When I first heard about menstrual cups or ‘Mooncups’ I had mixed feelings. On the one hand they are excellent for the environment, your body and your wallet. On the other hand it is quite a confronting prospect to actually use a menstrual cup

For those who don’t know, a menstrual cup is a small, medical-grade silicone cup, perfectly shaped to sit inside the vagina where it creates a seal and collects menstrual fluid. Although this may make some feel a bit squeamish, there are many advantages to this form of menstrual collection and good reasons why it is well worth getting your hands dirty.


On average Australian women spend between A$120 and $200 each year on pads and tampons. Menstrual cups retail for between A$40 and A$60 and last for “over 5 years” according to manufactures, but in reality they have no expiry date. Menstrual cups very quickly become a far more economical option than disposable products.

One menstrual cup can hold three times as much as a tampon or pad. | Image source: Wikipedia (CC)


Reusable menstrual cups are also much better for your body. Menstrual cups don’t contain any harmful substances such as chlorine, fragrances or BPA and there has been no association of cups with toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Silicone is hypoallergenic and does not contain any absorption agents that pads and tampons rely on so menstrual cups are suitable for women with sensitive skin, dermatitis and latex allergies.

More effective and convenient

Due to these health benefits, menstrual cups are safe to be worn for three times as long as pads or tampons (up to 12 hours – no problem). You can wear them swimming, jogging, doing yoga. They are also great for  overnight use; they hold more than 3 times as much as disposable products without spills. They fit women of all shapes and sizes and at any stage in their reproductive life.

Many women are unable to afford sanitary product | Image: Sustainable Sanitation Alliance via Flickr (CC)

Environmental benefits

The environmental argument for reusable products over disposable products in any industry is a no brainer. An estimated 20 billion pads and tampons as well as their accompanying applicators and packaging are sent to landfills each year just in North American. Image what the global total is! Furthermore, pads and tampons use chemicals such as acrylic polymers (SAPs) surfactant-laced gels and leak-proof plastic backings – the production and disposal of these materials are pretty nasty. Even cotton – the least offensive substance involved in the production of pads and tampons – requires huge amounts of water and harsh pesticides and is then thoroughly bleached before being made into personal hygiene products. Menstrual cups only contain silicone which requires only the low-impact mining of mineral sands.

Need more convincing? Check out the Mooncup Rap. However the advantages are clear, and as a result menstrual cups are a rapidly growing industry. There are dozens of manufacturers around the world and our first ever Australian made and owned menstrual cup company, Juju opened in 2013.

Using a menstrual cup may seem a little confronting at first, but it is very easy once you get the hang of it. From then on the benefits are overwhelming.