by Jessica Jolie Badonsky R.N.
*Fab & Fru just loves Jessica Badonsky’s “The Advocate RN” blog – it’s a must-read for candid talk on sexuality and your heath and well being! Here’s what our favorite nurse has to say about the menstrual cup…
Your Pricey Period
Once a month, we trek to the drug store or make an emergency stop at the bodega to pick up some pads or tampons. The fancier the protection, weaves, wings, and super strings — the more expensive. A yearly supply of pads and tampons can be around $120 a year – and if you stock up on various sizes for different flow days, overnight, etc., your cost could easily be double!
The solution? Consider the menstrual cup, an (approximately) annual investment of $22 to $39 depending on the brand. Not familiar with these little gems? They’re just flexible, insertable cups made from medical grade silicone. Menstrual cups are a reusable, reliable and economical way to deal with your period.
Oh, and did I mention – your sex life may benefit too! Sexually speaking, tampons absorb ALL fluid – including vaginal lubrication. Did you know – on your period, orgasm can feel more intense? So fooling around while on your Aunt Flo can be awesome – but if you’re using tampons, chances are you’ll be as dry as a bone. With the menstrual cup the blood is contained but the lubrication can flow free. (Please be aware most cups are not approved for use during intercourse…)
So we’ve already told you’ll save money and benefit your sex life. But you want more reasons to try a menstrual cup? How about this: In addition to avoiding toxic shock syndrome, most menstrual cups can be worn for up to 12 hours – unlike tampons and pads.
Get In There
The menstrual cup also allows you to be engaged with your body and cycle. Now, for some people this is a benefit – for others a detraction!
Yes, you have to actually touch yourself to insert and take the cup out and this may involve blood – which is a turn on for some, no big whoop for others and “hell no” for a few. How much blood are we talking about? Your period can yield anywhere from 1 to 6 teaspoons or up to 40mL. The Diva Cup holds 30mL, that’s quite a bit.
Heavy periods are not a problem, but you will need to work with your cup and cycle to sense when you are reaching full capacity. Once you understand your cycle, you can confidently dive off the diving board just like that chick in the white bikini from the tampon ad. These silicone cups were built to handle anything an active girl can pour into them. Not only will your menstrual cup prevent you from being a bloody mess – but no tampon means no risk of pool water making your tampon blow up and squeeze out!
One downside is that not all menstrual cups are okay to use if you have an IUD. Please consult with your doctor as well as research the various types of cups which are – and are not – recommended for use with IUDs!
There are many brands on the market now – I recommend checking out the DivaCup (my personal favorite), as well as the Instead Softcup, Moon Cup, Lily Cup, and The Keeper.
Like any good tool there is a learning curve, figuring out the cup that works best, which days are your heaviest and how to insert the cup, when and how to take it out. But I hope you do check out this alternative to all those costly tampons and pads. Not only will a menstrual cup save you money – but you’ll also be saving Mother Earth, one cycle at a time.
I am a nurse who takes her expertise beyond the bedside, getting to the private parts of wellness by talking to patients and practitioners about sexuality. I began my journey as a doula and yoga teacher, then formalized my education in nursing. In nursing I found my passion in advocating for sexuality throughout a person’s lifespan, with it’s vast health related issues including orthopedics, general surgical issues, urology, medicine, end life and, of course, gynecology.