Periods! Most people with uteruses have experienced them. Not much fun for us (if you’d ask me), not for the planet. That’s because right now most people use sanitary towels or tampons, single use items. Those end up at landfill, or even worse, in the sewage system. Luckily there are multiple ways to have a zero waste period. All sorts of products I wish I had known about sooner. Today I want to share more about a zero waste menstruation with a reusable cup.
A reusable cup is a silicon cup that you place inside of a vagina. The cup basically collects the blood coming from the cervix. It works the same as tampons, except that you collect the blood in a cup instead of it being absorbed by the tampon. At first, the cup might seem a little big if you’re used to tampons. I had that feeling too. It just takes a little practice, the first few times I tried the cup I didn’t place it right (the blood ran by). Below there is a little instruction as to how to place the cup. You basically push it in an U and then place it. The cup is sucks itself vacuum, to prevent blood from running by it.
You can see that the cup has a little stem at the bottom, which you can pull to take the cup out again. When you take it out, try to push it in a the U again to release the vacuum. Once out, you can flush the blood in the toilet, clean the cup in the sink (if there’s no sink I use toilet paper, but that barely happens) and place it again inside the vagina.
Cleaning the Cup
I use the cup my entire period (about 5 days). I flush it with water in between wearing it (like I mentioned above). But once the period is over I cook the cup with some mild soap to kill all bacteria.
Why I Love the Cup
Here’s why I love reusable cups:
1. I only have to place the cup once or twice a day. Therefore, I no longer have to always remind myself to bring new tampons with me anywhere I go. I can wear the cup longer than single-use products, up till 12 hours! That is because it literally holds the blood in the cup, which is quite big.
2. It saves me money because it is a one-time investment and I never ever have to buy single-use menstrual products again.
3. I think it suits me better because it is made out of silicones. I don’t feel it sitting inside me, which I did when I used tampons.
4. And not to forget: you have a zero waste menstruation with a reusable cup! No more dirty single-use menstrual products at landfill or in the sewage system.
As I said, in the beginning it’s all a bit scary because it’s different and bigger than you’re used to. But I love it and I wish I had known about it before! There are two (sometimes three) sizes of the cup. Size A for persons with a uterus who haven’t given birth yet and size B for persons with a uterus who have given birth. Sometimes brands offer a mini size for teens or people who need a smaller size. There are a number of brands for cups but I would recommend the Organicup, since it is organic. A cup costs about 25 euros. A great investment since you earn that back in no-time! A few weeks ago I forgot my cup for the first time when I got my period. I was obligated to use a tampon again and I hated it! It’s all cups for me now.