Let’s unlock the cheapest and most sustainable way to manage your period.
You may be accustomed to using pads or even tampons for years, but have you heard of the better alternative called a menstrual cup?
Using a menstrual cup for the first time may seem unusual and awkward, but it can be a game-changer when it comes to managing your period. Menstrual cups are eco-friendly, cost-effective, and provide long-lasting protection.
We’ll guide you through the basics of using a menstrual cup and offer some helpful tips for first-time users.
What is a menstrual cup?
A menstrual cup is a small, flexible cup made of silicone, latex, or rubber. It is designed to collect menstrual fluid instead of absorbing it like tampons or pads. Menstrual cups come in various sizes, so you’ll need to choose one that suits your body and flow.
First of all:
1. Choose a menstrual cup that matches your age, flow, and whether you’ve given birth. Manufacturers often provide sizing recommendations to help you choose the right one.
2. Before using your menstrual cup for the first time, sterilise it by boiling it in water for 5-10 minutes.
3. Always start by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water to maintain good hygiene.
Steps for inserting the cup
1. Find a comfortable position: There are many positions you can try, like squatting, sitting on the toilet, or standing with one leg raised. Find the one that works best for you.
2. Gently fold the menstrual cup into a C-shape or punch it down a bit. This makes it easier to insert.
You’ll need to fold the cup into a C shape for easier insertion [theskimm]
3. You need to stay calm and relaxed during insertion. Tensing up can make the process more awkward and stressful, being your first time.
4. Insert the cup: Hold the folded cup with one hand and use your other hand to open your labia. Insert the cup into your vagina, pointing towards your tailbone. The cup should sit lower than a tampon but not too low.
5. Then gently release the fold, allowing the cup to pop open. You can also twist it slightly to make sure it’s locked in and sealed.
Steps for removing the cup
1. Always start by washing your hands before removing the cup.
2. Similar to insertion, find a comfortable position for removal.
3. To remove the cup, you need to break the seal that holds it in place. Pinch the base of the cup (not the stem) and gently wiggle it while pulling down.
4. Empty the contents into the toilet and wash the cup thoroughly with mild soap and water before reinserting it if needed.
Tips for first-time users
1. Don’t worry if it takes a few tries to get the hang of it. Practice makes perfect.
2. If you find the stem of the cup uncomfortable, you can trim it to a length that suits you.
3. Know your flow: Menstrual cups can typically hold more fluid than tampons or pads. But you would need to empty it regularly, especially on heavy flow days.
4. Clean your cup with mild soap and water every time you remove it, and sterilise it between periods to avoid germs causing infection.
Insertion steps [Shutterstock]
Using a menstrual cup may take some getting used to, but with practice and patience, it can become a comfortable, eco-friendly and budget-friendly option for managing your period. Be sure to pick the right cup, stay clean, and carefully follow the steps for insertion and removal. With time, you’ll likely find that using a menstrual cup is the best choice for menstrual care.