrual cup, you can do with a menstrual cup. The cup forms a seal naturally inside your body and prevents any of the blood from spilling or leaking. The only exception of course is intercourse…let’s not try that with a menstrual cup!
Are you ready to make the switch? I promise that after your first cycle you’ll wonder why you didn’t make the switch sooner. When I first started to hear about menstrual cups (about 8-10 yrs ago), I rolled my eyes and said “ewwwww!” at the thought of using them. I am so glad that I decided to make the switch from tampons to menstrual cups about 6 years ago. I have saved money, I never have to run to the store, and my period is much more pleasurable.
Don’t wait any longer – buy a Sckoon Cup today (referral link)!
More Sckoon Cup reviews:
Detox Your Period with Sckoon Cup by Cloth Diaper Revival
Tampons are SOOOO 2000 and Late by Cloth Diaper Geek
More Menstrual Cup Resources:
Turning Red to Green – Reusable Menstrual Products Guide from Dirty Diaper Laundry
Safe Feminine Care Resource Center from The Eco-Friendly Family
A Greener Period from me!
DISCLOSURE: This post was created as part of the SckoonCup Review Campaign in which I am a financially compensated blogger. The opinions are my own and based on my own experience. Thank you Mamavation for the opportunity.
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