Yuuki menstrual cups are perfect if you are looking to save money and reduce waste as each cup will last for 5-15 years before it needs replacing, and theoretically could last a lifetime. A period cup can last up to 12 hours before it needs emptying although this will obviously depend on your flow rate and can be worn for any activity you would wear a tampon.
Yuuki cups are available in two sizes (generally choose the bigger if you have given birth) and two levels of firmness (soft and classic).
The Yuuki menstrual cup is a Czech product and the brainchild of Zuzana Poláčková. It is made from medical-grade silicone in a special cleanroom. Yuuki cups like other menstrual cups are designed to be inserted into the vagina and collect menstrual fluid in place of a tampon.
Menstrual cups have been rapidly gaining popularity in recent years as not only are they safe, easy to use and cost-effective but they are also reusable for many years and so have a huge positive environmental impact.
For most women menstrual cups are liberating as they are comfortable to use, you can’t feel the cup once it is in place and you can wear them for whatever activities you want to be doing including sports and exercise. Once you get used to using them they are very very unlikely to leak giving far better peace of mind and there’s no need to have a bag full of sanitary products as you can insert the cup prior to starting your bleed with no ill effect.
Menstrual cups hold far more fluid than a standard tampon meaning they need to be emptied less frequently. How often will depend on your flow and the size of the cup you are using. The size of the cup is chosen in relation to your body rather than your flow with women who have given birth tending to need the larger cup.
You may need to empty the cup anywhere from once every 4 hours to once every 12 hours depending on your flow. Many women find they can insert it in the morning and not have to worry about it until they get home at the end of the day.
Because Yuuki cups are made of silicone that is certified for food and medical use it is very unlikely to cause any reaction in the body making it a far safer option to tampons or disposable sanitary pads which often have chemicals in them. Tampons will often also leave fibres behind in the vagina which can lead to drying and infection neither of which are a risk when using a silicone cup.
Yuuki Cups' Design
Yuuki has designed the cup to have ridges on the tail (which you can cut off if required) and the bottom of the cup to make it easier to grip hold of the cup when you are removing it. They also make the cup in two levels of firmness, classic and soft, with soft being perfect for women who are more sensitive and the classic being a great option, especially for more active women.
A great feature of the Yuuki cup is that they also come with a disinfecting tub that makes cleaning the cup between cycles incredibly simple and discreet. Simply place the cup in the tub, fill it with water and place it in the microwave for a few minutes. Or you can boil for 5 to 10 minutes in a saucepan if you don’t have a microwave.
Using your Yuuki cup is a simple process with so many benefits for you, your pocket and the planet that it really is worth trying.
Where to Start With a Yuuki Cup
If you are new to Yuuki or using a menstrual cup in general then the first thing you need to do is choose which cup you are going to buy. Yuuki comes in two sizes, small and large, and as a general rule if you have had a baby you will need to use the larger cup. Women over the age of 30 may also find the larger cup is a better fit.
As well as size there are also options for the softness of the cup with the classic cup being much firmer than the soft. Some find that the firmer cup is uncomfortable, especially if they have a sensitive vagina, while others, especially those that are very active, much prefer the firmer cup.
When you get your Yuuki cup you will notice there is a stem coming out of the bottom of the cup. This can be trimmed to make it more comfortable depending on the height of your cervix and whether or not you need the stem to help you remove the cup. You should try inserting the cup a few times before trimming the stem.
Inserting and Removing the Yuuki Cup
Once you have chosen which cup to buy the next thing to master is inserting and removing the cup.
Inserting the cup is fairly similar to inserting a tampon apart from the fact that you need to fold the cup to make it easier. Different positions work for different people but many women find squatting or lifting one leg work well. Once inserted the cup should pop back into shape and form a seal with the wall of the vagina. The vaginal muscles and a slight vacuum hold it in place and prevent any leaks.
When it’s time to remove it you can simply grip onto the bottom of the cup, give it a little squeeze to release the vacuum and gently pull it out. If it’s difficult or painful to remove it might be that the vacuum has not been released and you need to put your finger up a little further toward the rim.
It’s recommended that you rinse the cup when you change it, either in a sink if you have one available or using a bottle of water if you don’t. This isn’t essential though, so if you get caught in a public toilet you can simply empty it into the toilet bowl and wipe with some loo roll.
Cleaning the Yuuki Cup
As mentioned above you can rinse your Yuuki cup each time you empty it or simply empty and reinsert if rinsing isn’t an option. Between cycles however the cup needs to be sterilised in boiling water. This can be done in a pan or using the microwave.
The Yuuki cup comes in two sizes and they do a soft version so they really are great for a wide range of users including older and younger women, those who have given birth and those who have not, those who are active and those with more sensitive vaginas.
The Yuuki cup is perfect if you have a light period as it will happily stay in place all day without risk of dryness or infection. But, equally, they are perfect for people with heavy periods as they can collect more liquid than a tampon and so allow for less frequent trips to the bathroom.
Menstrual cups are also the perfect option for environmentally conscious women as they last for years and years, on average your cup should last at least 5 years and up to 15 years. And when it is time to get rid of it silicone cups can be recycled. Menstrual cups save a huge number of tampons or pads from going to landfill every month or worse ending up in the oceans.
They are also incredibly easy to use and clean and take up very little space so they are ideal if you want to be as eco-friendly as possible and don’t fancy washing out reusable pads or period pants.
