A menstrual cup? what on earth is that? well, being relatively new on the sanitary-wear scene..these are going to be the next big thing. Forget tampons.. hello menstrual cups.
These highly reliable cups have had a lot of research and below we’ve listed the top facts that will help you decide if these are the best thing for you!
What is a menstrual cup?
Stephanie Taylor, Founder and Managing Director of pelvic health company Kegel8, explains:
“A menstrual cup is a small cup made from flexible and body-friendly plastic which you insert into your vagina instead of using a tampon or towel”
“It sits just below your cervix and collects any blood or lining you lose for up to 12 hours,” she adds. The main difference between a tampon and a period cup is that the cup collects your blood, whereas the tampon absorbs it.
Can menstrual cups leak?
Rest assured, no! A major scientific review published in the Lancet Public Health journal recently, which assessed 43 studies involving 3,300 women and girls, has recently concluded that menstrual cups are just as reliable as tampons in the leakage-prevention stakes. Leakage rates were found to be similar between tampons and menstrual cups in three of the studies that were analysed, and were actually found to have significantly less leakage than tampons in one other study.
How do you insert it?
Don’t worry.. it’s really simple. Stephanie explains:
“Make sure both your menstrual cup and your hands are clean, then hold the base of your cup and flatten the opening. Fold it in half vertically, so that the opening forms a ‘C'” Next, you need to find a comfortable position to insert the cup – “you can even squat or raise one leg”
“The biggest thing to remember is to relax and take things slow. A menstrual cup doesn’t sit as high as a tampon; you should have approximately 1.5cm clear at the base. Check the cup has fully opened by giving the stem a gentle pull – if you feel some resistance then you’re good to go.”
Can I use a menstrual cup if I’m a virgin?
“Yes, you can start using a menstrual cup from your first period”
“It may feel uncomfortable at first, but don’t force it. It’s best to choose a brand which offers smaller sizes.”
Are menstrual cups better for you?
Tampons are very commonly used but they do have risk of infection but the cup avoids that all together, Stephanie explains:
“Most tampons are treated with chemicals to bleach the cotton and even contain plastic”
“Tampons strip your vaginal walls of its lining and soak up the healthy discharge you need to keep your body’s natural flora at the optimum levels. A menstrual cup takes the blood and leaves everything else.”
How do I keep my menstrual cup clean?
Well.. let’s get this out of the way, you’re going to have to wash away your period blood. It’s kind of, the only way to keep it clean.. you know..
“Just give it a quick rinse with hot soapy water or use a cleaning spray. Rinse thoroughly to remove any soap or cleaner residue as this can cause irritation after insertion. For a more thorough clean, boil your cup”
Can I use a menstrual cup if I have heavy periods?
Yes.. of course you can! Stephanie adds:
“Menstrual cups can hold up to 5 times more blood than towels and tampons. Some come with measurement lines to tell you whether you’re having a light, medium or heavy flow. They can also help diagnose endometriosis which affects 1 in 10 women in the UK, as very heavy periods can be a tell-tale sign.”
Will you start using one?