It's time to switch to menstrual cups — a cheaper, more durable, and eco-friendly alternative feminine hygiene product.


Do your feminine products irritate your skin? Are you worried they are toxic? Are you feeling eco-anxious with the amount of waste you're producing? Are you tight on budget? Then it's time to switch to menstrual cups.

According to Deborah Weatherspoon, Ph.D., R.N., CRNA, a menstrual cup is a small, flexible-funnel-shaped cup made of rubber or silicone, worn during the period. It works by inserting the cup into your vagina, and it will collect period fluid up to 12 hours, depending on your flow.

It is a more eco-friendly option compared to tampons and pads, as it is reusable and can last for a long time. Although it is still not as common as pads in Indonesia, you can still find plenty of brands in the market.

Why switch?

It may sound scary initially, but wearing menstrual cups is as safe as wearing a tampon. In fact, it possesses more benefits compared to tampons or pads.

First, they're pocket-friendly. The price of a box of menstrual cups may sound a bit expensive in the beginning, but they can last years ahead, compared to pads and tampons that are one-use only and need to be restocked frequently.

Salomé Gómez-Upegui calculated her usage of tampons and menstrual cups in an article for The Guardian. The menstrual cup that she purchased at the time cost $25, compared to $20 for tampons and pads that require frequent restocking.


Photo Courtesy of Nataliya V. Aitkevich/Pexels

"I did the math, and over 10 years, the lifetime of the average cup, the switch guarantees more than $1,000 - $2,300 in savings," she added.

Menstrual cups collect blood rather than absorb it like tampons, which means you're not at risk of getting Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). It also holds more blood, around one to two ounces of menstrual flow — which is almost four times as much the amount a tampon can absorb.

You also don't need to worry about leakage. According to a scientific study published in The Lancet Public Health Journal, 43 studies involving 3,300 women and girls found menstrual cups have similar leakage levels with tampons, according to three studies. One study even concluded that menstrual cups have significantly less leakage.

Take note before purchase

Out to get yours? Then get one with precaution. 

Just like pads and tampons, menstrual cups also come in different sizes, depending on your age, length of the cervix, flow, etc. Check out tutorials on the internet or give your doctor a call to ensure you get the right one for maximum comfort.

Usually, women who haven't given birth vaginally can use smaller cups, while women who have given birth vaginally or have a heavier period are recommended to use larger ones.

Always make sure to wash your hands and menstrual cups thoroughly before inserting them into your vagina to minimize the risk of infection from bacteria.

The first time you insert a menstrual cup, it might feel uncomfortable. Lubricate the rim with water or a water-based lubricant for easier insertion.

Menstrual cups are wearable for 6 to 12 hours, depending on the flow of your period - which means it is also available for overnight use. Remember to not use it for more than 12 hours. If it fills up before then, you need to take out and empty it to avoid leaks.

Once it is inserted correctly, you shouldn't be able to feel the menstrual cup. You can continue with your everyday activities as usual without having to worry it will fall out. 


Photo Courtesy of Cliff Booth/Pexels


At the end of the day, it comes down to personal choice. Some might be reluctant to switch into a new habit of wearing menstrual cups, as it requires them to be in contact with their vulva and menstrual blood.

"Those demands are hard to reconcile with the pervasive cultural messages that menstruation is dirty, contaminating force one must eliminate with the illusion of perpetual freshness," said Elizabeth Kissling, author of the book Capitalizing on the Curse: The Business of Menstruation.

Menstruation or period is a very normal bodily function. Once you get past the discomfort and disgust, you will find how helpful menstrual cups actually are.


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