Are Sustainable Period Products More Expensive?
Are Sustainable Period Products More Expensive?
It’s no secret that switching to a sustainable period cup can significantly reduce menstrual waste, but at what cost? As much as we try our best to opt for the more environmentally friendly options out there in our everyday lives, the truth is, it isn’t always cheap.
While the initial cost of a menstrual cup is expensive and can be off-putting to other period products, comparatively, you’ll find that you will actually be saving significant amounts of money over time!
Let’s find out how…
Average Cost of Periods
First, let’s take a look at the average cost of a period, depending on what type of non-sustainable menstrual products you are currently using. Keep in mind these costs are associated with very generalized averages and can vary from woman to woman.
The average woman will menstruate from the age of 13 to around 51 once a month for an average of three to seven days. Using these figures, it’s estimated that a woman will have 456 periods throughout their lives spanning 2.280 days, give or take.
Tampons should be switched out every six hours, meaning that an average five-day period would require the use of 20 tampons each cycle. That means one woman will use approximately 9.120 tampons in their lifetime.
For an average tampon, a package containing 16 tampons costs you around €4,69, which comes out to €0,29 per tampon. Multiply that by the 9.120 tampons required for your lifetime, and you’re looking at €2.644,80!
Pad users, don’t think that you’re far off in costs. On average, a large package containing 224 regular pads costs €40,89, making them priced at €0,18 per pad. Multiplying this by 3.000 makes it come out to a total cost of €540 over a lifetime.
This study conducted by HuffPost recently shed light on the additional costs associated with a woman’s period. In addition to sanitary products, it’s also essential to account for other expenses that add up over our lifetimes, including:
- Pain medication for cramps (approximately €1.030,34)
- Pantyliners for backup (approximately €371,42)
- Replacement underwear (approximately €1.910,17)
- Acne medication to manage breakouts (approximately €79,48)
- Birth control to manage periods (approximately €9.550,86)
- Heating pads for cramps (approximately €33,51)
All Together Now
Adding all of these figures together means that the average woman will spend anywhere from €13.515,78 to €15.620,58 in their lifetime managing their periods.
Total Cost Savings with Menstrual Cups
While some of these costs will not change by switching to a sustainable period cup, the costs associated with tampons and pads most assuredly will.
The Phia Cup, made from soft, reusable silicone, can last you up to ten years! So, let’s say you will need to purchase four in your lifetime to cover the average 38 years’ worth of periods. At the cost of €35,99 per Phia Cup, that means you’ll spend a total of €143,96 over your lifetime.
I’m not sure about you, but for me, this one is a no-brainer. €143,96 for a lifetime of period coverage versus €540 for pads or even €2.644,80 for tampons is a HUGE cost saving.
Other Benefits Included in the Menstrual Cup Experience
It’s pretty clear to see that menstrual cups are the way to go when it comes to finding the most cost-effective solution to managing your period. But what are the other benefits you can look forward to?
Pads are made up of non-biodegradable plastics, and, as such, it can take up to 800 years to decompose just one. Even worse, pads are nearly 90% plastic, and almost all tampons have some sort of plastic integrated into their packaging. The average woman will end up throwing away approximately 400 pounds of packaging from period products.
If you’re looking to reduce waste, a sustainable menstrual cup can last up to ten years. Just think of the amount of tampon and pad waste you are saving the environment over a lifetime of periods.
Menstrual cups can hold more volume than traditional sanitary items. The Phia Cup can hold up to 28mL of blood instead of tampons, which hold 5mL for regular size and 10mL for super. As a result, you don’t have to visit the restroom as frequently, and leaks are also less likely to occur.
Safer to Use
Toxic shock syndrome (TSS), which can be life-threatening, is commonly associated with the use of tampons as they absorb your blood. Since menstrual cups collect the blood, the threat of TSS is diminished with each period.
Additionally, studies have shown that pads and tampons contain harmful chemicals, such as dioxin and bleach. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), dioxins have been known to be highly toxic and cancer-causing in humans.
Menstrual cups have proven to be safe and effective for managing the period of women with an IUD. For more information, check out all you need to know about using an IUD and menstrual cup article.
Best of All Worlds
When it comes down to it, choosing which period products are best for you is a personal choice. While choosing the sustainable option is the better option for the planet, it might not be what’s best for you, and that’s okay. Ultimately, it’s up to you to pay attention to the signs your body is giving you.
When in doubt, try it out. See how your body reacts. You’ll never know. Maybe a menstrual cup experience is everything you never knew you needed for your period. Keep in mind that with the use of a sustainable menstrual cup, not only are you helping to save the environment but also your wallet, your body, and, maybe best of all, your patience.