Menstrual Cups: Your Questions Answered
Menstrual cups are becoming more and more popular with women these days. It’s either they are preached or frowned upon a lot. These cups offer a more cost-effective, eco-friendly, and less leakage option for women to manage their menstruation.
Even though many women patronize menstrual cups, there are still a large number of women who are reluctant to use them. The main reason being that it can get unsanitary when taking out the cup and the fear that it may cause discomfort. To know more about menstrual cups, read below.
What is a menstrual cup?
A menstrual cup is a bell-shaped object that you insert in your vaginal canal to collect menstrual fluid, which you can empty, clean, and insert again when necessary. It sits right below the cervix. The materials used are flexible and soft silicone, plastic, or rubber, which are reusable.
The menstrual cup has been around since the 1930s. It was still a taboo then because of the religious and cultural beliefs of people about touching the genitals and touching the menstrual fluid. Further, it’s still not used as much as tampons and pads, as 98% of American women still use tampons and pads religiously.
It can be worn for an average of 4-12 hours, depending on how heavy the flow is. After this, you take them out, clean, and insert back in. However, some brands make disposable menstrual cups. A cup can be used up to 10 years, depending on how you take care of them.
Is it safe to use?
Menstrual cups are safer to use than tampons. With them, there is less risk of getting Toxic Shock Syndrome that is usually present when using super-absorbent tampons. Also, your vagina is not dried up, so the healthy bacteria are still in your feminine area. Studies also show that there is reduced bacterial vaginosis and candidiasis in using menstrual cups.
Will it fit me?
Size is the essential factor of the menstrual cup. Having the right size of the menstrual cup means comfort and no leakage. Some doctors recommend that you know whether you have a long vaginal canal or a short vaginal canal. By identifying, you will also see whether you will need big size or small size.
Bigger sizes are also recommended for those who have already given birth vaginally. The smaller sizes, like the small daisy cup, are recommended for women who have not yet experienced intercourse. They are also perfect for first-time menstrual cup users and women who have not given birth yet. Smaller sizes are also ideal for those who have a low cervix.
Some brands offer small and big sizes of menstrual cups, so you will find a size that is right for you. If one doesn’t fit, don’t be afraid to try another one in a different brand or size. You might find the perfect size for you.
How do you put them in and get them out?
Getting them inside your vaginal canal can be awkward and uncomfortable at first. However, over time, you will learn techniques on how to comfortably place them inside your vaginal canal and remove them. Below is the step by step process on how to put the cup inside.
- Sanitize the menstrual cup by soaking it in boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Also, wash your hands with water and soap so that your hands are clean when touching your feminine area.
- Fold the cup before inserting it. There are many ways to fold the cup so that it will fit your vaginal opening. You can fold them in half, C-fold or U-fold, punch-down fold, or 7-fold.
- You can now insert the cup. You can do it by squatting or standing up, depending on what’s comfortable for you. Push it, making the rim face upward. Once the rim is inside, push it more until the cup unfolds inside.
- The cup should pop open. Make sure that the cup unfolds inside. Reach out for the base of the cup. It should feel oval or round. If there are folds, then twist the menstrual cup until it pops open or unfolds. Once twisted, it will make a suction or a seal to avoid leakage.
- After 4-12 hours, you can remove them by pulling the stem of the cup and use your abdominal muscles to help push the cup out. Once slightly pulled out, pinch the base to remove the suction or seal. Keep the cup upright to avoid spillage.
How to sanitize them?
It would be best if you kept the menstrual cup clean. Once out from your vaginal canal, wash it with water and soap. Sanitize the cup by putting in boiling water for 5-10 minutes. However, do not leave it longer because it might ruin the cup. Make sure that it is clean before putting it back inside your body.
A menstrual cup is a good option when experiencing menstruation. Do not be afraid to try it out. It may take several trials and errors before you get the right size and the proper technique to use it. You might discover that menstrual cups are perfect for you.