Choosing Between Menstrual cup or Tampons— Which One’s Worth it?

Published by Charlie Davidson on

Choosing Between Menstrual cup or Tampons— Which One’s Worth it?

Women are now opting for more cost-effective products that would cater greatly to their needs. Currently, there are around one-quarter of the world’s population that experiences menstruation, that is actually more than 1.9 billion people in the world which bleeds 65 days a year on average.

Menstrual cups have been given the spotlight as it is rising through the charts of menstrual hygiene products. With this said, the reusable cup and the disposable tampon were both developed and released in the 1930s.

However, since tampons had greater commercial potential wherein, they have aggressively marketed the said product, menstrual cups were left behind in the shadows. It is said that the tampon’s marketing strategy was the reason for their much greater uptake.

But because of the growing environmental concern about the impact of disposable tampons and sanitary pads, as well as the need to offer more menstrual management options for the low-and idle-income countries. Thus, the high demand for menstrual cups.

In today’s article, let us see the difference between both menstrual hygiene product if you are choosing between menstrual cup or tampons.

Knowing Menstrual Cup

Menstrual cups’ primary function is to collect menstrual fluid. It is a reusable device which is shaped like a bell and is designed to sit low in a woman’s vagina.

This item is made of medical-grade silicone and is now made as an alternative to tampons or sanitary pads during a woman’s period. To use this, it is placed inside the vaginal cavity and is fitted securely to successfully collect (rather than absorb) your menstrual blood flow.

The benefits of the menstrual cups are rather advantageous for both women and the environment. Thus it is gaining its fame at the women’s market, and its current demand is on the rise. With this said, menstrual cups can give you the benefits of the following:

  • Cost-effective. It can help you save a lot of money since you won’t need to buy a box of tampons or sanitary pads every month.
  • Environment-friendly. Are you pro-sustainability or is wondering how to be eco-friendly? Then you can start with using menstrual cups as your first step towards that goal!
  • Less Odor. Ever experienced smelling funny as soon as your menstruation hits? That might be your tampon or sanitary pad! That is because of the exposed accumulated blood. With menstrual cups, you won’t have to worry about it.
  • Usage. This benefit is the reason why menstrual cups are being sought out by women. With menstrual cups, you do not need to go in and out of the comfort room for the whole duration of your period since the menstrual cup’s usage time is up to 12 hours.

Main Differences between Menstrual Cup and Tampon

Since tampons are the most comparable menstrual product for menstrual cups since it is also inserted into the vagina, it is essential that you would know the difference between the two menstrual hygiene products. With this said, here are the following differences between the two:

  • Menstrual cups are made to be reusable up to 5 to 10 years maximum while the tampons are disposable.
  • Menstrual cups collect menstrual blood flow while the tampons absorb it immediately due to its material.
  • Menstrual cups can hold one full ounce of menstrual blood flow (30ml) wherein, on average, women flow out blood for only about 1-1.4 ounces (30-40 ml).
  • On the other hand, tampons only hold about half the volume of a woman’s menstrual blood flow. Thus, the need to change more frequently.
  • Menstrual cups are made from safe medical-grade silicone, elastomer, or latex rubber. While the tampons are commonly made of cotton and rayon.

Side Effects and Safety Issues

The safety and side effects of each menstrual hygiene product are the main concern for women. Not only because they are used for menstruation purposes, but because of how it is used, such as tampons being inserted into the vagina.

With this said, there is no reported increase in infection rate for women who use menstrual cups compared with other products in a range of studies across the globe.

The primary concern regarding health issues and menstrual hygiene products is the condition called Toxic Shock Syndrome or TSS for short. This condition was once associated with super-absorbent tampons back in the 1890s wherein it had a massive outbreak. The super-absorbent tampons then were immediately wiped off of the market.

Now, if you are asking or wondering if the menstrual cup were associated with TSS or if ever there is a report about a woman having the said condition, then there is one. There was one report about a woman having the Toxic Shock Syndrome when the menstrual cup was used. However, it was due to negligence, since the cup had been in place for 18 hours.


Overall, whether you found menstrual cup advantageous than the tampon or you still prefer the latter, the choice is entirely up to you. The said side effects and health issues are also up to you if you will be vigilant enough and take responsibility for your body properly.

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