Do those days of the month give you sleepless nights? For many women periods can be quite annoying. Some even end up isolating themselves, giving parties, functions, and similar events a miss. For people who hate experimenting, sanitary pads and tampons come as the best and the safest bet. However, of late, another alternative, the menstrual cups are making a lot of noise for all the right reasons. Many women who have used menstrual cups swear by its effectiveness. For those who are still sceptical about using menstrual cups, we share some important and valuable facts about these cups to put all your doubts to rest.
Unlike the tampons and sanitary pads which absorb the menstrual blood, the menstrual cups instead collect the blood.
An eco-friendly and hygienic option, these flexible cups, measuring around 2 inches are made using soft and superior-quality, medical grade silicone (to avoid skin irritation). Some of the menstrual cups may also be made using latex rubber (but in most of the cases, silicone is used).
Now comes the most important question – how are menstrual cups used?
Using the menstrual cups is no Herculean task. Simple and hassle-free, all you need to do is to fold the cup (as per your convenience) and insert it gently and carefully into the vagina.
Once inside, the folded menstrual cup will slowly open up and unfold itself completely. This unfolding of the menstrual cup creates a suction which ensures there is no leakage of blood.
In some case, certain adjustments may be needed (such as a twist or rotating the cup slightly) to ensure the cup is fully unfolded, resting against the walls of the vagina.
In most cases, the menstrual cup can collect menstrual blood for up to 12 hours. However, the menstrual flow differs from individual to individual, altering the capacity of the menstrual cup to collect the blood.
Just as with the insertion, one should be careful while removing the cup to avoid spillage or any other inconveniences.
Gently pull the cup downwards from its stem till you get a grip on the base of the cup. To release the suction, give a slight pinch at the base. With the suction gone, you can now gently pull the menstrual cup out.
Once you empty the contents (menstrual blood) of the menstrual cup, rinse it properly with water and insert it back into the vagina.
You can repeat the process during the entire menstrual cycle. At the end of your menstruation, the menstrual cup can be cleaned and sterilized in boiling water and stored for future use. Yes, you heard it right! Most of the top-branded menstrual cups are reusable.
The menstrual cups come with a lot of benefits
i) As already mentioned, the function of the menstrual cups is to collect the menstrual blood. As a result, it does not affect the healthy pH of the vagina, unlike the tampons and the pads which also absorb the natural moisture along with the blood (altering the vaginal pH).
ii) Toxic Shock Syndrome is seen in some if not all women using tampons and menstrual pads. The condition triggered by bacterial toxins results in rash, fever, low BP and skin peeling. A menstrual cup seldom triggers such complications.
iii) Using a pad comes with the inevitable fear of leakage of menstrual blood causing extreme discomfort and embarrassment. A menstrual cup gives one the much-needed freedom from such problems and discomfort.
iv) Women with sensitive skin or dermatological conditions such as skin allergies or eczema can also safely use the menstrual cups.
v) One menstrual cup can be reused for a quite a few menstrual cycles (in some cases, even up to 10 years), thereby leaving a small pinch in the pocket.
With so many advantages, some minor demerits are inevitable.
Finding the right spot to insert the cup can be quite a task, especially for those using it for the first time.
If careless and impatient, removing the cup indeed leave you in a mess.
In some cases, there may be some skin irritation.
However, if you can overlook these minor problems, the menstrual cup is indeed an ideal choice during menstruation.