There were so many approaches I could have taken to write this piece.
– A listicle: The 10 reasons a menstrual cup will change your life.
– A dodgy internet ad: The tampon industry doesn’t want you to know about this one weird thing.
– An infomercial: Imagine reducing the hassle of your period by 90 per cent.
I could also have written page after page about how free and confident it makes you feel, how much money you save, and how much waste you prevent from going into landfill.
Instead, I’m just going to ask you to consider going out (or going online) and buying yourself a menstrual cup. There are quite a few brands out there, and though you probably wouldn’t go wrong with any of them, fortunately, some lovely ladies in the ANU Women’s Department are road-testing a few for you.
I’m not going to ask you to be convinced by just what I’m saying (if you do need to be convinced). I know that mooncup.co.uk has, at the time of writing, 121 pages of testimonials on their website. We all know the web is a powerful tool and I encourage you to use it to get informed. I’m pretty sure that’s where I found out about menstrual cups in the first place, though it was so many years ago now that I can’t remember the exact circumstances. The odds are that it was one of those times where you get a little lost and end up somewhere totally unexpected. I guess it was an easy sell because I was always so dissatisfied with pads and tampons, and I worried all the time about whether they were leaking or whether things were starting to smell.
I was happy to pay my 50 odd bucks for this thing that could potentially save me so much more. At first, it didn’t save me any time though, what with figuring out the whole process and, I’ll admit, there were a few times when I thought it was stuck! Just like anything though, it gets easy after a while – so don’t be put off by that initial struggle.
Have a think about all the little things that you have to think about when you get your period, all the annoying ways you have to adjust your behaviour and habits for that one week every month. That baggy pair of jeans, and making sure you always have your handbag with you, stocked up with supplies. Having to wear pyjamas when you would normally sleep naked. Perhaps declining invitations to stay over at your partner’s house? And what about the stress of getting your period when travelling and when you are in unfamiliar situations?
Now imagine: what if nothing had to change?
That’s the empowering reality with a menstrual cup.
Tegan McAnulty is a research student in Engineering at ANU, a proud feminist, an equally proud Girl Guide (which go together quite nicely), and strives to live by her motto of: “Question everything, including your own opinions.”