Sanitary hygiene – one of the most talk about topics when it comes to girls and women empowerment. It is believed that when a young girl’s sanitary hygiene issues are met, then she has a better chance of having a better life and that she is not crippled by such issues from an early age. Apart from sanitary pads and tampons, there are also menstrual cups and here below is all you need to know about menstrual cups.
What is a Menstrual Cup?
The menstrual cup is a type of reusable feminine hygiene product. It is small, flexible and made from rubber or silicone. It is inserted in one’s vagina to collect the menstrual flow.
The menstrual cup has gained popularity in the recent past given its ability to hold more blood as compared to other types of sanitary products. A cup can even be worn for up to 12 hours depending on one’s flow.
How to use a Menstrual Cup
before you go ahead and start using menstrual cups, it is important to visit your gynecologist. The sizes of these cups vary and that has to be determined before the purchase. The following factors will be considered by your doctor in figuring out your menstrual cup size
- Your age
- Length of your cervix
- Type of flow (Heavy or Light)
- Flexibility of the cup
- Capacity of the cup
- The strength of your pelvic floor muscles
- History of vaginal birth
Smaller size cups are recommended for women below the age of thirty, those that have not given birth vaginally and those with lighter flow. Bigger size cups are often for ladies above the age of thirty, those that have given birth vaginally and those with a heavier flow.
Putting in the Menstrual Cup
Before you insert your cup, make sure that it is wet or lubricated with water or a water based lube. When starting out, the cup may feel uncomfortable but with time, one gets used to it.
How to insert your Menstrual Cup
People that have used tampons before may find this procedure easier than those that have not. Below are the steps followed when putting in your menstrual cup:
- Clean your hands thoroughly
- Apply water at the rim of the cup
- While holding the cup with one hand, tightly fold the rim into half
- Insert the cup, rim up, into your vagina like you would do a tampon when not using an applicator. It should sit a few inches below your cervix.
- Once the cup in positioned, twist the cup and it will spring open, creating an airtight seal that prevents any leaks and the blood is collected there.
When the cup is properly inserted, you should not be able to feel it. You should be able to do normal everyday activities like exercising, jumping, sitting walking etc without the cup falling out.
If you are unable to insert the cup, you should see your doctor. The doctor will help you understand everything you need to know about the menstrual cup and the reasons why you are unable to insert it.
When should I take my menstrual cup out?
Cups can be used for 6-12 hours depending on the flow. This means a menstrual cup can be used for overnight protection.
Do not use your cup for more than 12 hours. Even if it is not full, remove and empty it.
Taking out the menstrual cup
Here is a procedure on how to take out your menstrual cup:
- Thoroughly clean your hands
- Place your index finger and thumb in your vagina and pull the stem of the cup gently.
- Once you reach the base, pinch to remove the seal and pull down to remove the cup
- Once out, empty the cup into the toilet
After emptying the cup, it should be washed and wiped before being put back if it a reusable one. As for those that cannot be recycled, dispose them after removal.
With good care, reusable menstrual cups can be used for up to 10 years.
Have you ever used a menstrual cup? What was the experience like? Would you recommend it to other people? Let me know what your thoughts are if you have never used this sanitary hygiene product.