Waste comes in all shapes and sizes and on the whole, we do our best to reduce the impact on the environment. One of our communications team had a personal waste issue that is close to her heart and definitely one to share… One she solved with a reusable menstrual cup.
I am going to tackle a subject that would make some folk wince, but hopefully by the end of this blog you will have an open mind.
Reusable sanitary products for women. That’s right I said reusable… How? What? My God, I hear you splutter into your coffee. But it does exist and I’m going to answer all those questions I know you have, because I had them too when my previous manager first suggested them to me. So please – read on, it’s worthwhile.
I have worked in the Environment Sector for over nine years and my old boss was a real Eco Warrior, whereas I fit more in the Eco Worrier category. Despite this, I was intrigued enough to try it. Honestly I have never looked back; I would go as far as to say it changed my life for the better!
There are a number of reusable sanitary products on the market, known as menstrual cups. These include the Femmecup, the Diva Cup, the Intimina and more. I have personally used a product called the Mooncup for several years.
Menstrual cups comes in 2 different sizes – one for women who have given birth, and one for women who haven’t or are under 30 years of age. Not sure what happens at 30, I dare not think about this being five years past that landmark!
Now for the science bit, a menstrual cup is a type of feminine hygiene product which is usually made of medical grade silicone, shaped like a bell and is flexible. It is worn during menstruation to catch menstrual fluid (blood), and can be worn during the day and overnight.
Don’t be put off by its appearance – it is no bigger than a tampon. It folds down easily for inserting and is much more comfortable than a tampon. Removal takes a bit of getting used to as it is a little like a suction cup, however once you get the knack, it’s like all things new – it’s just a case of a short period of adjustment, no pun intended!
Yes, you do have to wash it out but it’s no major issue just ‘tip and rinse’, easy! Most toilets have sinks in them these days. The only minor inconvenience you may have when you are out and about, is the location of a lavatory. However, you can safely wear the cup for up to 8 hours at a time, so most of this will be done in the privacy of your own home.
As I said earlier, the cup has been a revelation for me and it seems the same for Genny Wilkindon-Priest from the Daily Mail. They are easy to use, comfortable, safe, durable, dispels all of those myths we were taught as you can see what your period flow is like (may seem yucky, but I agree with the Daily Mail article, it made me feel more connected to my body). They are environmentally friendly (less waste) but most importantly, the Mooncup has saved me lots of money on disposable sanitary products. Also as I am quite a dizzy ‘non’ blonde, I never get caught short of not having anything with me due to it being reusable, a huge bonus for me.
The Mooncup is latex-free and contains no dyes, BPA, toxins or bleaches.
On average, one woman will use over 11,000 tampons or pads in their lifetime, which have been known to end up in landfill or even in the sea. Multiply that by the UK population of women (26,674,000) over the age of 15, (index mundi 2014) that’s just over 293 billion products being disposed of a year!
Let’s apply some maths to this, based on averages we can deduce the following: if a woman menstruates for 40 years and buys a pack of disposables every month for an average cost of £4. Over the lifetime of a woman that could cost a total of £1,920. A reusable product may have big upfront costs (under £20 each) but over its lifetime, will save you serious money which you could spend on… a holiday, a handbag or those pair of shoes you have been coveting but thought you couldn’t afford!
You can also buy products such as reusable pads, similar in design concept to reusable nappies, something I have never tried but include similar benefits.
Convinced yet? Here are some more reasons to try them. It’s good to know there are choices out there for women, reusable products may not be for everyone but my advice would be to try it, you never know, you might like it. Lets know your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter.