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The Menstrual Cup is being marketed as the newest and best feminine hygiene product as an eco-friendly alternative to pads and tampons in the market.
Apparently, you can leave it in for longer than a tampon and it’s environment-friendly.
If you’ve been wondering what a menstrual cup is, you’ve come to the right place because we have all the details down below – so keep reading!
What is a menstrual cup?
Even though menstrual cups have only recently reached the mainstream, menstrual cups have actually been around for ages, with the menstrual cup invented in 1932, although they didn’t find success until the 1980s.
Menstrual cups are generally made of silicone and are used internally. It captures your blood flow and it can be kept in up to 12 hours. You just simply remove it, rinse out the blood, and then can reinsert it. The shape can vary depending on the brand, but they are generally shaped like a bell and made of medical-grade silicone.
How to use a menstrual cup?
You can buy it online from most stores before you buy it
First, you have to identify the size of cup you need.
How do you pick the right size of the cup?
Generally, most of the brands sold in two sizes i.e. small & large size.
SIZE 1 (SMALL)
- Light to Normal Flow (Smaller cup size hold 25-27ml)
- Low/Medium Cervix Height
- For Teenagers or younger under 30 years
- Women who have not delivered vaginally
- Best for Pre-Pregnancy
SIZE 2 (Large)
- If you experience heavy flow (larger cup holds around 30ml)
- Any cervix height
- Female over 30 years
- Larger Volume for experienced cup users
- Mothers who delivered vaginally
Using your menstrual cup is easy once you get the hang of it, but it is a learning curve. A menstrual cup creates a “seal” in the vaginal canal, so blood can’t escape and is instead “caught” by the cup. The beauty of a menstrual cup is that once you get a hang of it, you won’t even feel anything.
How to insert your menstrual cup properly?
You obviously can’t insert the menstrual cup unfolded, After you wash your hands, you need to fold the menstrual cup in order to insert it. There are a number of different folds, the most common being the “punch down” and the “C fold”. You will probably want to try both of them to see which one you prefer and have a Google to find other folds as well if those two don’t work for you.
Once you’ve got your menstrual cup folded, you’re ready to go.
You need to keep a firm grip of the folded menstrual cup and insert it like you would a tampon. Once it’s inside you can let go of the hold, and if everything’s gone well, it should completely unfold.
How do you check it if it inserted correctly?
Use your finger to check if it’s correctly unfolded – if it’s still folded in some parts, it won’t seal and it will leak. If it isn’t unfolded all the way gently pinch at the base and move it around so it unfolds. If it’s unfolded and you’re feeling good, congratulations! That’s the insertion done!
Make sure you should feel comfortable to do your daily rituals such as feel free to walk, sit, move, jump, etc. without your cup falling out. Throw out the negative thoughts during this process which could let you feel the discomfort of doing these daily moments.
Just Set & Forget.
When to take out the inserted menstrual cup?
After a few hours (up to 12) you will need to remove your menstrual cup.
Before we get to the details of how to do so, there are a few key pointers that you should know. Unlike a tampon, the stem is NOT for pulling. It’s natural to want to pull on the stem, but don’t!
Do you remember that seal? Any pulling is just going to make the seal stronger. We suppose to do when about to remove the menstrual cup, i.e. BREAKING the seal. So we need to fold the cup up a bit so we can break the seal and then remove it.
Especially if you’re a beginner, we would recommend removing your menstrual cup in the shower. It’s not that removing your menstrual cup is fundamentally messy;
It’s just that it can take a few times to get it right.
The first step is to relax. We mean it. Trying to remove a menstrual cup when your muscles are tense is not a nice experience.
Next, you’ll want to find your menstrual cup (this is what the stem is actually for!) and then pinch the bottom of it.
Keep hold of that pinch and pull out the menstrual cup. It’s not a difficult move, but it takes a few goes to get right, so don’t be put off if it’s uncomfortable the first few times.
Once you’ve emptied your menstrual cup, empty it, give it a wash and reinsert.
Cleaning and care
During your period a good rinse with water is all that’s necessary. Make sure you’re rinsing properly and don’t forget those holes at the top.
If you have to change in a public bathroom and don’t have access to a tap, you can just wipe your cup with toilet paper and rinse it the next time you remove it.
Between periods, you should disinfect your cup, either by boiling it for 3-5 minutes (watch that it doesn’t touch the bottom of the pan!) or by using special disinfectant wipes.
Then keep your menstrual cup in its bag until the next time.
What if you travel & don’t get boil water to clean?
Yes, There’s an alternative to it,
Another great option for sanitizing your cup instead of boiling is to wipe it with 70% isopropyl (rubbing alcohol). You may find buying the little rubbing alcohol wipes convenient for traveling as well.
Note: Avoid harsh cleansers like vinegar or bleach and strongly perfumed or fragranced cleansers that may cause the silicone to fade.
Also, Never ever try to disinfect your cup with Antibacterial soaps, it disrupts the natural pH level of your vagina and leads to irritations and yeast infection.
Should You clean the cup every time when you take it out or how often?
You need to clean the cup every 12 hours during your period. If your flow is heavier and you’re emptying more frequently in the day you don’t have to wash it every time. You may wipe it out or rinse and reinsert (quick tip: this is also what you may do if emptying in a public bathroom. Then just wash more thoroughly when you’re home).
*Don’t forget to wash your hand properly before taking it out to keep it away from any possibility of bacterial infection.
What are the benefits & drawbacks of it?
It can be kept in up to 12 hours. And can hold up to three tampons worth of blood. Many users find they only need to change theirs once in the morning and then again at night, completely forgetting about it during the day
Environmentally friendly. With proper care, you can keep using your menstrual cup for between 5 to 10 years! No more waste from single-use tampons when you switch to using a menstrual cup
Low to no risk of bacterial infections. Unlike tampons, menstrual cups are not associated with bacterial infections & can be used throughout your flow. Because the menstrual cup catches your blood rather than absorbs it, you can use it throughout your period, even on light flow days. It also won’t dry you out like a tampon.
Monitoring your flow. Because you will get the chance to see your flow, it means you can monitor any changes.
No smell, no leaks. Once you’ve got it right, your cup shouldn’t leak. And because the blood doesn’t dry in the cup (like with a tampon or pad) there’s no smell
In our opinions, it’s worth it, but it does take a few tries to get right, there’s no denying it.
May Cause allegoric reaction or vaginal irritation – Most of the time, it might occur due to mistakenly touch the cup with infected hands or forget to wash hands before taking out, doesn’t clean properly after your periods & wrap it back in your begs. So, it is required a little attention during the process.
Upfront cost – You might need to try a few brands and/or sizes until you find one you like. If you don’t like internal period products, then the menstrual cup probably won’t be for you.
So is it right for me? There’s a reason almost everyone who uses a menstrual cup ends up sounding like they’ve joined a cult! If it works for you, it’s really great!
It’s inexpensive, lasts for years (no running to the store because you’ve forgotten to stock up) and you often only need to change it twice a day!
We would say if you’re currently using tampons, don’t mind the slightly higher upfront costs, and are interested in the idea, then you should definitely go for it! You’ll probably be left wondering why you ever used disposable pads and tampons!
Note: *Check your cup regularly for signs of degradation and odor and replace as required. We suggest replacing your cup every year
Here you can feel the first experience to make it more familiar about this product.