What Is A Menstrual Cup?
A menstrual cup is a bell-shaped cup that a person can insert into the vagina during the time of a period.
The menstrual blood collects in the cup and there is no chance of leakage as well.
Menstrual cups are made of silicone, rubber, or plastic and can be reused. Empty the cup after use and wash it with soap and water and it can be used again.
Disposable menstrual cups are also available, which can be thrown away after use. A reusable cup can be worn for 6-12 hours before it is removed and washed. Those with heavier menstrual flow need to empty the cup more frequently.
How To Use A Menstrual Cup?
The menstrual cup has two main parts: a cup and a thin stem.
If using for the first time, read the instruction and wash and sterilize the cup accordingly. Wash the hands before inserting the cup.
While inserting, fold the top of the cup and push it into the vagina. Some find it easier to insert in a squatting position. It can also be inserted by raising one foot on the edge of the bathtub.
Once the rim of the cup is in, push it further into the vagina until the entire cup and stem are inside. The cup should pop open, preventing leakage of menstrual blood.
To remove the cup, the person can bear down slightly as during the bowel movement. Vaginal muscles can also be used to push the cup father down. Use forefinger and thumb reach the vagina and grab the stem of the cup and pull it down.
After removing the cup, clean it properly. You can also boil the cup for 5-10 minutes between the periods. It can be difficult to empty and clean the cup thoroughly in the public bathroom. Make sure to clean it properly in the next opportunity.
Pros Of Using A Menstrual Cup
Using a menstrual cup has many advantages that include:
- Financial Savings: Though menstrual cups can be a costlier one-time purchase, but can be reused. Compared with tampons and pads, using a menstrual cup save money.
- Fewer Cramps: Some anecdotal reports of people claim fewer or lesser menstrual cramps after using menstrual cups. However, some have been found reporting more cramps after using them.
- Comfort: Some people find menstrual cups more comforting than tampons that cause vaginal dryness.
- Reduces Environmental Impact: Pads and tampons are single-use and come in lots of packaging. Cups are designed to be used for years and reduce the menstrual products in landfills. It is found that more than 400 million pounds of sanitary pads and tampons end up in landfills.(1) Using menstrual cups can lower this burden.
Menstrual cups do not contain dioxin, which according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is a cause of cancer in humans.(1)
Cons Of Using Menstrual Cups
Using a menstrual cup at times can be messy for first-time users. They can create a mess on inserting and removing them. Some people feel uncomfortable about their menstrual blood and cannot use it at all.
- If someone is using the wrong size or fitting it improperly, they can be uncomfortable using it.
- Very rare but a few with the heavy menstrual flow or those who get clots in their blood may experience leaks.
- Removing the cup can be tricky, so time it accordingly, that you remove it in the comfort of home.
- Menstrual cups are not IUD (intrauterine device) friendly. Those with IUD can ask their doctor for some other options.
Also, menstrual cups are not for everybody. Discuss with your doctor in the case of the following options:
- If you get allergy with rubber or latex
- Those with TSS (toxic shock syndrome)
- If suffering from vaginal infection
- If undergone a gynecological surgery, given birth, or miscarriage
- If you never had vaginal sex and are concerned about maintaining hymen.
Numbers of females are using menstrual cups and it’s suiting them well. If you want a period free of pads and tampons, a menstrual cup is a right choice.
If in doubt consult a doctor for the right choice.