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What is a Menstrual Cup?
Menstrual cups, including the Diva Cup, Dutchess Cup, and the Moon Cup are only some of the most awesome things to hit the market in women’s health in years. Although they’ve been around for years, it’s only in the past few that they’ve become household names.
Period cups are extremely convenient, easy to use and much better for the environment and your wallet than pads and tampons. But, what is a menstrual cup? According to Wikipedia:
“A menstrual cup is type of feminine hygiene product which is usually made of medical grade silicone, shaped like a bell and is flexible. It is worn inside the vagina during menstruation to catch menstrual fluid (blood), and can be worn during the day and overnight.”
People all over the world have for years been pads (disposable or reusable cloth pads) or tampons when it came to collecting their menstrual fluid. Tampons or pads are also used to protect your clothing from being stained.
We are fortunate to live in a time when people have a lot of choices. The introduction of menstruation cups has provided them with yet another one. In this case, it’s an eco friendly way to save a whole lot of money! Love it? We sure do here at Reusable Menstrual Cups.
Who Invented the Menstrual Cup?
The first menstrual cup similar to today’s versions was invented in 1937, by an American actress, Leona Chalmers. Her cup was made of Latex, and she wanted people to be able to wear a product that wasn’t uncomfortable, or required pins, buckles, or belts. Her invention was very unique and the first of its kind.
It was full swing ahead until WW2, when a shortage of latex forced the company to stop production. When the war ended, Leona Chalmers improved her old design, and relaunched the product as “Tassette.”
However, the idea of an internal menstruation product was quite scandalous at that time, and the Tassette never really became popular. Despite heavy marketing efforts, sales never picked up and the company stopped production in 1963. We’ve certainly come a long way since then!
Menstrual cups were reintroduced onto the market in the 1980’s, with the latex Keeper Cup. This menstrual cup is still around today, although most cups are now made from medical grade silicone.
For more details, please see: Who Invented the Menstrual Cup?
How, here’s why menstrual cups are so awesome:
Saves Money and Protects the Environment
Most of these menstrual cups have been designed for long term use and some models like the Keeper (made of Latex instead of silicone) can even last for a decade or longer. Regular ones from silicone usually have a life-span of 5-10 years, assuming proper care and cleaning.
This saves you lots of money because menstrual cups can be reused as opposed to pads and tampons. This factor also enables you to save the environment because there will be far less waste-consider just how many pads and tampons the average person uses over the course of a lifetime!
Beneficial Bacteria and Vaginal PH is Balanced
Tampons are known to absorb all the blood and fluids meaning that the balance is upset. They also introduce chemicals and pesticides into your vaginal canal. Because the skin is so absorbent there, they make their way into your bloodstream. With menstrual cups, only the fluids will be collected which then leaves the bacteria and vaginal PH intact.
This can lead to fewer things like yeast infections. And also reduce your overall chemical exposure.
Menstrual Cups are Safer than Tampons
There is almost no risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) when using menstrual cups as opposed to tampons. To date, there has only been one reported case of TSS with menstrual cup usage, but thousands with tampons.
Another benefit is that you are not putting harmful chemicals into your body. Some studies done in recent years have shown that a majority of tampons contain traces of harmful pesticides that are sprayed onto the cotton plants during production.
Less Hassle with Menstrual Cups
With menstrual cups, you can go up to 12 hours without emptying or changing it. This is especially true if you use a high-capacity menstrual cup.
With pads or tampons where you will be required to change every 4-8 hours depending on your flow. This can really be a huge benefit when you have a busy day and don’t want to deal with this hassle. You can also use menstrual cups overnight and not have to get up to change pads or tampons like you might when you have a heavy flow.
More information about Menstrual Cups
For some help in choosing which menstrual cup is right for you, check out these two resources:
We hope that answered your question, “What is a menstrual cup?”
What is Menstrual Blood?
We’ve been receiving some questions from our readers lately about what exactly menstrual fluid is. They want to know if period blood is really blood.
You’re been having your period since you were a young teenager, but perhaps haven’t ever wondered about this! We’re here to inform you. Period blood is in part, blood but it does contain a couple more things.
Menstrual fluid actually contains:
- Some blood
- Thickened endometrial cells that slough off when you don’t become pregnant
- Sometimes blood clots
- Cervical mucus
- Vaginal secretions
Some people worry about the clots in their menstrual fluid, but they’re not actually a big concern. It’s your bodies way of trying to slow down blood loss.
We hope that answered your question, “What is period blood made of?” As you can see, period blood is really more than just blood.
What is a Menstrual Cup: Have your Say!
Have you tried a menstrual cup before? Leave a comment below and let us know your favourite brand.