If you’ve been pondering swapping your tampons for a menstrual cup – whether to save money, the environment, or to avoid any bleached products in your vagina – here’s something to soothe any lingering concerns.
New research suggests that menstrual cups are just as effective and reliable as other sanitary products such as pads and tampons.
By reliable, we mean that menstrual cups are just as leakproof as using a tampon. There’s no need to worry about accidentally tipping out the contents while you’re sitting on someone’s sofa.
The research also states that menstrual cups are perfectly safe.
Scientists looked at 43 studies involving 3,319 participants in both low and middle income countries and 15 studies in high income countries.
As part of this, they compared the leakage between different sanitary products.
They found that levels of leaks were similar between menstrual cups and pads and tampons, with one study finding that leakage among menstrual cups was significantly less than with tampons and pads.
They also found that there was no increased risk of infection associated with using menstrual cups.
So what’s holding us back from hopping on the menstrual cup train?
A lack of awareness, in short.
Among 69 educational websites studied as part of the research, just 30% mentioned menstrual cups as an option, while 77% mentioned pads and 65% mentioned tampons.
If people going through puberty aren’t introduced to menstrual cups as an option, it’s no wonder they stick to pads and tampons.
Let’s recap the benefits of swapping to a menstrual cup.
First off, getting a cup instead of a monthly stash of tampons can save you money.
Researchers found that over ten years, a single menstrual cup could cost much less than using pads or tampons, with a cup costing roughly 5% or 7% of the cost of using 12 pads or tampons.
Using a menstrual cup reduces plastic waste, too, preventing you from chucking away single-use pads and tampons.
You also don’t have to change your menstrual cup as regularly, which is handy if you’re someone who forgets they’re wearing a tampon then has a panic after one has been in for six hours.
Commenting on the study, Dr Julie Hennegan from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said: ‘For consumers purchasing menstrual products, the results highlight cups as a safe and cost-effective option.
‘Critically, findings indicate that menstrual education resources are not providing a comprehensive overview of products to support informed choices.’
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