Menstrual cups are a reusable, eco-friendly alternative to tampons and pads. They're made from high-quality silicone materials so they're comfortable and safe for most women (even those who have given birth). The menstrual cup neatly collects blood flow rather than absorbing as other feminine hygiene products do, so you can enjoy some peace of mind while also being more eco-friendly by reducing wastefulness. What's holding you back?, make your period green today!
What are menstrual cups?
Menstruation is a natural process that occurs in all women over the course of their lives. While there is no doubt that a menstrual cycle can be a messy and annoying affair, there are also some useful menstrual products like menstrual cups out there designed to reduce its inconvenience and for menstrual hygiene management.
Proper menstrual hygiene management is important for sanitation and health purposes. One such hygiene product to use instead of disposable tampons and pads is a menstrual or period cup. Menstrual cups are bell-shaped cups that are inserted into the vagina, collecting the flow instead of absorbing it as other reusable period products do.
The benefits of using menstrual cups include reduced monthly period costs, biodegradable disposal, and the opportunity for better body awareness and comfort.
Essentially, a menstrual cup is a reusable medical-grade silicone that is used as a safe and environmentally friendly menstrual product alternative to reusable pads and tampons and is easy to insert.
Regular tampons and pads are discarded after use and they’re piling up in our landfills. Furthermore, tampons and pads may contain many toxic chemicals which will come in contact with your skin. This makes a reusable menstrual cup an eco-friendly alternative.
There are lots of menstrual cups brands available such as Diva Cup and Moon Cup but we have chosen Ruby Cup and Yuuki Cup. These are menstrual cups for heavy flows as well as for women with low cervixes.
The reusable menstrual cup made from medical grade silicone is placed inside the vagina and collects your period blood. Once inserted you shouldn't feel the reusable menstrual cup. Reusable menstrual cups collect a higher volume of blood and are an alternative to tampons for the ultimate leak-free protection, even if you have a heavy period. And don't dry you out, for a more comfortable, irritation-free period.
What are the benefits of using menstrual cups?
- Huge cost savings. One reusable menstrual cup will last you years, that's a lot of disposable pad and tampons you won't need to buy.
- Huge environmental saving. Using reusable sanitary items like a menstrual cup dramatically reduces plastic waste.
- You can use a menstrual for up to 12 hours without the need for emptying giving maximum protection during heavy periods.
- When using a medical-grade silicone menstrual cup, there are no chemicals to draw out the blood which can mean a lot less cramping and pain for many women as well as other health benefits.
What menstrual cups size should I use?
Choosing the right menstrual cup size will ensure you are comfortable and get the best menstrual protection. Menstrual cups usually come in two sizes, the smaller size is generally most suited to women under 30 who have not given birth vaginally, and the larger size is for women over the age of 30 who have given birth vaginally.
You may wish to choose a larger menstrual cup size if you have a particularly heavy flow although there is generally not a huge difference in capacity so comfort and fit should come first. Once your silicone cup is in place you should barely feel it.
New menstrual cup users may wish to wear a panty liner for additional peace of mind, especially on heavier days, and we highly recommend the reusable panty liners as a great eco-friendly alternative to disposable panty liners.
Additionally, if you have a low cervix a shorter menstrual cup will be best for you as you insert the cup below the cervix.
Can anyone use menstrual cups?
Menstrual cups can be used by the majority of women! They are suitable for any age, however, they should not be used immediately post-birth until you have healed. Also if you have medical conditions such as a prolapse etc, you should consult with your doctor first before switching to using a menstrual cup. And expect some learning curve when making the switch.
Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) and menstrual cups
While the link between using disposable tampon or pad and toxic shock syndrome associated infections (TSS) has been widely linked there hasn't been the same link made between menstrual cups and the condition. There has been one reported case, that we are aware of, of a menstrual cup user having developed toxic shock syndrome (TSS) so while it would appear that it is a possibility it seems to be rare.
Current advice is to ensure the requisite build-up of bacteria that cause toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is prevented by sterilising the menstrual cup prior to reinsertion. The best practice would be to have two menstrual cups and to sterilise one while using the other.
How to use menstrual cups?
Whilst the initial thought of using a menstrual cup may be daunting, once you have gone through a few cycles with them, they become second nature and very easy to use. For the first 2-4 cycles you can use a liner with them, in case of any leaks until you get used to them. While the size of the cup is one consideration, another would be how firm the cup is. If you are more physically active you will find a firmer cup will stay in place better during exercise. A firmer menstrual cup is also easier to unfold once inserted. However, if you have a sensitive bladder you may wish to consider softer menstrual cups.
Inserting menstrual cups
Once you get the hang of it you'll find your cup easy to insert. Firstly ensure you have washed your hands. Then fold the menstrual cup and gently insert it into the entrance of your vaginal canal. Once inserted, the menstrual cup will unfold itself open and will then start collecting your menstrual fluid.
Removing menstrual cups
Use the stem to guide your fingers to the base of the menstrual cup. Then pinch the base to release the suction seal and slowly remove the cup from the vaginal canal. Don't remove it without releasing the suction first!
Cleaning your menstrual cups
Between changes, just run the menstrual cup under a tap. At the end of your cycle, they need to be sterilised before storing for your next cycle. Follow the manufacturer's instructions which can either be boiling for 15 minutes or microwaving in the menstrual cup clean pots.
If you find you need to empty the cup when you are out and about and don't have running water a quick rinse from a water bottle or a wipe over with toilet paper will suffice.