Menstrual cups are unfortunately a well-kept secret, as many women are unaware of these safe, easy to use, high absorbency devices. These eco-friendly and huge money-saving hygiene products are not only good to use on a monthly basis but they also make great survival tools. If you ever had to leave your home because of a disaster, war or some apocalyptic event, you could at least have less stress knowing you do not need to make a pad or tampon out of leaves or rely on a shelter that probably has a very limited supply.
You may not feel comfortable using menstrual cups for your menses, but it is a smart idea to purchase one in case of a survival emergency. As with any product, especially one with which you may be unfamiliar, it is important to do some research and select the product that you think would best suit your needs. The cups are made of medical grade silicone, are latex-free so those with allergies do not have to worry, and they come in different lengths, the longest of which holds the most fluid.
It may also help to know that the menstrual cups do come in a few sizes since every woman has a different vaginal circumference and older women, or those who had a child, may have a little extra room compared to younger females who have not delivered a baby. Still, this is not to say a 30 year old cannot use a smaller size or an 18 year old cannot use a bigger size, as it all depends on the individual.
You obviously use menstrual cups during your menses, though you may want to practice prior to getting your monthly visitor if you are new to using the cup. Women who use the menses cup suggest practicing insertion and removal since the device needs to properly fit to avoid leakage. You may also want to practice hovering, removing, rinsing in the stall with a water bottle and re-inserting, as is the way in most public restrooms or outside when in a survival situation.
Once your menses is over, you can easily clean your cup by rinsing it with warm soapy water and then sterilizing it by placing it in a small glass jar full of water and microwaving it for one or two minutes. You could also boil it on the stove in a pot of water, although some people find this to be appalling. However, in a survival situation, you may have no choice but to use a pot over an outdoor stove or fire.
After your cup is sterile, you can place it in the little pouch most companies give you when you purchase the item and tuck it away until next month. It is highly recommended that you do not use a Ziploc bag for storage, as the plastic harbors the growth of bacteria and can cause an infection.
Conservatively speaking, a woman spends over $4,000 on feminine pads or tampons in her lifetime and if you have two daughters in your home, that is $12,000 in total. Of course, this depends on flow, brand and the frequency at which you change your hygiene product but if you purchase a menstrual cup, for around $30, the cost savings is quite large.
Menstrual cups also have the benefit of helping to save the environment by reducing waste and air pollution, because the quantity produced is much smaller than that of other menses items. Additionally, these devices can decrease the demand for other vaginal products and pharmaceuticals by reducing the rate of yeast infections and toxic shock syndrome since the cup does not absorb the fluid or allow bacteria to grow.
This is a fairly important quality if you are trying to survive and cannot obtain medical treatment, as toxic shock syndrome is fatal when left untreated and yeast infections can damage internal organs or spread to the urinary tract.
Most menstrual cups have similar user reviews, most of which are positive, since they consist of the same material and size variation is fairly standard. The main differences are texture, strength, grip, price and fluid capacity, all of which matter based on your personal needs. So, do some research and find the cup that is best for you so you can save money, help the environment and prepare for any emergency situation.