The prospect of switching up the comfort of sanitary pads with a menstrual cup can seem daunting. Lekin ye iss liye hai because you may not know enough about it. You might have seen it pop up on your feed but do you know how to use a menstrual cup? Nahi? Then fikar not, we’re here to solve all your doubts and tell you everything you need to know about using menstrual cups.
Starting with the basics, what is a menstrual cup?
What Is A Menstrual Cup?
It’s a reusable feminine hygiene item usually made of silicone in the shape of a funnel. You place the flexible cup inside your vagina to collect menstrual blood. Many women use cups as an environmentally-friendly substitute for pads and tampons since they last longer than other ways. Additionally, you can wear a cup for up to 12 hours, depending on your flow.
Let us understand how to use one.
7-Step Guide On How To Wear A Menstrual Cup
You’ve got your cup and your periods are here. Let’s learn how to put it in the cup.
Step 1: Make sure you’re on your period before you insert the cup. If you try it before your vaginal canal is lubricated enough, it will be difficult for the cup to easily glide in. It will be an uncomfortable and unpleasant experience, so avoid doing that.
Step 2: Relax your body. A stressed body means your muscles are clenched tight, which makes insertion difficult. So, if you want to have an easy process, try to relax your body.
Step 3: Sit down on the toilet or stand up with one leg up. Insertion is easier in either of these positions. There are two ways you can fold the cup as given below:
- U-Fold: Fold it in half by pressing the sides together between your fingers
- Push-down Fold: Keep the cup’s top edge. Push the top rim of the cup down into the centre of the base by using your index finger on the top rim to form a triangle
Step 4: Choose the right angle. The cup is placed horizontally, toward your tailbone, as compared to a tampon, which is put in the upward direction.
Step 5: Use warm water. Although it would seem logical, do not use any lubricant with a menstrual cup because it could harm the silicone’s quality and the environment in the vagina. Only using warm water because it will help warm the menstruation cup. Your natural lubrication combination with warm water should make inserting smooth and easy.
Step 6: To ensure the cup is sealed right in its position, twist it 360 degrees.
Step 7: When using a menstrual cup for the first time, many people feel overwhelmed and can mess up the process. If you’re someone who’s just starting out with menstruation cups, be patient with yourself. Finding the ideal fit and comfort with the cup for some people might take up to three months, and this is a very normal occurrence.
This brings us to the next section.
How To Select Menstrual Cup Size?
Although it’s not always the case, the menstrual cup size guide has two sizes: small and big. Some brands offer alternatives for younger teens sizes in 3–4 sizes.
Cup size should only be chosen based on fit, not flow. You can buy a large cup thinking it can hold a lot of period blood, but it also needs to fit you comfortably. If the diameter and length are not also a good fit for you, don’t choose a cup based purely on its capacity.
There is no standard menstrual cup size guide, so each brand has its own sizing. Generally, you will find:
- Small: For those who just got their period and who are under 30 and have never experienced full-term pregnancies.
- Medium: For those under 30 but have gone through a full term of pregnancy.
- Large: For those over the age of 30.
If you’re in doubt about how to choose a menstrual cup size, then always size up.
When To Change Menstrual Cup?
Depending on whether or not you have a heavy flow, you can wear a menstrual cup for anywhere between 6 and 12 hours. That means your cup can be used as overnight protection.
Make sure to always remove the cup by the 12-hour mark. You will need to empty it in advance if it fills up before then to prevent leaks.
Clean your hands thoroughly before and after removing the cup. Insert your thumb and index finger inside the vagina. You can reach the base of the cup by gently pulling the stem.
To remove the cup, pull down while pinching the base to release the seal. After it has been removed, empty the contents of the cup.
2-Step Cleaning Process For A Menstrual Cup
Before You Use It
How to sterilise a menstrual cup before you insert it? The process is a very easy one. Just put some water to boil and let your cup sit in it for 10 minutes.
But if you’re asking how to sterilise a menstrual cup without boiling water and think any other sterilising agent will work the same, you’re wrong. To avoid irritation and infections in your vaginal canal, don’t use the following materials:
- Anti-bacterial soap
- Scented soap
- Baking soda
Now you know how to sterilise a menstrual cup before you use it.
After You Use It
How to clean menstrual cup after you’ve used it? Cleaning your cup after use is pretty straightforward and easy. Just rinse it in the water with some unscented soap after each wear. Make sure you clean it at least twice a day. If you’re out somewhere and do not have access to water, how to wash menstrual cup then? Carry wipes and tissues with you which you can use to swipe the cup clean.
Where To Store The Cup?
Most cups will come with a bag or pouch to keep them in when not in use. Alternatively, you can use any breathable pouch if yours didn’t come with one. It’s important to keep the cup clean and free of bacteria while still allowing for adequate airflow.
The pouch should be kept in a cool, dry place (like a vanity drawer), so that the cup is completely dry before your next use.
Advantages Vs Disadvantages Of Using A Menstrual Cup
As with every other thing in our life, menstrual cups come with their own pros and cons.
|– Cup removal can be messy.|
– It can be hard to find the right fit.
– You may be allergic to the material.
– It may cause vaginal irritation.
– There can be an increased chance of infection.
|– Cup removal can be messy|
– It can be hard to find the right fit
– You may be allergic to the material
– It may cause vaginal irritation
– There can be an increased chance of infection
How To Select The Best Menstrual Hygiene Product?
Using a menstrual cup comes easily to many women. But it might not be the case with you. Therefore, make sure you are familiar with what you need in your feminine hygiene product before switching. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Will you pay less for a cup?
- Is it easy to use?
- Do you want to have sex when on your period?
The menstrual cup is the best option if you said ‘yes’ to these questions. But if you’re still in a dilemma, discuss your options with your gynaecologist and choose a product that suits your needs.
Period hygiene products are abundant and widespread. There are so many options these days and you might get confused. So, here’s a list of major hygiene products that you must own.
- Period panties
- Pads, cups or tampons
- Panty liners
These are all the basic products you’ll be needing. They’ll vary depending on your needs and body. So, make sure you do your market research so that you get the best products.
We hope this article helped you understand how to wear menstrual cup, how to select menstrual cup size, how to wash menstrual cup and all the pros and cons.
#BeALittleMore with menstrual cups and that’ll help you save on money and the environment as well. All you need to do is ensure your cup is well-cleaned and dry so that you don’t catch any infections.
Open up like never before and participate in conversations about beauty, entrepreneurship, mental health, menstrual & sexual health, and more. Desi women, join our community NOW!