That’s a valid question many people ask themselves before making their first purchase.Period cups are promoted as eco-friendly and economical. They do reduce the amount of plastic. However, do they also reduce your expenses on period protection?
Some advertisers claim a menstrual cup lasts up to 12 years. That’s probably an exaggerated statement. For most users, anything between 2-4 years is the typical time. It depends on the quality of the material, how you clean and store it, and how heavy your flow is. You can follow our guide to make your menstrual cups last longer.
It’s time to move on and buy a new cup, when your present one is heavily discoloured. Note that slight discolouration is absolutely normal. The second clue is an odd smell that keeps returning even though you clean it thoroughly and regularly. An odd-looking, oily, slick, or powdered film on your cup, is another telltale sign to throw it out.
The initial cost of a menstrual cup is typically higher than pads or tampons, but it lasts for longer. Is it truly cheaper than single-use period protection? Well, in most cases it is, but it depends. The average cost of the cup is between 15£-30£, whereas pads cost from 37£-110£ a year, depending on one’s menstrual flow. The heavier it is, the stronger protection is required, meaning more pads and tampons (but still only one cup!).
You can make savings even if you use the cup only for one year. But, the cost can be increased by the process of finding the right size. There’s no other way around it, than buying and hoping it fits.
The good news is that it's possible to prolong the life of a cup with adequate care and following the manufacturer’s advice. The golden rules of thumb are:
Some cup manufacturers say it is safe to keep it for up to 12 hours. It may be safe for the cup, but it’s certainly dangerous for your health! In addition, your cup will last longer if you empty it regularly, every 4 hours, and every time it’s full. If you wear a menstrual cup for longer than 12 hours, for example, because you forgot about it after the night sleep, you risk damaging its structure. It may develop a difficult-to-get-rid-of smell, get discoloured, or even damaged.
It’s a good practice to clean your cup with water every time you reinsert it. Don’t worry if you occasionally don't have the opportunity to do so, using toilet paper or cup wipes is safe for women's health. Nevertheless, if your working place offers only a public bathroom with a common sink and you don’t have comfortable conditions to clean your cup, consider purchasing menstrual cup cleaner Emanui, which allows you to conveniently rinse the cup with water inside a toilet cubicle.
First, spray your cup with cold water to remove blood residues. Warm or hot water helps stains and odour set in. Then, you can clean the cup with hot water if you prefer.
After your period, leave the cup to dry out completely, ideally in natural sunlight. Store it in an airy drawer in a sterile compartment. For example, an open box, a breathable cotton pouch, or a menstrual cup cleaner.
Menstrual cups are a fairly new invention and we lack official guidelines on how long they last. There are only accounts of those brave ones who were first to try it out. Share your account under this article. How long do you use your cup? Have you ever noticed any wear and tear?