Menstrual cups not until very recently have started to gain popularity among the masses globally. Clients after using a cup have expressed they wish they knew about this sooner.
Menstrual cups still have a lot of stigmas associated with them; let us bust these period myths together.
What are menstrual cups?
A menstrual cup is a small, flexible, bell-shaped reusable cup that you insert into your vagina to catch and collect period fluid. They are made of medical-grade latex or silicone. To use the cup- fold the top of the cup and push it into the vagina, aiming it towards the lower back.
How to use a menstrual cup?
Menstrual Cups come in small and large sizes. While there is no set standard as to which size will fit who; women generally above the age of 30 or women who have a heavy flow require the larger size. It is best you talk with your gynecologist and consult them to get a thorough understanding of what would be best for you. A proper fitting cup would help prevent any menstrual blood from leaking.
How to insert a menstrual cup?
Before you start using the cup, it's important to understand how to insert the cup and take it out. There are two main parts of a menstrual cup: the cup and a thin stem at the bottom to make removal easier.
To insert the cup, fold the top of the cup and gently push it into the vagina, aiming it toward the lower back (as you would in the case of a tampon without an applicator). At this point in time, you may need some lubricant to ease the process. Water or a water-based lubricant can be applied to the rim of the cup to ease the process.
While inserting, some people find it easier when they are squatting, some others prefer to be standing, some others prefer to raise one foot while doing so.
Once the rim of the cup is in, slowly continue to push the cup into the vagina until the entire cup and stem are inside. The cup once inside, you should rotate it so that it springs open and to provide an airtight seal, and stops from leaking. While rotating the cup, hold it by its base (not the stem) and turn it one full circle.
You likely would not feel your menstrual cup if it’s inserted correctly. Your movement and everyday activities should be comfortable without your cup falling out.
Careful removal of the cup is also extremely important in the process. To remove the cup, a person can squat down slightly, so as to have a better-leveraged position to push the cup down. Use your forefinger and thumb, gently reach inside your vagina and grab the stem of the cup, carefully pulling it towards the ground. Gently pinch the base of the cup to break the suction, while keeping the cup upright (in order to avoid any spilling) and remove it from the vagina.
Menstrual cups can date as far back as the 1930s when Leona W. Chalmers patented the first cup in 1937, most Indian women haven’t even heard of menstrual cups. The Federal talks in detail about how the use of sanitary napkins still dominates the Indian market for feminine hygiene products. While the reasons could be varied, a few frequently asked questions for the usage of menstrual cups are:
Would the cup get lost in the vagina? No, a menstrual cup cannot get lost in the vagina.
How long should the cup be in the vagina? It’s recommended that you cautiously take the cup out after a maximum of 12 hours and wash it. If you have a heavy flow consider washing after 6 hours.
How much vaginal discharge can a cup hold? An average person discharges about ~45 ML of blood in one cycle. A cup can hold between 25-30 ML of blood.
Would a menstrual cup stretch out my vagina? No. Once the cup is out, the vagina returns to its original state.
Can I poop or pee when wearing a menstrual cup? Yes, cups don’t cause problems with stool or urine discharge.
Can I have sex with the cup? While it’s completely safe to have sex during your periods. Remove your cup while having penetrative intercourse.
Can I sleep with my cup in my vagina? Yes. They are comfortable and would not impact your sleep or your sleeping posture.
How long does a menstrual cup last?
A menstrual cup is a one-time buy, and if taken care of after every use, they could last for years.
Are menstrual cups cheap?
Compared to sanitary pads and tampons, no they aren't. But in the long run, menstrual cups are worth every penny, as they last for years.
A menstrual cup is cost-effective, safe, hold more blood, and is environmentally friendly.