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- Menstrual cups have been genuinely life-changing for me.
- They’re convenient, comfortable, cost-effective, and reusable. The Lena ($27) is my go-to.
- Want more options? We like these menstrual cups for every budget.
Just as many people with uteruses do, I used tampons and pads for the first 15 years of having a period. And for many of those years, I’d have moments that were inconvenienced by regular uncontrollable bleeding. Even when layering a tampon and pad, I’d often bleed through on the first few nights of each cycle. Public outings without easy access to bathroom breaks — think sleepovers, field trips, or camping — used to make me anxious. That is until I discovered menstrual cups.
I started using the Lena Menstrual Cup more than a year ago, and it’s solved so many of the worst inconveniences of my period that I can’t believe I went through high school without one. If we were encouraged to speak openly about the completely normal experience of having a period, I don’t think it wouldn’t have taken me so long to try a menstrual cup. That’s why I talk about them so much with my friends, and why I’m writing this now.
Why I prefer using a menstrual cup
It’s cost-effective. At $27, the Lena Menstrual Cup is more expensive than a box of tampons or pads. But if you can swing it once, you won’t need to buy another for up to 10 years which should save you a considerable amount of money over time. To clean the cup, you just rinse it in cold water and wash it with a mild soap. If you find a cheaper option you trust, it probably works about as well. I’ve also used Saalt’s menstrual cup and, aside from ridges on the tail, there’s not much difference between it and Lena’s version.
It’s convenient. I insert my Lena Menstrual Cup at the beginning of my period and, from that point onward, I literally never worry about being unprepared in public. Every tool I need is either in the bathroom (water, soap) or my body (the cup) already. Since it holds up to 12 hours of blood, I’ve also never experienced leaking (though I do remove, empty, and replace the cup more often on heavier days).
It’s reusable. This is another point for cost efficiency and convenience, but being reusable also means it’s less wasteful. Since you can reuse a silicone cup over and over and over again, you’re not routinely purchasing disposable products such as cotton tampons.
It’s comfortable. Tampons and pads aren’t too bad, but the period cups feel the most seamless to me. I sometimes forget I have my period with this in — no pad, no strings hanging, no weird positioning of a tampon to make me uncomfortable.
Cons to consider
I won’t lie to you: There was a short learning curve in removal. I first used Saalt’s version, which doesn’t have grooves on its tail-like piece (to help you get a grip) and I had to try a few times to remove it in the early days. But by about the second or third cycle, I became a pro. For me, the trick is to relax and pinch the base of the cup itself rather than the tail. You can read more about how to use a menstrual cup here.
The bottom line
Menstrual cups have been life-changing for me. The Lena Menstrual Cup has given me comfort, cost efficiency, and, the things I prize the most — security and convenience — around my period. I haven’t experienced leaks or been desperately in need of a tampon in public for over a year now. If you’re interested, I highly recommend giving it a try.