menstrual cup like a funnel, is made of silicone and is small in size and placed at the beginning of the vagina to collect blood and is washed several times every two or three hours.
The menstrual period is a period of anxiety and exhaustion for every woman who experiences occasional pains and leakage.
Producers are looking to develop better and newer tools and supplies to handle this period, which is why we discuss with you here the recently controversial product, the menstrual cup
What is a menstrual cup ?
The menstrual cup, also known as the vaginal cup, is an invention that, despite its novelty, has been patented since the early 20th century. However, thanks to developments in recent years, today could change the way women experience their menstrual cycle all over the world.
A menstrual cup is a female product that has become popular recently. It is a sterile silicone body in the form of a cup of coffee with a small leg from the bottom, and the most accurate is that it is in the form of a bell that women use during their menstrual cycle to collect blood for protection and prevention of leakage during these days.
This way, menstruation is stored inside a cup until it is time to remove it from the vaginal cavity, so that you can get rid of the secretions in the toilet. After that, it is only necessary to wash it with soap and water and it can be reintroduced. Once the cycle is finished, it is highly recommended to sterilize it with boiling water before using it for the next period.
These containers are made of various materials such as latex, medical silicone, or thermoplastic elastomers (TPE).
Despite the appearance of highly synthetic materials, the menstrual cup does not contain bleaching ingredients or chemicals, thus eliminating the risk of toxicity, as well as the possibility of vaginal irritation.
But perhaps the most relevant feature, which made this product high, is that it is reusable. Unlike other methods such as sanitary pads and tampons, this is not a neglected item, as it has a shelf life of 10 years.
How to use menstrual cups
Here you can learn everything you need about how to use it in simple steps that we provide to help you in its optimal and correct use, as follows:
- Before first use, sterilize cup in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Then start by washing and sterilizing your hands well, then fold the cup to make it easier to insert.
- Gently insert the folded cup into the vagina and tilt it back into the base of the cervix. The cup should be low so that it remains comfortable in the vagina, but with the entire torso on the outside.
- When the cup is inside, it will open to collect the blood flowing inside it and suction is how to prevent the cup from leaking, so use your finger to check if it has completely entered.
- Don’t rush, take your time, it’s like learning to use contact lenses, and if you feel your cervix outside of a cup, you’ll need to rewire it to be safe and nothing leaks into your clothes.
- Using it for up to half a day, one of the great benefits of using a menstrual cup is that it can be used for a long time, and the number of times you need to empty the cup depends on your cycle and blood flow.
Tips for using a menstrual cup
- Most tips for using a menstrual cup are to empty it once in the morning and again in the evening
- To remove it after use and when you need to empty it with clean hands, gently pull the stem of the cup until it reaches the base of the cup and secure it to bend the base so that you can gently suction and remove it, then remove the cup completely afterwards.
- We have tips to help you get rid of it, and you may need to use your pelvic muscles to push the cup down into your vagina to help you reach the base with your fingers, and to get there, you can do some experiments and exercises on how to use your pelvic muscles before using the cup.
- When the cup is lifted, it is emptied into the toilet, rinsed with water, and sterilized well with either your own sanitizer or vaginal cleanser. If you do not have access to the water, you can clean it with some clean tissue and reinsert it immediately after emptying it, but be sure to rinse it next time.
- It may take a few days or several periods for you to feel comfortable with the cup, you can try different folding and insertion techniques and don’t worry, later you will feel comfortable with a particular situation in it and it will be easier to use.
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Usage instructions for a menstrual cup
There are pre-purchase instructions that obstetricians and gynecologists advise to determine the length of your cup (menstrual cup), which is a measurement of the length of your vagina.
This is done by moving your finger up to the cervix, and if it takes your entire finger to reach the cervix, you will have permission for a long vagina. For the middle joint, you have a medium length vagina, and under this means you have a short vagina.
This self-test depends on the length of the finger and therefore it is not perfect, and the correct result will be reached in the end by experimenting more than once until you reach satisfaction and the appropriate selection, and do not give up if the first cup does not fit well or there are leaks.
Advantages of using menstrual cups
As mentioned earlier, using a menstrual cup carries with it a plethora of advantages and benefits, both in terms of health, hygiene, economy, etc. Compared to traditional menstrual management methods like tampons and pads, which are already out of date by comparison.
1 _ Advantages to the body itself :
The human body has the ability to absorb practically everything that it comes into contact with, and the body also consumes bleaches, perfumes, and other chemicals used to make tampons.
