Zero Waste Periods – Pros and Cons of Using a Menstrual Cup

What is a Menstrual Cup?

A menstrual cup is a reusable feminine hygiene product. Usually made of silicone or a type of rubber and shaped like a bell, it collects period fluid, as apposed to tampons that absorb it.

At the beginning and end of each cycle, you sterilise it by boiling it for 5-10 minutes in a saucepan, then store it in the cloth pouch provided.


How Much Do They Cost?

Around £15-30 ($20 to $40USD)

Bear in mind that this is a single purchase that should last 10 years.


Why Use One?

There are economic, environmental and health reasons to use one.

Consider the amount of money spent on menstrual hygiene products every month.

Not only can it save money on the long-run but, using a menstrual cup is a significant way to reduce your waste. A woman who use tampons monthly, will use around 11,000 to 17,000 during her lifetime, which end up in landfill, clogging sewers or in our oceans.

Not only does the tampon itself create waste, but the applicator and wrapping do as well.  Some applicators are plastic, cardboard or plant based and some do not have applicators.

Remember that the most effective way of reducing waste, is not creating waste at all.


Pros of Cons of Using A Menstrual Cup


Pros Cons
– Stabilises your regular vaginal pH
– Does not dry you out, as tampons absorb vaginal moisture- Unlike tampons, it does not leave bleached rayon fibres inside of you – these can cause irritations and have been linked to cancer

– More environmentally friendly as nothing is sent to to landfill/no clogged or and polluted waterways

– No risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome

– Can be used up to 8 hours (Depending on your flow)

– Typically they can hold up to three times more fluid than a tampon, so it is less likely to leak and you spend less time in the restroom (Mooncups, for example, can hold up to 29.3ml whereas tampons can hold from 6 to 18ml, depending on the absorbency)

– Can be worn with an IUD


– Inserting and removing can be difficult getting used to (You have to get comfortable with touching this part of their body and experimenting with different ways of inserting and removing it)

– Can be messy

– Handling a cup full of period fluid can be  tough

– May not fit properly and may leak as they are not one size fits all and every women’s anatomy is different

– Initial price

– Sterilising after every cycle

– Long nails may hurt the delicate skin in that area

– Trial and error time at the beginning





I have been using a Moon Cup, bought at Boots in the UK, for the past 4 years, so feel free to contact me if you have any questions about it.

Check out Menstrual Cup Advice that provides in depth reviews, comparisons and more information on different cup brands.



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