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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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      Anju Mobin

      Anju is a Certified Nutritionist, and a Highly Experienced Health, Fitness and Nutrition Writer.

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      Last Updated on September 28, 2020

      The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

      The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

      At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

      Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

      One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

      When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

      So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

      Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

      This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

      Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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      When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

      Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

      One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

      Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

      An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

      When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

      Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

      Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

      We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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      By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

      Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

      While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

      I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

      You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

      Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

      When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

      Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

      Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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      Con #2: Less Human Interaction

      One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

      Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

      Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

      This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

      While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

      Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

      Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

      This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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      For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

      Con #4: Unique Distractions

      Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

      For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

      To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

      Final Thoughts

      Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

      We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

      More About Working From Home

      Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

      Reference

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