Menstrual cups vs. tampons, which is better?
Mommies, being a woman is drastically hassle. Having a womb also means a monthly struggle, the natural process that makes you woman, taking place inside your body.
Ovulation is the release of an egg from your ovary. You can track its cycle, as it will play a part in your fertility awareness. Knowing that the cycle is ending nearer, the more you may need to prepare.
What to prepare? Obviously your menstrual products for hygiene: tampons, pads, or menstrual cups.
The menstrual cup trends in the 21st-century use, but it is no different with tampons because the menstrual cup is as old as tampons. On the other hand, tampons are not that familiar with PH women’s use.
But tampons are not yet Jurassic mommies. Some women still consider using tampons.
With the help of our research, let us compare the two sanitary products based on:
- pros and cons of both products
- poll and parents’ opinions on both product
- best menstrual cups and tampons on the market
- is it safe to use a tampon?
This comparison will make way for the awareness of using a menstrual cup or a tampon. Is tampon better? or menstrual cup safer to use?
Pros and cons: Menstrual cup vs. tampons
Menstrual cups vs tampons. | Image from Shutterstock
First, a menstrual cup is to collect, as the tampon is to absorb.
Both the menstrual cup and tampons were first used in the 1930s. Today, as they are still known for sanitary use, approximately 1.9 billion women use one of these products.
Similarly, both these two sanitary products are to be inserted into the vagina. Menstrual cups are developed from medical-grade silicone and elastomer/latex rubber, while tampons are created with cotton, rayon, or a combination of two.
Lancelot Public Health affirmed the alternatively comparable safe use of menstrual cups to using other hygiene products.
Of course, the preference for using a sanitary product varies from a case to case basis. But because of more commercially capable tampons, menstrual cups were less marketed. This made tampons a marketable advantage.
But today, the tables may have turned. We will compare these two based on their pros and cons. Mommies and women alike, judge them based on their differences.
Levels of leakage
According to a Lancet Public Health review of “grey literature” searchable from different organizations and governmental publications, the researchers found that there are 199 brands of menstrual cups marketed by 99 countries.
Their study evaluated the similarity of leakage between tampons and menstrual, and/or menstrual cups sometimes leak lower.
Menstrual cups vs. tampons. | Image from Pexels
Issues on safety use
Risks of infection are un-see-able from women and mommies using menstrual cups, compared to other sanitary products. Yet, the use of tampons has been associated with toxic shock syndrome (TSS).
TSS is a rare but lethal condition by which bacteria insert the body and could release harmful toxins. That’s why in the USA, only FDA-approved tampons are to be legally sold while collecting data and surveys from buyers and users.
FDA-approved tampons were made with bleaching agents free from elemental chlorine. This agent lowers the risk of dioxin (pollutants found in the surroundings).
Once in Kenya, research was conducted to investigate TSS using both pads and cups. The results are negative in both products, which leaves the risk of TSS still on the use of tampons.
But another reported case presented a vulnerability in TSS of a woman who left her cup for 18 hours in her.
Other issues concerning safety that you must take note of are difficulty removing the cup, vaginal or pelvic pain, irritation of genitalia, and allergic reaction to silicone.
Consulting your doctor about your preference in using a sanitary product will guide you to a safe, and comfortable use.
On the contrary, some women reported issues with the ease of using cups, such that it results in discomfort and pain in inserting and removing. Furthermore, educational articles and discussions, as well as awareness of the use of cups, are significantly lacking.
It is better for the women’s generations to know their available options in sanitation. Accessible information about the use of each product should also be necessary.
Menstrual cups vs. tampons | Image from Pexels
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Menstrual cups vs. tampons: Poll and opinions on both products
Dindin Reyes of Rappler (2015) introduced a growing popular perspective on the use of sanitary products which brightens the spotlight on menstrual cups.
According to her anecdotal write-up, her use of cups is not easy, to begin with. But the latter pros could be evident, in comparison to the use of pads. In the Philippines, it is always a battle between pads and menstrual cups.
