By Jourdann Fraser '20
Approximately 20 billion tampons and pads are dumped into landfills every year. But as it turns out, there is a way to handle that time of the month without creating trash. A menstrual cup is an eco-friendly alternative - a silicone device that collects blood instead of absorbing it like pads and tampons. A menstrual cup can last up to ten years (depending on how you take care of it). You only need to remove a menstrual cup every 12 hours, while with tampons and pads it’s recommended that you change them every 4 to 8 hours. Additionally, they don’t smell like tampons and pads do because they collect blood rather than soak it up.
Menstrual cups are also cost effective. Because they can be reused, they cost less in the long run. If you change your tampon three times a day (every 6 hours) for the average menstruation cycle (5-7 days), you would pay on average $211.20 for tampons for 4 years (since one pack of tampons averages $8). A menstrual cup also lasts for 4 years and costs $20 - $40 (depending on the brand).
One issue that some people face in using menstrual cups is finding the right size. To determine this, you need to consider factors like the length of your cervix during menstruation, your average amount of blood flow, cup firmness, and age. If you have a light flow, a low cervix, and aren’t having sexual intercourse, it may be best to invest in a smaller cup. Look in the links below for a comparison chart of different brands and a quiz to help you determine the size you need.
If you’re looking to invest in a menstrual cup, you’re in luck. Recently, due to efforts of Students for a Sustainable Stanford, menstrual cups will be offered for only $9 at SHPRC starting next week.
For more information about menstrual cups, check out these links:
Why You Should Invest In a Menstrual Cup: http://lunapads.com/learn/why-switch?geoip_country=US
Menstrual Cup Size Quiz: http://putacupinit.com/quiz/
Comparison of Different Brands: http://putacupinit.com/quiz/
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