What Is A Menstrual Cup?
Just like a pad or a tampon, a menstrual cup or a period cup is a feminine hygiene product that is reusable in most cases. A menstrual cup is designed like a funnel and is generally made out of rubber or silicone that is medical-graded.
Like tampons and unlike pads, the cups are inserted into the vagina to wear. Menstrual cups are designed to collect the blood in them, unlike tampons and pads that absorb the menstrual flow. They are also an eco-friendly alternative to pads and tampons.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using A Menstrual Cup
Menstrual cups also have some advantages and disadvantages which you must know before using them, especially if you are using them for the first time. After knowing their share of advantages and disadvantages, you will be able to decide if you want to stick to pads or tampons or you want to try this eco-friendly alternative.
- They are reusable
- They are budget-friendly
- They are eco-friendly
- They are much safer than other methods
- They help you have hassle-free sex
- They can be worn with an IUD
- They can hold all of your flow safely
- They can get messy during removal
- They can be allergic for some women
- They can be troublesome during insertion or removal
- They may cause vaginal irritation
- They can cause infection
- It can be tough to find the right cup
How To Use A Menstrual Cup
If you have made up your mind to use a period cup after knowing the advantages and disadvantages, now is the time to tell you how to use one. But first things first, have a talk with your gynecologist before you move to use menstrual cups.
The very first step to using a menstrual cup is to figure out the cup size that is suitable for you.
Women who are below the age of 30 and haven’t given birth through their vagina are recommended to use small-sized menstrual cups, whereas women who have given birth vaginally and are above the age of 30 are recommended to use menstrual cups that are larger in size. Other than this, a woman’s blood flow also determines the cup size she should use.
How To Insert A Menstrual Cup
Women who are experienced with tampons would relatively find it easier to use a menstrual cup. Before inserting the menstrual cup, make sure you have washed your hands with clean water and mild soap.
Steps for inserting a menstrual cup:
Step 1- Relax Your Body And Muscles:
You need to relax your body completely before you insert the cup into your vagina. It is quite important to relax or else you will face discomfort while inserting the cup and there are chances that it might not get placed correctly inside your vagina.
Also, find a comfortable position- you can stand, squat or sit on the toilet- before inserting the cup
Step 2- Fold The Cup:
After you have found your position, you have to fold the menstrual cup to insert it correctly. Folding is essential as it makes the mouth of the cup narrower for easy insertion. There are different methods of folding that you can try out, but the easiest ones are the Push-Down Fold and the C-Fold.
Step 3- Insert The Cup:
Now locate your vaginal opening and insert the folded menstrual cup. Your cup should be kept folded until it is all inside your vagina.
Step 4- Release The Folded Cup And Push:
After you have inserted the cup, release it and let it open up inside your vagina. If you hear a suction sound- which is made when the cup has successfully created a suction seal- after you release the cup, that indicates that you are leak-proof now.
Slightly push the cup from the base so that the stem of the cup is not protruding out but remember not to push deeper or else you will face difficulty while removing the menstrual cup.
Step 5- Rotate And Check The Cup:
This step is optional. If you haven’t heard the suction sound or are unsure that your cup hasn’t unfolded itself correctly, grab the cup buy its base and rotate it slightly. The rotation of the cup will unfold the cup or break any air gaps.
These were the 5 easy steps that you needed to know and learn if you want to insert a menstrual cup.
Menstrual cups are so comfortable, if and only if they are inserted correctly, that you won’t be able to figure out that there is something sitting inside your vagina. But for safety, you can keep a pad or a tampon with you if you fear you might experience leaks.
For the beginners, you might need to give it a second try and re-insert it as during the first try the cup might not get placed correctly, but with practice, time and patience, you will learn to place the cup correctly at one go.
How To Take Out A Menstrual Cup
Menstrual cups should be taken out at most after 12 hours or before if you have a heavy flow. Taking a cup out is as easy as inserting it.
Steps for taking out a menstrual cup:
Step 1- Relax Your Body And Muscles, Once Again:
Once again, find your comfortable position and relax your body, especially your pelvic floor muscles. This time also it is essential to relax your body because you wouldn’t want the cup to get stuck inside you while you try hard to take it out.
Step 2- Remove The Cup:
You have to break the suction seal to get the menstrual cup out. To break the seal, pull the cup gently towards the outside holding its stem, and then pinch the base of the cup to break the seal.
Step 3- Empty The Cup And Wash:
After you have successfully taken the menstrual cup out of your vagina, empty it and then clean it with clean water. You can also use the wipes that come with the menstrual cup package.
After cleaning, you are ready to re-insert the menstrual cup and go another leak-free 12 hours or you can simply store it in a clean place if your period has ended.
These simple and easy 3 steps will remove the cup from inside you in no time. But again for the beginners, just like it might take you 2 to 3 tries to insert the cup correctly, you might also need to take a few chances before you can take out the cup.
Some Tips For The Beginners
- Know your vagina better by exploring it
- Use a water-based lubricant before inserting a cup
- Till you trust a menstrual cup completely regarding leaks, ear a pantyliner
- Practice wearing the cup before your periods
- Always keep your cup clean
- Empty your cup before the mark of 12 hours
With that, here ends our guide about a menstrual cup and its usage. We have tried to mention everything that you need to know about and related to a menstrual cup.
It is quite daunting at first to insert something like this inside your vagina, but as you get used to it, you would ask your cup, “Where have you been all my life?”
Like this article, if you have found it helpful enough as a beginner and share it with your fellow female pals, someone who you think might find this article life-saving or who have just stepped into womanhood.