June 22, 2024
Menstrual Cups

A Comprehensive Guide to Using Menstrual Cups

A menstrual cup is a flexible cup that is inserted into the vagina during a woman’s period to catch menstrual flow instead of using pads or tampons. Made of medical grade silicone, latex or rubber, period cup collect the menstrual flow rather than absorbing it like pads and tampons. They are shaped like a bell with a stem at the bottom for easy removal.

Benefits of Using Period Cup

Reduced Waste and Cost Savings: Period cup are a more eco-friendly and cost-effective option compared to using pads or tampons every month. Since one period cup can last up to 10 years with proper care and cleaning, it produces much less waste than disposable period products. Over a decade of use, period cup save hundreds of dollars compared to constant purchases of pads and tampons.
Less Hassle and Leakage: Unlike pads or tampons, period cup do not require frequent changes every few hours. A cup can hold 2-3 times more blood than a super tampon and needs emptying only every 8-12 hours on a heavy flow day. This allows women greater freedom and fewer disruptions. Leakage is less common with cups as they collect Menstrual Cup fluid rather than absorbing it.
Increased Comfort: Pads and tampons involve direct contact with the sensitive vaginal area whereas cups sit lower in the vaginal canal near the cervix. This makes period cup more comfortable than other options. There is no risk of irritating chemicals as cups are made of body-safe materials. The cup creates a seal to prevent any leaking sensation.
Better Hygiene: Since cups collect menstrual fluid internally, there is no worry about stains or odors. Pads or tampons need frequent changes which can leave women feeling unclean. Period cup allow women to go longer between emptying for increased hygiene and freshness.

Types of Menstrual Cups

There are different sizes and styles of period cup available to suit different women’s needs:
Beginner Cups: Slightly smaller in capacity, these cups are ideal for those new to using period cup or with lighter flow.
Larger Size Cups: Hold more fluid and suitable for women with heavier periods or who have given birth vaginally.
Teen Cups: Smaller in size, designed specifically for use by younger women or those who haven’t given birth.
Disc Cups: Shaped like a flat disc that folds and inserts like a diaphragm for an alternative to the bell-shaped design.
Clear/Colored Cups: Transparent or colored cups allow users to see if the cup is properly positioned and fully emptied.
Firm/Soft Cups: Some cups are firmer for easy insertion while softer cups flex more for comfortable wear.

How to Use a Menstrual Cup Correctly

Inserting the Cup: Folding the cup into a U or C shape makes it smaller for comfortable insertion. Guide the folded cup into the vaginal opening while bearing down as if having a bowel movement. Push the cup further up until the stem is no longer felt.
Removing the Cup: To remove, locate the stem with clean fingers and gently pull. Use a popping motion while pulling down and out. Make sure the cup is fully emptied by spinning it back and forth before reinserting.
Rinsing and Storing: Rinse the cup with warm water after emptying. Store in a cloth bag or container when not in use. Boil the cup for 5 minutes at the start of each period or when switching users to sanitize.
The Learning Curve: It does take some practice to use a period cup comfortably at first due to the newness of inserting anything internally. Be patient and experiment with different folding techniques. Within a few cycles, most women get the hang of insertion and removal with no issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does it hurt to put in or take out?
While insertion may feel slightly uncomfortable at first, period cup should not cause pain once proper technique is learned. Be sure the cup opens fully before trying to remove it.
Can I have sex while using a cup?
Yes, menstrual cups can be worn during sex. Just be sure to remove it beforehand and reinsert after intimacy to avoid any spills.
Will my partner feel it during sex?
Properly inserted, the cup sits low and is not felt by partners during penetrative sex. Just check that it has not been dislodged after intercourse.
Can I swim while on my period?
Absolutely! Unlike pads or tampons, period cup form an excellent seal which allows swimming, bathing and other water activities worry-free during shark week.
Will using a cup affect my menstrual flow or cycle?
No, cups do not interfere with hormonal or physical processes. They simply collect what the body naturally releases each month.

With a bit of practice, period cup provide an affordable, hygienic and eco-friendly alternative to pads and tampons. Their leak-proof sealing and ability to last for years make them very convenient once the learning curve is passed. More women are making the switch to cups to reduce monthly waste and gain increased confidence during their period.

*Note:
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research.
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it.