What is Menstrual cup?
They are specially made for women to be used during menstrual days. These are hygienically made products that can be used instead of the conventional sanitary napkins or tampons.
These are made of rubber or silicon, so that they can be easily inserted into the vagina and placed in such away so that the menstrual fluid can gather in these cups and it does not leak and spoil the clothes.
It is bell shaped with a stem. The stem helps to put the cup into place as it can be sealed onto the vaginal wall.
How they work
The menstrual fluid gets collected in the cup, thus, the cup has to be taken out of the body after every 4 to 12 hours according to the amount of discharge, so that it can be emptied and cleaned before re insertion.
Though the menstrual cup is costlier than the other products, but it is reusable and can be used regularly for about five years and is eco-friendly as these do not have to be disposed off regularly after every use like the sanitary pads or tampons.
There are disposable varieties too, like the Instead Softcup but the common brands of reusable ones are Diva cup, Moon cup, or Lily and the Lunette cup.
These cups are available online or across the counter at a nearby store and come in two sizes, small and large. The right size can only be suggested by the doctor.
How to use menstrual cup?
Read the manual carefully
First go through the instructions given along with the cup and decide whether to use it or not. Then check to find out whether it is the right size or not and the ways to keep it clean and sterilized.
Try it on during periods
The bathroom of the house is the safest place where one can easily put to trial the menstrual cup for the first time. Many people find it difficult even after they have used it a couple of times.
Never should you try to insert the cup when you are not having periods as the body may be unable to respond during those days. Therefore it is best to try it on during the menstruating days.
Fold and insert
There are many ways to fold the cup so that it can easily be inserted inside the vagina. It can be a C fold or a punch down fold or any other method can be used so that the cup easily fits into the place and one feels quite comfortable.
As soon as it sits properly the cup will pop open and with the help of suction it will prevent any leakage. Therefore the process has to be done carefully and with patience.
12 hour usage at a stretch
According to the amount of menstrual flow, the cup has to be removed and emptied. But most users need to do it after a 12 hour gap, that is once in the morning and once in the evening.
Taking out and emptying the cup
The hands should be washed thoroughly before pulling out the stem with the help of the index finger and the thumb. The base has to be pinched to release the suction pull. Then the cup has to be emptied and rinsed. It can then be reinserted by the same process.
Are they safe
Yes, menstrual cups are safe enough as they are made of flexible material and can easily be inserted into the vagina, if the user follows all the safety measures properly.
Unlike other feminine products these can be kept on for a longer duration, as long as 12 hours at a stretch and can also be kept on overnight.
The cup can even hold more discharge fluid than any tampon or pads and there is a sense of comfort when there is heavy flow.
Reviews show that the Meluna Classic cup stands out among all varieties as it has a good shape and size and easy to fold. The Diva cup is the largest, for long vaginas. The Lena cup is wider and smoother than many others.