There are tons of important choices you have to make in life... like deciding which pair of sparkly socks you’re going to wear today or whether you should admit to your partner that you ate all the leftovers from last nights’ dinner.
Choosing which menstrual cup to buy is a big decision. You’re going to be putting it in your vagina and wearing it pretty much 24/7 while on your period.
You need a cup that’s good for your health so you can feel like your best-self every cycle. But how do you spot such a cup? Keep reading to learn.
Plastic-Free For Zero Toxicity
Why should you avoid period cups containing plastic? Because they can be as toxic as a bad relationship when it comes to your health.
During the production of commercial plastic, industrial chemicals – some of which have harmful qualities – are added to the product to make it more durable and malleable.
This is why Lunette Cups are 100% plastic free (as is our packaging). So our customers don't have to come in contact with the following nasties:
The Terrible Truth Behind BPA
BPA stands for bisphenol A. It is often added to plastic to make it resistant to wear and tear.
In the health world, BPA is a known endocrine disruptor: it can wreak havoc on your hormones and mimic the effect of estrogen.
Even natural changes in your hormones can dramatically affect the way you feel (we hate you PMS). But hormonal imbalances? That’s a whole new level of woe which can cause:
- unexplained weight gain or weight loss
- very dry skin or rashes
- changes in blood pressure
- changes in heart rate
- irritability and anxiety
- unexplained and long-term fatigue
- reduced sex drive
- breast tenderness
- deepening of the voice in females
BPA has also been linked to poor heart health, as discovered by David Melzer, a researcher at the University of Exeter. His research team found that high BPA levels were connected to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and elevated liver enzymes (which indicates a damaged liver).
Scary, huh? And that’s just one chemical that could be in menstrual cups made with plastic.
BPA’s Evil Twin: Phthalate
Phthalate (also known as DEHP) is another chemical that’s added to plastic during the production process. It’s used to soften the material and can be found in things like cosmetics and personal care products.
Again, it is a known endocrine disruptor. While more testing needs to be done to confirm the ill-health effects, there are signs that phthalates are toxic when exposed to the human body as The Guardian reports:
“In the past few years, researchers have linked phthalates to asthma, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, breast cancer, obesity and type II diabetes, low IQ, neurodevelopmental issues, behavioral issues, autism spectrum disorders, altered reproductive development, and male fertility issues.”
If that isn’t enough to put you off buying a period cup containing plastic, we don’t know what is!
It’s clear that plastic-free is the way to go. But what is a cup made from that’s good for your body?
Choose Medical Grade Silicone
Medical grade silicone is the magic material when it comes to a body-loving period cup. It’s hypoallergenic (kind to your skin) and contains no harmful additives or chemicals (its BPA and phthalate-free).
‘Medical grade’ means the silicone has been tested and approved by the FDA for biocompatibility. In other words, it does not produce toxic responses when exposed to the body.
If you’re ever unsure whether your silicone cup contains plastic, give it a good smell! Medical grade silicone is odorless, so if your menstrual cup has that strong plastic-y aroma (like the way an inflatable unicorn smells), chances are it has some nasty chemicals hiding in it.
At this point you might wonder, ‘There are lots of cups made from medical grade silicone. So which is best?’
To find out, dig a little deeper into the ways different companies test their cups.
Only the Best for Your Beautiful Self
Choosing a cup made from medical grade silicone is a safe bet. But there’s no guarantee that there won’t be some chemical residue due to cross-contamination from the production process.
It’s a bit like the way oats are processed on the same equipment as wheat (which is why not all oats are gluten-free).
However, some companies go the extra mile to ensure their menstrual cups are 100% free from contamination. Like us!
We recently tested our cup (which is made from medical grade silicone and 100% free from plastic) for chemical safety against others on the market. A leading chemical research facility in Denmark found that our product was the only one to pass with zero chemical residue.
The lesson here is to check if the menstrual cup company has done any extra testing to make sure their cups are as toxic-free as can be. That way, you can ensure you only spend your cash on a cup that loves your body like no other.
Share Your Menstrual Cup Stories
Magical beings, I turn to you. Have you ever had a bad reaction to a menstrual cup? And what do you look out for before making a purchase? We’d love to hear your stories, so please share on Twitter.