We've all been making efforts to go green in almost every area of our life. Biking to work, growing your own produce and herbs, using reusable bags, getting an electric car and even some of us cat lovers made cat litters green.
But how about something much more personal to us women like menstrual cycles?
Not so much.
And I'm guilty of that.
Until menstrual cups like Blossom Cups came into the picture, we could easily toss the idea of greener menstrual cycles, but thankfully, we can now openly discuss what else is there that's better, greener, and more effective than tampons and pads.
When it comes to menstruation and feminine hygiene, it's too easy to be shameful, but I wanted to bring sustainable menstrual care to center stage.
And what better way to do than partnering with Blossom Cup.
Blossom Cup is by far the best Amazon menstrual cup seller whose amazing menstrual cups accumulated whooping 619 reviews giving them a rating of 4.5 out of 5.
The best of all, they are committed to offer quality, effective, and non-invasive period cups for an affordable price. Each cup is only $16.95, compared to other similar menstrual cups costing around $28. It's a quality choice you'd be more than satisfied with.
In this post, you'll find everything you need to know about a menstrual cup and my personal experience using one (Blossom Cup).
I'll share what I love about it, and what I wish were better.
Before the trial...
I first gained interest in the idea of using a menstrual cup for how green it is.
I never felt too good about throwing filthy tampons and pads away, knowing they can stick around in the landfills for up to 500 years.
I also somewhat liked the idea of its reusability, but I also felt a bit of reservation.
The slight hesitation was probably from my concern for potential health hazards of reusing the menstrual cup.
The lifetime savings? I definitely loved the idea!
Especially, I like 70% of other women who use tampons go through roughly 20 tampons per cycle and spend $7 on a box of 36 tampons almost every other month. My spending on tampons alone is just under $50 a year.
I don't know about other women, but I also use pads on heavy days for some extra coverage.
Because I only use pantyliners or pads as a backup, a box of 36 pads lasts a little longer than my tampon box, say about twice as long. All in all, I spend just about $75 a year on feminine hygiene products total.
For a menstrual cup that costs less than $17, that's quite a saving just in the first year alone.
If you were to use it for 15 years (that's how long the cup lasts), you are looking at just about $750 in savings.
That's a great deal.
In short, I became interested in Blossom Cup for three reasons.
- Green alternative to tampons
Oh, I also like that you can keep it in for up to 12 hours, unlike tampons that need to be changed every 4-6 hours.
It sounded like a super hands free, low-maintenance kind of feminine hygiene care I like.
With all those pre-trial expectations in mind, I waited for my period with much anticipation.
And it came.
And I tested.
And I loved it.
But not necessarily for the reasons I imagined; it's for a greater health benefit.
While I anxiously waited for my period (to test out my new Blossom cup, of course), I read up on differences between menstrual cups and other feminine hygiene products such as tampons and pads.
I didn't expect to find anything other than obvious, but I was in it for a surprise.
Findings were shocking, to say the least and and shed light on how harmful those mainstream solutions can really be to women's vaginal area.
How Toxic Are Tampons?
It's a shame, but I had never really thought to look into what's in tampons before, until now.
And I've been a tampon user for over a decade.
I somehow always assumed that tampons were made of cottons and other safe materials.
I was naive. I know.
Needless to say, when I found out what's really in tampons, I got chilled.
Chemicals Used in Tampons
FDA states that tampons sold in the U.S. are made of cotton, rayon, or blends of rayon and cotton.
For your record, rayon is made from cellulose fibers derived from wood pulp,
According to Andrea Donsky, author of Label Lessons and blogger at Naturally Savvy, wood pulp has been associated with Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), a systemic, and potentially deadly, illness caused by bacteria associated with the use of tampons.
Since tampons and pads are classified as medical devices, manufactures are not obligated to disclose their ingredients.
That only means, we'll never fully know what's in popular feminine hygiene products.
From little we know, Andrea has outlined some ingredients that are often used in tampons.
- chlorine dioxide
- odor neutralizers and other artificial fragrances
- latex, a potential allergen
- crude oil plastic
- genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
Some of these chemicals are linked to endometriosis, cervical cancer, breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
Since we are not really eating those chemicals and toxins, you may be wondering "what's the big deal?".
Apparently, it's a bigger deal that foods with chemicals.
According to Dr. Mercola, your skin is the largest organ in your body, and also the thinnest.
Less than 1/10th of an inch separates your body from potential toxins.
He writes "Worse yet, your skin is highly permeable - especially the skin around your vaginal area, not to mention inside the vagina itself."
What you expose your skin to will end up in your bloodstream and flow through your body.
Inserting tampons which turns out to be full of toxins into your vaginal area, where the skin is permeable is basically allowing chemicals to enter your body.
In fact, absorbing chemicals through your skin is worse than eating them as they go straight into your bloodstream, then organs without getting filtered.
Blossom Cup, Better Alternative
So if you are ready to be as toxin free as I wish to be, read on to find out how Blossom Cup is the solution and how you can gain other great benefits of going with this eco-friendly, safer alternative.
Blossom Cup is Safer and Healthier
Blossom cups are made of 100% BPA-FREE FDA Approved Medical Grade Silicone. It's not rubber or plastic. It also doesn't contain materials heavily sprayed with chemicals.
According to Web MD, menstrual cups are safer than a tampon, because it has a lower risk of a bacterial infection called toxic shock syndrome.
Comparing to a pad, it's less likely to cause rash.
