menstrual cup side effect

Menstrual Cup Side Effects: Separating Fact from Fiction


What is a Menstrual Cup? A menstrual cup is a reusable alternative to feminine hygiene products such as pads or tampons. It is designed as a small, bell-shaped cup typically made up of medical-grade silicone, rubber, or latex which is inserted into the vagina during menstruation to collect the menstrual flow of blood. 

For choosing the correct menstrual cup, you should know about several things. 

  • Your menstrual flow 
  • Firmness and flexibility of the cup
  • Cup capacity
  • How your pelvic floor muscles are 
  • If you’ve given birth vaginally

These would determine the size of the cup you should use. 


How To Use Menstrual Cup?

If anyone is interested in using the period cup, you should feel comfortable as it is easy to use. 

How to use menstrual cup? You have to fold it and insert it into the vagina, where it forms a seal against the vaginal walls. It collects the menstrual flow rather than absorbing it, and it can hold a larger amount of flow compared to tampons or pads. You may need to empty the cup after every 4 to 8 hours.


Benefits Of Using Menstrual Cup

Menstrual cups are reusable and can be washed and sterilized between uses. They are generally safe and can last for several years with proper care. The several benefits of using menstrual cups can be - 

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Health and hygiene
  • Longer wear time
  • Comfort and freedom of movement
  • Decreased odour
  • Learning about your flow

These benefits are the reason for the growing popularity of menstrual cups. 


Side Effects of Menstrual Cup

While menstrual cups have many benefits, they may not be suitable for everyone, and some individuals may experience side effects or face challenges when using them. Some of the potential side effects of menstrual cups:

  • Discomfort while using the wrong size: Improper insertion or an incorrect fit can lead to discomfort. It may take time to find the right size and position of the cup that provides a proper seal and prevents leaks. Some individuals may find the stem or base of the cup irritating, but it can be trimmed if necessary.
  • Leakage: Some menstrual cups can have a leakage problem also, as it may occur if the suction is not in the cups then there will be the probability of leakage. Leakage can also occur due to improper insertion or incorrect fit of cups in the vagina. 
    To prevent leakage you should know how to remove a menstrual cup or insert a menstrual cup.
  • Emptying and cleaning in public restrooms: Emptying and cleaning the cup can be a problem when you are in a public restroom without access to a private sink or suitable cleaning facilities. In such situations, you may need to use wet wipes or carry a water bottle to rinse the cup.
  • Allergies or sensitivities: Some of the users can have allergies or sensitivities to the materials used in menstrual cup, such as silicone, rubber, or latex. It is essential to choose a cup made from hypoallergenic materials if you have known allergies. Some may also experience vaginal irritation or dryness when using a cup, although this is relatively rare. If anyone is experiencing dryness or discomfort, you should want to try using a water-based lubricant for easy insertion.
  • Infection risk: If period cups are not cleaned properly, it can have the chances of increasing the risk of infection. For reducing the risk of infection, it should be washed using mild soap and water or boiling the cup regularly and proper cleaning between cycles. Menstrual cups are non-absorbent, which means they do not disrupt the natural vaginal flora as tampons might, reducing the risk of bacterial imbalance or toxic shock syndrome (TSS).
  • Inconvenient in using: Menstrual cups may not be suitable for individuals for some lifestyles. It is a person-to-person choice for using the menstrual cups who have difficulty reaching their vagina comfortably, such as physical disabilities or conditions. Individuals who are uncomfortable with the idea of inserting and removing a cup from their vagina may find it inconvenient or uncomfortable to use.

Although these side effects are not universal, many people find menstrual cups to be a convenient and effective option for managing their periods. Individual experiences may vary, and what works positively for some may not be the same for others. It's always advisable to try different options and find what suits you best and to take the proper consultation with a healthcare professional for guidance and support.

✍️ This article was curated by Nisha Prakash

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