This post comes highly requested and well overdue, but it’s finally time to talk about menstrual cups!
I spoke briefly about cups in an earlier post, but I received a quite a few messages asking for a post with more detail… so here we are, let’s jump right in.
What is a menstrual cup?
A menstrual cup is a reusable alternative to the traditional tampon, usually made of medical grade silicone. It is inserted into the vagina, creating a seal to collect menstrual blood, rather than absorbing it.
I started using a menstrual cup this year and haven’t looked back, I have always been a tampon person, but personally I prefer the cup for many reasons, including:
- It is not a single use item and is therefore better for the environment
- That dry tampon feeling? No longer
- It is more cost effective as you only need one cup and it will last you at least two years (depending on the brand)
- You can leave it in for up to 12 hours
A menstrual cup has many advantages over a tampon, but it is important to not that it does not void all risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome.
So how do you use it?
Before and after each use you need to sanitise your cup in boiling water. You can do this in a pot, pour boiling water over it or the latter and then cover it and microwave.
During your period, just rinse when you empty it and re-insert (when practical, if not just wipe your cup with toilet paper and re-insert).
There are a few different ways you can insert your cup, the two most popular methods are the “c-fold” (or “u fold”) and the “punch down fold”
The c fold is where you fold the cup in half, forming the shape of a c or a u (depending on your angle).
The punch down fold is where you push the cup into itself with your finger so that it half folds inward and a small circle forms in the other half.
The c fold creates a wider shape to insert than the punch down fold, but both are easy to insert, so it’s really up to what you prefer!
Menstrual cups are inserted the same as tampons, and when it is in place you’ll feel it open and form a suction to secure, so if you pull at the stem it won’t come out.
To remove your cup, you need to break that suction that has formed. Use the stem to move the cup down and then pinch the cup as high up as you can to release the suction, and then pull it out, just as you would with a tampon.
There are so many different cups out there, servicing vaginas of all different shapes, sizes and needs. Finding a cup that works for you is important for your menstrual cup experience so read up on whatever brand you’re looking at. If you want additional information reading up over on @TheGreenVagina may be just the ticket for you, Jeanette has a plethora of reviews on cups of all different brands, shapes, sizes, firmness-ess and colours.
Personally, I love my cups and will honestly never go back to tampons, not only is my vagina not absorbing the chemicals in the cotton, but I’m reducing my waste and having more comfortable and less stressful periods.