Why Menstrual Cups are Life Changing for Travelers (+FAQ)
If you’re reading this you are probably intrigued by the menstrual cups phenomenon, but also likely skeptical. Don’t worry, so was I when I first saw an image of the silicone cup that is meant to go inside of your body.
Well, that was over three years ago, and I have not used a tampon or pad ever since making the switch to a menstrual cup. I’ve used my menstrual cup in about 50 countries, I’ve worn it while climbing waterfalls in the Philippines, and even during half of my Kilimanjaro hike.
Thanks to my menstrual cup, I have saved close to $300, not to mention, a literal shit ton of un-recyclable waste that would have come from about 580 tampons. Oh, and did I mention you don’t need to change them often, and they are way healthier for you since tampons are full of chemicals?!
Here’s my full list of reasons why menstrual cups are ideal for travel, and regularly, plus some frequently asked questions!
Menstrual Cups are Healthier than Tampons!
Honestly, I don’t know how tampons are even legal. They are FULL of chemicals and toxins that are bad for your body!
Like, do you really want to be putting things like rayon, plastic, chlorine, procymidon, piperonyl butoxide, methylene chloride, and carbon disulfide inside of your vagina?! Or do you want a clean, safe, medical-grade silicone cup up there?
Also, you know that tampons often cause bacterial infections, right?
Menstrual Cups Are WAY Better for the Environment
Tampons are AWFUL for the environment! If you think of how many tampons you use each month, then how many women use them each month (about 70%), you can envision how many that amounts to, and then consider the fact that nothing is recyclable.
The actual (blood soaked) tampon just sits in plumbing or land fills. The plastic applicators will never degrade and just sit in the land or water forever. And the paper packaging will demand more and more tree deaths each year.
ONE menstrual cup can be re-used for about TEN years. You do the math on how much waste you’d be saving by using one.
They Are Incredibly Convenient
Imagine never having to worry about not having a tampon or pad! Especially while traveling where you don’t even know where to buy them, or IF they even have them where you are!
I have not bought a single tampon or pad in three years, and I travel full time, and non stop. All I have to do is carry my little menstrual cup in my toiletry bag, and pray I never forget it (you won’t because you’ll love it so much).
Also, menstrual cups don’t need to be changed (well, emptied) nearly as much as tampons and pads! They’re good for 6-12 hours! Which means you likely won’t need to change it in a public restroom!
Yes, They Are Tricky to Get in At First
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get your menstrual cup in easily the first few times, or if you have some leakage. It usually takes people two periods to get the hang of it, then it’s LIFE CHANGING!
I remember when I first started attempting to use one, it would leak and I was like ‘WTF this doesn’t work at all!’. I even told another blogger I was working with about it, since she was the one who inspired me to use them, and she said “You just have to give yourself a pep talk, take it out, and try again!” So I did!
The main thing to remember is that the cup needs to be folded to get inside, then it needs to completely unfold inside of you to work. There are several different ways to fold it, so just test them out to see which works best for you (I’ll get to these next). You’re also supposed to rotate it 360 degrees while it’s inside, so it can fully unfold.
If you’re still having leakage, you may need to try a different size or folding technique!
How to Insert Menstrual Cups
As I mentioned, there are several folding techniques you can do to get the cup in. Then you need to rotate it 360 degrees to make sure it has unfolded. This video does a great job of explaining it all!
Which Menstrual Cup is Right For You?
There’s actually a very wide range of menstrual cup sizes, shapes, and brands! So it’s important to try and figure out which one is the right one for you. Otherwise again, you may get leakage, and discomfort.
There’s a website called Put a Cup in It that has literally every resource and answer you could possibly need for menstrual cup usage! Including this Menstrual Cup Quiz that will tell you which cup would be best for you!
They even have a video for how to measure your cervix, which will help you with choosing the right one!
When you find the right cup for you, please purchase it using one of my links below, because I get a small affiliate sale from Amazon and it helps me keep posting useful content like this for you fo’ free!
How to Empty and Clean Menstrual Cups
This may sound gross at first, but trust me, it’s no where near as gross as a soggy, bloody, smelly tampon! To empty you menstrual cup, you carefully, gently, pull the tail of it (or you can pinch the bottom of the cup for a better grip), pull it out, and pour it in the toilet.
Usually I do this while I’m showering so it’s easy to just clean the cup in there and re-insert it. You should also clean them in a pot of boiling water at the end of each period cycle!
A few people asked what to do if you’re somewhere with non-potable water or a public restroom with a communal sink. As I mentioned, menstrual cups don’t need to be changed very frequently like tampons do. It’s very easy to just plan to be at your hotel when you think you’ll need to empty it.
But if it’s an emergency, or maybe you’re camping, I would suggest bringing a bottle of water with you specifically for rinsing it. You can even fill a bottle up at the sink, and bring it into the stall! Or you can use biodegradable wipes!
You can also buy a little steam cleaner for your cup and/or gentle soap cleaner, like the items below!
What if You Have a Heavy Flow?
Having a heavy period flow is normal! So of course there are menstrual cups made specifically for them! This video will explain which types of cups are best for heavy periods as well as some techniques!
What to Do if You Still Have Leakage
Most people will experience leakage with a menstrual cup when you first start to use them. This does NOT mean the cup is not working! It means you’re not doing something correctly! Whether it’s using the wrong size or shape, or even if you’re actually passing your uterus!
The most common cause of leakage though is not making sure the cup has completely unfolded inside of you. To fix this, try a different folding technique, and make sure to spin it 360 degrees while inserted. If you can also feel with your finger to make sure it has opened, that’s ideal.
There are a couple other causes though, like not knowing the length of your cervix and location of your uterus. This video explains them all!
So! Are you convinced to make the switch to a more comfortable, convenient, and eco-friendly period cycle?! If so, drop a comment below, and please SHARE this post on social to help educate and convince others to switch to menstrual cups!
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