Go Green, Period: I Tried a Reusable Menstrual Cup
If you're like me, you're looking for ways to improve upon your efforts at green living. Here's my latest step.
Since the return of my period when my daughter was 14 months old, I have been a GladRags girl. GladRags are reusable cloth menstrual pads, and in my five years of using them, I have loved them! They are so much more comfortable than disposable menstrual pads, they are obviously cheaper in the long run and better for the environment, and they are multi-purpose--I wear them when I am sick and have stress incontinence while coughing.
But they are messy to clean. So I finally decided to try the other green alternative -- a menstrual cup. I hadn't tried it earlier because I was never much of a tampon wearer, since I found them uncomfortable. But I recently learned the discomfort of tampons has much to do with their absorbancy, which can be drying to one's vagina. Reusable menstrual cups don't have that problem.
I chose the Moon Cup, which I purchased from Amazon using accumulated Swagbucks, so it cost me only about $13 including shipping and handling. (Note: the link shows Size B, but I use Size A, for post-vaginal delivery). What a deal! I knew when I first bought my GladRags that it would take me a few years to equal the cost of buying disposable pads each month. But $13 is what I used to spend in about 3 months on pads, for a product that will last me 10 years!
It took a few tries to get used to inserting it and taking it out comfortably, and my fingers get a little bloody when doing so. According to the instructions, while sitting on the toilet, you fold the cup between your thumb and forefinger to insert, and then release once it's fully inside you so that it opens up. The toughest part is adjusting the Cup once it's in--again, according to instructions, you pull the tab a little bit forward and up so that it's in line with your cervix. I have found that practicing this while wearing a mini-pad helps. Try sitting, standing, lying down and walking. If it feels comfortable in all four positions and you getting little or no leakage, you've done it correctly.
Overall, the Moon Cup is very comfortable and so much easier to clean than reusable pads. And if I have another bout of bronchitis with stress incontinence, I always have my GladRags to fall back on.
[Editor's note: Not ready to commit to the cup? You may love this post: "Reusable Pads: Get Green, Period." - Siel]
Photo: Courtesy of mooncup.com