Updated: 2020, May 13

Menstrual Cups: Essential Tips and What You Need to Know

A menstrual cup is a feminine hygiene device that is inserted into the vagina during menstruation.
Menstrual Cups: Essential Tips and What You Need to Know
Close-up of young woman hands holding a menstrual cup on the bathroom. By Josep Suria / Shutterstock

In This Article

 
Since time immemorial, period products have been disposable and somewhat costly to some extent. With increased knowledge of femininity, there have been gradual changes and improvements in handling and approaching such sacred topics.

We’ve seen period pads still in the market, to tampons, which came and eased the pressure, but now we have menstrual cups. Menstrual cups have gained popularity, and we’re about to see why.

These are reusable feminine hygiene products that are small and funnel-shaped made of flexible silicone or rubber. It’s in a manner that you insert into the vagina to take and collect period fluid.

Period cups have gained popularity because they can handle more flow than other period management alternatives.

They are an eco-friendly method that allows women to wear them up to 12 hours depending on their flow and still maintain utmost hygiene.
 

How to Choose the right Cup

Before exploring the menstrual cup, it’s advisable to visit your doctor for advice on which size or brand suits you.

Although period cup brands can be found online, finding the right size could be crucial in managing leaks and comfort.

To help you choose the right cup for your needs and to make this process easier and more accurate, take a menstrual cup quiz that will determine which size and brand is best for you.

The following are some of the things considered:

  • Age
  • Length if the cervix
  • The flow – light or heavy
  • Pliability or firmness of the period cup
  • The capacity of the cup
  • Strength of the pelvic floor muscles
  • Whether you’ve birth before vaginally

For young women who haven’t given birth yet, smaller cups are a proper consideration, but for 30 yr olds plus, larger period cups are recommended for more massive flows or due to birthing vaginally.
 

How to Use the Period Cup

Administering is as easy as using a tampon and less tedious.
How to Use Period Cup

Below are some of the precautions and steps are taken:

  • Ensure your hands are well cleaned
  • Rim up your cup with a water-based lube or just clean water
  • Fold the menstrual cup tightly in half with the rim facing up and hold in one hand.
  • Insert the cup with the rim facing up into your vagina without an applicator and have it sit a few inches under your cervix.
  • Once it’s in your vagina, rotate it for it to spring open and create a leak-resistant airtight seal.

Once you’ve undergone the process correctly, you shouldn’t feel your cup. With the period cup, life continues as usual, and even conducting your natural movements with ease becomes a norm during your menses and without the cup causing discomfort or falling out. However, if you face challenges or difficulties, you can consult your doctor on the right way to administer.
 

When to Remove the Period Cup

The period cup can be worn for 6 to 12 hours, depending on the type of flow you’re experiencing. It can be used for overnight protection but should always be removed by the 12-hour mark. However, if it’s filled before the time, you should empty it to avoid any leaks.

The following are the steps following when removing a period cup:

  • Observe hygiene and wash your hand thoroughly
  • Place the index finger and thumb in your vagina pull the cup’s stem carefully until you reach its base.
  • Pinch the bottom for the seal to release then pull down to remove the period cup.
  • Once removed, it can be emptied at the rightful place.

 

Pros and Cons of the Period Cup

Pros

  • It’s cheap and eco-friendly
  • The period cups are safer – as compared to chemically made alternatives with side effects
  • You can enjoy mess-free sex
  • They hold more blood
  • There is little to no odor

Cons

  • Removal can be a bit embarrassing or messy
  • Can cause vaginal irritation – if not well cared for or cleaned properly
  • Hard to find the perfect fit
  • Hard to insert and remove
  • May cause allergic reactions to some people – most of the cups made latex-free have made it acceptable to those affected with latex, but to some, the rubber and silicon upset them.

 

Conclusion

With the convenience offered by the period cups, they are the best option but always keep in mind to clean appropriately before and after use for that perfect experience.

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Anita DeFrancesco

Anita DeFrancesco, M.A. Modern Sex and Relationship Coach, founder of Tantra Wisdom™ and Kinepathics Emotional Cleansing. She hosts a

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