What is a Menstrual Cup

The menstrual cup is a bell-shaped container that is placed in the vagina during menstruation, surrounding the cervix. Contrary to what happens with tampons and sanitary pads. It does not absorb menstrual flow but picks it up so that it can be discarded after its extraction.
The menstrual cup is made of a medical silicone container that’s inserted inside the vagina, adapting to the vaginal walls. It is placed just like a tampon during menstruation.
It collects all the flow inside the menstrual cup. And you can wear it for up to 12 hours without having to worry about emptying it. If you dare to use it, you will get rid of odors, losses, and worries. Some of the cups that exist in the market include an applicator to facilitate its use. The menstrual cup is attracting the attention of thousands of women worldwide. It is comfortable, safe and ecological.
It is a container made of hypoallergenic silicone, a material that is widely used in medicine. The most widely used is silicone since it is a material on which bacteria can hardly be fixed. This means that this type of cup is not associated with the appearance of toxic shock syndrome (SST). Which may occur with the use of tampons. In addition, candidiasis and cystitis that occur relatively frequently with the use of sanitary pads can be avoided.
Menstrual cup Sizes
One of the things that can be intimidating about the cup is its size and having to insert it. But you can explain that when it is used correctly it is very comfortable. And currently, there are different brands, models, and sizes available, and there is a suitable cup for every girl/woman.
Most brands of cups on the market have two sizes or three sizes. Not all menstrual cups work for all women. Today there is a wide variety of brands. And although most handle two to three sizes (depending on your body type- small, medium and large), the truth is that each varies by brand.
There are three factors to consider: height, firmness and capacity or size.
• Height – This is the size of the cup, that is, its measure in terms of height. This is chosen according to the height or depth at which your cervix is at the end of the vaginal canal. Because not all women have it at the same height (shortly I explain how to know what your height is).
• Firmness – This is the extent of firmness or hardness of the walls of the menstrual cup. There are cups that are very soft and flexible, while others are more rigid and firm. Choosing the perfect one for you’ll depend upon various factors. Like the sort of activities you are into, or whether you exercise or not.
• Capacity or size – Finally, this is the amount of liquid that the cup can collect. And that will depend on your age, if you have given birth and menstrual flow. Sizes can be very small with a capacity of 12 milliliters to the capacity of 50 milliliters.
Small menstrual cup
It is suitable for ladies under 25 who haven’t had children through vaginal delivery. This size is additionally appropriate if you practice low impact sports like yoga or pilates.
Large menstrual cup
This cup size is suitable for ladies older than 25 years. Or who have had children by vaginal delivery no matter age. Its cup is also meant for the woman who have heavy menstrual flow or if you have a large type.
If you’re one among those women who regularly practice sports athletics, volleyball or those where you’ve got to leap repeatedly like paddle tennis, tennis or aerobics, then this size is appropriate for you. It’s advised in these cases because these are the sports activities that tend to weaken the pelvic floor.
How does one need to keep your menstrual cup in good condition?
The menstrual cup needs specific care in order that it lasts longer, in good condition so safe to reintroduce into your body.
How to use a Menstrual Cup
When you are going to use it for the first time, you may not find it easy to put it on and take it off properly, it is only a matter of time and that you acquire practice.
In general 2-3 test periods are recommended, since it involves acquiring a new skill and assumes a learning curve. Once you’ve got the point, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to use.
You must be relaxed, fold the cup with your fingers and then insert it preferably sitting in a squat position. In this way, the cup will be open in the posterior area and will collect the menstrual flow.
Once you have it on, to remove it, you just have to take it out with your fingers. (insert one finger inside to press the cup which will compress the cup and it will be easy to take it out.) In case you have vaginal dryness, taking out the cup may bother you. However, this can be relieved by using a vaginal lubricant as many times as you need.
How to clean it
Another way to remove it, pull its end until it protrudes enough that you can take it without spilling the contents. As for its cleaning and storage, before the first use it is recommended to sterilize it in boiling water, and also to do it again between each period (it can be at the end and / or at the beginning).
In relation to the times you empty it during your period, you should rinse it with clean water, making sure that you have removed all the waste before reinserting it. It is important to read the manufacturer’s instructions. If you decide to wash it with soap, it is important to use only a neutral pH soap and avoid antibacterial or scented soaps, as well as other chemical materials to clean it.
When you are not going to use your cup, be sure to wash it well (sterile it with boiling water) and store it in a cloth bag that allows the silicone to breathe, in a room where there is no moisture (although it may seem the obvious place, we should not leave it in the bathroom or in an airtight container). A good option to store it is in your bag in the drawer of your room where you have your underwear.
Pros and Cons of Menstrual Cup
Benefits of a Menstrual Cup
Avoid infections: The most widely used is silicone since it is a material on which bacteria can hardly be fixed. This means that this type of cup is not associated with the appearance of toxic shock syndrome (SST), which can occur with the use of tampons. In addition, candidiasis and cystitis that occur relatively frequently with the use of sanitary pads can be avoided.
Savings: The durability of the silicone means that, with proper care, the menstrual cup of this material can be used for up to ten years. Although its price is a little higher than that of tampons and sanitary pads, in the long term it represents a considerable saving.
Comfort: It can be used for many hours before removing it for emptying and cleaning, even at night.
Ecology: Tampons and pads, once used, provide non-degradable materials and toxic waste, both biological and chemical. Since among the materials with which they are manufactured there are some very polluting. Even sanitary pads that is labeled organic have a slow degradation period. However, the menstrual silicone cup is discarded once every ten years, which is an important contribution to environmental care.
Disadvantages of menstrual cup
Despite the advantages of using the menstrual cup over tampons and sanitary pads, it also has some drawback, mainly related to its extraction:
You have to acquire practice in placing and removing the cup to do it correctly. For obvious reasons, it should not be emptied and cleaned in public toilets.
Sometimes the suction effect forces you to insert a finger along the side of the cup to eliminate the vacuum that has occurred and be able to extract it normally.
It is necessary to boil it before using it again.
Conclusion
The use of the menstrual cup provides benefits such as non-interference with vaginal pH. It is also comfortable since you can wear it for up to 12 hours.
It does not present infections since medical silicone is inerted, that is, germs do not accumulate in it. Another benefit is that it respects the environment, it is ecological and its use generates less waste than many other alternatives. The menstrual cup provides clear benefits on tampons and sanitary pads.
The menstrual cup is comfortable, safe, ecological, modern and reusable up to 10 years if you take good care of it. It is a good alternative to traditional options.