Period Cups – Consider Your Health – Make It Sustainable

Girls! This one is for you. Over half the world’s population is female, and as it goes at some point and time we face the inevitable; puberty and our mentrual cycle. Every young teen’s nightmare, the working woman’s inconvenience, shark week, the red sea, whatever one may call it, it is what it is. As much of a neusance as our period’s may be to maintain, it is what makes us females and gives us the beautiful gift of child bearing and all the things that come with being a healthy woman. So, why not take care of that which we are designed to do, with our health and convenience both in mind.

What is a period cup?

Perhaps you’ve heard it in passing conversation, maybe the persistent girl in yoga class wont stop raving about it, your colleauge keeps trying to show you hers… yikes; either way the words period cup have been resting on your subconscious. Here you are finally in a place intended to answer all those questions and concerns bubbling within your curiosity. So what are these period cups? 

  • reusable
  • eco-friendly
  • cost-efficient
  • stream line
  • silicone tampon alternative

A bit funny to the eye at first, a period cup is designed to sit low with in the vaginal cavity seeling against the cavity walls, allowing one’s “flow” to collect within the silicone cup. (4)

Promote your health (Quick science lesson)

So it’s time. You’re searching desprately through your purse or glove box looking to take control of the raging beast releasing itself from your uterus, and there it is. Just the one. No more no less. Your period cup. You have chosen to make the switch for several reasons and here’s why:

  1.  Silicone is your friend. With proper care, your period cup can promote a safe inside environment.
  2. You’ve increased the time between changes. Up to 12 hours to be exact.
  3. As odd as it may seem, now you can keep an eye on what’s happening on the inside. (1)

Silicone? More than likely you’ve heard this word in regards to breast implants, well that’s cause variations of this material are often used in medical procedures. It’s actually comprised of an element you’ll find on the periodic table; silicon (Si). You’ve seen silicon in one of its different compounds more than likely at the beach; sand, or every time you look through a window; glass. These are just different grades of silicon, a natural occuring element on mother earth, and heads up there’s plenty of it! So us humans discovered how to use this mineral to create a rubber like material (silicone) that is friendly to our body chemistry. Some fun properties of silicone are as noted: 

  • Low toxicity
  • Not supportive of microbiological growth
  • Water repelent ability
  • Not designed to stick to many substances (eg. your vaginal walls)

Contrary to leaving an absorbant cotton material in our bodies, collecting odor that can encourage bacterial growth, a silicone cup is designed to seel against the vaginal wall keeping odors in and away from open air while providing a more difficult surface for bacteria to set up house. Keep in mind this is correlated with how you care for and clean your cup. (1) (2)

Something else strange but importnat to consider is keeping a visual eye on your flow. When using absorbent materials such as liners, pads, tampons, it can be difficult to measure the volume or true color of what your body is diguarding. A clear and collective device allows both. May sound gross ladies, but it’s a bodily function like anyting else and being able to associate what is coming out with how you feel can lend a hand in correlating your personal health patterns.

Make life easier

Okay so you are starting to get it, this could be a much more health conscious decision for your vagina and reproduction system in general. The cool thing is, it doesn’t just promote health, it doesn’t get much more convinient.

Depending on how extensive you care for your period cup, it’s lifespan will crush that of any box of tampons or pads. It fits easily and undetected in your purse, clutch, car, backpack, fanny pouch (if that’s how you roll), and will be around when the box of tampons has run out, or the next convenient store isn’t for another 130 miles. Convenient.

Odor – don’t sweat it. Remember the keeping odors seeled in we discussed in the above science lesson?

No string – it’s the 20th century, popular belief says no one likes “strings attatched,” so aside from a small grippy extension of the period cup, there’s no more dealing with a blotchy wet string hanging from your bikini mid summer.

