What Is A Menstrual Cup And How To Use It? Pros, Cons, And Everything You Need To Know

Menstrual Cup Guide

What Is Menstrual Cup?

The menstrual cup is a reusable feminine hygiene product made of flexible plastic, rubber, and silicone. This cup is a small, flexible funnel-shaped cup made of safe material, such as rubber or silicone, that a woman inserts into her vagina during menstruation, and this cup collects period fluid.

Menstrual cups can hold more blood than other methods such as pads or tampons, which is why many women use this cup as an eco-friendly alternative to pads or tampons. And depending on your menstrual blood flow, you can wear one cup in your vagina for up to 12 hours. This cup is reusable and can be worn again after cleaning it and removing it from the vagina. However, some cups are only for one-time use.

Major reusable cups are available: Moon Cup, Keeper Cup, Lunette Menstrual Cup, Lina Cup, Diva Cup, and Lily Cup. Apart from this, some disposable menstrual cups are also in the market, which are thrown away after one use, which is also safe.

Read this entire article to learn more about how to insert, remove, and clean the menstrual cup into your vagina.

How To Use Menstrual Cup

If you want or are interested in using a menstrual cup, you should first talk to your gynecologist. Although you can buy any brand or product online or from local stores, you must first find out what size menstrual cup you need. Because they come in different sizes, these cups of different sizes fit every woman. Most menstrual cups are sold in smaller and larger versions.

To find the right menstrual cup size for you, you and your doctor will need to consider:

  • Your age
  • Your body composition
  • The length of your cervix
  • Heavy flow or reduced flow of your menstrual blood
  • Cup strength and flexibility
  • Cup Capacity
  • The strength of your pelvic floor muscles
  • If you have given birth vaginally.

Smaller menstrual cups are usually recommended for women under 30 who have not given birth. But a larger menstrual cup is often recommended for women over 30, even if they haven't gone through labor or have a more extended period.

Things To Consider Before Using Your Menstrual Cup

If you are using a menstrual cup for the first time, it may feel uncomfortable, but your cup can help to make the menstrual process smooth. Lubricate the cup's rim with water or a water-based lubricant before inserting it into the vagina, as a wet or lubricated menstrual cup is much easier to insert.

 How To Insert Menstrual Cup Into Vagina

If you are already experiencing periods, you may have used a tampon before, so you may find it easier to insert a menstrual cup. Yes, some caution is required, so follow these steps to use the cup:

  • First of all, wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Apply high-quality water-based lube or any other comfortable lube or water to the rim of the menstrual cup.
  • Fold the menstrual cup comfortably in half, and hold the rim facing up in one hand.
  • Now insert the cup into your vagina, and rim up like you would a tampon without the applicator. Make sure it fits a few inches below your cervix.
  • Once the cup fits into your vagina, twirl it lightly. And then, the cup will open to form an airtight seal that prevents leaking.

It is important to note that if you have inserted the cup correctly and it fits perfectly, you should not feel your menstrual cup. And you should also be able to walk, jump, sit, stand, or do other daily activities without dropping your cup out of the vagina. Suppose you have any kind of problem inserting the menstrual cup, or for the first time, you do not understand how to insert it inside the vagina. In that case, you can consult your doctor or a specialist.

When To Take The Menstrual Cup Out Of The Vagina?

 Usually, you can wear a menstrual cup for 6 to 12 hours. And it depends on whether you have heavy or light menstrual blood flow.

You should permanently remove your menstrual cup within 12 hours. If it fills up earlier, the cup should be removed earlier to avoid leaks, as some people sometimes have a heavy flow in the initial days. 

How To Take Out The Menstrual Cup Safely?

Follow these steps to remove the menstrual cup:

  • Clean your hands thoroughly, especially your fingers.
  • Now, place your index finger and thumb in your vagina, and slowly pull out the cup's stem until you reach the base.
  • Now pinch the base of the cup to release the seal, and pull down to remove the cup.
  • When the cup comes out safely from your vagina, empty it in the toilet or other place, and clean it.
  • Be careful not to be in a hurry while taking out the cup, and take it out safely. Also, ensure that the fluid does not spill out from the cup while taking it out.

Some Important Things About T Cleaning And Maintenance Of Menstrual Cup

Be sure to wash and clean the reusable menstrual cup thoroughly before inserting it into your vagina. It is a good idea to use lube before inserting it. It's a good idea to empty your cup at least twice daily. If possible, take it out before sleeping and put it back on after emptying and cleaning.

Reusable menstrual cups are long-lasting. Therefore, proper care can use a good brand and quality cup for six months to 10 years. However, throw away the disposable cup after using it once and removing it from the vagina.

