General Information about Menstrual Cups
Your most common questions about menstrual cups answered in a very simple way. You can find menstrual cup information below.
What is a Menstrual Cup?
A menstrual cup is a small ‘cup’ that you put into your vagina to collect your period blood. It is generally bell shaped, and will usually have a little stem, or ring on the base to help with inserting and removing.
How to Use a Menstrual Cup?
You stick the menstrual cup into your vagina, and the cup seals against the vaginal wall, just below the cervix. Every few hours, depending on your flow, the cup is pulled out, very carefully, emptied down the toilet or shower, rinsed off if possible, and then reinserted.
What Menstrual Cup is Best for Me?
To find the right menstrual cup size for you, you will need to consider the following:
How to Insert your Menstrual Cup
If you have used tampons previously, you will find the menstrual cup relatively easy to use. Like with tampons however, it may take a few attempts before you find the easiest way for you and your body. Just follow these steps to use your menstrual cup.
- Always make sure your hands are clean
- Squeeze the cup with your thumb and forefinger. Your forefinger should fold or push down one side of the cup, with the rim up
- Insert the cup, rim up, and slowly wiggle it up just like with a tampon. It should sit a few inches below your cervix.
- Once the cup is in your vaginal, release the finger that was holding the cup so it will spring up, and create a seal to collect the blood.
If the cup fits, and has been inserted properly, then you shouldn’t be able to feel it in your body. You should be able to move around, run, jump, swim, do yoga etc. without discomfort, and without it falling out or leaking.
When to Take your Menstrual Cup Out
Menstrual cups have been designed and are tested to be safe enough to wear for up to 12 hours at a time. This means you can even use a cup overnight, which was something not recommended for with tampons.
If you have a heavier flow, you should empty it more often, but you will find that a cup can actually hold a lot more than pads or tampons.
Because the menstrual cup can be so comfortable and convenient, the wearer might actually even forget that they have a cup inside! Various users have reported forgetting about their period and their menstrual cup and inadvertently leaving it in for longer than the recommended 12 hours. So far, it's been safe to do so, but of course, not recommended.
How to Take your Menstrual Cup Out
- Again, always try to make sure your hands are washed and cleaned.
- Using your forefinger in your vagina, try to find the stem of the cup and use it to find the base of the cup. You might find this easier if you squat down.
- Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch the base of the cup to break the seal from the rim, and gently wiggle it around, while pulling it out.
- Make sure you hold it upright while easing it out of your vagina, so the contents won't spill. Hold it up, and marvel at the contents of your body, before gently pouring it out into the toilet, sink, or shower.
How to Clean your Menstrual Cup
After emptying your menstrual cup, it is ideal to give the cup a rinse before inserting again. If you're in the shower or private bathroom, you can rinse it under the tap, making sure there's no residue in the rim of the cup or in the airholes.
If you are outdoors, or in a public bathroom, you might want to bring a small bottle of water with you to rinse it off. Alternatively, if you don't have water with you, then you could pee on the cup to sterilize it. A little gross, we know. But it's your own body!
Your menstrual cup should be emptied at least twice a day, and at least rinsed properly once a day. If kept clean, your menstrual cup can last up to 10 years.
What are the Advantages of using Menstrual Cups?
- Safer than tampons as there is no dryness in your vagina
- Eco-friendly, less waste than tampons and pads
- Discreet and no smells
- More convenient, safe to use up to 12 hours at a time
What are the Disadvantages of using Menstrual Cups?
- Can be messy the first few times you learn how to use it
- May be difficult to insert or remove
- May be difficult to find the right menstrual cup for your body
- May cause an allergic reaction
- May cause vaginal irritation
For more information on how to fix these problems, click here!
How Much does a Menstrual Cup Cost?
There are many menstrual cups to choose from, but generally they range from $20 to $40 per cup. They are an initial investment, but with proper care, you could reuse your menstrual cup for up to 10 years.
Considering tampons and pads are disposable, and you will need to use several a day during your period cycle, you could be spending up to $150 a year on these products.