The concept of low-waste menstruation has puzzled me for a while. I’ve done a lot of research into different alternatives to your traditional tampons and pads, and finally settled on a menstrual cup. Why? Because it comes the closest to a traditional tampon while remaining (almost) 100% zero waste. Organicup immediately stood out to me in the sea of menstrual cup brands.
Organicup promise an “easier, healthier, smarter” period. They’re also FDA and vegan certified, with the cup being made out of 100% medical grade silicone. That means no BPA and no latex. On average, one Organicup could last you ~10 years. Compare that to a box of tampons or pads, which will be gone within a week or two.
As a society, we worry about the chemicals in our food, skincare, and makeup. So why aren’t we as concerned about the chemicals used in our menstrual products? The average tampon can contain chlorine, BPA, dioxin, furans, pesticide residues, and many other additives.
The packaging for the Organicup consists of a carboard box and a cotton drawstring bag. No unnecessary paperwork, no separately printed instructions, no plastic waste.
Not only is it eco-friendly, but it’s efficient. You can keep the menstrual cup in for up to 12 hours before you need to change it. Obviously this is dependent on the individual, so approximately 12 hours give or take the intensity of blood flow. It’s highly recommended to not exceed the 12 hour limit, as you could put yourself at risk of developing TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) which you can also develop from incorrect tampon use.
I opted for Size A, which is for people who haven’t given birth vaginally. Their other size option, Size B, is for people who have given birth vaginally. I’ve seen cases where people with particularly heavy flows have opted for Size B even if they haven’t given birth. They’ve also recently launched the Organicup mini for teens and other individuals who might experience discomfort with A or B.
On their website, Organicup recommend boiling the cup. Personally, the idea of cleaning my used menstrual cup in the saucepan I also use to cook food wasn’t an appealing one. Instead, I rinsed the Organicup with cold water until it appeared ‘clean’. Then I filled my bathroom sink with boiling water from the kettle, added a little fragrance free natural soap, and left it to soak for a few hours. I then let it air dry before storing. As for storage, my Organicup remains snug in the original cotton pouch it arrived in.
To insert the Organicup (or most other menstrual cups for that matter) you simply fold, and insert. It might take a couple of tries to get it just right. Everyone’s cervix is positioned differently, so it might need a few adjustments to get comfy. Organicup have a super handy video about how to use the cup appropriately and safely.
I found the easiest insertion method to be the “c fold” as shown in the image below. Taking a squatting position massively helped me with getting the cup in the perfect position. Standing or moving around can also help. Organicup recommend using a water based lubricant if you’re really struggling to insert it.
I managed to get it right the second time, and I couldn’t quite believe it. It was so comfy! I literally had no idea it was there. When I use tampons, they can be quite uncomfortable when sitting in certain positions. Not to mention the chemicals in tampons can cause dryness or chaffing. But the Organicup was discreet and undetectable. Some people find the stem of the cup a little uncomfortable, but you can trim that according to your personal preferences and needs.
Admittedly, I was a sceptic of menstrual cups for a long time. That’s actually what held me back from switching much sooner! I thought there was no way a tiny little silicone cup could compete with a tampon or pad. I’ve found this to be a common misconception. What this experience taught me, is that your flow is nowhere near as heavy as your tampon would have you believe. Like, not even close!
In the entire time I used the Organicup, it never got more than halfway full. At first, I was worried about how often I’d need to empty it. One of my main gripes with tampons is the frequency I’d have to change them. I’ve got better things to do with my day! I fast learned that I shouldn’t have worried. There were just two times a day I needed to empty the Organicup; once in the morning, and once before bed. This means no awkward public bathroom incidents!
While I was testing this out I ran, swam, and went to the gym. Not once did I experience any leaks or unfortunate mishaps. I was CONVINCED that it would come dislodged during swimming. What if the water messed up the suction of the cup? Spoiler; it didn’t, and won’t. I also couldn’t feel it at all while I was wearing it. At times I even got worried thinking I’d forgotten to put it back in!
When using tampons, I can often experience intense dryness. I’m assuming this is from the cotton tampons are made of, in addition to the chemicals in them. Through switching to Organicup, I no longer had that discomfort. For the first time, I no longer dread the day my period comes round.
Like everything zero-waste, the Organicup (at face value) doesn’t seem too affordable. They’re £21 per cup, which is roughly $26.71. But think about it, how much do you spend on tampons/pads per month? Per year? It’s probably a lot, especially when you consider a box of tampons can cost £2-£4.
Organicup actually have a calculator on their website which can work out how much money you’ll save by switching to a menstrual cup. To do this, you input the type of period products you currently use (tampons with applicators in my case). Then you select your currency (GBP), your name, and age.
The fact I’ll be saving 114lbs of waste is incredible – but £824?! That’s a holiday! In the long run, it’s so cost effective. I’d say it’s well worth £21, especially when it’ll last you 10 years or so. Obviously this is a rough price estimate, especially as period products are priced differently in various regions.
While Organicup has worked amazingly well for me, it might not be the perfect fit for you. While the general anatomy of everything might be the same, we’re all unique in our own way. As I mentioned earlier, everyone has a slightly differently positioned cervix. This can affect the type of cup that’s perfect for you, especially in terms of shape and size.
If you’re particularly worried about using a menstrual cup, consult your GP or OBGYN first.
What I like about Organicup is that they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. So you can use the cup for 90 days, and if you’re not happy with it, they’ll give you a full refund. This makes it so much easier for those who aren’t sure about what shape or size cup is best suited to them.
So… Is Organicup worth the hype? Abso-bloody-lutely! (See what I did there?)
When I posted about Organicup on my Instagram stories, I had a lot of messages. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many DM’s! I’m hoping I managed to answer a lot of questions in this post, if you’ve got one I haven’t answered yet then leave a comment below.
Have you tried Organicup before? Do you already use a sustainable period product alternative?
I'm Elen Mai, the brains behind Welsh Wanderer and 20-something human biology student from (you guessed it) Wales! Welsh Wanderer is designed with the eco-conscious adventurer in mind. So stick around for tips & tricks on living sustainably.