June 22, 2024
Menstrual Cups

Understanding the Benefits of Using a Menstrual Cup

A menstrual cup is a flexible cup-shaped barrier device that is worn internally near the vaginal opening during menstruation to collect menstrual blood and other vaginal discharge. Made out of medical-grade silicone or rubber, period cup are collapsible to form a small, neat package that can be easily inserted into the vaginal opening. Once positioned correctly, it creates a seal which prevents any menstrual fluid from escaping. It can be worn for up to 12 hours and needs to be emptied only twice a day.

How Does it Work?
To use a period cup, first wash and sanitize your hands thoroughly. Then, fold the cup into a small U or C shape and gently insert it into your vagina, near your cervix. It may take some practice to get the positioning right. Once inside, the cup will unfold to form a seal around the vaginal walls. The menstrual blood will accumulate in the Menstrual Cup instead of flowing out externally. You can leave it inside for up to 12 hours before emptying it by breaking the seal, removing it, and emptying it into the toilet. Wash with water and reinsert. It’s that simple!

Advantages of Using a Period Cup
Here are some key benefits of switching to a period cup from pads or tampons:
Cost effective: A high-quality period cup can last up to 10 years with proper care. This is far more economical than buying pads or tampons every month.
Environment friendly: Period cup produce zero waste since they are reusable. Say goodbye to non-biodegradable pads or applicator tampons clogging up landfills.
Comfortable: Unlike pads or tampons, cups are not abrasive against sensitive skin. There is no risk of leaks, rashes or discomfort.
Hygienic: Since cups collect menstrual blood inside the vagina, the external genital area stays clean and dry. This prevents conditions like bacterial vaginosis or urinary tract infections.
Safe during periods: Period cup do not absorb the internal moisture or disrupt the natural pH balance like tampons sometimes do. This makes them safer for your vaginal health.
No restrictions: You can swim, exercise or be physically active without any worries since cups do not cause leaks even during high impact activities like other period products.
Discrete: Period cup are much less visible than pads. With pants on, no one will know you have your period.

Tips for Using a Menstrual Cup Effectively
Here are some best practices for using a period cup without issues:
Clean it thoroughly with mild soap and water after emptying. Boil or steam sterilize it once every menstrual cycle. Proper hygiene is essential.
Choose the right cup size Small or large based on your vagina’s dimensions and flow. This avoids leakages and increases comfort.
Fold the cup into a small shape before insertion. This helps it go in smoothly without forcing.
Ensure the cup has opened fully after inserting. Give it a gentle push to make sure the seal is formed.
Practice kegel exercises to gain control over pelvic floor muscles. This makes cup insertion and removal much easier.
Use water-based lubricants for a smooth in-and-out motion if facing friction during removal.
Empty the cup at least twice a day or as per your flow. Overfilling can cause leaks.
Boil or steam sterilize the cup before first use and then once every period cycle to maintain hygiene.

Are There Any Disadvantages?
The learning curve is one major concern since it may take a few cycles to get comfortable using a menstrual cup. It’s an unfamiliar process at first. Some women also face issues like difficulty inserting or removing the cup due to their vagina’s anatomy. Rare cases of Toxic Shock Syndrome have been reported but the absolute risk is very low. With practice and selecting the right cup size, most women transition smoothly. Overall, the various health and environmental benefits of cups far outweigh any minor disadvantages.