Despite the mansplainer on Twitter asserting we have just 9 periods a year and use 7 tampons per cycle (unless you need 10 – I’m looking at you with the ‘extra juicy uterine lining’), and lose just 35ml (it’s more like 60-80ml), I think we can all agree the cost of tampons and pads can be prohibitive. Or, it might be that you have problems disposing of used sanitary items, want to do your bit for the environment or want to be able to catch more flow between loo visits.
Say kia ora to menstrual cups.
What is a menstrual cup?
Essentially menstrual cups are just that – a small cone shaped, flexible cup that you fold then insert into your vagina where it unfolds and sits nice and safely until you remove it by pulling it from the base. Then you empty it out, give it a rinse and it’s ready to go again!
It sounds a bit yuck if you haven’t used one but users report quickly overcoming their squeamishness and loving the fact that they can go up to 12 hours without changing it.
To keep it clean, once a day wash with warm soapy water and make sure it’s clean and dry before you put it away at the end of your period. Many users sterilise their cup between periods. One cup can be used for up to (or even longer) than 10 years!
Menstrual cups aren’t actually a new thing – the first of the modern ones were actually invented in 1937. They come in different sizes and unless you have an IUD or have had toxic shock syndrome (in which case have a chat with your doctor), you can get shopping!
Designed and made in New Zealand from high quality medical-grade TPE plastic from Germany, the Hello Cup has no nasty chemicals, no silicone or latex, and is recyclable!
They have a great website that gives you the full rundown on their product and how to use it and you even get to use your favourite name for your vagina on the whole website!
Wā Cups are zero waste and have full ethical traceability, are small and flexible enough to be folded to the size of a tampon, and sport air holes so there are no suction issues on removal).
Every Wā Cup sold “subsidises one for a student in need, stopping period poverty from affecting education in Aotearoa”
If you enjoy a bloody good pun, as well as helping stop period poverty, take a look at their pun laden website.
Visit Wā Collective
This social enterprise works on a buy-one-give-one model – and you get to choose the group to donate to. The MyCup is made from medical grade silicone in Christchurch and comes in 3 sizes. Careful thought has been given to the design to create volume and comfort.
Visit their website to find out more, or to donate a cup (for just $22.50)
Available in 3 sizes so young girls, those who have given birth and older women are all catered for.
The DivaCup is made from unpigmented silicone in the belief that the vaginal walls are best not exposed to dyes and chemicals.
Made from a single piece of silicone (so it’s nice and smooth) the SckoonCup is really flexible and as such is promoted as great for cup beginners. The tail (or stem) is really flexible so you won’t be able to feel it although you can trim it a bit if needed.
Available since 2002, Mooncup is the original silicone menstrual cup and the first sanitary protection manufacturer to be awarded Ethical Business status. They work across the globe to help break down period taboos. Vegan friendly, latex-free, and hypoallergenic they come in 2 sizes.
If you feeling a bit anxious or confused about menstrual cups, the Lunette website has a Cupbot to answer your questions as well as some Menstrual Mentors ready to have an online chat with you.
The cup itself is the most widely distributed cup in the world and is made from medical grade silicone and comes in different sizes and colours. Their online range includes cup wipes and cleanser.
Have you ever used a menstrual cup?
Written by Sophie Aaron
An avid yogi and free spirit, this babe loves all things health and fitness related. When she isn’t eating something strange and healthy looking, you’ll find her thrift shopping or getting out in nature.
Favourite place she’s travelled to: India