For generations, sanitary pads have been the go-to product for managing periods in India, but they have some downsides. Apart from the need to change them every few hours, there is the risk of shifting, staining, and the discomfort and irritation they can cause. Plus, they’re not environmentally friendly. But now, an alternative product is gaining popularity: menstrual cups.
Menstrual cups are a game-changer in feminine hygiene. They’re reusable, cost-effective, and eco-friendly, providing a hassle-free period experience that lasts longer. Made of silicone or rubber, these funnel-shaped cups are flexible and are inserted into the vagina, collecting the menstrual flow at its source. With the rise of menstrual cups in India, women can now say goodbye to the hassles of traditional products and embrace a more empowering and sustainable approach to their periods. Let’s explore more about menstrual cups in this blog.
How to use a menstrual cup?
If you are a beginner, it is best to start using a menstrual cup by using a water-based lubricant around the rim of the menstrual cup in order to make the insertion easier and smoother. It may feel uncomfortable or dry if the cup is not wet during insertion.
To insert the menstrual cup, ensure you are comfortable, and your hands are clean. Now fold the cup tightly by folding it into half and holding the rim end of the cup. Gently insert the cup inside your vagina, in a way not very different from how you insert a tampon. Once the cup is well inside the vagina, you slowly rotate the cup using your fingers, this way the folded cup will pop open. It will create an airtight seal that collects all the menstrual flow inside it.
A properly inserted cup will not feel like anything and you can go about your daily activities like a regular day. In case you do not have the correct size you might feel some discomfort, for which you can change the size or speak to your doctor to recommend another size.
A menstrual cup can be easily worn for about 6-12 hours. It is the best option for long days at work or even if you wish to sleep in with it on. In order to remove the cup, you simply insert clean fingers inside the vagina and gently tug at the stem and pinch the base of the cup. It will remove the seal and you can gently pull it out. Most menstrual cups are reusable and so you can easily empty their contents in a toilet or sink and wash it well for your next use. If you are using disposable cups, then they must be discarded after use.
Choosing the right size
Menstrual cups are available in various sizes and hence it is best to visit a gynaecologist to recommend you the right size if you are keen to try a menstrual cup. Once you get the perfect fitting menstrual cup, the rest is very easy.
Menstrual cups are commonly available in sizes like small, medium or large. The correct size is decided on factors like your age, whether you have given birth, the size and length of your cervix, the heaviness of your menstrual flow, and the strength of your pelvic muscles. Also, other factors that need attention are the size of the cups and the quality and firmness of the cups.
It is common for women who have given birth vaginally to use a larger cup size or even if they have a heavy flow or are older in age. Conversely, for younger women who have not delivered vaginally, younger teens or virgins a smaller cup size is often recommended.
Aftercare for menstrual cups
After each use, it’s important to clean your menstrual cup thoroughly to prevent infection and ensure it lasts a long time. Here’s what to do:
- Wash your hands with warm water and soap.
- Remove the cup and empty its contents into the toilet.
- Rinse the cup with water, then wash it with mild, unscented soap.
- Rinse the cup again and dry it with a clean towel.
Advantages of using menstrual cups
Menstrual cups have some great advantages and hence are growing in popularity as the ‘preferred choice of feminine hygiene product’.
Environment friendly: Most menstrual cups are reusable and hence are eco-friendly.
Cost-effective: Once you buy a menstrual cup, you can reuse it for a long time and so it saves you the extra expense of having to invest in sanitary pads or tampons. The best thing is you also don’t need to worry about having to stock them.
Safer option: The menstrual cup collects blood directly and does not absorb it, so it is far safer as compared to tampons that come with a risk of TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome).
Higher blood carrying capacity: A menstrual cup can easily hold heavy blood floor without causing any spillage or discomfort for longer periods of time. It is a far superior option for heavy flow as compared to sanitary napkins or tampons.
Can be safely used with IUDs: If you have an IUD (Intra-uterine device) for contraception, you can safely use menstrual cups without worrying about the device.
Helps you remain comfortable for long hours: Once you insert a menstrual cup, you can go about your day as usual, you can easily work out, go for a swim or anything else without having to worry about your periods. A cup is safe for as long as 12 hours and so whether it is a long day or night. You are always prepared.
In conclusion, menstrual cups offer an eco-friendly, cost-effective, and comfortable alternative to traditional period products. With the right size and proper aftercare, you’ll enjoy a hassle-free period experience that’s both empowering and sustainable. Give menstrual cups a try and discover a new level of comfort and convenience.
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