Menstrual Cup - Alternative to pads and
Pads and tampons - Harmful, expensive,
Feminine products are generally made of non-organic cotton
and several synthetic or toxic ingredients
include rayon, polyester, propylene, polyacrylate, polyethylene,and fiber finishes.
Synthetic materials so close to skin are not ideal, since they
contain potentially harmful processing chemicals (made known because of TSS) and
most do not allow good airflow around vaginal area (can cause rash and be a breeding
ground for yeast and bacterial infection). Non-organic cotton is heavily sprayed
with many known carcinogenic chemicals.
content is of particular concern in endometriosis and infertility.
An endocrine disruptor and a known carcinogen, dioxin disrupts
estrogen and can accumulate in our bodies. Typically produced in industrial processes
using chlorine to manufacture herbicides and pesticides, process pulp and bleach
paper (E.g. feminine care products, facial tissues, toilet paper and diapers, all
of which touch and can contaminate body tissues). In monkeys, dioxin has been shown
to increase/promote endometrial tissue growth, which is of concern in endometriosis
(TSS) Tampons have a risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome
because they are worn vaginally for long
periods (no pun intended :) ) and swell as they absorb
a bacterial infection linked to making tampons more absorbent - Tampax
tampon label reads: "The risk of TSS increases with higher absorbency "BTW, the
risk is obviously increased by leaving overnight with a heavy flow (this used to
be warned against on tampon products, but has now been removed). Risk of TSS is
generally low 3-4 in 100,000.
Expensive and environmentally unfriendly
Menstrual cup lasts for years and costs the same as the average woman will spend
on disposable sanitary protection in 3-6 months
1998, 6.5 billion tampons, and 13.5 billion sanitary pads plus all of their packaging
ends up in landfills and sewer systems - according to waste
consultant Franklin Associates. The high plastic content of sanitary pads (and diapers)
ensures they remain in our environment for centuries as they are neither biodegradable
nor recyclable. Disposal of used sanitary products increases pollutants in the sea
from sewage and air pollution from incinerators. The Menstrual Cup
What is a menstrual cup?
is a type of cup or barrier (~ 2" long)
worn inside the vagina during menstruation to collect rather
than absorb menstrual fluid
A light seal is formed with vaginal walls. This
allows menstrual fluid to pass into the menstrual cup without leakage or odor. This
seal is released for removal, allowing you to empty the contents, rinse/wipe and
• Convenient. Can be used overnight and when traveling,
swimming or exercising.
• Comfortable - designed to sit lower than a
tampon, but it can not be felt when properly inserted;
• Safe. When used as directed; no health risks
related to their use have been found
How to insert Bell-Shaped Cup
Two types of menstrual cup currently available:
• Made of rubber, silicone or TPE
are silicone because of hypoallergenic properties)
• Reusable for up to 10 years
• Must be removed before sexual intercourse
- Soft, flexible
cup resembling diaphragm
• Made of polythene
• May be worn during intercourse
a contraceptive) Sizing Consideration
Small or large size.
Small size recommended for women <25 who have not given birth vaginally, otherwise
the large size is recommended;
- A shorter cup may be needed if a woman's cervix
sits particularly low Advantages and disadvantages of menstrual cups over tampons
• Some women find menstrual
cups more difficult to insert and remove than tampons - persisting
for about 3 months usually wins the battle;
little cleaning required
• Does not absorb vaginal
like tampons do and so does not cause dryness or irritation;
• Collects at least double
the amount of blood as a "super-absorbent'tampon" - and therefore doesn't
need changing as often
• More cost-efficient and
environmentally friendly - reusable cups cost ~$35.
• Avoids potentially harmful
chemicals in pads and tampons Brands Available
manufactured in the U.S. this is made from rubber (latex), otherwise identical to
the Mooncup below;
- UK-manufactured; called MCUK Â®in the USA, but the product
is identical and made from silicone (for those with latex allergies).
The Mooncup is designed to
be folded and inserted into the vagina - This site sells
MCUKÂ®for $30 including free delivery (in 2011). then removed, rinsed
and reinserted up to every 8 hours.
- German brand, made out of TPE (thermoplastic elastomer).
- 100% silicone