Can You Use a Yuuki Cup While Pregnant?
No, it is not recommended to use a cup while pregnant. Reusable liners or pads are a good alternative.
Can You Use a Yuuki Cup If You Have Just Given Birth?
No, cups are not recommended for your postpartum bleed. Once your periods resume they are fine to use but you will probably find you need to go up a size.
Can You Use a Yuuki Cup If You Are Menopausal?
Yes you can, and one of the benefits of using a cup is that you can use it even when your periods get very light and infrequent.
Who shouldn’t use a Yuuki Cup?
As mentioned above Yuuki cups are not suitable when you are pregnant or for those who have just given birth. In these instances, we would recommend using reusable sanitary pads, liners or postnatal pads. Reusable pads tend to be much less likely to cause irritation or discomfort than disposable pads and of course they are reusable so there is no waste.
Young women who have not had sexual intercourse may struggle to insert the cup at first although this will get easier with time. And they may benefit from using the softer cup to begin with or choosing reusable sanitary pads or period pants.
It is also worth noting that not everyone will find they are able to comfortably wear a cup for their entire period. Your cervix changes height during your cycle so you might find that a cup is perfectly comfortable some days and not others.
Menstrual cups such as the Yuuki cup have been around for a long time but have only really become popular, especially in the mainstream, in recent years. Their soaring popularity can be put down to a number of benefits including environmental benefits, health benefits and cost benefits over disposable and even other reusable alternatives.
Environmental Benefits of Using a Yuuki Cup
One of the biggest incentives to switch to a period cup is the environmental impact that comes from not using disposable products. A single menstrual cup will last for a decade or more, which is an awful lot of pads or tampons that aren’t ending up in landfill or worse being flushed away and ending up in our oceans.
Yuuki cups are made of silicone which is food and medical grade meaning it’s totally safe for internal use but also means they are plastic-free and recyclable. Over ten years a single cup could replace around 2500 tampons which is a lot of waste, especially if you use applicator tampons.
Cost Benefit of Switching to Reusables
As well as the environmental impact of switching to a menstrual cup there is also a big financial incentive. You’ll never have to buy another tampon again, meaning you’ll have made back the money you sent in a few months and be saving every month after that. This can be especially important for women on low incomes.
And of course if you have a cup you never run out of sanitary products either so no midnight trips to the 24hr garage or supermarket when you get caught out. A menstrual cup can also be inserted the day you are due to start your period even before you have started bleeding with no ill effect so you don’t have to carry it in your handbag just in case if you don’t want to.
Personal Benefits of Using a Yuuki Cup
As well as the environmental and cost benefits of switching to a reusable Yuuki cup there are also a number of health benefits that many women experience when they make the switch.
For a start silicone is a very safe inert material. Unlike tampons, there is no chance of fibres being left behind in the vagina causing dryness and possible infection. Many tampons and pads also have chemicals in them which can dry out the vagina and cause irritation and discomfort.
Disposable products often contain ingredients that are designed to draw the blood out which has been linked to cramping and as such many women find they have less painful periods and even lighter periods when they make the switch.
A menstrual cup is also really convenient and easy to use. They also hold more fluid than a tampon so they need to be changed less regularly and they are easy to clean by sterilising in a pan or the microwave.
If you are new to the idea of using a Yuuki cup, or any other brand of menstrual cup then you’ve probably got a few questions you would like to know the answers to before you get started.
We’ve compiled a few of the most common questions and answered them all in one place so you can start your journey with confidence.
How do you use a Yuuki Cup?
Using a Yuuki cup is just like any other menstrual cup. The cup is designed to be inserted into the vagina and is held in place by the vaginal muscles.
Inserting the cup is done by folding it and inserting it with your hand. You can wet the cup with water or use a lubricant to make it easier to insert. Most people find a squatting position is ideal for inserting the cup but experiment to find what works best for you.
As you insert the cup you want to have the bottom of the cup roughly 1cm from the entrance to the vagina. The cup then needs to unfold so that it will stay in place and not leak.
How do you Empty a Yuuki Cup?
Emptying the Yuuki cup is simple. Simply remove and tip into the toilet bowl or sink. If you are worried about making a mess you can practise removing it in the shower until you get used to it.
How Often do you Need to Empty the Yuuki?
How often you empty the Yuuki cup depends on your flow. You may need to empty it every few hours if you have a heavy flow, especially if you are using the smaller cup. However many individuals with a lighter flow can keep the cup in for 12 hours and only empty it morning and evening.
How do you Clean a Yuuki Cup?
Cleaning a Yuuki cup is also a simple process especially so thanks to the infuser/disinfection box that comes with the cup. Thanks to the box you can easily disinfect in the microwave or you can boil in a pan. The cup should be disinfected at the beginning and end of your bleed.
How Long Does a Yuuki Cup Last?
A Yuuki cup is made of high quality medical and food-grade silicone with a long life. It’s the same grade of silicone used during surgery so technically there is no reason the cup shouldn’t last you a lifetime. Generally menstrual cups are advertised to last for ten years so this isn’t something you will need to keep buying.
Can a Menstrual Cup Get Stuck Inside You?
No it can’t, however, it can be hard to remove if you haven’t released the vacuum. If you are struggling you might want to be in the shower so you’re not worried about any mess.