Tampons Versus Menstrual Cups – Which Way to Go?
We have come a long way in the world of feminine hygiene products – gone are the days when women had to choose from a range of bizarre and impractical period products in order to manage their menstrual cycles. When it comes to tampons and menstrual cups – they are both fairly similar products. So it can be extremely confusing when settling for either one of them to manage your periods. They both have their fair share of pros and cons that can help you make the right choice for your body.
Tampons are plugs made of absorbent fibers with a string attached to one end for easy removal. They are inserted inside the vagina to absorb the menstrual blood and once they’re full, they can be pulled out with the help of the attached string. There are two kinds of tampons – tampons with applicators and tampons without applicators. If you choose to opt for the ones without the applicator, you will have to insert the tampon with your fingers. The tampon applicator is usually made of plastic and makes this insertion process much easier and less messy.
- Tampons make swimming possible during your periods
- If inserted properly, you can hardly feel them
- They are discreet because of their size and can fit easily in your pocket or small sling bags
- No rashes caused due to friction, unlike pads
- Allow you to be more active during your periods, as compared to pads
- The greatest disadvantage of tampons is the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), which is a deadly form of bacterial infection. This can occur due to lack of hygiene owed to infrequent changing of tampons. If you choose to opt for tampons, you must remember to change them frequently.
- Inserting them can be difficult, messy and uncomfortable.
- They can dry out your vagina and make it itchy and change your vaginal pH.
- If you are a heavy bleeder, they may leak and cause an embarrassing mess.
Tampons are the way to go if:
- You are usually extremely active and like to work out and be on the move during your periods.
- You’re planning to take a dip in the ocean or the swimming pool.
- You prefer discretion and don’t have too much space in your bag /pocket.
- You’re on a tight budget and don’t have enough funds to make the one time investment on a cup.
Making the right choice: Going organic!
Pros of organic pads/tampons:
- Made of 100% organic cotton
- No chemicals (such as chlorine) used to bleach the cotton
- No dioxins
- No plastic used (our tampon applicators are made of cardboard and pads are plastic-free as well)
- Biodegradable, sustainable and eco-friendly
- They are super soft as they are made of organic cotton so cause less irritation and rashes
A menstrual cup is exactly what the name suggests – a cup made for the days you menstruate. This cup is inserted into the vagina and gets lodged using a suction mechanism to stay securely in position inside your vagina, without leaking. This cup collects all the menstrual blood and can be worn for up to 12 hours.
There are two kinds of menstrual cups – disposable ones and reusable cups. Needless to say, if you’re shifting to cups to make a change and go easy on the environment, you should opt for the reusable menstrual cups.
The reusable cups at The Woman’s Company are made of medical grade silicone and can be used for up to 10 years, if maintained properly.
- They are environment friendly (in case you opt for reusable menstrual cups) and you will have a zero-waste period
- They can be worn for up to 12 hours unlike tampons
- You can sleep with them overnight
- They really go easy on your pocket – menstrual cups are a one-time investment. You can use them for up to 10 years if they’re kept in proper condition
- You can wear them during sex
- No need to put away your sexy lingerie
- You can swim with them
- They aren’t uncomfortable - you can barely feel the cup if worn properly
- No more rashes and irritation
- No more period smell (we all know that smell!)
- It keeps your vaginal pH balanced
- If you have a heavy period i.e. you bleed heavier than most women, you may have to change your cup more often, which can be a hassle at times.
- Menstrual cups take some getting used to – insertion isn’t the easiest task.
- Removing the cup is also slightly tricky the first few times. However, once you get the hang of it, you will never switch back to pads or tampons!
- If you have fibroids, insertion can be uncomfortable and difficult.
- It can be messy when you change the cup, as you need to use your fingers to take the cup out of your vagina. Then you need to dump the contents and rinse the cup before inserting it again.
- Even though TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) is mostly associated with tampons; menstrual cups, if not used properly have a very slim chance of giving you TSS.
- Menstrual cups are slightly costlier than other period products such as pads and tampons. However, it is important to remember that it is a one-time investment and saves you tons of money in the long run.
- It is essential to boil your reusable menstrual cup before and after your cycle to sterilize it and avoid infection – one extra but necessary step.
Menstrual cups are meant for you if:
- You care about the environment and wish to reduce the environmental footprint.
- You hate having to change pads and tampons frequently.
- Want to have sex during your period but don’t want it to be messy with all that period blood.
- You have a little extra cash in hand and want to save money in the long run.
- Do not want to limit activities such as swimming while you’re on your period.
- You are prone to itchiness from using tampons.
- Your priority is enjoying a long night’s sleep.