As a teen, the only period products I knew of were sanitary pads. So the idea of something that had to be inserted inside me was alien to me. Oh, how things have changed over the years. From having so many questions of my own to now being a mentor for those who wish to try, it has been a long two years as a (loud and proud) ‘cup-vert’ for me. So here, let me answer some frequently asked questions about the menstrual cup and share some experiences.
Ready to try it out? I got my Sirona cup from Karnival. Click here to get your cup now!
How does the menstrual cup work?
The cup, much like a tampon, is inserted into the vagina. But unlike tampons or pads, it does not absorb blood. It collects it.
Menstrual cups are made from silicone and are flexible. They last much longer than your disposable hygiene products. One cup lasts up to 10 years!
I am a heavy bleeder and used to go through three pads on the second and third day of my period. Now, however, I have to empty the cup only twice throughout the day.
During light flow days, I can keep it on for nearly 12 hours in a stretch!
How to insert a cup:
It would be very hard to insert the cup unfolded. So do fold it first. There are two ways of folding the cup- the videos below are quick guides for it.
“I found it a bit difficult to insert initially, but I quickly got the hang of it once I started my cycle,” says Angarika who is on her first cup cycle – a recent convert and my friend.
She tried squatting, lying down and sitting on the toilet to insert the cup. Finally, a half-squat squat worked for her.
For me, putting one leg on the toilet seat and half-squatting is the most comfortable position.
Try wearing the cup when you are not on your period. This way, you can experiment with positions without anxiety.
Pro tip: Wash the cup in cold water to lubricate it. Once the cup is properly inserted, it will pop open. The cup forms a vacuum which keeps it from getting pulled out – no matter what.
This also makes removing the cup tricky for some. The answer is to pinch the bottom of the cup (where the stem meets the cup). This will break the vacuum, and you’ll be able to pull it out easily.
Can you go swimming with a menstrual cup?
Absolutely you can! And you can go about your routine without care for your period.
Angarika shares, “I think this has by far been the best period cycle of my life. There was zero discomforts, no leakage. I’ve sat on bikes, I’ve walked so much, exercised. There were so many times where I forgot I was on my period!”
As for me, I have completed a 15-hour bus journey with the cup. When the bus stopped for dinner, I quickly emptied and reinserted the cup since it was a heavy flow day. But, no leakage, no stinks and certainly no discomfort in the long journey which I may have entirely skipped if I were still using pads.
Join the cup-club! Head here to buy the menstrual cup of your choice!
Are menstrual cups dangerous?
Far from the rashes of the sanitary napkins or the strict 7-hour or less rule of tampons, menstrual cups are actually very safe for you and the environment.
But that being said, since you are to reuse the cup every month, you must clean and store it in a proper way. Every time you empty the cup and have to reinsert it, wash it under cold or hot water.
At the end of the cycle, put it in boiling water and if need be, wash with a water-based soap or disinfectant (oil/ petroleum-based soaps are a total no.)
When cleaned and dried, store the menstrual cup in a cotton bag (the cup will most likely come in one).
Want a hassle-free period? Head here to buy a cup now!
You may also like: Plastic-Free but Good for Hair? I Used a Shampoo Bar & Here’s What I Found
(Edited by Vinayak Hegde)