health, life, Women's health

Are Menstrual Cups Better Than Tampons?

It’s that time of the month. The one we as women dread: the visit from Aunt Flow.

Photo by Anna Shvets on

As you prepare for the inevitable, you gather the regular necessities, such as pads, tampons, and maybe a change of underwear (sometimes they can be messy). There is another option you may not have heard of, though. Have you ever considered using a menstrual cup?

What Is A Menstrual Cup?

I was not familiar with this additional menstruation option until I was stocking feminine products at a prior job. I stood, reading the back of the box, figuring out what it even was. Simply put, a menstrual cup collects the flow from your menstruation. You have to insert it far up your, um, privates. However, it is supposed to provide the best coverage, meaning you don’t have to worry about leaks.

Being the curious gal I am, I did some research about them. I got really interested once I found out you could have sex with a menstrual cup still inserted. The first and only menstrual cup I ever used was Softcup. To me, they looked like a huge condom. They even have the same texture as one.

I was eager to try out the 12-hour protection because my periods tend to be on the heavier side. At first, I did experience leaks because I didn’t read the instructions well enough. Once I figured out the correct way, though, I forgot it was in most of the time.

I could work my entire shift and not have to deal with it at all. At that time, I worked in a busy retail position where I was constantly moving. It stayed in place and I never felt it.


One thing I learned is removal is not meant for a public setting. It is messy. I made the mistake of removing my first few menstrual cups at work and it was not a pretty sight. Plus, I didn’t need to. The cup wasn’t even close to being full.

Eventually, I came up with a system if I ever needed to remove my menstrual cup at work, which was rare. I brought a grocery bag and a big stack of paper towels with me when I went into the stall. I’d remove the menstrual cup and wrap it in the paper towels. I’d use the remaining paper towels and wipe my hands off and throw all of the mess into the grocery bag.

I don’t use them anymore. It’s not because I didn’t like them. However, I just prefer the use of pads. Inserting and removing anything from inside of me constantly seemed to become such a hassle, especially since I had an IUD inserted, too.

The Pros and Cons Of Menstrual Cups


  • it did provide 12-hour protection
  • I didn’t have any leaks (after I figured out how to correctly insert them)
  • you CAN have sex
  • they last almost two cycles


  • removal can be messy ( I still can’t figure out how to remove them without making one)
  • it takes some time to learn the proper way to insert and remove
  • they can still cause toxic shock syndrome
  • the initial cost is more than other forms of menstrual containment

Have you ever used menstrual cups? Maybe you should. They are a safer option than tampons and a lot less mess than pads, until you have to remove them.

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