A menstrual cup is a reusable feminine hygiene product that is inserted into the vagina during menstruation. These cups are long lasting and an affordable alternative to pads and tampons. They are eco-friendly and can offer a higher level of protection when it comes to preventing leakage. If you choose to use menstrual cups during your “special time” of the month, here are some things you should know:
Using a menstrual cup
Sit in a squatting position, stand with one leg raised, or sit on the toilet.
Fold the menstrual cup and insert into your vagina, the cup opens up and forms a suction with the walls of the vagina and the mouth of the cervix. Since it forms an airlock, blood does not leak. Even if you do a headstand! If inserted correctly, the cup sits inside the vaginal canal and you don’t feel a thing.
Removing a menstrual cup
To remove the cup, you must break the airlock. The cup has tiny holes to release the airlock when pressed. First, be sure to wash your hands, then Insert two fingers into the vagina, pinch the base of the cup to release the airlock and pull the cup out. Empty out the contents, wash the cup with water, and reinsert.
Two ways to fold your menstrual cup
U-fold: Fold the cup in half to form a “U” with the lips.
Punch-down fold: Press one edge of the lip inside the cup. This fold makes the mouth smaller, and easier to insert inside of the vagina.
Leaking cup? Here are some possible causes:
- Cup is not inserted fully.
If you can feel the pointy edge after inserting, the cup has not opened. You will need to insert the cup further until you can feel the round base.
- Cervix is not inside the cup.
Pull the cup out a little and then push it back in gently so that the mouth of the cervix is inside the cup.
- PVC/Vaginal muscles are too tight.
For a young woman, those that are physically active in sports/exercise, or constipated, the cup may not open inside. The solution is to switch to a firmer or harder cup.
Using a menstrual cup for the first time can be an experience but once you get the hang of it, you may not ever want to go back to pads or tampons again. However, keep in mind that it is very important to use what feels most comfortable and offers the most support for you.