You’ve heard the buzz, and you’re curious – the not-so-new feminine hygiene product has recently been gaining popularity and here’s everything you need to know.
For starters, many women are turning to menstrual cups instead of tampons. They can absorb more flow than tampons, aren’t produced with bleaching agents and chemicals, and don’t allow for potential odor like a tampon and pad does.
What’s a menstrual cup
It’s a reusable alternative to tampons and pads. A menstrual cup sits inside the vagina to collect the period blood that flows out. A few times a day, you pull it out and pour the contents into the toilet. It’s washable, so you can use it cycle after cycle and one menstrual cup can replace years’ worth of disposable products, making it an eco-friendly way to deal with Aunt Flo.
How Is It Different From Tampons & Sanitary Pads?
The difference between the cup and tampons or pads, is the manner in which they manage your flow: tampons and pads absorb, while cups collect. The best part is, menstrual cups can hold more flow than a tampon, meaning you don’t need to make a dash to the washroom every few hours.
Is it Safe?
Menstrual cups are the safest form of menstrual care because they do not contain the chemicals, toxins, and bleaches used in the production of tampons and pads. Most cups are made of medical grade silicone, and many pride themselves on being BPA free, reducing all forms of rashes and allergic reactions.
How Long Can I Keep It In?
A cup needs to be emptied about 2-4 times a day, and can be used overnight for up to 12 hours.You will quickly learn your own rhythm by viewing how much fluid your cup has gathered. The measuring lines outside of the cup help to monitor your flow.
Is it hard to put in?
Yes and no. As with anything else that is new, it can take some time before you get the hang of it. You will fold it, bend it, squeeze it and insert it multiple times before you figure it out. You might even decide to throw your leg up on the toilet seat to see if that helps you. You may even wish you had a mirror to help you out – but, after the first few tries, it does get easier.
How does it feel & Does It Leak?
Believe it or not, you don’t really feel anything. Silicone is soft and although you may feel it going in, once it’s inserted properly you won’t even know it’s there. It’s actually quite comfortable. Leakage is generally minimal, because the cup forms a seal around the area and collects almost all of the blood flow (depending on the brand and how it fits your body).
Will my vagina stretch from using a menstrual cup?
The vagina does not “stretch beyond repair”. This means that something as small as a menstrual cup or a tampon will not cause you to stretch out.
What Size Should I Buy?
Most cups come in two sizes: have given birth, haven’t given birth. You’ll need a couple of tries before you get the size right.
How Exactly Do I Use One?
Fold it: Boil the menstrual cup in water before use. Wash your hands. Then fold the menstrual cup to make it easier to insert. Once you insert the cup, it should pop back open. There are many ways to fold it (and your pamphlet in the cup will show you several).
Insert: Just as you would a tampon, insert it into your vagina and tilt back towards the base of your spine. As you get it into place, it should unfold to create a suction. If your uterus is tilted, you may have to find the right angle to get it to move into a place that the cup establishes that suction. The suction is what prevents the cup from leaking. If the cup doesn’t unfold, gently use your finger to twist or wiggle around until it unfolds and blooms out to full size.
Use water or a water-based lubricant to make insertion easier. This is especially helpful, if you are practicing inserting the menstrual cup outside your period.Relax and take your time, if you are nervous and tense in your muscles, insertion will be more difficult. Find a comfortable position, you can try squatting, sitting or standing up.
Change your cup: When your cup is ready to be changed, wash your hands, and then pull down on the end of the cup to break the suction and carefully remove. Rinse with warm water and then reinsert. If you can’t reach the end of the cup, then use your pelvic muscles to push the cup down (same muscles that help you go pee), so you can reach the end to pull it out.
5 Best Menstrual Cups To Checkout ( All cups come in 2 sizes)
And that’s pretty much it! There’s a definite learning curve with inserting and removing the cup for the first few times. But it’s a pretty great option for managing your monthly periods.Worst-case scenario, you’re out a few hundreds. Best case: You’re able to wear your prettiest Victoria Secret thong all month long.