At the tender age of 18, I purchased my very own menstrual cup and never looked back. I’ve been an avid user of menstrual cups for almost eight years, and I want to share with you why.
The convenience and freedom my cup has afforded me on my long-term travels has been incredible. I can go to the beach without worrying that a rogue tampon string may be dangling from my bikini, and can swim in any pool, sea, or lake, completely leak-free! I’ve gone on sweaty hikes, taken cramped over-night buses, and slept butt-naked - perfectly confident in the knowledge my period would not hinder my travel experiences.
I’ve been travelling solo for the past year, during which time I’ve been learning about minimalism, frugality, and zero waste living. Each item in my backpack has undergone scrupulous inspection: “Does this serve me a purpose? Do I really need it? Is it as efficient & cost-effective?” My menstrual cup passed these tests with flying colours. In fact, behind my passport, phone, purse, and laptop, I’d say my cup is the most important item in my backpack.
As I walked past the feminine hygiene aisle in a New Zealand supermarket, I was shocked by how expensive tampons and pads were; clocking in at an average of 9 NZD for sanitary care, using a menstrual cup had unwittingly saved me hundreds of dollars!
I spent six weeks working at a hostel in Kuala Lumpur. During this time, I met lots of female travellers wanting to borrow tampons, or asking where they could find cheap period pads late at night. Of course, I would point them in the right direction of where to stock up, but I also took the opportunity to spread the message of how liberating the switch to a menstrual cup can be!
I spoke with countless women who were fed up with having to stock their backpacks up with tampons or making night-time runs to 7/11’s to purchase over-priced period pads. Like myself, they were keen to reduce their contribution to landfills and ditch the disposables, and were seeking an alternative.
Most of the women I talked to hadn’t even heard of a menstrual cup and listened with delight as I reeled off the benefits of using them. Of those who had, they had yet to take the plunge and try one out for themselves. I made friends with a lovely woman who had recently made the switch, and watching her talk animatedly to me about the positive impact a menstrual cup would have not just on her travels, but on her life, filled me with excitement.
It was this experience that prompted me to launch Zero. My goals were clear: create an eco-friendly reusable product that, in addition to being zero-waste and economically beneficial, would provide resources for all things menstruation. For all women, everywhere.
Travel broadened my perspective so that I was able to pin down the core ethos I wanted to uphold: convenience, sustainability, simplicity.
And thus, Zero cup was born.
Travel & Zero
While travelling long-term can present its own challenges, I believe that worrying about your period should not be one of them.
Whether you’re away for a week or travelling for years on end, you won’t have to stock up on single-use products. Personally, I like to travel as simply and as lightweight as possible, so using a menstrual cup means I don’t have to fill my bag with tampons or pads.
More Time Travelling
Switching to a menstrual cup cuts down the time spent in convenience stores or pharmacies in search for pads or tampons down. You’ll cherish memories of the times you trekked the Himalayas or surfed in Bali, but do you really want to remember the time you were searching for a tampon in Cambodia? Probably not.
12 Hours of Wear
Say goodbye to using questionable toilet facilities. Adios, gross roadside rest-room, it IS you, not me!
It’s recommended to empty and rinse your cup every 8-12 hours, which means you are protected against leaks for longer. Bearing in mind that one menstrual cup can hold 4x as much blood as a tampon, you’ll find you won’t need to empty your cup as often as you might have thought.
When worn correctly, Zero will offer you the ultimate peace of mind: no leaks! Menstrual cups are held in place by your vaginal muscles and form a light suction seal which guarantees you’ll be 100% leak free. No activity is off limits; you can go whitewater rafting, hike mountains, or partake in acro yoga. With the worry of leaks eradicated, you can focus on YOU!
Better For Your Body
Zero is made from 100% medical grade silicone and is free from bleaches, chemicals, pesticides, and toxins routinely found in tampons or pads. One of the greatest challenges that comes with travelling long-term is keeping healthy. I spend time keeping fit and searching for the healthiest food options, so why would I use chemical-laden tampons?
One Zero cup will save you hundreds of dollars in the long-term. After 6-8 months of use, you’ll already have recouped the money you would have spent on tampons or pads, and from then on, it’s essentially free! Want to know more, check out https://zerocup.co.uk/pages/cost-effective.
I like to live a frugal & minimalist lifestyle, so for me, this is the ultimate! All that wasted money on disposable menstrual products is now put to better use. I can afford a nicer hostel room every now and then, treat myself to a fancy meal, or get a massage when I’m on my period.
Easy To Use
Though menstrual cups do have an initial learning curve, once you get the hang of it they’re incredibly easy to use. There are many videos on YouTube that offer helpful advice for beginners. Personally, I like to insert & empty my cup out when I take a shower. Guaranteed to have no mess, and I do feel mighty fresh after!
If I’m travelling to a country that doesn’t have potable water, or I am out camping, I usually use bottled water to rinse my cup out, or submerge it in freshly boiled water for a minute. Easy peasy.
Ditching the disposables and switching to reusable items has made me a more conscious traveller. I try to travel sustainably and use eco-friendly items as much as possible. Using a menstrual cup reduces the amount of plastic that ends up in our oceans and landfills, and doesn't need to be replaced for years.
You’ll never be caught out when your period starts because you can store your menstrual cup in your handbag or backpack. It’s tiny, inconspicuous, and durable. Each cup comes with a cute, yet discreet, storage bag for when it’s not in use.
Try it for yourself!
If you’re interested in switching to a menstrual cup, you can get yours for an introductory price of £16.99, plus FREE world-wide shipping. Limited stock available.
Rebecca Da Silva is a small business owner (seriously, she’s very tiny) and freelance writer. She is the founder of Zero menstrual cups and spends her time breaking the taboo around menstruation. Visit www.zerocup.co.uk to learn more about sustainable period products. Rebecca enjoys living out of a tiny backpack, calling new places “home” - for a short while, at least - and slow, long-term travel. You can follow her journey on Instagram @_becular or stop by her blog becular.wordpress.com.