Women go through thousands of menstrual pads and tampons in a lifetime, and the waste from these products ends up in the garbage. Tampons can even clog up a home’s septic system, causing a huge plumbing problem. Many women would love an alternative to tampons, but because pads and tampons are the most advertised menstrual products on television and in print ads, most women don’t realize there are other options.
What Are the Alternative Options?
The two main options are reusable sanitary pads and menstrual cups. Reusable pads are similar in style and use as a disposable pad (except that reusable pads can be washed and reused), but menstrual cups are very different from tampons. A menstrual cup inserts internally like a tampon, but instead of being a large mass of cotton (or most of them are chemical material, not even cotton) that absorbs the flow, a menstrual cup collects the flow.
With a menstrual cup, there is no additional waste each month like there is with traditional tampons. The silicone material of the cup allows it to be used for many years, and its’ ability to function as well, if not better, than a tampon means that you can save money too. During your period, you simply insert the cup as you would a tampon, and after 12 hours, you remove the cup and dump the contents. You don’t have to worry about clogging toilets when using public restrooms or finding things to wrap your pad or tampon cardboard tube in before disposal.
The Benefits of Switching
One benefit is the cost savings. You will no longer need to buy boxes of tampons or pads each month. Cups can be used on heavy and light days, so you won’t need to switch from pads to the cup throughout your period. You can rely solely on the cup. Another benefit is that the cup is environmentally friendly. You reduce the amount of waste produced by pads and tampons each month. Although you cannot use one cup as an alternative to tampons for your whole life, you will only need to replace the cup every few years. The risks of toxic shock syndrome are incredibly unlikely when cups are properly used because unlike tampons, high-quality menstrual cups are safe to use up to 12 hours. Before you commit to switching, make sure you do your research. A site like Kind Cup has informative FAQ’s that will help explain the benefits of using an alternative to tampons and how it helps the environment.