I’ll be honest, the thought of getting up close and personal with my old Aunt Flo kind of grosses me out. But the rise of die-hard fans of the menstrual cup has sparked a very keen (and totally unusual) interest in me. So, will you take a walk down the menstrual cup self-education lane with me?
What is a menstrual cup?
A menstrual cup is a bell-shaped collection device that is completely inserted into the vaginal canal. Forming a suction, the cup sits over the cervix and can collect an ounce of fluid (which by the way is TWICE as much as a typical tampon).
While the menstrual cup has only recently increased in popularity, it was first commercially available back in 1937.
Tampons vs. menstrual cups – why should I change?
The cup will cost you, on average, only $30 once every two to three years. Considering in a woman’s lifetime she will use, on average more than 11,000 tampons and pads – that’s a lot of money saved!
Those 11,000 tampons and pads per woman are just adding to our planet’s huge landfill problem. So taking away the necessity for these cotton products, we are minimising our impact on the planet substantially with each period.
Less change time
The cup only needs to be changed two to four times a day (depending on how heavy your flow is). Most reviewers are saying that they change once in the morning and once before bed. Possibly an extra time on their heaviest day.
That’s a lot less time spent in bathrooms!
Not only does the use of a menstrual cup remove that dry feeling you experience towards the end of your cycle, but you will no longer be inserting a chemical soaked cotton bullet inside your body. No risk of toxic shock, no bleach, no worries.
Okay, so how do I use it?
The cup comes in two sizes. The first is for women who haven’t birthed a child and are under the age of 30, while the larger size is for those who’ve had children and are older.
There will be a learning curve with insertion, so let’s take ourselves back to that first ever period experience. The day where we carefully followed all instructions and placed a tampon within our bodies while standing in the Superman position. Let’s go back and just retrain ourselves!
The cups are made with silicon which is easily manipulated and mouldable. After folding the cup in half you insert it with the bell facing upwards and the stem down (you will need to get to know yourself down there a lot more intimately throughout this process).
The difficulties that may arise include not having formed a suction and therefore experiencing leaks. Or not being far enough up in the vaginal canal, making it uncomfortable. However, we are assured that after two to three attempts you will have this completely sussed!
To remove the cup…well this is also an intimate task. You have to bear down as though giving birth, to move the cup down towards your opening. At which point you reach inside to feel for the tip, you gently squeeze the cup to break the suction and simply remove. Apparently, without any murder-like scenes occurring.
To wash – just use unscented soap and hot water, then reinsert or pack away for another month.
Well, that’s it. I’m convinced. Someone hand me my credit card – DivaCup, I’m looking at you.
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