If you are still using disposable products and are considering making a switch, this post is for you. There is no period too late to make the switch to reusable menstrual products. If anything, you’ll probably wish you did it sooner!
*Disclaimer: I will be talking about periods (yes a little blood talk, ladies), period products, body parts, symptoms, etc in this post. If that makes you uncomfortable, you may want to skip this article.
First and foremost, I want to talk about why you would even consider making the switch to reusable period products.
When I was younger I had no idea these things existed. I was clueless about period health. You guys, I would use TWO tampons at a time just to manage my flow and if my period was light I would just leave them in as long as I needed to. #neverdothis
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
My hope is that with this article you will understand why you should consider using reusable products, how to choose which style is best for you, and learn more about what brands there are to look for. You ready?
4 Reasons You Should Consider Switching To Reusable Products
1. Using reusable menstrual products can be Better for the environment
I used around 24-30 tampons per cycle as I have a heavy flow for a few days where I’m changing my tampon every 3ish hours.
This means I was tossing about 360+/- used tampons in the trash EVERY YEAR. And you know what happens to tampons in the landfill…. NOTHING.
Well, not quickly at least. It takes longer than our lifetime for a tampon to decompose.
What makes it worse is that if you stick with regular tampons, you’ll use around 10,000 in your lifetime.
2. Using reusable menstrual products Can decrease severity of cramps, bleeding, dryness etc.
Many people report this to be true when they switch to reusable products and I definitely noticed it for myself. The first time I used my menstrual cup I noticed that I barely had cramps. This could be just my body and how it reacts to traditional tampons but I’m not complaining!
Other things I noticed was that it seemed I had less bleeding but that may have been because I didn’t have to change the cup as often as a tampon.
I also didn’t deal with that uncomfortable dry feeling that was common when I was utilizing cotton tampons.
MORE YOU MIGHT LIKE: Bath and Beauty Products – Cruelty Free Must-Haves
3. Using reusable menstrual products can be more Cost effective
If you use one 16ct box of tampons per cycle that is about 5.99 per month. If you are also buying pads you can add another 5.99ish let’s say over two months. This brings your period care products total to $71 per year. Multiple that by the 40 years you have a period…$4,312…in products you THROW AWAY. Yikes.
If you look at reusable cups, you buy one or two for $24-$36 and they can last ten years.
This means you’ll spend around $180 on cups but if you try pads too, that’s around $230 for your period lifetime. (obviously this really depends on your buying habits and your product choices!)
Would you try reusable with the potential to save 5.99 a month, $71 a year, or over $4,000 in your menstruating lifetime?
4. Using reusable menstrual products Can allow you to go longer between changes
It is recommended that we change our tampon every four hours but can be left in for up to eight. Problem is, even in the first 2 hours a tampon can start leaking. What I love about the menstrual cup is that everything is secured in the little cup until you go to remove it (unless your suction is poor then it may experience leaks). And the great thing is that you can leave it in for up to 12 hours! *woah*
For someone who was used to changing my tampon every 2-3 hours on my heavy days, this blew my mind. I tried it and sure enough, I was able to double the length of time between changes which was AMAZING.
When traveling I will NOT go without my cup. I know people think it’s gross to use a menstrual cup in public (ie: public restrooms to dump and reinsert) but I noticed I typically could go without changing it in public since it held so much more. That’s a win in my book.
TIP: For those concerned about travel here’s what I suggest. Bring a water bottle with you to rinse it if you have to change in a public restroom with stalls or bring wipes or something to help clean it up until you can get it cleaned again.
Now that you know why you might consider making the change, let’s talk about all the options there are on the market. The list below contains the 4 most common options available. As all become more “mainstream” we are seeing them sold in stores by big name brands like Tampax but some of the best brands I have tried are sold online only (at this time).
What kinds of reusable products are there?
There are so may different reusable items out there but I don’t want to talk about all of them today. The main categories I want to talk about are also the most common ones that individuals, especially those new to reusable menstrual products, lean towards.
*Click any of the above to learn more about what brands of these products are available*
There are likely new products, styles, designs, and options coming out on the regular so this is updated as of 4/29/20.
How do you decide which type of menstrual product one is best for you?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help decide which of these options is the best one for you. Are you comfortable with your vagina, blood, and all the workings of your lady parts?
- Do you have a place to empty your cup mid-day if necessary?
- What is your daily routine like? What activities do you participate in? Do you frequently wear things like bathing suits, leotards, skin-tight pants, etc?
- Are you okay with washing bloody items in the washing machine?
- Are you open to paying a higher price upfront to save monthly costs?
As you read through those questions I want you to be honest with yourself. Our periods are often a frustrating and annoying time as it is. If you do not feel comfortable with the product you choose, you will be doing yourself a disservice.
That said, many people utilize multiple options depending on their flow, the activities they are participating in at the time, etc.
Do you think you want to give something reusable a try? Great! Let’s talk about the brands and options there are.
