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2nd March 2022

Agony Aunt Angela: Being Eco, Period.

We all want to be more sustainable when it comes to our periods, but is a menstrual cup a gift or a nuisance?
Agony Aunt Angela: Being Eco, Period.

Hey, I need some advice. I’m all for saving the planet and I’ve heard a lot about this Menstrual cup that you would use instead of pads and tampons. I want to start using them, as I find pads and tampons are always a bit pricey but I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews. What should I do?”

-Via Manchester Girl, Facebook

This is something that a lot of women contend with, and the menstrual cup can be a bit intimidating. 

Menstrual cups are a good option if you’ve got a hectic day and know you won’t have time to sort yourself out. However, there are pros and cons to it. 

Firstly, they can take a while to get used to. When I first got one, despite getting the smallest size available, I still struggled to put it in. They come with instructions and various insertion methods, but it can still be uncomfortable. Once you’ve got it in there’s the matter of ‘securing’ it and making sure it’s air-tight – that’s something I never got the hang of. This isn’t a major issue but it does mean there’s a risk of some blotting or worse still, a roaming cup.

The risk of roaming is the worst part about menstrual cups, and something they don’t really mention in their instructions. After managing to successful keep it in all day… I couldn’t feel it when I tried to take it out. If you don’t securely seal it, it will gradually creep up your vagina throughout the day. There is a silicone puller, but this obviously creeps up. It was a scary 20 minutes I won’t lie. I felt like Rosie (from Love, Rosie) when she was in A&E with a condom up her vag. The fear was real. Luckily, you can push it out, but it takes a while…we love pelvic floor exercises. 

Once you get over the initial beginner hiccups, the pros of menstrual cups are worthwhile. The starting price is usually around £15 and they’re available at most supermarkets and drug stores. They come in two sizes typically, based on age and childbearing status. After you give birth and as you grow older, your vaginal muscles loosen so you’d need a bigger size. If you’re young and haven’t had children, you’d go for a small. If you have a small vagina anyway, minis are sometimes available and may be more comfortable overall. 

The price is steep at first glance, but these cups last for years. When compared to tampon and pad prices over that time, it’s an enormous saving financially and environmentally. It also makes you feel fresher. There’s no odour and cups are easy to clean. Plus, insertion’s silent and discrete – a blessing in public bathrooms.

Basically, don’t throw away all your tampons. Menstrual cups are great for travelling and busy days.  It’ll take a few cycles before you’re fully comfortable with it, but it’s definitely worth a try. 

Kisses, Aunt Angela x

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