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Menstrual cup

The first scientific review of the use of menstrual cups has confirmed that they're safe and as effective as tampons.

The research was published in The Lancet Public Health journal, and features 43 studies and data from 3,300 women and girls.

Four studies found that the levels of leakage were similar between menstrual cups, pads and tampons, but one found that leakage in menstrual cups was actually less than tampons.

Menstruation can have astronomical results on girls' schooling in particular, as well as women's experience of work. If women use poor quality sanitary products, it can increase their disposition to infections.

Menstrual cups collect rather than absorb period blood, and fit into the vagina as reusable products, unlike tampons. There have been recent calls for schools to provide plastic-free menstruation products for students, as tampons and pads are extremely unsustainable for the environment.

Combating 'period poverty' in both high and low-income countries has become more of a priority, thankfully, so it's imperative that policy makers know which sanitary products to include in menstrual health programmes and puberty education materials.

The review also discovered that awareness of menstrual cups among women was noticeably low, though they have been gaining in popularity. The main concerns over the product included pain and difficulty inserting or removing it, as well as chafing and leakage, but the data noted that complications were actually rare.

Senior author Professor Penelope Phillips-Howard from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK says;

“Despite the fact that 1.9 billion women globally are of menstruating age – spending on average 65 days a year dealing with menstrual blood flow, few good quality studies exist that compare sanitary products.

"We aimed to address this by summarising current knowledge about leakage, safety, and acceptability of menstrual cups, comparing them to other products where possible," Professor Phillips-Howard added.

Research from 13 of the studies discovered that around 70 percent of women would continue using menstrual cups once they were comfortable with how it worked.

Menstrual cups are made of soft, flexible material, such as rubber or silicone. They create a suction seal to stop any seepage of blood once inserted into the vagina. The cups collect more menstrual blood than tampons or sanitary pads, but must be emptied and washed regularly.

The two types include a vaginal cup, bell-shape and sits lower in the vagina, and a cervical cup which is placed higher up, like a diaphragm. The cup doesn't relate to your menstrual flow, so it's all about finding the right size to suit your own body. 

To insert, you simply fold the cup and place it into the vagina where it can unfold and form a leak-free seal. To remove, squeeze the bottom of the cup to release the seal and sterilise the cup between periods.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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There are numerous brands to try, such as Mooncup, Saalt and Intimina Lily, but it can take a few attempts before you feel confident about using one. The cups are also extremely cost effective, as it can last for up to 10 years and can be reused every month. 

We highly recommend OrganiCup if you want to try a greener way of menstruating. Being reusable, rather than disposable, menstrual cups are seen as a far greener option for the environment than tampons and sanitary towels.

Researchers believe that making menstrual cups available globally could aid the fight against period poverty and health problems such as infections, even where water and toilet facilities are poor.

Feature image: Pinterest

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So, apparently menstrual cups are the most efficient and environmentally friendly way to deal with your period.

And while we’re sure the rumours are true, we can’t help but feel a little bit sceptical of the unknown.

So, we decided to research these little inventions, to see what they’re really about!

Here’s what we found out:

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1. The environment will thank you. 

Here’s a fun fact: apparently the average lady discards up to 14,000 sanitary products in her lifetime – that is a whole lotta tampon! These disposed products end up in landfills, where they’ll take centuries to decompose and finally go away. However, the average menstrual cup lasts for up to 10 YEARS, so think of it as an environmental investment.

2. They’re safer.

I mean, we’ve all read the tampon box, and somewhat live in fear of toxic shock syndrome (TSS), right? Well, because cups collect menstrual blood instead of absorbing it, they don’t carry the same risk as a tampon.

How Menstrual Cups Work: Your Guide to Switching Over

3. They’re more comfortable (allegedly).

So you can actually leave a menstrual cup in there for up to 12 hours (over night, even) meaning you don’t have to worry about the discomfort of pads and tampons while you sleep.

4. They’re way cheaper.

Let’s g back to my first point – these bad boys last up to ten years! That will save you a hell of a lot of money on tampons and pads, when you consider how many we use per period. Your typical menstrual cup will cost about 25 quid, making it WELL worth the purchase.

Using A Menstrual Cup Before You Get Pregnant

5. It will take some time to become a pro

Listen ladies, Rome wasn’t built in a day! These little silicone cups will take some getting used to, you’ll probably make a bit of a mess the first few times you use it! However, once you get into the swing of things, you’ll begin to reap all the rewards of the menstrual cup.

Well, there you have it now. Facts on facts on facts.

Let us know if you choose to make the switch to a cup!

 

6. You can pair them with period pants for total coverage

If you’re thinking about starting to use a menstrual cup, chances are you’re probably worried about putting it in wrong and leaking everywhere. But you shouldn’t let that put you off swapping to a better way of dealing with your period!

Period panties are a great accessory to combine with menstrual cups, especially if you’re trying out cups for the first time. Period underwear brands like Knixteen (which is specifically for teens, win!) have created super-absorbable pants that are perfect for soaking up any leaks and embarrassing odours. They’re also ridiculously comfy and cute, meaning you can still feel confident while you’re on your period. AND they’re totally reusable, so you’re STILL saving the environment!

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If, like thousands of women across the world, you recently invested in a menstrual cup, you'll know just how life-changing they can be.

Not only will the product do wonders for but bank account in the long-run, but you'll suffer less irritation due to the absence of toxins and chemicals and even help the environment by reducing waste.

And as if that wasn't enough to convince you to make the switch, Intimina have just launched the first menstrual cup that can be worn during penetrative sex.

Unlike a traditional tampon or menstrual cup, the Ziggy Cup sits just below the cervix after insertion, meaning those who wear it can enjoy mess-free sex all month long.

Featuring a leak-proof double rim and hexagonal texture, the cup is made from 100 per cent medical grade silicone and promises 12 hours of non-stop protection.

What's more, Intimina say the one size fits all product is so comfortable that it can't be felt at all, and while we're sure insertion may take some practice, we'd be willing to put in the practice for the complete freedom it offers.

It's priced at just €39.95, which is and absolute steal when you consider it lasts for two years.

Convenient, reusable and sex-friendly, what more could you want?

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