The menstrual cup offers several advantages over tampons and sanitary pads. The cup can be used several times and is therefore kind to the environment and your wallet in the long term. It can be used for long time with careful handling. However, if the cup has cracks or is generally no longer in good condition, it should be replaced.
According to the research, there is evidence that the menstrual cup leaves less residue in the vagina than tampons. This means that infections are less common. The cup does not dry out the vagina like a tampon, as it does not absorb any vaginal fluid. With a capacity of up to 30 milliliters, it does not have to be changed as often as a tampon.
Compared to a pack of tampons or sanitary pads, a menstrual cup is quite expensive. Special sets from menstrual cup manufacturer can cost up to $40. However, it has worth in the long term. Some theory crafters did math and figured out that for every menstrual period you invest around three dollars for tampons or sanitary pads. Since the menstrual cup works for months, you can easily get to know that how beneficial it can be buying a menstrual cup over sanitary pad.
Insertion of the menstrual cup: correct folding is important
Inserting the menstrual cup requires some practice to begin with. Basically, the cup should be sterilized after each cycle and especially before the first use. Wash hands thoroughly before and after insertion.
The soft, flexible container can be folded in size to make it easier to use. If you want to introduce the menstrual cup, you have various options. For example, the cup can be folded lengthways once or twice.
The simple fold is called the heart or C-fold, as it is reminiscent of this shape when viewed from above. The fold in a triangle, in which one side is folded in towards the middle, is also used. With the punch-down or mussel method, a finger presses one of the sides in before it is firmly pressed together. The S-method is another option that is available for slim women. Every woman finds out the right method for herself by trying. With all of these variants, some air should remain in the cup. Only then can the cup develop properly in the vagina.
The menstrual cup is best inserted while sitting or standing. Beginners can lubricate the cup with lubricant or moisten it with water. Placed between the thumb and forefinger, it is aligned with the folded side facing forward and inserted into the vagina at an angle. It should not sit too close to the vaginal entrance.
The menstrual cup is inserted so deep that it can no longer be felt. If it is in the right position, it is let go and it unfolds. It is easy to check whether the menstrual cup is properly seated. Run your finger around the mug or twist the stem once. The vaginal muscles paired with the negative pressure hold the cup in place. Due to its soft material, the cap adapts to its surroundings, does not slip and thus ensures a good seal.
Removal of the menstrual cup: Important information
During the periods, the menstrual cap is inserted and removed several times a day. The hygiene is extremely important here. Always wash your hands thoroughly before and after removing the cup.
It may help to crouch to remove the menstrual cup. Gently squeeze the end of the cup so that the vacuum is released. Now pull the cap out by its handle. A slight wiggle of the menstrual cup makes it easy to remove. If the cup has slid further back, don’t worry. Use your pelvic floor muscles to press the cup down and pull on the cup.
The fear that blood will come towards you when you remove the menstrual cup is usually unfounded. The size of the cup makes this unlikely if it is emptied regularly. Empty the blood in a sink.
Cleaning the menstrual cup
At the end of your periods, a thorough cleaning by boiling the cup is advisable. If you like, you can also boil the cup from time to time during your periods. Don’t wait too long before cleaning your menstrual cup. Otherwise, the menstrual blood can dry out, which makes cleaning much more difficult.
When should you not use the menstrual cup?
However, you should not use the cup if you have vaginal infections with itching, burning, and increased, smelly discharge. It is also better not to use them with anatomical features. When in doubt, women can ask their gynecologist or an expert menstrual cup manufacturer whether the cups are suitable for them or not.