Menstrual Monday

Everything YOU Need to Know About Menstrual Cups

(Last Updated On: January 30, 2018)

 

I’m sure by now you have heard of menstrual cups, but are still hesitant to make the switch because you have unresolved questions. Here are the answers! (I am sourcing all information from cup selling sites as well as honest personal experience from me to you.)

The menstrual cup is an alternative to tampons and pads and has many benefits:

  1. It is reusable for years, so it will save you money 
  2. It can be used for 12 hours straight, so no worries about when you will get the chance to go to the restroom to change
  3. It does not absorb extra necessary moisture from your vagina
  4. It does not change the composition of your blood while inserted, so harmful bacteria does not form ——>>> if used correctly
  5. It will reduce waste and smell
  6. You will get more in-tune with your body

7, 8, 9, 10, ……………Much, MUCH MORE!!!!!!

I will go into further detail below, but here is a good beginners video I love to refer people to because she shares useful demonstrations on insertion, as well as many positive impacts of cup use from her own experience.

Material and Cleaning:

First off, the menstrual cup is made of medical grade silicon, and therefore is heavy duty and will last years. It is also clean and easy to care for. All you have to do between daily usage is rinse it with hot water before re-inserting. (More insertion advice following below.) Most soaps will be harmful to your insides (risk of bacterial infection, etc.). Since you will have to re-insert right away, avoid using soap. I have found that rinsing with hot water does the trick; maybe some light scrubbing with the fingers if necessary.

I use and love the Sckoon Cup. It has small holes near the opening of the cup to assist with the suction effect that keeps it in place while inserted, so I make sure to rinse in between those holes as well.

After the last use of each cycle I like to wash my cup thoroughly with soap and water, and then boil it for a few minutes in a pot of hot water before storing it for next month.

In Comparison to Tampons & Pads:

The Sckoon Cup is $38 and the pink one even donates 10% of all sales to the Life Beyond Breast Cancer organization. Because the cup is reusable, it will save you from the hassle and cost of buying tampons or pads month after month. As we all know, these conventional feminine products SHOULD NOT BE FLUSHED DOWN THE TOILET because they will clog your drains. So, you probably throw them in your trash, causing a certain unpleasant odor to fill your bathroom. Yuck! With the menstrual cup, you simply dump the contents into the toilet after removing the cup from your body, and flush the blood down. No more struggling to hide the unwanted mess or embarrassing smell!

Another thing I love about the cup is that it is good for at least 12 hours. Even though all women have varying bodies and flow, even the smallest sized Sckoon cup has the capacity of 0.7 fl oz, and the average woman’s entire menstrual cycle produces only about 1 or 2 fl oz the entire time! So, as long as the cup is being inserted correctly, it will not overflow and only needs to be changed for sanitation reasons. This way, I change my cup before leaving the house in the morning, and then don’t have to worry about it until I get home and can always change it in the comfort of my own private bathroom!

Tips on Insertion, Removal, and General Use

As mentioned previously, the cup needs to be used correctly in order to avoid leakage. The opening of the cup needs to be folded in order to squeeze inside the vaginal opening. The first video link of this post shows a good demonstration. Folding the cup makes it closer to the size of a tampon. There are 2 major differences, though, that differentiate this process from the insertion of a tampon:

  1. The cup needs to be inserted aiming at the tailbone, so at a lower angle than a tampon, which you would normally insert straight up.
  2. The cup sits much lower than a tampon, almost right at the opening of the vagina. So don’t try to stuff it as far as you would a tampon.

These are my best tips to remember when inserting. Your first couple attempts may be challenging, but stick to it, you can do it! You will be able to hear the cup suctioning to the walls of your vagina when it finds its comfortable position.

During removal, your cup will have moved a little higher inside of you and, yes, you will have to stick your thumb and index finger up there to reach it. Don’t worry; it’s just your body! You can use the stem to pull the cup down a bit, but ultimately you will need to pinch the cup to break the suction to be able to pull the cup out. Then, simply dump, rinse, and insert again. It helps to do your Kegel Exercises to strengthen your pelvic muscles. These muscles can be used to push the cup closer to the opening of your vagina so you don’t have to reach so deep with your fingers.

Here’s another video showing a more in-depth anatomical version of how the cup fits inside. A different type of cup is used in this video, a reminder that different bodies and people have different preferences.

Choose the shape and brand that seems best for you..

Comment with further questions you have about menstrual cups!

-Bee Abundant

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