Zero Waste Periods: Menstrual Cup

Let's talk about periods. The first time I heard about menstrual cups was at my first professional acting gig. 

Have an eco-friendly period by switching to a menstrual cup. It's better for the environment, your health, and it's super frugal! Learn more about this zero waste option at www.goingzerowaste.com

It was outdoor theatre. Shakespeare and musical theatre - what could be better than that. Except for when it was 100 degrees and you were wearing four layers of clothing, or when it was pouring rain and you were drenched through four layers of clothing. Let's just say we spent A LOT of time outside.

Hindsight, having a menstrual cup would have been literally life changing. My only regret is not having one sooner.

What if I told you, you could basically make your period disappear? Cramp less? Deal with it less? And, sleep-in on Saturday morning without worrying about changing your tampon? 

what's a menstrual cup? 

They're becoming much more mainstream and popular. It's a small flexible cup made of medical grade silicone. 

Instead of absorbing blood, it catches it. This eliminates the fear of TSS. 

how does it work? 

You fold it and insert it into your vagina. It has very small holes at the top that help create a suction.

It will unfold naturally, but you may need to twist it slightly with the stem to make sure it has completely unfolded. 

It will rest against your vaginal walls. This action helps to reduce cramps - yeah. You read that right. 

IT HELPS REDUCE CRAMPS. 

how long does it last? 

That depends on your personal flow and cup. On average they hold two super tampons worth of blood. It's recommended to change it every twelve hours. 

On my two heaviest days, I empty it when I wake up and before bed. On the other 3-5 days, I only change it before bed. 

Have an eco-friendly period by switching to a menstrual cup. It's better for the environment, your health, and it's super frugal! Learn more about this zero waste option at www.goingzerowaste.com

I feel like I don't even have a period anymore. 

I hardly ever have to deal with it. I only have to come to terms with the fact that my uterus is destroying itself 5-7 times rather than every single time I go to the bathroom. 

what happens when the cup is full? 

Do this sitting on the toilet. There's a stem like a tampon string that you can tug on or kegel down. When the stem of the cup is out you can easily pinch the base of the cup releasing the suction. Flip the cup out and dump the blood into the toilet bowl. 

Now, if you had a bidet, you could wash that whole area. It's not necessary, but it's SO NICE. I cannot recommend a bidet attachment highly enough. 

Rinse the cup out in the sink, if you're in that kinda bathroom, and reinsert. If you don't have that sort of privacy, you can re-insert and wash it at your next convenient time. 

what about leaking? 

I have never had a problem with leaking. I'm talking white pants, commando kinda confidence. Tampon commercial kinda confidence! I have never felt so secure in my life. 

Everyone is different, but if you're having problems with leaking, you may have the wrong type of cup for your body.

how do I know which type is right for me!?!?

This is THE most stressful part about buying a cup. Thankfully, there is a blog that does nothing but menstrual cup FAQ and comparison. It's an insanely helpful site. I highly recommend you check it out: Menstrual Cup Advice

I was super wary of the cup. I bought the blossom cup because it was made in the USA, but most importantly if you don't love it - you can get your money back! 

There is no losing. So, if you're on the fence, it's time to take the plunge. 

Other common cups include the lunette and the diva

but, I can't wear tampons? can I use a cup? 

Fun fact: I couldn't wear tampons either. Or rather, I really did NOT like using them. It really messed with my body chemistry. They were exceedingly uncomfortable. So, I pretty much wore pads. 

Exceedingly uncomfortable, no fun, kinda gross pads. But, the menstrual cup has been amazing. So, I would definitely give it a try. 

benefits: 

better for your body

Tampons absorb 35% of your natural moisture causing a pH imbalance. They also leave behind fibers and can cause TSS. If they aren't organic, they will leach bleach and other not nice chemicals into your blood stream. 

better for the environment

One cup can last 10 - 20 years. You're diverting at the least 2,880 tampons and pads from the landfill. And, think of all the resources you're saving from the creation of the products? 

better for you wallet

A one time $20-$30 purchase that lasts 10-20 years. Over the $5-$10 spent on every period. That's over $1,000 savings. 

Other things I love - never having to run to the store at midnight; because, my period unexpectedly started. 

is there a downside? 

It can't control my chocolate cravings. Thankfully, I can buy lots of chocolate from the bulk bins at Rainbow. Or make my favorite brownies

beginners tips: 

  • The first couple of times you use it, I recommend using lube to help get it into place. You will not feel it if it's in the correct place.
  • Insert it and practice before your period.

I would love to hear what you think about the menstrual cup? Do you have any tips? 

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