Menstrual Cup is the most economical menstrual product so far. The cup is made of 100% Medical Grade Silicone and approved by the FDA.
Over the course of their lives, menstruating women use nearly 12,000 pads or tampons. In landfills, these take hundreds of years to decompose. Menstrual cup are a sustainable, healthy, and convenient alternative to sanitary pads and tampons. They are leak-proof, require a change after 12 hours, and are free of chemicals, perfumes, and toxins.
What is a Menstrual Cup?
Menstrual Cup is a reusable bell shaped period blood collecting device that needs to be inserted vaginally. Made with 100% Medical Grade Silicone and approved by the FDA, it is the most economical menstrual product so far.
It is known that over the course of their lives, a menstruator uses nearly 12,000 pads or tampons. On reaching the landfills, these take hundreds of years to decompose, making it an extremely unsustainable option for long term use.
On the other hand, a Menstrual cup is a more sustainable, economical, convenient and a lot safer alternative to sanitary pads and tampons. A cup can last for up to ten years if properly maintained. They are leak-proof, require a change after 12 hours, and free of chemicals, perfumes and toxins.
A cup can last for up to ten years if properly maintained. Unfortunately, there are several myths and stigmas surrounding the use of menstrual cups. Here's the truth about the most common cup myths:
What size to buy
1. Small – 16ml – Recommended for 18 years + who have never given birth or given birth only by C section. The menstrual cup collects up to 16ml of blood and this size is the widely accepted one.
2. Medium – Ideal for early menstruators, (mainly teenagers) this cup collects up to 21ml of period blood. It can also come handy for the beginning and end of your cycle when the flow is less.
Choose your size
How to Use Menstrual Cup?
A menstrual cup is inserted vaginally and placed in your vaginal canal to collect the period flow. It is a simple process which takes some practice and before you know, you’ll be a pro at it.
- Wash your hands with soap and water - since we are using the fingers to insert the cup vaginally, it is imperative that hand hygiene cannot be compromised. You don’t want germs and bacteria entering the vaginal area to cause infections.
- Fold the cup so it is easier to insert - Since the cup has a wider top and cannot be inserted as is, there are several ways to fold the cup to make the insertion more comfortable. Rule of the thumb is to try as many as possible and see which one works for you, because what works for one, may not work for another. Also, some people prefer to wet the rim of the cup for easier insertion.
- Insert it into your vagina - relax your pelvic muscles and gently push the menstrual cup inside your vagina. Once inserted, give it a light twist so that it opens up and lodges itself a few inches below your cervix. Once it is set, an airtight seal will be automatically created. Ideally, you should not be able to feel your menstrual cup, that’s the sign of a job well done!
Ways to fold Menstrual Cup
There are popular ways of folding the menstrual cup. Here are the most commonly used ones-
1. C-Fold - also known as the U fold, is when you press the cup into a flat half and then fold it into half, to form a U or C. This is most commonly used amongst menstrual cup users, especially teenagers. Once inserted, this fold opens slowly inside the vaginal canal, hence making the process very gentle on you.
2. Punch Down - hold your menstrual cup in one hand and use the index finger of the other hand to push the center of the rim down inside the cup. Pinch the sides of the rim together to secure the fold, making it look like a distorted cone. For people who have difficulty inserting a menstrual cup vaginally, this is an ideal fold. Once inserted, it springs open and settles in quickly.
3. Seven Fold - imagine trying to make number 7 with the rim of the menstrual cup. Flatten the cup by pinching the rim together. Once closed, pull one end of the rim of the cup diagonally across to the opposite side of the cup to form the number 7.
4. Triangle - This is similar to the seven fold however the corner is folded past the opposite side of the cup.
5. Diamond - flatten the rim of the menstrual cup and pull the center of the lower rim downwards, so that it forms an ‘O’ shape. While keeping it pressed down, bring the opposite sides of the ‘O’ to overlap and form a diamond shape.
6. Origami - This fold resembles a rose bud. Push the rim of the cup halfway down the inside of the cup then fold one corner of the cup diagonally over the pushed down fold.
