The Silicone Menstrual Cup
A popular alternative to pads and tampons is the menstrual cup. Although menstrual cups have been around since at least the 1800s, they were not patented until the 1930s by a woman named Leona Chalmers. By the 1960s they fell out of use. Recently however, there has been a resurgence in the use of menstrual cups. Menstrual cups are inserted into the vagina where they collect blood and can remain up to 11 hours before needing to be removed. These menstrual cups are primarily made of silicone or rubber and can last up to 10 years (depending on the brand). The average cost of one menstrual cup is around $29 and save an estimated cost of $140 to $200 a year (according to one menstrual cup company, LunaCup). They generally come in two sizes, one for females who have not yet given childbirth and one for females who have.