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Is The Menstrual Cup A Better Choice Than Tampons? Here Are The Pros And Cons

Is The Menstrual Cup A Better Choice Than Tampons? Here Are The Pros And Cons

Throughout the course of time, women have used cloth, sanitary pads and tampons to collect their blood during their menstrual periods. A menstrual cup has been proven to be an effective alternative to these common methods.

A menstrual cup is a flexible cup made from silicone or rubber that is designed to be inserted inside the vagina to collect menstrual blood. Rather than absorbing the blood like the traditional methods, the cup collects the blood without any leakage and can be emptied at your convenience.

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They are quite safe and if used as recommended, the most hygienic method for the process of preventing menstrual blood from staining your clothing. [1]

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    Pros of Menstrual Cup

    There are many advantages to using menstrual cups:

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    • Easy-to-use: If you have used diaphragms for birth control or tampons during your periods, then you will find it very easy to insert a menstrual cup. It can be folded to resemble a tampon and pushed in towards the back of the vagina. If inserted correctly, you wouldn’t even feel it’s there.
    • Less embarrassing odor: Unlike with sanitary napkins, the fluid in a menstrual cup doesn’t get exposed to air, so you wouldn’t have to face any embarrassing menstrual odor wafting out.
    • Lower costs: Long-lasting reusable menstrual cups save you more money in the long run than the regular use of pads and tampons.
    • More peace of mind: Pads and tampons need to  be changed every four to eight hours while menstrual cups need to be emptied only twice a day.
    • Less pharmacy visits: When you use disposable pads and tampons, it means a monthly visit to the pharmacy to buy them. With menstrual cups, a good quality reusable one will last you at least a year.
    • Less landfill waste: Since they can be reused, the piling waste of used tampons and sanitary napkins in landfills will get reduced. A bonus point is that less trees need to be sacrificed than there are to produce the paper-based alternatives.
    • Maintains Vaginal pH: As tampons and pads absorb the vaginal fluid along with the blood, the pH balance and the beneficial bacteria in the vagina get disturbed, leading to a whole host of other problems.
    • You can still have sex: It’s a personal choice whether to remove the cup or not as you can have intercourse without removing the cup.

    Cons of Menstrual Cup

    There are some disadvantages to this method, most of which can be resolved through practice. [2]

    • Insertion difficulty: Young girls and those who have never had intercourse may find the cup difficult to insert, though with practice, it becomes easy enough.
    • Fitting problems: If you have problems like fibroids or a dropped uterus, a menstrual cup may not fit properly.
    • Removal issues: Some may find it difficult to remove the cup. This is also just a matter of practice and learning to do it the right way. You need to pinch the base before you pull it out.
    • Messy emptying: If you are not careful, emptying the blood from the cup can get quite messy.
    • Sterilization: After each cycle you have to put in the effort to sterilize the cup [3] with boiling water or a sterilizing solution.

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      Conclusion

      You can buy disposable menstrual cups or opt for long-lasting and reusable ones. You can use the same cup all throughout your menstrual cycle. If you are latex sensitive [4], check and make sure the menstrual cup you purchase is made entirely of silicone.

      Many women discover that the cup is barely half filled even after the full 12 hours. But, you may need to empty it more frequently during the heavy flow days to avoid leakage. If you monitor the fullness of the cup over a couple of cycles, then you will know how long you can wait before having to empty the cup. If your cycle is regular, you can insert it before the period starts to avoid spotting on your clothes.

      Menstrual cups come in various formations and sizes. You may need to experiment a bit before you finally discover the one that suits your needs perfectly. Just like the other products for your periods, menstrual cups can be bought from grocery and drug stores or you can buy them online.

      Featured photo credit: hercampus.com via hercampus.com

      Reference

      [1] Cleveland Clinic: Tired of Tampons? Here Are Pros and Cons of Menstrual Cups
      [2] WebMD: What’s a Menstrual Cup?
      [3] The Diva Cup: Care and Cleaning
      [4] Cleveland Clinic:
      Latex Allergy

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      Last Updated on March 13, 2019

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

      You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

      Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

      1. Work on the small tasks.

      When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

      Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

      2. Take a break from your work desk.

      Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

      Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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      3. Upgrade yourself

      Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

      The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

      4. Talk to a friend.

      Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

      Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

      5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

      If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

      Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

      Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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      6. Paint a vision to work towards.

      If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

      Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

      Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

      7. Read a book (or blog).

      The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

      Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

      Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

      8. Have a quick nap.

      If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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      9. Remember why you are doing this.

      Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

      What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

      10. Find some competition.

      Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

      Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

      11. Go exercise.

      Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

      Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

      As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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      Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

      12. Take a good break.

      Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

      Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

      Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

      Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

      More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

      Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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