Care-Free and Better Fit For an Active Lifestyle
On contrary to a tampon that needs to be changed about every 4 hours depending on your flow, Blossom cup can stay in for up to 12 hours, giving more protection at night time. According to Blossom Cup's Amazon page, a small cup holds 20 ml or 0.67 oz. A large holds 25 ml or 0.85 oz.
And once you find the perfect fit, you don't need a backup as it'll less likely to leak.
It also stays fit during your most vigorous activities like mountain climbers, Jumping Rope and high-intensity anaerobic exercises.
Except my really heavy days, I still like to get some exercises in during my period, and Blossom cup definitely fits right into my active life.
Note: Although you can leave it up to 12 hours, I try not to keep it in any more than 8 hours or so on a lighter day. I didn't have a problem with an overflow during the initial trial, but if your flow is heavy, I can how changing it more frequently will avoid any issue with spillages and overflows.
Because your cup form an airtight seal, you'll experience less odor.
When it's exposed to air, that's when you'll experience odor.
Note: Since I know many of you have many questions about a menstrual cup like the one by Blossom Cup, I divided my experience by common questions I heard from some of you.
More Affordable and Eco-Friendly
One Blossom Cup can last for about 10 years.
If you are like me and use about 20 tampons per cycle, that's about 2,400 tampons you are saving over a 10 year period. It's less waste for the landfills and less money out of your pocket.
How dow Blossom Cup work?
Blossom cup is made of silicone and works somewhat like tampons, except that it's a cup that sits underneath your cervix and catches your flow.
It's small and flexible.
How to Use a Blossom Cup
Right before your period, simply fold your cup by pressing the sides of the cup. Then fold the cup in half again. Sit on the toilet (easier that way) and insert your folded cup like a tampon without an applicator.
Let got of your fingers and the cup unfold.
If you need to adjust it, you can gently rotate it with your fingertips.
Is it difficult to insert the Blossom Cup?
If you are a tampon user and familiar with insertion of a tampon, putting a menstrual cup in place should be easy and a familiar process.
I didn't find insertion painful, but finding the right fit may take a bit of practice.
I had to twist it around a bit before I found the right fit.
Is Inserting the Blossom Cup painful?
I didn't feel pain when inserting the Blossom cup, but if you are, you may be doing it incorrectly or just need a bit more practice.
One thing I can speak with certainty is that if you are feeling pain after you insert, the cup is probably not sitting in the right place.
I also tried before my period and found it much harder to insert as my private was more dry.
Does the Blossom Cup work on a heavy day?
My heavy days are just the first 2-3 days, and even on those days, the Blossom Cup held up pretty well.
I forgot to keep an accurate count on how many times I changed the cup, but I would say about once in the morning, once during the day and once at night time.
If your flow is really heavy, changing it more frequently may be a good idea, just to be safe.
How is removal?
I have to be honest, removal is probably my least favorite part of the Blossom Cup or any menstrual cup for the sake.
Especially in the public restroom where I don't have a direct access to sink, getting the cup dumped and cleaned, washing hands and putting it back in can be quite a challenge and takes a premeditated planning.
What I did was, I brought in a few extra helpers:
- a small bottle of water for cleaning
- hand sanitizer
After removing the cup, I discarded the flow in the toilet and rinsed the cup with clean water.
I then wiped my hands with a wipe and sanitized it with a sanitizer.
After cleaning the cup and my hands, I put it back in and wiped and sanitized my hand again.
Once I get to the sink, I washed my hands with soap.
But once you get your routine in place, it's not as bad as it sounds. I promise.
Which size is for me?
Blossom Cup has two sizes: Small and Large
Small is typically for pre-pregnancy, and large is for post-pregnancy.
By their categorization, I should be getting a large, but since I'm petite, I chose to go with their small cup and worked out fine.
How much is this menstrual cup?
Blossom Cup is currently selling at $16.96.
Compared to other popular competitors, their price is more affordable.
I really love using the Blossom Cup. Not only it's less toxic, it's greener and more affordable than a tampon and pad.
I also like to be active, so having to not feel like I have something in my private gives me the extra comfort I need to go about my day and keep my workout schedules consistent even during my period.
The only drawback is removal in the public restroom. It can be quite challenging dumping, washing and wiping in a tiny bathroom.
Because I'm used to using tampons, it wasn't as difficult for me to learn how to insert the Blossom Cup, but for a non-tampon user, I can see how the learning curve could be high.
All in all, just like food, after learning all the chemicals and toxins used in tampons and pads, I have a hard time returning to them, and the only available option I see around is menstrual cups like the Blossom Cup.
I'd much rather deal with the removal mess than letting my vagina exposed to harmful chemicals, and that's really my bottom line.
Where to Get the Blossom Cup
Blossom Cup Amazon Store's link is below.
* I do not receive a monetary reward for your purchase, and the link above is solely for your convenience.
Partnership with the Blossom Cup
This post was brought to you by generous support from and committed partnership with the Blossom Cup.
We take our partnerships seriously and would not recommend any product or vendor we cannot trust and wouldn't use for ourselves.
Our partnership did not and would not be the reflection on my experience and review of the product.
Blossom Cup Giveaway!
Blossom Cup is generously giving away their cup to one lucky giveaway winner!
The rule is simple, you can comment below for an entry or like our #blossomcup post on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook or retweet our Blossom cup review post! Deadline is December 20th, 2015.