What Is a Menstrual Cup and How Do You Choose One?

Not all menstrual cup products are created equal. The best menstrual cups are so comfortable you don’t even realize they’re there and made from medical grade silicone. They’re also clear about how they source them--in our case, every single EverCup is FDA-registered and produced in Maine, USA.

But what exactly makes the best menstrual cup designs healthier, more comfortable and more eco-friendly? Before you choose a product, look for these six key features.

What Is a Menstrual Cup?

What is a menstrual cup? Also known as a period cup, a menstrual cup is a flexible, small cup that collects your period flow rather than absorbs it. Since you can rinse it out and use it throughout your cycle and for years to come, the best menstrual cups are an eco-friendly, healthier, and more comfortable alternative to pads and tampons.

They’re Healthier and More Comfortable Than Pads and Tampons

When it comes to comfort, menstrual pads are the better choice. Once you know how to insert a menstrual cup correctly, you can wear your device for 12 hours at a time without leaks or feeling it there. 

menstrual cup

By contrast, tampons come with strings and rub against the vaginal walls when you remove them. Pads can feel heavy and messy.

Tampons and Pads Contain Unwanted Chemicals

More importantly, an increasing body of research shows that pads and tampon use comes with health risks. Notice how your pad or tampon is bright white

That’s because they’ve been bleached with chlorine and contain other chemicals.
One of the primary ingredients in tampons and pads is cotton--one of the most pesticide-intensive industrials crops on the planet. The vast majority of tampons are non-organic, meaning that the cotton they source most-likely contains traces of pesticides.

The vagina is one of the most sensitive and absorptive areas in the human body. It’s so absorptive that medical studies consider the vaginal membrane as a way to administer medicine.

Though there is a shocking lack of research on vaginal health and tampons, they can be absorbed into the bloodstream through the vaginal walls.

The Best Menstrual Cups Are Superior to Organic Tampons, too

What about all-natural tampons and pads? Though these are much better for your health than conventional brands, tampons can also contribute to vaginal dryness. Chafing against the vaginal walls also remains an issue, no matter how organic a product is.

The EverCup is made of soft, malleable silicone so there’s no chafing or discomfort. And because our period cup collects, rather than absorbs, your flow, it doesn’t contribute to vaginal dryness, either.

Additionally, organic pads and tampons still contribute to feminine products’ enormous environmental imprint. While it’s only safe to use a tampon for up to eight hours, a menstrual cup is reusable for ten years or more.

The Best Menstrual Cup Devices Are Made from Silicone

The concept behind the menstrual cup is always the same: a device that comfortably catches your period within your body and holds it there until removal. But what your device is made from matters as much as how it works.

The best menstrual cup designs are made from 100% medical grade silicone. This means that it’s the highest quality material and can be used for medical applications. Keep in mind that many medical devices have silicone valves, seals and tubes.

The best menstrual cups will be made from silicone that is of the same high quality.

Why Does Silicone Matter?

When choosing the best menstrual cup for you, remember that the vagina is one of the most absorptive parts of the human body for organic and inorganic compounds.

This means that the materials you put in your vagina matter. Unlike plastics and rubber, silicone is made primarily from silica, meaning sand, and oxygen, not petroleum. It’s also BPA-free and free of other compounds that can affect estrogen.

Latex Devices Can Be Less Hygienic

Despite these dangers, some menstrual cup companies do not use 100% medical-grade silicone in their products. Instead, they use a diluted version that can contain plastic or latex.

Latex is a type of natural rubber to which many people have allergies. Placing lower-quality materials in the vagina is not advisable.

They’re Reusable for Many Years

The best menstrual cup products put the environment first. Keep in mind that period cups have been around since the 1930s. Why are you only hearing about them now? Since you can use these products for 10+ years, large corporations could make more profits by selling pads and tampons.

Here are some facts about pad and tampon waste to put it in perspective:

  • Every ten years, one woman creates 65 lbs of pad and tampon waste.
  • There are approximately 2 billion menstruating women in the world
  • Most women menstruate for 30+ years.

By comparison, here are some statistics about menstrual cups:

  • A woman generates 0.2 lbs of waste every ten years with a menstrual cup
  • If 1 million women switched to a period cup in the next ten years, we could reduce global waste by 6,400,000 lbs.
  • Over the course of 30 years, we could reduce waste by 390 billion lbs.

Keep in mind that not only are pads and tampons filling our landfills, but all those women are buying products every month. A menstrual cup can be a one-time purchase.

The Best Menstrual Cup Options Are Made in the USA

Like any e-commerce business, these products can be produced anywhere. Though quality devices can come from many countries, most menstrual cups are produced in China and are not subject to American-health and safety regulations.

Our FDA-registered menstrual cups are produced in an ISO-certified factory in Maine, USA. This means that every menstrual cup that we produce meets the Food and Drug Administrations (FDA)’s quality and consistency standards.

ISO stands for International Organization of Standardization. When a factory is ISO-certified, that means that we meet third-party quality, environmental, and safety regulations. You can read more about these standards on their website.

The Best Menstrual Cup Brands Teach You About Their Product

The best menstrual cup companies are open about where they manufacture their product and how to use a menstrual cup. A big part of best period practices is knowing how to clean your device between uses and at the end of every cycle.

How to Clean Your Cup

The EverCup advises you to clean your device out with clean, warm water between uses. Reached the end of your cycle? Fill your Cleaning Case with boiling water. This will kill all germs.

You Don’t Need a Special Soap

Some companies advertise a menstrual cup cleaning soap. Not only does buying a disposable product that comes in a plastic tube contradict the eco-friendliness of this product, but it won’t be as effective as the age-old cleaning method of boiling water.

They Offer Unique Sizes that Work for Your Body

Just as you and your friend, daughter or mother may wear different shoes, the best menstrual cup could differ for you, too. More specifically, women who have given birth may need a slightly wider, larger sized cup than younger women.
That’s why we make it easy to measure your cervix and determine the size cup you need.

The Best Menstrual Cup Puts Your Health and the Planet First

There is a reason the menstrual cup is making waves in women’s health. Not only is not more comfortable than a pad or tampon, but it’s much better for the health of your vagina and your bank account.

Made from 100% medical-grade silicone, the EverCup is comfortable, hygienic and easy to insert and clean. And because of our affiliation with Casco Bay Molding, located in Sanford, Maine, we exclusively source FDA-registered, American-made cups held to the highest quality standards.

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