What is a Menstrual Cup?
It is a sanitary care product for menstrual hygiene. It’s shaped like a cup with a stem at the end. Its purpose is to collect the menstrual blood from the vagina and prevent it from leaking. It is different from sanitary napkins or tampons which soak up the blood.
Why should you use Menstrual Cups?
- User friendly: When you use pads or tampons, they can cause rashes, irritation, and lots of odor. The menstrual cups do not let the blood come in contact with the atmosphere causing no rash or itchiness.
- It is environment friendly: A woman usually has 400 to 500 periods in her lifetime. If she uses 12 pads/ tampons per cycle, that’s 5000 to 7000 pads in her lifetime. A tampon or pad takes almost 500 years to fully decompose. Whereas a good quality menstrual cup is around 500-1000 rupees and it can last up to 8 to 10 years.
What size to buy when switching to a Menstrual Cup?
It comes in 3 sizes-small, medium and large.
Small cups are for those who are not sexually active. Medium cups are for those who are sexually active but haven’t given birth vaginally. And, the large-sized ones are for those who have given birth vaginally.
Where to buy the Menstrual Cup?
You can either buy it online, or you can buy it from any pharmacy or the market.
About the vagina
Think about the vagina as a shape of a bottle. The opening end of the bottle is the vaginal opening which we see outside the body. This is where you going to insert the menstrual cup. The tube of the bottle which is the vagina is where the menstrual cup is going to sit.
The vagina is almost 15 to 16 cm in length. It is a space that is normally closed. Only when something is introduced to the vagina, it opens up and stretches to accommodate, in this case, a menstrual cup.
Ideally, the menstrual cup should be sitting below the cervix. It shouldn’t be too low that it shows outside. It shouldn’t be too high that it’s ahead of the cervix.
Roughly it should be two or two and a half inches inside the vagina. Once it is inside, it will make a tight seal in the vagina and there will be no leaking of menstrual blood.
Steps of inserting a Menstrual Cup
- Sterilize the cup: Let the water boil in a pan. When the water starts to boil, put the menstrual cup into it and let the water boil for 5-7 minutes. Wash your hands before taking the menstrual cup out and let it cool off. Now, it is ready to be used.
- Fold the cup for insertion: You cannot insert the cup without folding it. You need to narrow the opening of the cup so it can easily go inside the vagina. There are various ways to fold a cup, common techniques are C or the U technique. For this technique, fold the cup from the middle so it makes a C or the U shape.
- Position for inserting the Menstrual Cup: You can either partially squat or stand with one leg on a step. Wash your hands and take a deep breath. Now, you can insert the cup.
How to insert the Menstrual Cup?
Hold the cup in a folded position, the way you feel most comfortable. With one hand open the labia and with the other introduce it inside. Once the cup is inside you can now release it.
Sometimes the cup does not fully open up. You can move the cup a little bit with its tail and adjust it. When it is properly inside, if you try to tug it, it won’t move. It means there is a tight seal inside.
How to remove the Menstrual Cup?
- Wash your hands well.
- You can sit slightly squat. Take a deep breath. With one hand open the labia and slide a finger at the base of the cup and press the cup slightly with your finger and slowly pull the cup out.
How frequently you should change the Menstrual Cup?
It varies from person to person. For a beginner, you can change it every 6 hours. Once you get used to it, you can go for timings which work best for you. The maximum limit after which it needs to be changed is 12 hours.
How to store a Menstrual Cup?
Once your period is over. Wash it with mild soap and water and dry it. Then put it in a cloth bag. Usually, the bag comes with the menstrual cup when you buy it.
Consult our team of health care experts at the Bansal Global Hospital. Fix your appointment today and contact us at +919911062832