What Is a Menstrual Cup?
A menstrual cup is a feminine care device, inserted inside the vagina to collect (not absorb) menstrual fluid. Using a menstrual cup is an alternative to using absorbent menstrual pads and tampons.
Menstrual cups are made out of medical-grade latex or silicone. Make sure to purchase a silicone menstrual cup if you are latex-sensitive.
There are two types of menstrual cups, (1) a vaginal menstrual cup that is inserted inside the vagina, and the (2) cervical menstrual cup that is placed on the cervix just a little above the vagina.
Some menstrual cups are reusable while some are disposable. With proper care, reusable cups can last for about 6 months to 10 years. When using disposable menstrual cups, quickly disregard the product after use. To help you decide whether a menstrual cup is for you, consider both menstrual cup pros and cons.
How to Use a Menstrual Cup
To help you determine menstrual cup pros and cons, here is a step-by-step guide on how to use a menstrual cup.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with water and soap.
- Sanitize and sterilize your menstrual cup before use.
- Carefully insert the cup using water or a water-based lubricant if needed. If you have a silicone menstrual cup, avoid using oil-based lubricants as it damages the product.
- Get in a relaxed position by either lying down, standing, squatting, or sitting on the toilet. The cup insertion is easier when you find the best position you’re comfortable with.
- Insert the cup by the folding method you prefer. Place it in the in the lower vaginal canal and once you hear a suction sound or a pop, then it’s in.
- You can use your finger to touch the base of the cup and check if folds are present. Carefully adjust the base of the cup to remove any noticeable folds and place it correctly
- If the stem of the cup is making you feel uncomfortable, you can trim the stem before putting the cup in.
- You can use the menstrual cup for 12 hours straight or empty it more than twice a day depending on how heavy your flow is.
- To remove the cup, repeat step 1 and step 2. But instead of inserting, you now have to remove the cup from your vagina.
- Use your finger to slightly pull the stem until you reach the base of the cup. Pinch the base carefully to release the cup’s grip and slowly pull it out. Avoid pulling it recklessly as it can cause discomfort.
- After using, dump the contents of the cup on the toilet and wash the cup using warm water and soap and dry it. Once your period ends, sterilize the menstrual cup by boiling it for 5 to 10 minutes. Make sure that the cup is not touching the bottom of the pot.
- Keep it in a clean bag or pouch and save it for next time.
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