Menstrual cups are flexible cups that are used as feminine hygiene products and are fabricated with medical grade silicone. They are shaped in the form of a bell, and instead of absorbing the menstrual blood, like sanitary pads or tampons, menstrual cups collects the blood. These menstrual cups are meant to be worn inside the vagina at the time of menstruating in order to catch menstrual blood. These cups can be removed every four to twelve hours pertaining to the amount of fluid collected depending upon an individual’s flow. The menstrual cups are made of silicone or rubber and for women who are allergic to latex or latex-sensitive, must always go for cups that are made entirely of silicone. One can make use of the cup all through their period cycle, however might alter it frequently on heavy flow days to shield against any kind of leaking. There are two types of menstrual cups, disposable or reusable, although majority of the manufacturers fabricate reusable ones. They also have different recommendations as to when to discard the used cups, nonetheless usually the cups can be reused for nearly five years or more. According to a survey on menstrual cups market, almost all companies encourage the use of menstrual cups as a much better substitute to tampons or pads and thereby market them as more cost efficient, practical and eco-friendly.
Selecting the right Cup as per size:
Generally menstrual cups come in either smaller or larger sizes. Of which the smaller one if suggested for women who are under 30 years of age who have not given natural birth. Whereas the bigger size is for women above 30 years of age and have heavy flow. The smaller menstrual cups are of an appropriate diameter and are apt for teenagers and girls who are physically fit, as those with strong pelvic muscles might have difficulty adjusting to bigger cups. Additionally, the length of the cup whether small or big must be considered; for instance, if a woman’s cervix is situated especially lower than normal, she would be advised to use a shorter cup. For women with heavy menstrual flow, capacity of the cup is more crucial. Nevertheless, almost all of the menstrual cups comprise of more capacity as compared to a regular tampon. Lastly, another factor that has to be considered prior to buying a menstrual cup is the flexibility or the firmness. It has been observed that, more the firmness of the cup, easier to pop in and might hold tighter seal against the vaginal wall and thereby avoiding any kind of leaks; however many women consider the softer variant more user-friendly and comfortable to wear.
How to wear the menstrual cup:
- Just when the periods have started, firmly fold the cup and push it inside the vaginal wall like a tampon. The procedure is similar to inserting a birth control ring or diaphragm in place.
- Once the cup is pushed in, it will spring open and rest against the vaginal walls forming a suction action. The menstrual blood is simply collected into the cup.
- Since most of the cups are reusable, in order to remove it, one must pull the stem-like handle which sticks out and simply pinch the base to release the vacuum.
- Empty the fluid and wash the cup with mild soap and water and reuse it. Once one entire cycle is completed the cup can be sterilized in boiling water and stored for next cycle’s use.