The Menstrual Cup In 'The Last Of Us' Explained

In episode six of HBO's "The Last of Us," Maria leaves Ellie a menstrual cup on her bed. Although Ellie is slightly confused when she first sees the Diva Cup, it might be the best menstruation product option for a post-apocalyptic world.

According to WebMD, a menstrual cup is an option for people who don't want to use tampons or pads to manage their periods. It's made from silicone or rubber, and it sits in the vaginal walls to catch menstrual flow. Most menstrual cups are reusable, making them more eco-friendly than tampons or pads. They can hold up to an ounce of fluid and you can safely keep them in for up to 12 hours depending on the heaviness of your flow. There is a stem at the bottom of the cup to help you remove it. You simply rinse it and insert it again.

Pros and cons of the menstrual cup

Although the menstrual cup can be an expensive investment upfront — about $30 or $40 — you can use them for up to 10 years. You'll also reduce your carbon footprint because the tampons and pads won't wind up in landfills. A menstrual cup holds more than a tampon or pad, which means there's less of a chance of overnight leaks. You can also wear a menstrual cup during sex because your partner won't feel the dome-shaped cup. Menstrual blood has a noticeable odor, but a menstrual cup's seal won't allow the odor to escape.

According to Healthline, you and your doctor should talk about what size menstrual cup is best for you. The size could depend on your age, your degree of flow, the strength of your pelvic floor, and whether you've given birth vaginally. Inserting and removing a menstrual cup might be tricky, especially at first. It might help to use a water-based lubricant to help. Because you need to rinse out your menstrual cup, it might be embarrassing taking it to the sink of a public restroom, although you can always bring a bottle of water into the stall with you and rinse it out that way. If you have an IUD, you can still use a menstrual cup, but you may want to check with your doctor first.