What is a Menstrual Cup? Why should we use it? and How do we use it?
Sanitary pads are very harmful to our health and the environment, there have been a lot of articles recently in the papers, so I am sure most of you know that they don’t decompose for 500-800 years, they have negative effects on our health, we get rashes and even long term illnesses are associated with sanitary pads. They are being burnt or incinerated which releases toxic gases in the environment which are also leading to numerous diseases and health problems.
Menstrual cups are made of medical-grade material: They are totally safe to be worn internally in the body. Medical grade silicone is very similar to the material that is used for baby bottle nipples. It is a very soft material, sometimes people get scared that it looks really big and huge, how am I supposed to insert that? But it is soft so you can easily fold it, it becomes a lot smaller when inserted it opens up.
Inserting: To wear a menstrual cup, you need to fold it (c-fold, punch down fold, etc.), the entrance becomes a little smaller, you fold it, insert it and then it will open up inside the vagina and form a seal with the vaginal walls. It will collect your menstrual blood and get full in 3-10 hours depending on your flow.
Removing: When it gets full, you have to pinch the base to break that seal which it formed and slightly fold it back in a c-fold and take it out. You need to empty contents in the toilet seat/sink, rinse it with plain / drinking water and insert it again. Always rinse with cold water first as hot water can set the stains.
Unfolding: Sometimes when you wear, it may stay unfolded and not open up, in that case, to make sure it opens up, you can pinch the base, or slightly rotate the cup or move it slightly in and out, one of these things will make sure that your cup pops open and forms a good seal with the walls.
Cleaning: Once you have removed the cup, you only need to wash it with plain water, you can use mild soap once in a while if you want to, but washing with just plain water is fine, if you have access to hot water, that is also good you can wash it with hot water as well. and once a month you can sterilize it by boiling in water (5-7 min) or even soaking in boiling water for 5-10 min helps kill the bacteria in the cup. You can boil it after every cycle or before your next cycle and store it in the cloth bag that comes with the cup.
1. A lot of the time I get asked if women can pee while wearing the cup. You certainly can, you don’t need to remove the cup to pee because if we look at the female reproductive system, we pee from the urethra and bleed from the vagina. During periods, the blood comes from the uterus, through the cervix, and exits the body from the vagina and that is where we insert the cup.
2. Another common question we get asked is that if you can wear the cup with a copper T or IUD inserted. Yes, you can. Most women are using it successfully along with their copper T. The copper T is inserted inside the uterus and it has a string that comes down to the cervix and sometimes its kept quite long, you will have to tell your gynae to cut the string short, close to the cervix so when you are wearing the cup and when you pinch and remove, the string doesn’t get stuck in the cup and the copper T doesn’t get dislodged while removing the cup.
3. One more tip I would like to share is that every woman is different and one size cup cannot fit all of us. Menstrual cups come in a lot of different sizes, different diameters, different lengths so it is better that you do your own research, invest some time in figuring out which cup will be more suitable for you before buying a cup. You can take our quiz and select the cup according to your body type.