What you need to know about Menstrual Cups?
Menstrual cups are a cost-effective and eco-friendly option for period hygiene. Image: Pixabay
Menstrual cups are bell-shaped feminine hygiene products inserted into the vagina. Usually, they are made up of silicone-based material. It collects blood rather than absorption. Due to its reusability and cost-effectiveness, it has gain importance over other conventional methods.
A menstrual cup can hold up to 6-12 hours depending on the amount of flow. Then it is washed with water for further use. They come in various sizes from small to large. However one should always consult a doctor before using menstrual for the first as wearing it can be difficult in some cases. It can cause irritation to first-time users, or removal can get messy.
How to use a menstrual cup?
Always consult your gynecologist if you are a first-time user to avoid any confusion. One can buy online or from a store. Famous brands of menstrual cups in India are Sirona, Rustic art, Stonesoup, and many. Always read the instructions on the packaging. If required sterilize it in boiling water before using.
Steps for using:
1. Always wash hands thoroughly before inserting.
2. Apply water to the rim of the cup if required, fold the menstrual cup in half with the rim facing upwards.
3. Insert the cup into the vagina with the rim facing upward towards the lower back. Squatting can be better for inserting. Other preferred positions are standing, lie down, etc. depending on the comfort.
4. Once the cup is inserted, rotate it to make an airtight seal.
After insertion, check that if you are able to move, jump or do activities. If feeling uncomfortable, consult with your doctor.
How to take care of your menstrual cup?
Remove the menstrual cup by pulling the cup stem gently. Empty the cup into the toilet after removal. Wash it in clean water. Boil it in water to sterilize and store in a cool and covered place. Wipe your menstrual cup before reusing it. Empty the cup at least 2 times a day to avoid overflow and leakage.
Menstrual cups can last up to 8 -10 months depending upon the durability and usage.
Pros and cons of menstrual cups
• Safer than tampons
• Leakage proof
• Hold more blood than pads and tampons
• Compatible with sexual activity
• Difficult to insert or remove sometimes
• Hard to find the right size
• Vaginal irritation
• Allergic reaction
However, menstrual cups are a great option for period hygiene with advantages but unawareness and lack of the right knowledge lead many to face difficulties in using menstrual cups. Always research before buying a cup or consult a gynecologist to understand your body type to find the right size.
Follow the directions written on the packaging and take time to become comfortable with your cup. Sometimes it may take several attempts but patience is the key. Make sure to keep or cup clean and dry for the next usage.