Are Menstrual Cups Messy?
Periods can be messy. Period. Obviously, blood is coming out of your vagina, and some people can either be fascinated or grossed out by it. Menstrual blood is made up of uterine lining, mucus, and bits of blood clots. Definitely some messy business going on there, but in this article we’re going to explain why menstrual cups are actually cleaner and less messier than tampons and pads!
Messy Tampons & Pads
When you use a tampon or pad, the menstrual blood drops through the cervix, out of the vagina and is absorbed by the tampon or pad. When it’s time to change these feminine hygiene products, you see the blood that’s come out, and it’s usually pretty dark in color, and maybe even slightly smelly.
Technically, period blood has no odor, or smell, but when it mixes with air and oxygen, then bacteria can develop. This is usually that fishy or iron smell that you may notice when you change your tampon or pad. Most commercially marketed tampons and pads are generally made with synthetic materials which can’t ‘breathe’ properly, which also causes them to smell after a while. The smell can worsen when you mix it with your sweat or moisture that can accumulate in your underwear, especially when combined with physical activities.
On those heavy flow days, you might even notice some blood overfilling the tampon, and running down the tampon string, or even worse, the menstrual blood leaking out of your pad, and onto your clothes!
And don’t even get us started on when you actually start to clean yourself! Who hasn’t used squares and squares of toilet paper trying to wipe themselves clean? And yet, the blood seems to keep on running, clotting and sticky, and all over the place!
A major issue with single use tampons and pads, is how we dispose of them properly and cleanly. We all know that flushing used tampons down the toilet is a definite no-no (even their packaging tells us how flushing a tampon down can clog up drains and ruin the environment!). And according to Tampax, recycling is not an option either.
The only other option for used feminine hygiene products then, is the garbage. Most women will want to discreetly dispose their products, so they will wrap it in the plastic wrapper the new tampon came in, or use even more tissue paper. This all ends up with us creating more and more rubbish, and filling our already overflowing landfills.
And as most tampons and pads have synthetic fibers and plastics inside, these items will take hundreds of years to properly decompose, even in landfills.
You may have camped before, or spent a whole day at the beach, or even backpacked around South East Asia. Either way, sometimes there isn't a proper toilet, or even a bin for you to dispose your used tampons in. Obviously, you should never just leave or bury your used items, so of course, you'll need to carry it with you before you can dispose of it correctly.
And that, can be messy.
Why Menstrual Cups are Cleaner
Now menstrual cups on the other hand are surprisingly less messy, and very easy to manage. We know it seems like an oxymoron, especially when you have to roll your sleeves up, and get in there, but trust us, it’s a much cleaner process.
For starters, a menstrual cup is placed inside the vagina. Once you’ve got the hand of using a menstrual cup, and being comfortable with touching yourself to insert and remove the cup, the mess should be minimal. This is because no actual blood falls out of you.
When using the menstrual cup, you won’t find any period blood in the toilet bowl or shower as the cup is still collecting your period blood. Craziness, right? And when you use the toilet for peeing or pooping, the cup is still inside, so there’s no horrible, messy, wiping of blood and everything else.
Smells will also be eliminated because the blood is collected internally, so it never has a chance for the bacteria to develop when it mixes with air.
Removing Your Menstrual Cup
If you don’t need to change your menstrual cup frequently, (and remember the capacity of a cup is about 5 or 6 times an average tampon!) then the best time to empty it would be in the comfort of your own home. Perhaps, when you have a shower in the mornings or evenings. While showering, remove the cup, empty it down the drain, and then pop it back in. So easy and fuss free; the blood just runs down the drain with your shampoo residue!
Check out How To Clean A Menstrual Cup before, during and after your period!
So there you have it, a lot of people are worried to try a menstrual cup due to the possibility of it being a messier process, but really, it’s actually simpler and cleaner! Once you’ve learnt how to easily insert and remove the cup, the mess is pretty much non-existent. So in instead of asking are menstrual cups messy, you should find out how to get the best menstrual cup for yourself!