Benefits Of Using A Menstrual Cup

A menstrual cup

  • Budget-friendly and affordable
  • Safer than pads or tampons
  • It holds more fluid than a pad or tampon
  • It is more eco-friendly than pads or tampons
  • A few cups do not allow you to feel uncomfortable during sex.

Many women prefer to use a menstrual cup because:

It suits your budget.

They are usually inexpensive and budget-friendly. They are used more often after paying the one-time price for a reusable menstrual cup than for tampons or pads.

It is much safer

Menstrual cups are safer than pads and tampons, and there is less risk of infection. Since the menstrual cup collects rather than absorbs blood, you are not at risk of infection and toxic shock syndrome (TSS), a rare bacterial infection commonly associated with tampon use.

It collects more blood.

More blood is stored in a menstrual cup, which can hold about one to two ounces of menstrual fluid. Conversely, tampons can only absorb up to a third of an ounce of blood or menstrual fluid.

Is eco-friendly

Reusable menstrual cups are eco-friendly; they can last a long time, which means you are saving the environment from contaminating more.

You can do sex easily by wearing it.

You can easily have sex by wearing it. Most reusable cups don't need to be taken out before having sex, and this soft disposable cup can stay inside your vagina. At the same time, you are intimate with your partner. And your partner won't feel the cup, plus you won't have to worry about leaks.

If you have any concerns about using a menstrual cup, contact your doctor.

Disadvantages Of Using Menstrual Cups

A menstrual cup:

  • It can be messy
  • If you are not experienced, it can be uncomfortable and difficult to insert it into the vagina and take it out
  • Finding the right fit can be difficult if you don't have experience
  • Some people may have allergies
  • For some people, it can cause vaginal irritation

Generally, a reusable menstrual cup can be economical and eco-friendly. However, it would help if you still kept a few essential things in mind:

  • It may be a bit risky to get the cup into place, or taking it out of the vagina may be difficult.
  • While the cup is straightforward and safe to use, it can be uncomfortable to take it out at times, and the slightest mistake can lead to blood spillage.
  • If you've never used a cup before, you may find that you're not getting the right fold when you insert your menstrual cup into your vagina. Or you're having difficulty pinching the base to pull the cup down and out.

Getting The Cup In The Right Place Can Be Tricky.

Since menstrual cups come in different sizes, and some brands may have different sizes, finding the one that fits you can be difficult. Therefore, you will need to find the right fit. You'll need to experiment initially to find the right brand and size cup for you and your vagina.

You May Be Allergic To Some Of The Contents Of The Cup

By the way, most menstrual cups are made of latex-free material, which is entirely safe. But for some people, cups made of silicone or rubber can cause an allergic reaction.

Sometimes These Cups Can Cause Irritation In Your Vagina

Suppose the cup is not cleaned correctly, and there is an irregularity in its cleaning. In that case, the menstrual cup can irritate your vagina.

Can Cause Discomfort If Inserted Into The Vagina Without A Lubricant

Suppose you're trying to insert a menstrual cup into your vagina without lubrication. In that case, it can be a bit uncomfortable, as the cup has to be penetrated, and if you have a dry vagina, it can cause many discomforts. It might be possible.

To Avoid Infection

Clean the menstrual cup thoroughly before and after inserting it into the vagina, allowing it to dry after washing. And be careful not to reuse the disposable menstrual cup. Once removed, throw it away. And after doing all this, wash your hands thoroughly.

What Is The Average Price Of A Menstrual Cup?

Menstrual cups tend to cost more than a tampon and pad. A menstrual cup can cost an average of $15 to $50. Still, the thing to note is that, like a tampon or place; it does not have to be thrown away after use; rather, the life of a cup can be from 6 months to 10 years. At the same time, you spend $50 to $200 a year on tampons and pads. 

How To Choose The Right Feminine Hygiene Product For You

It is also commonly seen that using a menstrual cup is useless for many women. Because sometimes, in some women, it does not fit right due to size, making women feel uncomfortable. So if you think the cup is causing discomfort, do not use it. Also, please pay attention to its size; to find the right size, you may need your doctor or do some experiments in the beginning. And before switching it, make sure you know exactly what you need in a menstrual or feminine hygiene product. 

If you have sex with your partner during menstruation or masturbate through a dildo or other sex toys, you must do this while wearing the cup. While with tampons or pads, you cannot have sex or masturbate.

Conclusion

Menstrual cups can be an excellent choice for low risk of infection, hygiene, and the environment, especially when someone does not want to use pads or tampons.

When purchasing a cup, please read the instructions on its packaging thoroughly and get familiar with the cup before trying it for the first time. It may take several tries to figure out how to use the cup correctly, so patience and persistence can be essential.

There are dozens of brands and types of menstrual cups available in local stores and online, so research that brand thoroughly before buying one. Also, note whether you are buying a disposable menstrual cup or a reusable one.

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