What’s a menstrual cup and how is it different from tampons? The Mayo Clinic explains the pros and cons.
Not quite sure what a menstrual cup is or how it works?
You are not alone. Even though menstrual cups have been around since the early 1930s, only over the past few years have they become a more popular choice for women.
“Made of hypoallergenic rubber or silicone, a menstrual cup is inserted into the vagina during your period to capture fluid,” says Mayo Clinic Health System OB-GYN Emily Linklater. “How often you need to empty or replace the menstrual cup depends on the size of the cup and your menstrual flow, but the cup can hold up to three times as much fluid as a regular tampon.”
Linklater identifies a few factors that may contribute to the recent popularity of menstrual cups, including:
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The average woman spends between 50 to 150 dollars per year on tampons or pads, depending on the duration, amount and regularity of her periods. On average, a menstrual cup costs between $20-$40 and can last from six months to 10 years. Depending which brand of cup you choose and how often replacements are required, significant financial savings are possible.
A menstrual cup can be worn up to 12 hours before it should be removed, cleaned and reinserted. Typically tampons or pads should be changed every four to six hours. The cup allows women to have more time before changing out, especially on light days. Also, it prevents the need to carry extra pads or tampons, which many women find burdensome and embarrassing. The menstrual cup also can be inserted around the time of an expected period to avoid first-day leakage.
Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not require tampon and pad manufacturers to list ingredients on packaging, many women are concerned about reports of tampons containing bleached cotton, rayon and viscose…