We now stock silicone menstrual cups ($35) at the EcoCentre on behalf of Lyn Webster of www.pigtitsandparsleysauce.co.nz
They come in two sizes, one more suitable for younger women who haven’t had children, and a slightly larger size for those who have given birth and/or are of more mature years (ie with less pelvic floor muscle tone). Both cups come with a drawstring bag to store them in when not in use, instructions and free email helpline support from Lyn if you find you need it. Remember no question is a silly one, chances are you won’t be the first to ask something, and you are unlikely to be the last!
There are many reasons to use a menstrual cup, here are a few:
- Save yourself heaps of money! Think about how many disposable sanitary items you could buy for $35, and then divide that by how many months you think that much would last you. A menstrual cup if looked after well (washed out, dried and stored properly between periods) can easily last you 10 years. So that’s $3.50 a year, or 29 cents a month! You won’t get many pads or tampons for that price.
- You’ll never run out of tampons/pads! Sure you can still get caught out away from home etc, but you can easily carry the cup around in it’s wee bag with you if you have unpredictable cycles or think you should be due to start any time soon.
- They are perfect for travel. A cup is small and light, so throwing it in your bag when going away is a whole heap easier than dithering whether to put a pack of pads or box of tampons in your suitcase or rucksack. You don’t have to worry about getting enough top-up supplies, and it is easy to be very discrete about your periods. Also you can swim with them in!
- You don’t need to find a loo with a sanitary bin when out and about. You can leave the cup in for up to 12hrs before emptying it so you’re less likely to need to do so in less than idea situations. But you can get away with emptying it out, giving it a quick wipe around with some loo roll and popping it back in. If you’re organised and have a bottle of water with you you can rinse it, or pick a loo with a handbasin if you can. They are perfect for off grid as there’s nothing solid to dispose of.
- There being nothing solid to throw or flush away means the environmental footprint of menstrual cups works out as tiny over the years. There is nothing going to landfill or being incinerated, nothing that can end up washed up on our shores (if you’ve ever done a beach clean up chances are you’ve found sanitary products).
- There’s no risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome, no bleach, no nasty chemicals in contact with your body, you are safe from pesticides used in growing cotton, cotton growing and conversion to goods is very heavy on water usage and often the workers are badly paid. So generally it is better ethically as well as less risky for your body.
- They are plastic free! No plastic liner, wrapper or applicator.
Emptying them when showering is a great way to manage them, especially when you’re new to them. If you’re nervous about leaks, or are one of the few people who find that they’ll occasionally get a slight leak when the cup is full then pairing the cup up with washable pantiliners keeps costs down on all fronts. There are lots of cloth pads, liners etc available online, also instructions for making your own – they are very simple to make and can be made of old flannelette nightwear and sheets and snap-fasteners. If you’re in Kaitaia TimeBank then there are TimeBankers who can make them for you!
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