Everything You Need to Know About Menstrual Cups
There are several benefits to menstrual cups. Not only are they more earth-friendly (did you know that nearly 20 billion tampons and pads go into landfills every year??), they also cost less, are more comfortable, and once you get the hang of it, easy to use! They’re a great alternative to disposable period products such as tampons or pads. If you’re looking to make the switch (or need reasons to make the switch), keep reading to learn all about menstrual cups!
What Are They?
A menstrual cup, also known as a period cup, is a reusable bell-shaped device often made of rubber or silicone, that sits in the vaginal canal to collect period blood. Period cups are different from tampons, because the cup catches the blood rather than absorbing it. You can wear menstrual cups for up to 12 hours a day, they can be reused for one year or more depending on the brand, and typically hold 2-5x more period blood than a tampon!
Before inserting, make sure your hands and menstrual cup are clean, following all the instructions that came with your specific cup. Then, fold the cup to make it smaller (check out folding techniques here), insert it into your vagina, and make sure it is comfortable and that the seal is formed correctly (you can do this by twisting the cup, running your finger along the base, or slightly grabbing the stem to make sure it’s fully opened). Insertion is very different compared to a tampon…
Buuuut, the Sunny Cup + Applicator can help with insertion if you find yourself having trouble! The Sunny Cup is a period cup that is inserted like a tampon, with the help of the reusable Sunny Applicator. Check out this video below for an insertion demonstration!
After washing your hands, you can remove your menstrual cup! The most important part of removing a menstrual cup is breaking the seal before taking it out. To break the seal, locate the base of your cup and simply pinch to release the suction! You can then pull the cup out and dump the blood in the sink, toilet, or shower!
If you’re still on your period, all you have to do is clean your menstrual cup (and applicator 😉) with fragrance-free, mild soap and water and reinsert, but it’s always best to follow the cleaning instructions that came with your specific cup! If you’re done with your cycle, simply wash it and store it in a clean area or in a carrying pouch. Before each cycle, make sure to boil your cup in water for 5-7 minutes to ensure a clean cup before using.
Which Cup is Right for Me?
Menstrual cups can come in many different shapes, sizes, firmnesses, and colors. For example, some menstruators have a lower cervix and prefer shorter cups. Others may have a heavy flow and/or have given birth and need a larger size cup. It’s very normal (and encouraged) to try different cups to fit your needs! Try these cup quizzes by Period Nirvana and Put A Cup In It to find the cup(s) that might be right for you!To learn more about the advantages of using menstrual cups (and other reusable period products), check out our previous blog post!