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Menstrual Cup vs. Tampon – Which One is Best for You?

Are you trying to decide what’s best – menstrual cups vs tampons? Maybe you have thought of switching to the menstrual cup, and you use tampons now. This comparison will lay out the facts so you can decide for yourself.

What is the Difference Between Tampons and Menstrual Cups?

The Menstrual Cup – The Unknown Underground Hit

A menstrual cup is a small silicone cup about 2 inches long that fits up inside the vagina and collects menstrual fluid. They are not as well known in the US as other parts of the world, but they are popular globally.

The Tampon – The Popular Classic

A tampon is a small cylinder shaped plug of cotton with a string attached that is inserted in the vagina to absorb menstrual fluid. Tampons are the most popular menstrual products in the US, but they are not as popular in other parts of the world.

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Benefits Menstrual Cups Have, That Tampons Do Not Share

  • Menstrual cups do not absorb menstrual fluid or create an environment for bacteria and TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome).
  • Menstrual cups can stay in for 8 to 12 hours before changing.
  • Menstrual cups are discreet, with nothing that can be seen outside.
  • Menstrual cups last on average 5 years.
  • Menstrual cups hold up to 20 ml of fluid.
  • Menstrual cups are eco friendly and create far less waste than any other menstrual product.
  • Menstrual cups do not cause dryness and changes to the pH of the vagina.
  • Menstrual cups are the least expensive menstrual control method of all, on average one menstrual cup can cost between 25 and 50 dollars, but lasts 5 years.
  • Menstrual cups can be used during any time in the cycle, even a day before the cycle begins, so you are not caught off guard.
  • Menstrual cups, when inserted correctly, are the closest you will feel to not being on your period, while you are on your period.

Benefits of Tampons, that Menstrual Cups do NOT Share

  • Tampons are convenient, simply unwrap and insert.
  • Tampons are useful for women with heavy flow as the super and super plus sizes are very absorbent.
  • You can buy tampons just about anywhere in the US, they are readily available.
  • Tampons are easy to learn to use, and easy for a beginner to remove.
  • Tampons can usually be used without coming into contact with your feminine parts or menstrual fluid.

Cons of Menstrual Cups, that Tampons Do NOT Have

  • The initial cost of a menstrual cop is between 25-50 dollars.
  • Cups need to be washed between each use and sterilized once a month.
  • Cups can be messy to change.
  • Cups are particularly hard to change in public places.
  • Cups are challenging to learn how to use in the beginning, and can be hard to learn to remove.
  • Cups can be challenging to find at the store.
  • A woman must have a basic understanding of her female anatomy and be comfortable with her menstrual fluids and putting her fingers inside to insert the cup

Cons of Tampons, NOT shared by Menstrual Cups

  • Tampons  put you at a higher risk for yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis and TSS because they change the pH of the Vagina
  • Tampons can be drying to the tissue walls of the vagina because they absorb all natural moisture, not only menstrual fluid.
  • Tampons create environmental waste during production and disposal, particularly the style with the plastic applicator.
  • Tampons should only be used during moderate to heavy flow. They are too drying to be comfortable for light flow.
  • Tampons can only be used for 4 to 6 hours
  • Tampons leave a string hanging out of you, which allows bacteria to creep up. If not changed each time one goes to the restroom they can get pee or other material that can introduce bacterial into the vagina.

Which One Is Better and Why? Menstrual Cup vs Tampon

Our Overall Rating

Menstrual Cups: 9/10

Tampons: 6/10

In the debate of menstrual cup vs tampon, we say menstrual cups are “better” for many women. They cost far less than disposable menstrual care, and therefore are accessible to much more women.

They are far, far more environmentally friendly, causing significantly less manufacturing waste.

They do not disrupt the pH or dry the vagina, they last for up to 12 hours, and no one will even know you are wearing one, you may even forget they are in. This leads to the next point.

You should not forget to take it out after 12 hours. Most women insert the cup during their morning shower; go about their day, and return home to remove it because it can be used for 12 hours.

During our research on Internet forums and blogs, we heard many women say once they switched to the Menstrual cup, they would never use tampons again. But we never heard the same thing about switching from Cups to tampons.

Having said that, there are some people for whom menstrual cups may not be a good fit, so to speak. Not every menstruating woman wants to use menstrual cups, and that is OK. For them tampons are the best.

It really is a matter of opinion and we are not here to judge women for the choice they make on how they manage a very personal and private matter of their lives.

We hope or article about menstrual cup vs tampons has given you some things to think about.

If you are considering trying a menstrual cup for the first time, keep in mind, it can be challenging to learn, but many women believe the learning curve is worth pushing through once you experience the freedom the cup offers.