Opinion: Reusable menstrual products should be the norm

Story and Photo by Sabrina Picou

Reusable menstrual products, like the menstrual cup, should be taught to young girls begining in middle school.

In school, young girls are taught what a menstrual cycle is, and what menstrual products to use. It took five years of periods for me to learn that tampons and pads contain toxic chemicals that could be life-threatening.

Beginning in junior high females should be educated on all the menstrual product options available to them, besides disposable products.

The only menstrual products I was presented with were disposable tampons and pads. A reusable menstrual cup is safer, eco-friendly, and can save money. The menstrual cup is the menstrual world’s best kept secret – and it shouldn’t be a secret any longer.

According to the blog of Lunette, a menstrual cup company founded in 2007, the first modern menstrual cup was invented in 1937 by Actress Leona Chalmers.

The cup was designed to be made out of rubber latex and inserted internally into the vaginal canal. Unfortunately, during World War II there was a shortage of rubber latex and the company ceased production.

As foreign of a concept the menstrual cup might seem, it has been around for over 80 years. So why are we not educating women about a healthier option? According to Lunette, menstrual cups are not linked to cause Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), a life-threatening complication of bacterial infections. Tampons are often the main culprit when it comes to TSS.

Menstrual cups provide conveniency by being able to be used for 12 hours before having to be removed, emptied, washed, and reinserted. Most cups are also reusable for three to five years before having to be replaced.

Teaching females about menstrual cups will not only benefit their health, and be a financial savings, but it will also mean less tampons and pads in landfills.

Instead of using many tampons a day, just using one cup for a few years can also provide an eco-friendly option.

Using a cup can also save money, Lena cup, cost $24.90 compared to a box of 36 Tampax Pearl Tampons costing $6.99 that are not reusable like the cup.

Schools should educate females early on about reusable menstrual products, not just about the options that are popular in society, but the options that are truly healthier like the reusable menstrual cup.