Friday, February 1, 2013

TPG Approves: Menstrual Cups

For most of us with a vulva, we get this monthly thing called a menstrual period.  We bleed out of our vaginas.  When you were young, you were probably told to use pads.  And then, when you got older and cooler, you might have switched to tampons.  Well, we are here to tell you there is another alternative, and no, it’s not actually a rag.  It’s a menstrual cup!

What the heck is a menstrual cup you may ask?

Well, it’s what it sounds like.  A cup.  For your menstrual blood.  It looks like this.

menstrual cup
Image found HERE

We absolutely love them. Here are the reasons why we use these over pads and tampons:

-They last forever, up to 10 years! (Vanessa has had hers for 3 years, and Angie for 2.)
-They save you so much money. You pay about $30 up front, but compare that to the $8-10 a month you would pay on other products.
-They’re super comfortable, and don’t dry everything out like a tampon, so it honestly feels like you’re not wearing anything!
-You can keep it in for 12 hours! No more overnight pads!
-They don’t leak (when inserted properly). -For all you sporty girls, they’re a fantastic option. They’re especially popular with swimmers. -They reduce your waste. You just empty them into the toilet. (You can also try reusable pads.) -They’re easy to clean. Wash them whenever they need to be emptied, and then boil them to sanitize in between cycles. -There’s no icky chlorine or bleach to worry about! -They are not associated with Toxic Shock Syndrome. -It’s actually cool to see how much you bleed; there are oz. measurements on the side. -If you are very regular and know when you’re going to get your period, you can safely insert them ahead of time. -If you buy a Diva Cup, you get a cute Diva pin and a pouch for storing it.
-You can use them to make period art, if so inclined. (Google at your own risk.)

And though the pros huuuugely outweight the cons, here are a few:

-They’re not so fun to change in public restrooms, but you usually don’t have to since you can have them in for so long. In any case, it can be done. 
-They can be messy.
-If you have a heavier flow, you have to empty them out several times, but it’s not too different from changing a tampon (unless you’re in a public restroom). 
-They do get discolored after a while, but there are ways to fix that.
-You definitely have to be comfortable with your body (but since when is that a con anyway?!). 
-They are a bit tricky to use the first couple times, but then it’s smooth sailing. 

There are different brands, shapes, and materials: Diva Cup, Moon Cup, The Keeper. Each vagina is different and so depending on things like how low your cervix sits, or how wide of a cup you’re comfortable with, you can decide on the one that suits you. We both use Diva Cup, which is generally the most popular in the US. Check vaginapagina or menstrual-cups over at LiveJournal for reviews, FAQs, and any other information to help get you started. 

These things are seriously awesome, and neither of us would know what to do without them. So,whether you’ve been thinking about getting one but have been too scared to go for it, have never even heard of a menstrual cup until now, or are already a proud user, we are here to say menstrual cups are TPG-approved!

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