On an episode of 30 Rock, Liz Lemon summarized the crimson wave well when she yelled "Oh, my period! You're all fired!" and promptly fell to the floor. Okay, so maybe her exclamation was actually satirizing how women are popularly understood to experience their hormones. All the same, bleeding for five (or more) days a month can be yell-inducing, partly because it's logistically inconvenient; if you are ever without a tampon or pad (or both) — or if you go too long without swapping them out — your clothing and even your health can be at risk. Now, Swedish brand Intimina is looking to change all that with its new device, the Lily Cup — a compact, reusable cup that could forever replace your tampons and pads. Really.
As of now, menstrual cups — flexible receptacles that fit inside you and catch your menstrual flow — aren't a popular option. But, like with the IUD as an alternative to the pill, low rates of use may be explained by low rates of familiarity with the product. Although there are menstrual cup varieties already on the market (DivaCup is a popular choice) the Lily Cup has the extra benefit of collapsibility: It fits in a lip-balm-sized container, so you can take it with you wherever you go.
And, like other menstrual cups, the Lily's main selling point is that you can wear it all day — okay, up to 10 hours — before you have to change it. Menstrual cups are reusable and therefore environmentally smart; they can, in fact, replace 1,625 tampons (we haven't done the math on how many drugstore runs that saves you). An easier self-care routine is great in and of itself, but one that's good for the planet — and your wallet — too? Win-win-win.