By Dana LaVake
Recently, I read a story about the COVID-19 hoarding craziness that made a very peculiar thought pop into my head. The story was about a woman who couldn’t find any tampons or pads because hoarders bought out the entire store. Along with feeling terribly sorry for this woman I also felt at ease knowing I would never have to deal with that problem. This is a very odd feeling, between the extremely painful cramps, overall fatigue, and acne, feeling “at ease” about my period was never really an option. But now, because of my menstrual cup, I can feel more carefree than ever. And here’s why:
- Plastic-Use. I bought a menstrual cup in the first place because it's way more environmentally friendly than the tampons I had been using previously. I hated feeling guilty every time I opened a tampon and threw away the packaging. Then having to throw away the tampon itself. For the longest time I thought I can’t make my period stop, what choice do I have? Then a friend told me about the cup. A shot glass sized piece of silicon is tremendously better than the uncountable pieces of trash tampons produce. A perfect little solution to the problem.
- Saving money. Yes, the upfront cost of a menstrual cup will be more than other sanitary products, but you only have to buy it once and it can last up to ten years. I have been using my cup for about a year. Previous to that I was spending about 10 dollars on tampons once every 2 months. That’s 60 dollars a year versus the 35 dollars I spent on a menstrual cup that can last me up to 10 years. This to me is a no-brainer. And have I mentioned avoiding the hassle of going to the store?
- Feeling Prepared. There is a lot of anxiety surrounding being prepared for when your period comes. You think yeah, I’ll just always keep one in my purse and I won’t have to worry. Except when you used your last one and you forgot to replace it. Or the flow is particularly heavy that week and you’ve gone through the box before you got a chance to go to the store. Or Aunt Flo wanted to surprise you a week early. OR some people decide to buy 5 year supply in the COVID-19 panic and you are left stuffing toilet paper in your undies (yeah, we’ve all done that). My fool-proof solution is each month, after your period is done, and the cup has been boiled (aka sanitized) to perfection, put it in your purse, car or bike pannier. Bonus: menstrual cups come with a cute bag that makes it easy to keep it clean while in storage.
My experience with menstrual cups has been the first time I ever felt anything less than frustrated with my period. And I would say I’m downright euphoric with how well my cup works for me. If I could, I would buy one for everyone I know with a vagina and donate them to women’s shelters in bulk. So do yourself a favor--help save the environment, save some money and save yourself the anxiety of being prepared for your period.