What Is a Menstrual Cup?
We have all heard that menstrual cups are gaining popularity in the women’s health arena, but what exactly are they? A menstrual cup is a flexible silicone vessel, usually shaped like a bell or dome, that is used to collect menstrual blood. It has a stem on the bottom that is used to aid with insertion and to remove the cup, much like a tampon string.
Though they seem like new products, menstrual cups were actually invented in 1867, with the first cup sold commercially in 1937! They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and levels of firmness to fit different bodies. There are a number of different companies that sell menstrual cups including Diva Cup, Lunette, Mooncup, Anigan EvaCup, SckoonCup, and more. Do some research to figure out which cup fits your budget, body, and needs the best!
How Do I Use a Menstrual Cup?
Inserting a menstrual cup can seem complicated at first. First, fold the top of the cup, then insert it into your vagina. Try watching YouTube videos of different folding methods until you find one that you are comfortable with and that works for you. You can make insertion a little easier by using lubricant, especially on your lighter flow days. When you are ready to take it out, grab the stem on the bottom of the cup and slide it out. Be careful to do this slowly, as the cup will be filled with menstrual fluid. Don’t forget to wash your hands thoroughly before and after inserting and removing your menstrual cup! It can be a messy process.
After you remove your cup, rinse it out thoroughly with warm water. You should also give your cup a full cleaning when your cycle is finished. To do this, boil it in water to sterilize it or clean it with rubbing alcohol. You can also remove odors by mixing hot water and baking soda and soaking your cup for about 15 minutes.
Pros of Menstrual Cups
- Long wear: up to 12 hours. This is especially good for women with heavy flows!
- Reusable and washable
- Good for the environment
- Saves money in the long run
- No irritating fragrances or chemicals
Cons of Menstrual Cups
- Expensive intially: $25 to $40 per cup
- More high-maintenance than pads or tampons because you have to wash it
- Can be messy and hard to insert
- Can get “lost” or be hard to remove if it shifts around a lot