Did you know that an average menstruating person menstruates about 500 times, for 37.5 years, which can be equivalent to 6.5 half years? Fascinating, isn’t it? It definitely is worth the effort to choose the most comfortable, sustainable and cheap period products.
We feel that the topic of menstruation doesn’t get a lot of media coverage. In many places around the world, women have very few menstrual care options and even in Europe menstrual poverty is a real problem.
Many years have passed since 1978 when NASA estimated that their leading astronaut Sally Ride would need 100 tampons for 7 days in space, but as a society, we’re still very ignorant of menstruation. Can you answer these questions? What’s the average age when people start menstruating? or How many menstrual cycles a year do people have?
If you’re a woman, you’ll likely get it right (12.5 years and 13 cycles), but probably you know it from experience, not from school and this shouldn’t be that way. Similarly, decisions about period protection are based on our experiences, parental advice, with little examination.
There are many factors: your comfort, safety for your health, the cost of it, sustainability, accessibility. In this article, we’ll analyse the economical aspect.
The answer to this question depends on the heaviness of your flow, the brands you choose (the cost of the products you choose) and if you use reusable or single-use products.
It’s best when you look at your favourite product and check how much you pay for it in the place you buy it most often. A sole sanitary pad can cost from 0.25Є to 1Є. Generally speaking, differences in the costs of individual period protection are huge, so the average data doesn’t have to reflect your situation.
However, an average person uses 22 disposable products (sanitary pads or tampons) per cycle, which gives 5.5Є to 22Є. A person with regular cycles should experience 13 cycles in a year, which gives the cost of 71.5Є to 286Є a year.
Hmm, but it’s not that simple. A person bleeds from 2 to 7 days, but 10-day periods are not rare. The average menstrual flow is from 10 to 80ml, but we record the cases of women menstruating even 540 ml! You’ll get the best estimates considering how heavy your flow is. The heavier it is, the more you’ll gain switching to a reusable menstrual product like a menstrual cup.
To answer this question, it’s essential to determine how long a menstrual cup lasts and it doesn’t have a straightforward answer. Some manufacturers claim it can last till 10 years, with the most typical length of use being 4 years.
It largely depends on how well you’ll take care of your cup and the heaviness of your flow.
For a cup to last longer, it’s essential to empty it regularly, rinse it with water after every use, sterilise between cycles and occasionally dry in the sun. Always follow the instructions of the manufacturer. Some users find it difficult to always rinse a cup in a public bathroom or when travelling, so a menstrual cup cleaner can come in handy. Check out: Emanui menstrual cup cleaner and steriliser.
Taking our previous calculations, the cost of disposable products for 4 years will be in the range of 286Є - 1144Є. You can buy a reusable period cup from 3Є. However, the average prices of most, recognized brands vary between 20-40Є. Assuming that you’ve spent 30Є on your cup, you probably break even after around 6 months. In the perspective of 4 years, using a menstrual cup can be from 9.5 to 38 times cheaper.
The cost of disposable products for 10 years will be in the range of 715Є -2860Є. For this situation, let’s assume you invested in a menstrual cup cleaner and steriliser, which cost you 60Є. It seems a lot at first, but we’re sure you will still make savings. In the perspective of 10 years, a menstrual cup and a menstrual cup cleaner are 8 to 31 times cheaper!
We must admit that we're in favour of reusable period cups. They are cheaper, reduce period hassle and offer leak-free protection for longer than one tampon or one pad! Not to mention that there's no more plant-friendly product. Single use plastics that most pads and tampons are made of are everywhere, but we should start a change.
Here's how you can count how much money you can save:
The result will show your savings. Is it a good investment?