Since the 1980s, our menstrual cups, the Keeper and Moon Cup, have steadily been gaining in popularity. But even now, there are many misconceptions over how they work and how they could be superior to cotton tampons. Some women have been using tampons since their first period, and the idea of using something else to help collect their flow can actually feel… strange. For them, using tampons is just the way you take care of your period. Why try anything different? How do menstrual cups really compare to tampons? While both are great options for your period, here are some of the differences and advantages of each:
- A Cup Will Not Dry the Vaginal Environment
The way a tampon works is simple, it just absorbs whatever moisture it comes in contact with. Sure, that works, but it “casts a wider net” than just your menstrual flow. It also absorbs the natural moisture in the vaginal environment, which can lead to dryness and pH imbalances, increasing the possibility of yeast infections. The Keeper / Moon Cup, on the other hand, just collects your flow without interfering with any other bodily processes. If you already suffer from vaginal dryness, a cup can be a godsend!
- More Cost Effective + Better for the Environment
This is a twofer. We live in a society of waste, something gets used and then it gets thrown out. After removing a tampon, there is really only one place for it: the trash. Then you reach into the box and take out another one. Then after that box is empty, you get another box. This adds up, both in terms of your pocket book and in terms of waste produced. The alternative is to use a The Keeper/Moon Cup. They are reusable, and with proper care can last for up to 10 years. Not only does this mean much less waste, you also will never have to worry about running out of tampons again! It literally pays for itself within just a couple months!
- May Lessen the Risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome
The bacteria responsible for TSS grows because tampons absorb menstrual fluid, giving the bacteria a perfect place to live. That is why you should never leave your tampon in for an extended period of time. Unlike a tampon, The Keeper/Moon Cup is non-absorbent, greatly limiting the bacteria’s ability to grow. That being said, you should always empty your cup on a regular basis and properly clean your menstrual cup before reinserting it, making sure that you do so with freshly washed hands.
- No Chemicals Involved
Tampons use bleaches to look as pure as freshly fallen snow when you take one out of the box. The beauty of The Keeper/Moon Cup is that they are sealed at a high heat and contain no extra chemicals, just the silicon or latex used to make the product. That’s why is important to take care of your cup. Keep the surface in tact, don’t use harsh chemicals, high temperatures or try to brush out the stains when cleaning it. If you do have a sensitivity to silicon or latex, then organic tampons and pads will be a better option for you.
- Learning Curve
The average woman has been using tampons since they were teenagers, putting one in is basically second nature at this point. When you first get a menstrual cup, it can be a little intimidating! You do have to learn how to insert it. It isn’t at all difficult, but it is a little different. Once you learn how, it is just as easy as putting in a tampon!
- Insertion + Removal
Let’s be honest, tampon or The Keeper/Moon Cup, there is going to be blood either way. The difference is that a cup will collect it whereas a tampon will absorb it. Some people worry that using a cup will be messy, but the reality is that, with just a little practice, it isn’t any messier than a tampon. Just take it out, pour it out, and it will be gone, whereas a used tampon will be sitting in the trash until garbage day. It is really all in the way you look at it!
We hope this tips regarding menstrual cups vs. tampons are helpful to you. Do you have other questions? Please leave them in the comments and will make sure to address them in an upcoming blog post.
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Jennie Lyon is a green lifestyle writer and the owner of Sweet Greens, the award-winning green lifestyle blog. She posts on simple, fun ways families can go green together – starting with her own. When she isn’t blogging, you will find her paddleboarding, sailing, beach-combing, camping, or spending time with her amazing husband and 15-year old son.