…being a woman

Sorry guys, this one is for the ladies.  But if you’d like to learn a little be my guest and stick around.

Being a woman is expensive!  And I’m not just talking the hair products and the clothes and the beauty regimens.  I’m talking being a woman through no fault of our own and that monthly little friend that comes to visit.  It’s expensive!  Have you ever sat down and calculated how much those supplies cost?  For some thing you don’t want to deal with anyway, it’s insane.


  • An average pack comes with roughly 15-20 tampons at $4-$6 a pack
  • The average women menstruates give or take 6 days a month
  • Tampons have to be changed AT LEAST every 8 hours

Lets do the math the average cycle is about 6 day and instructions state pads and tampons need to be replaced minimum every 8 hours. (24 hours day / 8 hour tampon = 3 tampons/day x 6 days = 18 per cycle) that requires at least 18 tampons per period give or take depending on the woman.  Or roughly $5 a period in tampons.  If you’re like me and regardless of what those commercials tell you you don’t trust them not to leak so you probably use pads in conjunction with your tampons.  The price of pads are pretty comparable so you’re looking at about $5 a period in pads as well on the same scale as the tampons abovve.  So $10 per cycle assuming you have a perfect cycle.

Now what is that a year?  $10/month x 12 months = $120/year.  According to Women’s Health the average American girl gets their first period at 12 years old and their last between 45 and 55.  For easy math we’ll consider that 12 years to 52 years. 52-12=40 years.  At $120/year for pads and tampons over the course of 40 years ($120 x 40 years) comes out to $4800.00 over the course of a woman’s lifetime.

$4800.00 on something you can’t control.  Isn’t it a little mind boggling you have to pay for that when you have little to no control over that part of your body?  (Keep in mind this amount is with the perfect cycle and minimum requirements.)  If you’re like me you wondered, is there any other option?  Can I just hang out on the toilet for a week straight?  Well, you could but I assume your bottom would start to hurt and your work may wonder where you are every month.  But don’t worry, there are other options!

What other options do I have then?

  • Reusable (usually cotton) pads
  • Sea Sponge tampons (no you can’t wash dishes with these)
  • Menstrual cups (reusable)
  • Menstrual cups (disposable)
  • For more info on all options check here.

Now I’m still learning about different options so, I’ll share what I have personal experience with.  Menstrual cups that are reusable such as the moon cup, diva cup, luna cup etc. and reusable pads.

How on earth do you reuse a pad?!  Yeah, that was my first question too followed by “ew why would you want to wash that?” Reusable pads make a nice argument from the point of view of money and environmental factors, you reuse these pads instead of throwing them in the garbage after every use.

You can buy a set of 6-8 pads for roughly $65-$85 so we’ll say 7 pads for $75.  Each pad under normal use lasts roughly 5 years.  If you use these pads as backup for a menstrual cup you probably won’t need any additional pads outside of the original 7.  Based on the above facts of having your period for 40 years we’re spending $75 every 5 years (40years/5years=8 times we would have to buy new pads)  8 times of buying at $75 each time = $600.  With reusable pads in a best case scenario you’ll be spending roughly $600 on pads in your life time.  If you assume you’re not going to use a menstrual cup and only pads you can double that to $1200 in a life time for only pads.

Now that still leaves the math of the menstrual cup.  Those run roughly around $40-60 on their own for a cup that lasts up to 10 years or $10-$20 for a cup that is replaced yearly.  My personal preference is the moon cup as it lasts 10 years and costs about $40 depending where you order it from.  Now lets do some more fun math.  We’re now talking $40 every 10 years for period protection.  Using our 40 years again, we’re looking at changing every 10 years at $40 each time.  (40/10 = 4 times we would have to replace it)  $40 x 4 times = $160 a lifetime for menstrual protection.  Add that into our estimate of $600 for reusable pads and we’re at $760 a lifetime in menstrual protection (that is good for the environment) vs traditional products that equalled out to $4800.00 in a lifetime.

That’s a huge difference! If you have any questions on the products written about see our sources below.  Questions or comments?  Leave us a comment!




Welcome to What I Learned About…! In the coming weeks I’m going to share things I’ve learned in life so maybe you can learn something new too. The best way to share knowledge and ideas is to tell a friend (or you know strangers on the internet). So let’s enjoy some knowledge!

Feel free to leave comments if there’s anything you want to know more about. I’ll take reasonable requests along with the items I have planned. So sit back and enjoy the ride!

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