Frugal Periods: Menstrual Cup

I don’t really talk much about being frugal here – I mostly talk about where to save your money. A few years ago now, a friend of mine convinced me to try a menstrual cup. It took many months before I actually bought one and a few more before I was really using it, but it is AMAZING ladies. It’s also a magical unicorn of savings, but that’s mostly besides the point.

Cramps, migraines, so many PMS symptoms were reduced. I forget I have my period for most of it. I forget about it. At first, I was super worried about needing to rinse out the cup at work, but I’ve managed to not need to do so, which is amazing! (Your body may vary.) I super hated dealing with my period while at work. And it’s totally safe to put in before your period gets there too. I used to plan trips around when my period was because I always found that traveling threw it out of whack and was super annoying, but traveling with a menstrual cup is SO much easier. Also great in summer and hot yoga!

It’s also environmentally friendly. And way better for your body than pads or tampons. No itchiness or bad reactions. I clean it with boiling water after every period to keep it clean. Plus, it came in a cute little bag. The internet seems torn on how long you should use a cup for before replacing it – I’ve seen anywhere from 2-3 to 10 years suggested.

I still spend about $10 on liners every two years, but I only spent $35+tax on the cup and will probably use it for 3ish years before replacing it mid-next year, which means my period now only costs me about $17 per year. Not bad, considering that I was spending about $80/year before. I’ve definitely noticed that spending reduction and plus, my period is much less annoying!

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16 thoughts on “Frugal Periods: Menstrual Cup

  1. I’m definitely curious about these, but have been a bit nervous and don’t have a huge incentive since I probably only spend $30 or so on tampons per year. Do you mind if I ask what brand you went with?

    My own version of “lady frugal” was getting a 10-year copper IUD implanted last year. No chemicals or hormones any longer, insurance covered it completely, and 10 years! 10 years! of birth control taken care of in one swoop. =)

    • Oh $30 isn’t bad! I was spending much more than that. Honestly, the frugality of it was less the selling point for me and more the fact that I completely forget I have my period while I’m at work :)

      I went with a Lunette and completely cut off the stem. The stem was being SUPER painful and I almost gave up on it until my friend suggested cutting it. Also, if you have any troubles getting it out, use some lube. My boyfriend was confused why the lube was sitting next to the toilet one day! I also know women who are happy with a Diva Cup. I still use some liners, but not too many. It’s pretty awesome!

      You are braver than me! I’m too scared of the IUDs. I’ve heard horror stories from people. I was considering it, but then my pill became free, so I stopped thinking about it. 10 years does sound pretty magical though!!!

  2. My period symptoms were still terrible after switching to a menstrual cup, but it’s so much more convenient! I love that I’m not creating so much waste or running to the store late at night. Cups are awesome!

  3. My version of frugal was that my work always stocked lady supplies for free in the restrooms. I didn’t take them “to go” but I was sure to use them every single day I worked. Haha.

    That said, this seems like a reasonable option to try.

    • Oh that’s awesome! I’ve always been particular about things and my old work only recently started stocking lady supplies in the restrooms for free.

      One of my friends tried this because she was going camping and could end up with her period while she was gone.

      • Wait, so the cup is better for camping? It seems like it would be difficult to wash / clean outside of the privacy of your home.

        • That’s what I thought too! I don’t mind traveling with it while I have a private bathroom in my hotel, but otherwise, it was a HUGE pain.

  4. I’ve been curious about these forever but never actually tried them (because I tend to bleed pretty heavily and was terrified of having an accident – figured I’d have to plan it pretty carefully and experiment with them only on a weekend day at home). But the last couple of years I’ve hardly had periods (stress the past year and before that, travelling for most of the year..) Once that changes I might finally give cups a go. I wonder why they also reduce your other period symptoms?! Fascinating.

    • One of my friends who bleeds pretty heavily has to swap it out quite often, but she still says it’s better than tampons. With the pill, I have fairly light-ish periods and so I usually do 12 hours for several days and then 24 hours at the end. If you had to change it at work, I’d want to find a handicapped/single person washroom. My current and previous office buildings often had a single person washroom on the first floor, which is something I scoped out before doing this. I think I might have worked from home some of the days I was trying this.

      I am not sure why it also reduced my other period symptoms. My guess was that it lets the blood flow better and that reduces the cramping? I’m not sure, but I’ll take it!

      It took me forever before giving it a shot, even after buying one! I’ve been using it for about 2 years now and taken it on three trips and it’s been great. I need to remember to donate my unused pads to the local women’s shelter since I have no need for them anymore…

  5. I’ve always been fascinated by these but have never tried it because I’ve been pretty wary of mess during insertion/removal. Also the boiling part since throwing pads away just seems lower maintenance. I think the only reason I may switch is for environmental reasons (reducing paper waste), but I’m still… hesitant.

    • Yeah I was pretty wary of the mess too, which is why I held off for so long! All I can say is you just have to try and see if it works for you. It did take some getting used to and that part is still annoying sometimes, but it’s mostly worth it.

  6. I’ve never even heard of these until now, but I just may look into them! I feel I would worry less about leaking than I do with tampons (the fit is never quite right)! However, I first need to look into changing from the estrogen based pill. No one had ever told me my risk of stroke increased (quite significantly, too) since I have auras with my migraines.

    I wish more people talked about these things, even from a personal finance perspective it is helpful.

    • You still have to get the fit right! But I haven’t had too much trouble with it leaking once I figured it out. Since I’m already talking about finances which are taboo, I might as well talk about women’s health occasionally as well :)

    • I have no idea! They are definitely amazing. I wish people talked about these things more as I had no idea how awesome they are!

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