20 Dec Is it Time for Dancers to Toss the Tampons?
If you have visited your favorite organic or health food store, you may have come across a menstrual cup as you perused the options of natural beauty and feminine care products. Menstrual cups might seem like a revolutionary new invention for the more health-conscious generation of today, but did you know that the modern menstrual cup and the disposable tampon were invented in the same decade? Women have been on a relentless search for the perfect protection for their period for ages and selecting what is best for your use is a completely personal choice. Menstrual cups are made out of medical-grade silicone and have a flexible bell-shaped cup that is inserted into the vagina to gather the menstrual blood flow. Many ballet pros are favoring the cup for its convenience and protection, especially when they have to perform. Here are some things to consider about the cups if you decide to transition.
You have to have patience. Figuring out how to insert and remove the cup in a comfortable way takes time. For well-known brands like OrganiCup and DivaCup, you can find videos on their websites that can guide new users through the process. One pro recommends using it first outside of the dance studio for a few cycles before using it in a dance class.
Toss the bundle of tampons stashed in your purse or gym bag. With the menstrual cup, you only need one. This is because the cup can hold from 20 to 60 milliliters of fluid versus a regular tampon only able to hold 5. Depending on your body’s regular flow, you need to remove the cup and clear and rinse out under hot water every 4 to 12 hours.
Being concerned about leaks will be greatly lessened with a cup. When its inserted correctly, the cup forms a vacuum seal that prevents leaks. So instead of having to change a tampon between each performance when on stage or between each workout in the studio, generally the emptying out of the cup only has to been done in the morning and before going to bed.
You must sanitize your cup at the end of your cycle. This is done by getting a pot of water to the boiling point and letting the cup sit in the water for a few minutes. Then let it dry out completely and keep it in a container that allows some airflow.
Menstrual cups are environmentally conscious. Instead of the multiple single-use tampons that contribute to waste, with the cup, you have one purchase that can last several years. In addition, your pocket will be very happy to only spend $20 to $40 dollars once every couple of years, rather than monthly purchases we make on one-time-use products.
With menstrual cups, you won’t have to worry about embarrassing odor wafting out at the most inopportune times since the fluid doesn’t get exposed to air as it does with pads and tampons. Vaginal pH and beneficial bacteria also stay in place. Tampons absorb your vaginal fluid along with the blood, which may disturb the vagina’s delicate pH and bacterial balance.
For many dancers, using a menstrual cup is a no-brainer. Before you make the switch, BFW encourages you to make sure you know what you need in a feminine hygiene product and search the options to see what’s best for your body. Gynecologists can also discuss options and help you make an informed decision. What’s most important is to not let anything, not even your cycle, keep you from dancing.