The way tampons work, by absorbing the flow of the menstrual cycle, can cause vaginal dryness, swelling, and itching. However, the mug works by storing the flow, eliminating any possibility of drying out or irritation of the area. In addition, unlike tampons, they can be inserted even before the bleeding begins, thus avoiding unwanted surprises.
Other benefits for the body itself are :
- It protects the vaginal flora By catching the bleeding instead of absorbing it like traditional tampons, it protects against potential infections.
- Does not produce odors Unlike compresses, a menstrual cup does not generate unpleasant odors because it is not in contact with air. Therefore, it neither absorbs nor produces it.
- Contraceptive Compatible Its shape makes it fully compatible with some contraceptives such as the IUD and the birth control ring.
- They are more comfortable than tampons and pads.
- It fits perfectly into the vaginal cavity, and remains firmly attached to the walls of the vagina without the possibility of movement. Unlike tampons, the mug leaves no strings in sight so it is completely safe and discreet.
- Compatible with any exercise or physical activity, the menstrual cup is inserted like a tampon and stays completely inside the vagina, allowing you to practice your normal rhythm of life and even do all kinds of physical exercises and sports, including those that require a great deal of movement.
- With a much larger storage capacity than a tampon, and even more than one towel, a menstrual cup can be worn for up to 12 hours unlike the tampon, which can stay squeezed for 8 hours at most. Plus, you can cover all days of your period with one menstrual cup, as the flow is most intense, until the last days of your period.
- Time to change the tampon or pad and not carry more, as well as the discomfort of carrying a lot of spare parts every day. Case of going on a trip.
- With a menstrual cup, one cup is enough to cover the entire period. Once full or after 12 hours, it is only necessary to extract it, empty it into the toilet, flush with soap and water, and be able to use it over and over again.
- It can be used overnight Unlike tampons, their use at night is criticized for being harmful. The menstrual cup can be used ideally during sleeping hours. Being completely safe during the day without the possibility of staining your underwear, pajamas, or bedding.
2 _ Economic advantages :
It is estimated that spending on sanitary pads and tampons per woman ranges between 350 and 400 euros per year, especially if we take into account that in Spain, these products are still subject to a value-added tax of 10%, instead of 5%. . For basic needs. . Since using a menstrual cup eliminates the use of pads and tampons, this is a major savings for women.
The menstrual cup can also be reused, which means you only need one, and if taken care of well, it can last up to ten years, that is, 10 years without purchasing any other type of menstrual machine.
Finally, a menstrual cup is around € 20 or € 30, so given its duration, the cost is consumed in less than half a year.
3 _ Advantages for the environment
Since a single menstrual cup can replace the use of all tampons and pads we have used over ten years, the positive impact on the environment is more significant.
4 _ Reducing the volume of waste
One woman can excrete up to 6 kilograms of waste per year into tampons and pads; Given the long life of the menstrual cup, this means a very significant reduction in wastage.
The production of compresses involves the use of a large number of layers of materials and packaging, so their production is associated with high levels of pollution.
In comparison, a menstrual cup is made of only one material and it is not necessary to resort to much throughout life.
Disadvantages of a menstrual cup for some users
- It can cause irritation. A 2011 study found that cup users experienced more irritation than those who used sanitary pads and tampons.
- It is important to wash your hands thoroughly before inserting the cup, clean it frequently between uses, and empty it two to three times a day to avoid this irritation.
- Cups come in different sizes depending on age and flow, but finding the perfect fit can be a challenge.
- If you have a slanted uterus or a low cervix, it may take some trial and error and you may have leaks in the meantime.
- If you are in a public place, keep in mind that you will need to pour the mug down the toilet and then throw it away (alternatively, the manufacturer suggests bringing a water bottle to rinse the mug, then wipe it with toilet paper).
- It can interfere with the file. Some manufacturers do not recommend using a menstrual cup if you have an intrauterine device (IUD), because there is a chance the cup may be pulled over the thread or removed.
- Make sure the mug is upright when removing it so it doesn’t spill.
- On your heavy days, a menstrual cup can leak, so wearing a spare pad and emptying the cup more than once these days can help.
- Note that menstrual cups are not a form of contraception and should be extracted before intercourse and can be used with contraception.
- Do not forget that you have a menstrual cup inside of you, and empty and rinse the cup every 12 hours at least. If you leave it inside for longer, watch out for signs of infection. There are no cases of toxicity due to the use of menstrual cups, but if you notice any symptoms associated with toxic shock syndrome, you should contact your doctor immediately.
In our article, we have collected everything related to the menstrual cup that has become of interest to most women in the world today, but every woman must choose what suits her from a method and product for this period of time through experience until she reaches the stage of complete satisfaction and safety.