What Is a Menstrual Cup?
It is a menstrual care product that is placed into the vagina to collect the blood during menstruation. This feminine hygiene product is designed with the purpose to collect the discharged blood (menstrual fluid) from the uterine lining and avoid its leakage on the clothes.
Unlike sanitary napkins or tampons, period cups or menstrual cups do not absorb the blood. It rather collects the menstrual blood.
Usually, menstrual cups are made with flexible medical-grade silicone in a bell-shaped cup with a stem at the bottom. The stem is presumed to help in removing the cup. Au contraire, if you try to pull the cup with the stem you might hurt yourself. The correct way to remove is ALWAYS by pinching the base of the cup to release the suction and then take it out. To avoid confusion, Stonesoup cups come without a stem.
When the period cup or silicone cup is inserted into the vagina, it stops against the vagina wall below the cervix. Depending upon the flow, you can empty the collected blood every 4-12 hours. Make sure you empty the collected blood from the cup, wash it clean, rinse it and reinsert for an unstressed period for another 4-12 hours.
Menstrual cups are promoted as eco-friendly and practical products that reduce toxic waste and other waste associated with period care. As you can reuse the menstrual cups or period cups, the necessity to dispose of the sanitary napkins and tampons also decreases and the tonnes of toxic sanitary waste do not fill the landfill.
These period cups or silicone cups can be reused for up to 10 years. This drastically reduces the spending on sanitary pads and tampons we buy every month. However, initially, the price of these cups may seem expensive, but on average, it is a cost-effective product. Did you know women spend Rs 30,000 on disposable sanitary napkins in 10 years?
How to Use Menstrual Cups?
Want to know how to use a menstrual cup? Here is a step-by-step process. However, it may take some practice and patience to master the technique of inserting and removing the period cups easily.
Step1: Fold the Cup
There are two ways you can fold the cup.
Option1: “U” Shaped Fold:
Press the sides of the menstrual cup and fold the cup into half to form a “U” shaped fold.
Option 2: “Push Down” Fold
Place your finger on the rim of the cup and press the cup down to the centre at the base to form a triangle. This makes the rim smaller and easier to insert into your vagina.
Step 2: Hold the Cup
Make sure you are holding the folded sides firmly between your thumb and forefinger and is facing the vagina opening.
Step 3: Insert the Cup
Sit in a relaxed position such as squatting, to ease your vaginal muscles. Then, gently separate the labia with your other hand and horizontally push the folded rim of the cup into your vagina until it is fully inside. The cup automatically opens into the vagina and sits below the cervix to collect the blood.
Step 4: Remove the Cup
To remove the cup, insert your thumb and forefinger into your vagina and reach for the base of the cup. Pinch the base to release the cup. Continue to pull down the cup until it is completely removed. Empty the collected blood in the toilet and wash the thoroughly wash the cup with warm water and mild soap. Reinsert the washed and cleaned cup.
Benefits of Using Menstrual Cups
- Comfortable: Once you learn to use the period cups, you will not feel them. With menstrual cups, you can do any physical activity and enjoy any sport (especially water sports or swimming) without any worry.
- Eco-friendly: When you reuse the cup over the years, the toxic waste from sanitary disposals is reduced and hence contributes towards the environment.
- Economical: Silicone period cups are reusable cups. You don’t have to buy another cup for 10 years. This saves money on monthly expenditure towards sanitary pads and tampons.
- Healthier: Menstrual cups are made from health grade or medical grade silicone. So, they are safe for your skin. No skin rashes caused by the toxic chemicals used in disposable sanitary pads and tampons.
Menstrual Cups are an excellent choice of period care products that are easy to use and are made of non-toxic material that lasts up to 10 years. Women with all kinds of physical activities can use these cups and not be worried about leakage, stains, rashes and itching.