Menstrual cups and tampons have been around for almost at the same time. But of course, only one has to shine throughout the years —and that would be tampons. For as long as people remember, tampons are women’s to-go to during their period, but what has come to it now that menstrual cup is taking the seat?
Menstrual cups vs tampons, this is not the fight that everybody might be itching to know. However, surely, this is one of the topics that makes women get intrigued about since it concerns one’s convenience, hygiene, and health during the crucial time for women.
Thus, let the battles begin through discussing the said menstrual hygiene products by stacking both of their pros and cons.
What and How Menstrual Cup Work?
First off, since menstrual cups are still new to some women’s ears, although it was first patented and design 80 years ago (in 1935), let us first discuss what it is and how it works.
So, firstly, menstrual cups are rubber which is made from a medical grade silicone that resembles a bell or a diaphragm. It is a reusable cup that is used during women’s menstruation cycle that serves as an alternative to pads or tampons.
Same as the tampons, it is inserted inside the vagina, but instead of absorbing the menstrual fluid due to the period, the cup catches and collects the flow as a way to stop the leaking of your blood during the menstruation cycle.
With this said, here are the pros and cons of a menstrual cup:
Advantages of a Menstrual Cup
Money-wise and Eco-Friendly. Menstrual cups are designed for long-term use, which provides you a significant amount of cost savings than using tampon and pads. Since you can reuse them, you can hit two birds in one stone—saving money and saving the environment since you do not need to throw it out every four to six hours in a cycle.
Less Odor. You may have noticed that your tampons tend to waft some embarrassing menstrual odor. Well, that’s because the menstrual blood gets exposed to air resulting in the said odor. However, with menstrual cups, you don’t need to worry about it since it won’t get exposed to air due to its sealing feature.
Productivity. Not needing to go to the restroom now and then should be a promising feat or advantage of menstrual cups, right? Since menstrual cups can be used up to twelve hours (depending on your flow), you will not leave any activity or work in the middle of it anymore.
Vaginal pH Stays in Place. Since tampons tend to absorb all of your vaginal fluid along with the flow, it may disturb the pH balance of the vagina and even the bacterial balance present in the said delicate area. Thus, for this round, the menstrual cup takes the win.
Cons of a Menstrual Cup
Messy. It is undeniable that since menstrual cups do not absorb the flow, and collects it instead is that emptying the cup and be a bloody mess. However, it was noted that with practice, most women have worked out a suitable method and quickly got over of the icky factor.
The Difficulty of Insertion. Some women might not have used a tampon (which would surely be a little difficult than those women who uses the tampon). Also, younger girls that never had intercourse, and women who have an IUD in place might be one of the factors too.
Choosing the Right Fit. Choosing the right size of a menstrual cup can be tricky since there’s a huge possibility that you might get the wrong size if you are not careful about choosing one. Thus, refer to the Knuckle Method to know the right size of the menstrual cup for you.
Maintenance. Of course, since it is reusable, you need to do the proper maintenance so that it could live long enough to save you your money or completely consume its lifespan of ten years maximum.
Pros and Cons of Tampons
Now that we are finished in thoroughly discussing the advantages and disadvantages of menstrual cups, it is now time to highlight tampon’s pros and cons, to carefully weigh both of the menstrual hygiene product’s benefits.
Pros of Tampons
Comfort. Tampons are comfortable to wear than sanitary pads. In which in this case, using tampons allows women to stay active without having to worry about the shifting of the menstrual hygiene product.
No “Wet” Feeling. Many women state that using tampons makes them feel cleaner, and it doesn’t make you overly conscious of the flow.
Compact. Since some of the menstrual hygiene products tend to take up space in your purse. Tampons, on the other hand, are easy to keep since you can slip a couple in any bag or pocket.
Cons of Tampons
Higher Risk of TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome). TSS is the development of bacteria in the vagina, which is absorbed into the bloodstream. Although it is a rare occurrence, tampon use may increase your risk. However, keep in mind that tampons do not necessarily are the only ones causing the said disease.
Not Eco-friendly. The overwrap material of tampons is the polypropylene, which is non-biodegradable. Also, dioxins are used during the manufacturing, although the quantity is not enough to threaten the health, it is believed to cause inflammation.
Residue. Although rare, tampons can leave a residue inside the vagina when you pull it out, which can result in bacterial inflammations and infections.
Hopefully, the information that was discussed above made you make up your mind as to whether to use tampons or menstrual cups as a way of protecting and helping yourself during your menstrual cycle.