I have been using a menstrual cup during my periods for about 4-5 years now. Although this is a skin care blog, i sometimes get emails asking me about other feminine products too. Since this is something one of my followers requested, Here it is, My honest menstrual cup review and all you need to know about menstrual cups.
Almost all menstrual cups lasts for 10 years although a few brands recommend changing it every 2 years. So read the specifications before buying one.
Better to choose silicone cups rather than rubber ones.
Sterilise menstrual cups by immersing it completely in boiling water for 5-10 minutes after your periods end.
Wash your hands thoroughly before touching the menstrual cup.
If you notice that i haven’t covered anything, Please let me know and i will update it for you.
What Is A Menstrual Cup?
Menstrual cup is a funnel shaped and made from silicon or latex rubber. Both of these are safe for our body and does not cause any irritation or allergies. they are mostly reusable but disposable ones are also available in the market.
You have to lubricate it with water, fold it and insert it to your vagina.
Menstrual cups collects period fluid in it. You have to empty it and rinse before placing it again.
How Long Can We Keep A Menstrual Cup?
You can keep for as long as 12 hours. 🙂 Isn’t that great.
How To Insert Your Menstrual Cup?
- Wash your hands properly.
- Lubricate the rim of the cup with water. I lubricate the whole cup though.
- Using your finger fold the cup until it forms a ‘C’ shape. Or you could press one side down and form the ‘Punch Down Fold’ (See Pics Below)
- Now insert the cup and release your hand. The folding of the cup is now released automatically.
- Rotate the base of the cup so that it forms a tight seal around. This seal prevents leakage.
If everything is done correctly, you wont feel the cup at all.
C Fold Method:
Now start to fold it in half
Finally you get the C fold pattern. I do not use this one as it is difficult for me to place the cup when i use the C fold.
Punch Down Fold:
This is the type of fold i use.
Start to press down the rim of the cup on one side. You may understand better in the below picture.
This is how it will look like after pressing down completely.
You can see the shape is completely different from the C fold.
So what Is The Difference Between C fold And Punch Down Fold?
As you can see below, the tip has become narrower which makes it easier to insert and place it inside. 🙂 This method might be easier for beginners too.
Once you insert and remove your finger you may hear a pop sound as it unfolds and tightly seals.
How To Remove The Menstrual Cup?
- Wash your hands first
- Pull the stem/tail of the cup until you can hold to the base of the cup.
- Pinch the base of the cup to release the seal. (See Pic Below)You may use your finger and press one side of the cup like i do. Choose whichever method is easier for you.
- Now empty the contents and rinse it with soap and water.
- Insert again.
Once your periods if over, you can sterilise the cup and keep it safe. I actually sterilise it before using it on my next period.
Trust me, All this may seem confusing but it is really easy.
.You may have to do trial and error method until you get the hang of it. It may seem difficult but once you learn how to use it properly you will never go back to using sanitary pads.
What Are The Good Brands Of Menstrual Cups?
There are many brands
Sirona Reusable Menstrual Cup for Women Pad Free Periods with No Rashes, Leakage or Odour, Buy now
Wow Freedom Reusable Menstrual Cup, Buy Now
Mark Louis Hung-Over Aneer Cup Reusable Menstrual Cup, Buy Now
Why Does My Cup Leak?
Few reasons why your cup is leaking,
The seal is not formed. In this case, there is obviously a gap between your cup and the walls of your vagina.
If twisting the base of the cup doesn’t work, try pressing the sides of the vaginal walls softly. This gives some space for the mouth of the cup to open fully. Now if you remove your finger the seal will be placed tightly. This is what worked for me.
The size of the cup(Open part) is either too small that it is loose or large that it doesn’t have enough space to open completely. Both of these makes it impossible to form a tight seal.
Choose the correct size.
The cup is placed too high that the cervix now sits inside the cup. This makes it impossible for the cup to collect fluid leading to leakage. Try placing the cup a little lower so as to avoid this problem or try the next cup size.
Is It Safe To Sleep With A Menstrual Cup?
Yes it is safe to use while sleeping. You do not have to wake up in between either unless you have really heavy flow.
How Often Should I Empty A menstrual Cup?
That depends on your flow. I empty it every 4 hours on my heavy flow days and for the rest three days, i can keep it for 12 hours without any problems.
Do We Feel The menstrual Cup After Wearing It?
No, If you are wearing it correctly then you wont feel uncomfortable at all. Wear it and forget about it. The tail end wont poke you either.
It took me two periods time until i learned to wear it correctly. Sometimes it would leak and others times placed it too low and stem poked me. 🙂 So do not fret, you will get the hang of it too.
How To Choose The Right Cup Size?
This might be the toughest hurdle for beginners. 🙁
When i bought a menstrual cup 4 or 5 years ago, there weren’t this many options available in the market. So the normal recommendation was,
- Smaller cups for those below 30
- Larger cups for those above 30, given vaginal birth or those with heavy flow
But now many brands have a medium size too.
- Saves money from buying pads/tampons
- Eco friendly
- It can hold a lot more fluid than a sanitary pad designed for heavy flow
- You can place it before you period starts too
- Can run, jump, swim or sleep in any position you like. 🙂
- You can travel without a worry
- No bad smell
- Budget friendly
- With proper hygiene, i never had any infection, irritation or allergies from using this
- Finding the right size that fits you perfectly.
- Seeing the fluid might feel gross or scary to some people.
- Usually it doesn’t interfere with your contraceptive, but there is a slight chance of that happening. Talk to your doctor first.
- Maintaining proper hygiene is very important to avoid irritation.
One Word, I love it 🙂
Although the learning process was difficult. There weren’t any videos i could find on You tube that could help me. I nearly gave up too.
When i bought a menstrual cup, it cost me around 700/- but now the price has reduced considerably to 200+ that anyone can afford it. It is a one time buy that lasts for 10 years so the money is worth spending.
First month i placed it without confirming whether it is sealed. It leaked and honestly it was messy. So i decided to try the cup on my normal days with my lubricant and i kept experimenting from
- C fold
- Punch down fold
- Rotating the cup base and also using finger to help the cup open
- Pulling the cup stem down to see whether it is sealed.
If you are going to experiment with this on normal days then you need a lubricant.
On those days of the month, you do not really need to use a lubricant, just water will be enough as the insides will be naturally lubricated. So inserting the cup will not be painful or uncomfortable.
Once i kept it and did yoga. The next time i had to empty it, I found out that the cup has moved too far up. It wasn’t scary as i knew that there is a limit to how far it can move upward. 🙂 So i pulled the stem until i could touch the base, released the seal and took it out. Sometimes i rotate the cup first and pull the stem down but you could use whatever is convenient for you.
The menstrual cup could move up or down from its original position but the stem will always be at a fingers distance.
I am mentioning it here because that could happen to anybody so do not be scared . It will not disappear from your touchable distance. I do not think that is the right word but i hope you guys understood what i mean.
Also, sometimes when you take the cup out to empty it you may notice that the red blood cells have settled to the bottom while the pale yellow coloured clear liquid (Plasma) has risen to the top. This is totally normal.
- When left in a cup, the plasma separates from the blood cells and forms a clear/yellowish liquid.
- It could also be cervical mucus.
So, It could be because of one of the two reasons, Plasma separated or Cervical mucus. Both of which are normal.