Learn more about Menstrual Cups
The following are some of the menstrual cup brands I have tried, have considered, or know of.
Note that all cups are not created equal. You will find that they all have different “tails”, different shapes, different sizes, etc.
To learn more about specific cups and how they compare to others, I highly recommend checking out Kelli’s YouTube Channel where she shares the nitty gritty about it all.
5 Menstrual cups brands worth trying
(Plus 6 additional options available on Amazon!)
Intimina made the first cup I ever used, before having children, called the Lily Cup Compact. I bought it when it was on Kickstarter and it worked really well for me for a while! After having kids I started having issues with it so decided to buy something new.
I loved how compact the Lily Cup Compact was! It made going reusable so easy. It accordions flat and fits in a small disc carrying case which can slip so perfectly into your pocket. The material was also very soft and flexible. Medical grade silicone & BPA free. Intimina makes a variety of different cups which is also great.
After having children the one I had stopped fitting correctly making it leak so I decided to switch to a new brand.
DETAILS ABOUT intimina
- Sizes: Intimina has three different menstrual cup options; Lily Cup One, Lily Cup Compact (sizes A & B) and the Lily Cup (sizes A & B).
- Other Products: They also carry kegel exercisers, cup wash, moisturizer and a Ziggy Cup (which is more like a menstrual disc)
- Approximate Cost: $29.95 (for the Lily Cup Compact)
- Company website
- Find on Amazon
This is the cup I switched too after using the Intimina cup above. It was nice cup to switch too and I have no issues with its function. It’s sturdy, I can’t feel it, and seals perfectly every time. The only issue I have with it is that it is quite sturdy and I have noticed it can be difficult to take out.
DETAILS ABOUT sckoon
- Sizes: Sckoon cup comes in small and large. Review their sizing guide.
- Other products: Sckoon also carries pads and has cups in a large variety of colors and bag combinations.
- Approximate Cost: $38.99
- Company website
- Find on Amazon
DivaCup is likely a name you recognize as it is sold in most stores. I have never personally tried it but I know many people who use it and love it.
DETAILS ABOUT divacup
- Sizes: The DivaCup comes in three sizes; Model 0, Model 1, and Model 2.
- Other products: DivaCup also carries DivaWash, a cleanser for your cup.
- Approximate Cost: $24.00
- Company website
- Find on Amazon
4. Saalt Cup
I learned about the Saalt cup through Kelli who I mentioned before. I was super excited to try one a few months ago and it is great!
It’s a softer material than my Sckoon cup and fits perfectly.
Another bonus – the branding is SPOT on. I love it. (Isn’t it adorable?!)
DETAILS ABOUT SAALT
- Sizes: The Saalt cup comes in Small and Regular. Review their size guide.
- Other products: They also carry a Saalt Cup Wash and additional carrying bags for your cup.
- Approximate Cost: $28.99
- Company website
- Amazon link
5. Lena Cup
The Lena cup is a beautifully made cup but I have never tried it. The price point is great and it’s available on Amazon in a variety of colors. If I get the chance to try it, I will come back and let you know my thoughts.
DETAILS ABOUT LEna
- Sizes: Lena cup comes in Small and Large. Review their sizing guide.
- Approximate Cost: $24.90 (two pack – comes with a small & large size – is $39.90)
- Company website
- Amazon link
OTHER MENSTRUAL CUPS AVAILABLE:
- Cora Cup
- Lunette Menstrual Cup
- Flex Menstrual Cup
- Tampax Menstrual Cup
- FemmyCycle Menstrual Cup
- hannahcup Menstrual Cup
Learn more about Reusable Pads
Pads are not for everyone and they were never for me. But after having kids I found that I leaned towards pads more and more. Thankfully, there are tons of reusable options out there so unnecessary cost and waste didn’t have to be an issue!
Many people worry about the laundry part of reusable pads but we cloth diapered so really it was nothing extra! But if you don’t cloth diaper, don’t worry.
Just throw the used pads in a wet bag and wash them with towels or something similar!
Reusable pads are different than cups as they don’t take as much trial and error and they don’t have as many sizing issues as menstrual cups.
Instead of doing individual reviews of products, there are a few options I have selected to share. If you are interested in using reusable pads here are some brands available to you that you might enjoy!
Learn more about Period Panties
After having kids I found myself wanting to choose pads more often than my cup which makes me wonder if I would also prefer period panties. I’ve heard so many great things about them but have not chosen a brand for myself to try.
Period panties are great for extra support during a heavy flow or for night time. Some pairs can hold up to 2 tampons worth of fluids. These are also a great option for teens or new moms who have postpartum bleeding!
Some brands to consider:
As you are learning about reusable period products you’ll find that it is a trial and error game BUT once you find something, or a combination of something, that works for you, you will see savings and likely begin to feel better during that time of the month.
What reusable period products do you use? What brands are your favorite?
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