Periods are not for the faint of heart. If you aren’t experiencing cramps, you are attempting to ensure that you are adequately protected during your heavier days. Some women can get by with only a tampon or a maxi pad. Others are faced with the prospect of wearing both — and changing them on a regular basis.
If you deal with this monthly, you’re undoubtedly wondering if there’s a better, more convenient, and eco-friendly way to go with the flow. Enter menstrual cups!
What Is a Menstrual Cup?
In short, a convenient reusable period cup is a small, flexible funnel-shaped cup made of rubber or silicone inserted into your vagina to catch and collect period fluid. Cups can store more blood than other techniques, thus many women prefer them as an eco-friendly alternative to tampons and pads. And, you can wear a cup for up to 12 hours, depending on your flow.
Menstrual cups come in a variety of sizes, but there is no standard size. However, most reusable menstrual cups come in two sizes. The small size is ideal for mild to medium flows, if you have not given birth, and if you are under the age of 30. While the big size is ideal for women who deal with light to heavy flows, have given birth, or are 30 or older.
Are Menstrual Cups Safe?
Menstrual cups are safe to use, as long a person follows the safety guidelines and opts for ones that meet the highest standards of quality. Therefore, a reusable period cup free of BPA, heavy metals, rubber and latex, will make you feel comfortable and keep you safe!
The colour in the cups is food quality and has passed EU and FDA standards. The Hello Cup’s unusual materials offer your cup a uniquely smooth design, and many have characterised it as “the most comfortable menstrual cup” on the market. When properly cared for, the Hello Cup will last at least 5 years.
How to Use a Menstrual Cup?
Consult your physician if you want to use a menstrual cup. Although you can buy any of the brands from online pharmacies or in most stores, you must first determine what size you’ll require. Most menstruation cup manufacturers provide both small and big sizes.
However, you and your doctor should examine the following factors when determining the appropriate menstrual cup size for you: your age, the length of your cervix, whether or not you have a heavy flow, the firmness and flexibility of your cup capacity, the strength of your pelvic floor muscles, and whether or not you’ve given birth vaginally.
It is normal to feel uneasy or apprehensive the first time you get your hands on a menstrual cup. However, “greasing” your cup can aid in the process. Lubricate the rim of your cup with water or water-based lubrication before inserting it.
If you can insert a tampon, you should have no trouble doing the same with a menstrual cup. Thoroughly wash your hands. Apply water or a water-based lubricant to the cup’s rim. Fold the menstrual cup in half and hold it in one hand, the rim facing up.
Place the cup into your vagina with the rim up, similar to a tampon without an applicator. It should be around an inch below your cervix. Rotate the cup once it’s in your vagina. It will spring open to provide an airtight seal that will prevent leaks.
If you’ve inserted the cup correctly, you shouldn’t be able to feel it. You should also be able to go about your daily tasks without your cup falling out. Consult your doctor if you are experiencing difficulty inserting it!
Depending on how thick your flow is, you can wear a menstrual cup for 6 to 12 hours. This implies you can use a cup to avoid spillage overnight. To take it out, thoroughly wash your hands. Insert your index and thumb inside your vagina.
Pull the cup’s stem carefully until you reach the base. When it’s time to remove the cup, pinch the base to release the seal and pull it out. When it’s finished, pour the cup into the sink or toilet.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Menstrual Cups?
Reusable cups are intended to be used for an extended period, even years, delivering significant cost savings over tampons and pads. Moreover, you won’t have to worry about unsightly odours billowing out at inconvenient times with menstruation cups because the fluid isn’t exposed to the air like it’s with pads and tampons. Vaginal pH and healthy microorganisms are also retained.
On the other hand, tampons should be changed every four to eight hours, depending on flow. You can use a menstrual cup for up to 12 hours before emptying it, giving you a long time frame to take advantage of.
However, this hygiene feminine product comes with a drawback. The most common complaint from patients is how difficult it is to empty the cup. Although most ladies come up with an appropriate technique and quickly get over the ‘ick factor’ with practice.
Younger girls and those who have never had intercourse may struggle to insert a reusable period cup. In addition, if you have an IUD, using a menstrual cup may pull the IUD strings and remove them. Consult your healthcare professional if you have any concerns about insertion as individual anatomy may make proper cup use challenging.
For example, if you have a lowered uterus or uterine prolapse, a menstrual cup may not fit properly. However, to make you feel more at ease about insertion, we suggest you speak with your provider and request them to walk you through the process during an office visit.