Feeling sporty? – I speak as an athlete and avid surfer myself. This cup doesn’t absorbe excess water or sweat from the outside. Its design is to lock in whats inside. Being the fun rubber like substance it is, this period cup is meant to move with you as you play and go about your active day. (4)

Be a sustainable woman

If you haven’t noticed, it’s becoming “cool” to be sustainable these days. We are buying our reusable grocery bags, shopping at second hand stores, cursing the name of plastic straws; the list goes on. So if you are stil unsure about the health benefits and convenience of a period cup, then at least consider joining the other cool kids in giving some love to mother earth and reducing the waste of millions of cotton tampons and pads each month. You need only buy one cup to get you through.

Depending on how you care for your cup, it’s only recomended to buy one a year. However, if you have diligently sanitized/boiled/dried and your cup remains free of breaks, staying out of reach as your puppy’s chew toy, then you are  doing yourslef and bank account a favor, and can keep it as long as you see fit. (4)

Depending on the grade of silicone your period cup is made of, it is likely to be recycled. So after you’ve got all the use you feel you could possibly get out of your period cup and it’s time to dispose of it, simply clean and cut it up before it hits the  recycle centre. (3)

Conclusion

Who can use it? Any female with a menstrual cycle.

What is it? God’s gift to your vagina.

When can it be used? Up to 12 hours if you really feel like it when the flow decides to come around.

Where can it be used? Well, keep it aorund and it will be there for you like an accountant during tax season.

Why use it? It’s healthy, it’s convenient, and the sustainable “cool” choice.


  1. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/toxic-shock-syndrome-tss
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicone
  3. http://plasticisrubbish.com/2012/05/17/what-is-silicone/
  4. https://divacup.com/how-it-works/your-first-questions/
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6 thoughts on “Period Cups – Consider Your Health – Make It Sustainable

  1. Sav – its truly amazing at all the natural products that they are coming out with. I was recently reading an article about a “green” diaper for babies….totally reusable and now I stumbled here and find out about these period cups. I am a guy, but I definitely share this with my sister. Most of my friends are female, so I am aware of the challenges they face every month. I had to look it up to see what they look like (as your comment said, they are kinda of funny looking). Are these readily sold in stores or just available online? Want to be able to tell my sister about these.

    Thanks so much 🙂

    1. LT! Yes so many great and positive sustainable advancements coming out these days. I do need to put up a few different images on this page to help with the visual. Your sister can find them online and in select stores. They are still becoming more and more recognised, and are yet to become highly popular in the general store front.

  2. I have purchased some silicone cups, but have not used them yet because I need to use up my supply of regular tampons and pads (they are taking up space in my closet that could be used for other things.) I like the feel of them and can tell it will be flexible and comfortable when in use. Yeah, there’s a little bit of clean up, but I love the idea of not having to buy or stock up on bulky pads. And going for up to 12 hours is amazing! Great article. I did not know silicone was derived from the same stuff that makes up glass or sand. I learned something. Thanks.

    1. Stephanie, so happy to hear you are joining the sustainable movement with a silicone cup. If I’ve any advice, take your lingering pads and tampons and donate them to a women’s shelter or goods drop in your area. They won’t go to waste, and you’ll get to experience the benefits of a period cup that much sooner.

  3. Wow, I knew a lot about period cups and their use but eco-friendly period cup is something new for me. Thank you for sharing this information. This must be a great thing to use and healthy for a woman too, not only for women but also for planet Earth as it is eco friendly as you have mentioned. Thank you for sharing this amazingly great post.

    1. Hey Sara,

      Based on my understanding of Silicone it comes in various grades. Some of the period cups I’ve tested and looked into claim they can not be recycled, however upon further research there are some facilities that will recycle silicone. Either way, in comparison to plastic, it is a far more sustainable material when concerning the planet as it is generally used as a replacement option to single use plastics. So eco-friendly yes in the sense that it cuts down on the amount of accumulated single use tampon and pad waste, however always best to double check where to dispose of.

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