She also accounts for a minimal difference between the use of tampons and pads.
From another perspective, Business Mirror cited an article regarding the common FQAs on using cups against another sanitary product.
They had listed comparable features: cost-effectivity, fear and awareness of usage, cups being a random object (because trends on cup usage started only a decade ago), and a trivial cause of devirginizing a woman.
Other concerns that follow levitate the issue of using disposable, cheap tampons and sanitary napkins/pads as not good for the environment.
As tampons absorb blood with a hold limit, unlike menstrual cups, there is a necessity for frequent changes of tampons. These used pads add to the bigger tons of waste produce.
Best menstrual cups and tampons in the PH market
Best menstrual cups can offer cost-effectiveness, safety, lowered risks of TSS, and less-hassle menstruation.
These brands were based on our research as to where can mommies and women buy menstrual cups:
- Lily cup
- Diva cup
- Sinaya cup
- Saalt cup
Read for a product review: Best Menstrual Cups in the Philippines
Product price may also affect the reviews given by the users on these brands. In addition to this, an OB-gyne’s recommendation of brands also presents authoritative and more credible information to use cups.
Meanwhile, Byrdie.com (2022) presented their commendable brands of tampons that can be bought in the Philippines. They quoted Alyssa Dweck’s advice on choosing the right brand, a woman has to know her preference based on the safety and comfortability of using a brand’s tampon.
Here are the top tampon picks of Byrdie.com:
- Lola organic tampons
- Tampax pearl
- L. cotton tampons
- Rael organic tampons
- Cora organic cotton non-applicator tampon
- The Honeypot Co. Bio-plastic applicator tampon
- O.B. organic tampons
- U by Kotex
Read for the product seller: 10 tampons that make dealing with your period less of a pain
Women and mommies, you may also seek to advise from your personal OB as to what particular sanitary product, what brand, how it cost, and what pros and cons specifically for your condition.
Image from | pexels.com
Tampon 101: Safety
Tampons are always associated with TSS. Even reusable tampons can be a result in more additional risks of infection.
Going back to FDA-approved tampons, these tampons were designed a single-use only.
So, mommies and women, we need to take caution and safer use of tampons for those who prefer to avail it.
These are the FDA safety tips on using a tampon:
- Follow all directions to use. Even using tampons for a very long time, you still have to read the instructions labeled.
- Washing hands before using a tampon. This will stop your dirty hands from catalyzing bacteria.
- Only use tampons during the menstrual period. Tampons are not intended for unnecessary and untimely use.
- Change tampons every 4 to 8 hours. Do not allow yourself to sleep overnight with yesterday’s tampon in.
- Check and use the lowest absorption limit only. Wearing tampons over 8 hours might result in infection and the absorbency is too high.
- Contact health care provider and doctor when having pain, fever, or other sicknesses. Contact a care provider immediately if you have any discomfort, unusual discharge, fever, and pain. Also, stop using tampons.
- Know the symptoms of TSS to reduce risk. Common symptoms of TSS adds high fever (over normal temp or 37 degrees Celsius), diarrhea, vomiting, fainting, dizziness, or a rash that looks like a sunburn. Seek a doctor when you felt these symptoms while having your menstruation or after. Do not use tampons reaching 8 hours.
Both menstrual cups and tampons have different advantages. They are preferred also by different women who might be comfortable and budget-friendly for them to use.
Yet the better thing to do is to schedule a consultation/s with your doctor or OB so that you will not be prone to risks of using the wrong product for you. Remember mommies and women, be safe in choosing what is best for you.
Here at theAsianparent Philippines, it’s important for us to give information that is correct, significant, and timely. But this doesn’t serve as an alternative for medical advise or medical treatment. theAsianparent Philippines is not responsible to those that would choose to drink medicines based on information from our website. If you have any doubts, we recommend to consult your doctor for clearer information.