Gone are the days when women used to solely depend on sanitary napkins to prevent leakage during menstrual flow every month. With latest technologies and the need of modern women, and to avoid sudden leakage several brands are coming out with easy-to-use devices that not only withstand menstrual flow during both heavy and light flow days but also provide freedom to do anything and move around freely without any hassle. One such incredible menstrual accessory that’s literally buzzing the women's world everywhere is the Menstrual Cup.

Also Read: Menstrual Hygiene Day: Be More Mindful Of Menstrual Hygiene In Summer
Menstrual cup

What Are Menstrual Cups, You Ask?

Menstrual cups are bell-shaped conical cups that are chiefly made of medical-grade silicone, rubber, latex or thermoplastic isomer. Unlike sanitary napkins or tampons, which actively absorb blood, these menstrual hygiene accessories actually collect the blood and prevent leaking onto clothes. They are usually shaped in the form of a bell with a stem at the apex that helps in pulling and insertion of the cup. Owing to the bell-shape of the cup, it gets sealed against the vaginal wall just below the cervix. It usually lasts for 4–12 hours (depending on the amount of flow), thereafter the cup should be removed, emptied, rinsed, and reinserted until completion of the period. Even though the initial cost of a menstrual cup is slightly higher than that of a disposable tampon or sanitary napkin, but being reusable for upto 10 years, it ultimately makes their long-term cost quite lower than the latter.

Well, if you are unaware of the various advantages of choosing this latest device over napkins or tampons, foray through this short read which not only details on how to safely use one but also clarifies the various pros and cons of this menstrual accessory.

Before, detailing on the various conveniences of using a menstrual cup, lets first know on how to use this device.

How To Use A Menstrual Cup?

The menstrual cup is first folded or slightly pinched and then inserted into the vagina. Normally, the cup springs open automatically, creates a light seal against the cervix and rests against the vagina. In some cases, you might need to slightly twist the cup or flex the vaginal muscles to ensure the cup is fully open and properly inserted within the vagina. If it is correctly inserted, the cup usually prevents leakage or cause any discomfort and facilitates free movement or posture. Ensure that the stem is completely inside the vagina.

How To Remove And Clean The Menstrual Cup?

After 4–12 hours of use (depending on the amount of flow you generally have), the cup should be removed by reaching up to its stem to find the base. Now, it is strictly recommended not to pull out straight away as it can create suction, cause discomfort in the vaginal muscles and even lead to leakage on to your clothes. Instead, slightly pinch the base of the stem, to release the seal and then slowly pull out all the while making sure that you don’t spill the blood anywhere.

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Once you safely remove the cup from the vagina, empty the menstrual fluid or blood, wash the cup with mild soap and water, wipe it dry and reinsert. After the end of each menstrual cycle, the menstrual cup should be sterilized by boiling in water for a few minutes or alternatively it can be soaked in sterilizing solutions and stored in a cool, dry place to ensure that the cup is microbe-free and ready for use in the next cycle.

Also Read: Prevent infections with these tips for improved menstrual hygiene

Types Of Menstrual Cup

Menstrual cups are usually found in two varieties, vaginal and cervical. The vaginal menstrual cups are usually bell-shaped, while cervical ones are placed around the cervix high in the vagina. The latter is much like a diaphragm for contraception.

Advantages Of Using A Menstrual Cup

  • Eco-friendly
  • Low on budget
  • Easy to use and safe
  • Can be used for up to 12 hours at a stretch
  • Ensures mess-free sexual activities
  • Holds more than a regular sanitary napkin or tampon
  • Prevents menstrual infections
  • Balances the vaginal pH
  • Doesn’t interfere with vaginal flora
  • Ultimate flexibility and freedom to move or wear any dress
  • No health risks
  • Long term usage
  • Gentle for the skin
  • Provides ultimate protection from leakage

Drawbacks Of Using A Menstrual Cup

  • Can be slightly messy while emptying contents
  • Sometimes difficult to find the perfect size
  • Difficulties while inserting or removing the cup in some cases

Although the advantage of using a menstrual cup significantly outweighs the slight cons, you must make sure that you don’t develop any allergic conditions or a Toxic Shock Syndrome (a life-threatening condition caused by bacteria entering the body through foreign objects) while using it for the first time. Apart from that if you are okay with the slight mess it creates while cleaning up and want to achieve the ultimate flexibility and freedom during those few days of the month, quit stalling, find your perfect match and to try out this latest menstrual device for a hassle-free menstrual cycle.