The cup is my winner. No leaks, no hassle!
It was 2008 and I was living in south-west London for the summer when I first heard of a menstrual cup. One of my flatmates, Nathalia, was a pretty cool German Ph.D student at Imperial who was very interested in organic food and reducing chemicals in her life without being a stereotypical ‘greenie’.
One day I picked up a package for her and she told me it was a menstrual cup that she had heard about and was keen to try. Having already studied climate change science for over six years by this point I was easily swayed to the idea of something that could reduce my environmental impact, so I ordered one too!
Previously, I had generally been a tampon user but as I often had problems with them leaking, I sometimes also used disposable pads. I do remember thinking about how much waste I was producing each month but didn’t really investigate the alternatives enthusiastically until that summer in London.
Nailing the perfect fold
I am not going to say it was a complete instant success. YouTube videos and online blogs were required to help overcome some issues on the first few attempts but ever since I got the right fold for insertion nailed it has been plain sailing. I have now been using my cup for more than eleven years (yes, the same one!) and must have saved a lot of money and waste in that time.
Although pretty committed to the environmental cause as I am, I would not still be using it if it was not just so much more effective and less hassle for me as well as the environmental benefits. I have never had any issues with leaking as I did with disposable tampons.
Some people ask about where they would empty it at work if there wasn’t a sink in the toilet but for most people you only need to empty it at the start and end of the day. I don’t have very heavy periods so it may be different for those that do.
Discreet and easy to use
If you are staying at someone else’s house, you don’t need to make sure there is a bin in the bathroom or think about them having to empty out your used tampons or pads. The cup just needs a quick rinse when you empty it and then at the end of your period a quick boil in a pan.
It is great for travelling too as takes up no space at all and is especially useful in places where there is poor waste infrastructure.
When I first got my cup there was basically one brand but now there are so many that I am sure there will be one to suit almost everyone if they want to give it a try. I have also tried reusable pads and period pants out of interest and although I would choose them over disposable products the cup is still the winner for me.
So thanks Nathalia….from me and the planet!
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