What to know
Menstrual pads and tampons are two options women have whenever they are having their period. What many women however, do not know, is that there is another alternative. An alternative that should be better known as it has helped many women to make their period a more pleasant experience. In this article it will be explained what a menstruation cup is, what its advantages and disadvantages are and how the tool is to be used. Furthermore a section will give examples of different types of menstruation cups. To finish the article, I will share my experiences with the Mooncup UK.
Menstrual cups in general
What is a menstrual cup?
A menstrual cup is a reusable cup fabricated of rubber or silicone that is inserted low in the vagina. It collects the blood women loose during their period, rather than absorbing it, which is what both menstrual pads and tampons do. When it is inserted the cup collects blood but there will be no leakage as the cup will seal itself. It is recommended to remove the cup every 4 to 8 hours, rinse it and then reinsert it.
Advantages of a menstrual cup
Several advantages of menstrual cups are widely given.
• No chance of getting the toxic syndrome
• Does not cause dryness as it does not absorb any body fluids
• Does not contain any toxins or dies, which makes it a hypoallergenic product
• The cup can be reused for several years, which means it causes hardly any waste compared to the amount of tampons and disposable pads one would else use.
• The cup collects fluid and can hold at least three times more blood than a tampon or menstrual pad can absorb and therefore is very convenient if one does not have the chance to change very often.
• Many women who suffered from dryness and other problems related to tampons or menstrual pad, will feel better when using a menstrual cup.
• As one can reuse a menstrual cup for years, use is cheap.
Disadvantages of a menstrual cup
Many women have also given disadvantages on using a menstrual cup.
• Many women find it difficult to insert and remove the cup. Though removing the cup easily is not difficult once one knows the trick, it can be a frustration and consume a lot of time if done wrongly.
• Many people feel uncomfortable when seeing all the blood the cup collects.
• Some people feel uncomfortable when they have to insert something in their vagina. For these people the menstrual cup is not a good option.
• Though the cup can collect a lot of blood, women have been complaining about leakage. This occurs when the cup is rightly inserted. It may be challenging to find out whether you inserted the cup in the right way. However, the trick is usually not to insert the cup to deep.
How to use a menstrual cup
• The first step is to fold the cup ( which is easy as the cup is flexible) so that it is smaller. The easiest way to fold it is to create an ‘U’ form.
• When the cup is folded you have to insert it. Insert it low in the vagina which means that once it is in there, you are fine. You should be able to feel the lower part of the cup when you touch your vagina.
• Leave the menstrual cup until you feel that it is time to change it.
• When removing the cup, take a squat position or sit at the toilet with your legs slightly spread apart. Grab the cup, release the seal by gently pressing the base of the cup and then suddenly take it out.
• Rinse the cup with water.
• Reinsert the cup.
• When you have finished your period, put the cup in boiling water for 5 to 7 minutes, dry it thoroughly and keep it in a clean place that allows breathing ( like a cotton back for instance).
Types of menstrual cups
There are quite many types of menstrual cups that all differ slightly. Some will be made of silicone whereas others are made of rubber. Some are slightly bigger than others and some may be wider. When interested in using a menstrual cup, it is a good idea to take a look at the different options to find out what would best suit you.
A couple of brands that one could research are:
• The DivaCup
• The Keeper
• Mooncup UK
• Mooncup USA
I have been using a menstrual cup ( Mooncup UK) for several months now and I have been calling it my finding of the year. What it change it has created for me! I had always been very sensible for tampons and menstrual pads but for some reason I never started looking for alternatives until half a year ago. I found out about menstrual cups and decided to at least give it a try. The idea that it would both healthy, convenient, green and cheap appealed to me.
At first I did not fully understand how to remove the cup, but once I tried it for the third time, I realized how easy it in fact is to remove the cup within a minute. I have not experiences leakages so far and I love how I can wait for 4 hours until I really have to empty the cup, rather than every hour.