Health & Lifestyle
Everything you need to know about using menstrual cups
With the recent rise in the price of pads, many women are thinking of other choices to save more money during their monthly cycle.
Although most women are used to sanitary pads and tampons for that time of the month, Menstrual cups can be used for the same purpose.
A menstrual cup is a type of reusable feminine hygiene product. It’s a small, flexible funnel-shaped cup made of rubber or silicone that you insert into your vagina to catch and collect period fluid.
Every 4–12 hours (depending on the amount of flow), the cup is removed, emptied, rinsed, and reinserted.
Studies have shown that the cups can hold more blood than other methods leading many women to use them as an eco-friendly alternative to tampons.
How to use menstrual cup
Due to the difference in the sizes, you might have to see a gynecologist before you get one for you to determine your size. Other factors like (age, length of your cervix, whether or not you have a heavy flow, firmness, and flexibility of the cup, cup capacity, strength of your pelvic floor muscles, and if you’ve given birth through your vagina )are considered.
Many women prefer using a menstrual cup for the following reasons.
1. Budget friendly
Unlike tampons and pads that you have to buy every month, you can use a menstrual cup for more than 5 months provided you sterilize it properly.
2. It allows sex during menstruation
Most reusable cups need to be taken out before you have sex, but the soft disposable ones can stay in while you get intimate. Not only will your partner not feel the cup, but you also won’t have to worry about leaks.
3. Holds more blood
A menstrual cup could hold about one to two ounces of menstrual flow. Tampons, on the other hand, can only hold up to a third of an ounce.
4. Reduces odour
Pads and Tampons absorb the fluids and held in semi-coagulated form against the cervix which makes it possible for it to produce odour after some time. With a menstrual cup, the menstrual fluid is collected after it flows from the cervix and is held in liquid form thereby no absorption takes place which is equal to no odour.
The steps below will show you how to insert a menstrual cup
- Wash your hands thoroughly.
- Apply water or water-based lube to the rim of the cup.
- Tightly fold the menstrual cup in half, holding it in one hand with the rim facing up.
- Insert the cup, rim up, into your vagina like you would a tampon without an applicator. It should sit a few inches below your cervix.
- Once the cup is in your vagina, rotate it. It will spring open to create an airtight seal that stops leaks.
How to take menstrual cup out
After 4–12 hours of use (depending on the amount of flow), the cup is removed by reaching up to its stem to find the base. Simply pulling on the stem is not recommended to remove the cup, as that can create suction. The base of the cup is pinched to release the seal, and the cup is removed.
After emptying, a menstrual cup should be rinsed or wiped and reinserted. It can be washed with a mild soap and sterilized in boiling water for a few minutes at the end of the cycle. Alternatively, sterilizing solutions (usually developed for baby bottles and breast pump equipment) may be used to soak the cup. Specific cleaning instructions vary by brand.