How To Insert Menstrual Cup?
To insert, follow these steps-
- Wash your hands properly with soap and water.
- Before insertion, you can moisten the menstrual cup with water, this makes it easier to insert.
- Practice the folds mentioned above and find what works best for you.
- To insert, find a position you’re comfortable in. Sitting on the pot or standing with one leg raised and placed on a pot. Relax your pelvic muscles and gently insert the menstrual cup. Once inserted, make sure the stem of the cup is not hanging out, give it a push until it goes fully into your vagina.
- Once entered, it opens up inside your vaginal canal, at the bottom of your cervix. Menstrual cups stay in place due to the suction created and you can continue doing your daily chores without the fear of leakage or the cup falling out. Do remember to empty it within 12 hours, as that is the maximum time, a menstrual cup should be worn for.
How To Remove Menstrual Cup?
To remove the menstrual cup, follow these steps-
- Insert your index finger and thumb into the vagina and pinch the menstrual cup. This breaks the suction of the cup and ensures comfortable removal.
- Empty the period blood and wash the cup with a Menstrual cup wash or plain water.
- It is ready to be inserted again.
- If you are at the end of the period, then it is important to sanitize your Menstrual cup in a Menstrual cup sanitizer or by placing it in hot boiling water for a couple of minutes.
Feature of Menstrual Cups
Right below we've mentioned the essential features of menstrual cup.
1. Affordable: A cost-effective alternative to your monthly period can be found in almost every pharmacy and online store, and it comes with the highest quality assurance for a premium experience.
2. Better capacity to hold the blood: A cup guarantees that your blood will be held at a specific level and that you will be free throughout your experience. This is unquestionably a product worth trying.
3. Eco-friendly: The menstrual cup is made of a cost-effective material and medical-grade silicone that outlasts any other menstrual care product. This ensures that your contribution to environment protection is MAXIMUM and that you have a better option for covering your period.
4. Safer alternative: What most people don't realise is that, unlike most menstrual care products, Menstrual Cup hold the blood instead of absorbing it. This eliminates the risk of you contracting UTI or other dangerous infections.
Five Menstrual Cup Myths and the Truth Behind Them
1. Menstrual cup are unhygienic:
A high-quality cup is made of medical-grade silicone, which means it was manufactured safely and can be inserted into the body without causing any side effects. You must wash your hands before inserting or removing it to reduce the risk of infection. After each use, the cup must be emptied and cleaned with warm water. At the end of your period, it has to be sterilized by boiling it in hot water for up to 5 minutes, and you’re all set to use it for your next cycle.
2. Virgins cannot use menstrual cup:
A menstrual cup is flexible and can be folded up to be fit over the cervix; this can be done without damaging your hymen. They are available in different sizes as per your need. Secondarily, nearly 60% of women tear their hymens in activities that are unrelated to intercourse, and as such, an intact hymen is not an indicator of sexual experience.
3. Menstrual cup are Unsafe:
Menstrual cups have repeatedly been proved safer than tampons due to the lowered risk of toxic shock syndrome. To date, only 2 cases of toxic shock syndrome have been recorded in the case of cups. Sanitary pads contain perfumes and unhealthy absorbent materials, which result in allergic reactions and cancer in some cases. Cups are free of any such materials and are entirely safe to use.
4. Wearing menstrual cup will cause leakages:
Most menstrual cup can hold 10-12 hours of menstrual flow and are leak-proof. However, incorrect insertion or failure to empty the cup will result in leakage. If you plan to wear the cup for an extended time, using a sanitary pad can prevent leakages.
5. Menstrual cup are uncomfortable:
Like tampons, the menstrual cup is comfortable enough to forget about after putting it on if correctly inserted. For first time users, it takes some practice to put it on properly; having a correctly sized cup can significantly reduce this initial discomfort. With practice, it will become habitual to work, sleep, and swim with the menstrual cup.
Now that we’ve debunked the significant myths surrounding cups go ahead and be a worry-free cup user and enjoy your eco-friendly period product.
image and video source : peesafe.com
The blog is written by Divyansh Mehta.