Menstrual Cups vs. Tampons
While both tampons and menstrual cups serve the same purpose of being a hygiene product for the menstrual cycle of women, they are very different in their properties and features. Here’s a brief overview that will help you understand all about what these products are and how they are different from each other and which one is best for you.
Common Terms you Need to Know
• Menstrual Cups
These are bell-shaped cups that are either made up of medical grade silicone or rubber. They need to be worn inside the vagina during menstruation to hold the menstrual fluid. These period cups are available in both disposable (for example, the Soft Cup) as well as reusable forms (like the Diva Cup). More details here: What is a Menstrual Cup?
A tampon is made of an absorbent soft material – usually pressed cotton, which is inserted inside the vagina to absorb the menstrual fluid. This cannot be reused and has to be disposed after every usage. There are organic tampons if you prefer them to the traditional ones.
Menstrual Cups and Tampons – the Differences
Various features and facts mentioned here show how these products are different.
Menstrual Cups vs. Tampons: Toxins
Tampons have been in use for several years now. They are found to be very convenient during various activities. However, prolonged use of tampons is said to possibly cause toxic shock to the body. At times, the use of synthetic fibers or bleach in the tampons might cause irritation in the vaginal tissues. In fact, some studies have shown that almost every tampon has bleached rayon that generates dioxin, which is a suspected carcinogenic element.
Tampons Cause Dryness
A menstrual cup is made of rubber or medical grade silicon and hence they don’t contain BPA, latex, dye, toxin or bleaches that can adversely affect the vaginal tissues. There is no risk of toxic shock syndrome.
Menstrual Cups vs. Tampons: Protection Offered
Tampons offer eight hours of protection, in general, before the possibility of TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) sets in. Menstrual cups give you up to twelve hours of protection before you need to empty them and reinsert.
Tampons normally absorb six to eight grams of fluid while menstrual cups are capable of holding approximately twenty eight grams. It makes life a whole lot easier for women with a heavier flow.
See: How to Handle a Heavy Flow.
You won’t have to fumble at night to replace your tampon as period cups are capable of holding a larger amount of fluid, thus giving you better protection. Pair it with a reusable cloth pad and you’ll be good to go!
Chance of Leakage and Other Dangers
A menstrual cup forms a suction seal, if properly inserted. It means that all your menstrual fluid gets stored into it directly, which decreases the chance of leakage. See: Menstrual Cup Insertion and Removal for more details.
These period cups have a lower chance of causing TSS as compared to tampons. This is because with tampons, a tiny piece of cotton can make small cuts in the vaginal walls, which give an ideal ground for bacteria responsible for TSS to thrive.
Some women express concern about whether or not menstrual cups cause endometriosis. This risk is very minimal and there’s no conclusive evidence leaking the two. See this article for more details: Menstrual Cups and Endometriosis.
Buy a Menstrual Cup on Amazon now: Diva Cup Model 2 DivaCup Menstrual Solution AND DivaWash
Unlike tampons that are available in one-size-fits-all varieties without giving you much of a choice, period cups are available in various models and makes to suit women with light to moderate and heavier flows. You can even get them in different makes and models to fit the body of teenagers, young women (who are yet to give birth) and those who have already given birth. Period cups are available in two sizes – smaller and bigger. Smaller ones are recommended for women who have not given childbirth while the bigger ones are recommended for use after childbirth. There are even low cervix menstrual cups such as the FemmyCycle Menstrual Cup.
Check out the Ultimate Menstrual Cup Comparison Chart for more information.
Menstrual Cups vs. Tampons: Environmental Considerations
Tampons give rise to two major issues with respect to the environment – the impact created by their production and their disposal. On an average, a woman is likely to use more than 11,000 sanitary pads or tampons in her lifetime, all of which will end up in the sea or in landfill. Also, the toxins and chemicals used in the production of tampons has an adverse effect on the environment. By opting for reusable period cups, you can play your part in conserving the environment.
Costs-Menstrual Cups vs. Tampons
A menstrual cup costs around $30, which is comparatively less than the amount you would pay for buying a box of tampons each month. That you’ll need to buy just one period cup for a year also makes it cost-effective as compared to its traditional counterparts. You can often use your menstrual cup for even longer than that-up to a 4 or 5 years in some cases.
See: Are Menstrual Cups Expensive? for more details.
Many women call the menstrual cups a magical revelation. Periods are a natural thing and they shouldn’t come in the way of living life to the fullest. With menstrual cups, women can now enjoy a life that’s not restricted in any way whatsoever.
You can start using a menstrual cup right away to experience the difference it would make to your life during those special days. Having a period would no longer be a big deal, which is how it should actually be! Menstrual cups vs. tampons-the choice is clear-menstrual cups for the huge win!
Need Help in Choosing the Menstrual Cup for You?
Start with this resource: The Top 10 Period Cup Brands: Reviews, comparisons and advice you can trust.