We’ve all been there–Mother Nature starts your monthly Shark Week, and in your mad scramble to get out of the house and off to work, you throw a handful of tampons into your purse. This strategy works for Day 1 and Day 2 (maybe Day 3 if you’re lucky), but then something horrible happens: You reach for your tampon in your purse, and YOU HAVE ALREADY USED THE LAST ONE. Why does this always happen month after month?! Imagine a world where you are never caught mid period without your provisions. Dramatics aside, there are some serious benefits to using menstrual cups to manage your flow.

Menstrual cups are a reusable and eco-friendly alternative to pads or tampons. They’re made of silicon or latex, not cotton and fibers, and collect your flow instead of absorbing it. You may have never heard of menstrual cups, but they have been around since the 1930s. The first menstrual cup for the United States was produced in 1987, and they have been getting more well known in recent years.

Not only are menstrual cups environmentally friendly, they are safer for the user than tampons. Tampons can harbor bacteria and are linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome. This risk is increased by wearing a tampon that is the wrong absorbency or for too long a time period, both common practices by women who cannot afford the proper selection and quantity of feminine care. Tampons can also have irritating fragrances and harmful chemicals, in addition to robbing your body of important fluids that help regulate pH. None of these are true for menstrual cups. Want to know the cherry on top? (Pun intended.) You can go up to 12 hours between removals, making it more convenient for us women on the go!

We believe menstrual cups are the best avenue for us to make a lasting impact on period poverty rather than a single use pad or tampon. We could provide 4 boxes of tampons that would last 4 months, OR we could provide 1 menstrual cup that could last 10 years with the same amount of funding! Let us be clear: in no way are we period shaming those who use alternative forms of feminine care. Safe and accessible feminine care is the perfect kind of feminine care.