Menstrual Cups – All You Need to Know
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Menstrual cups have actually been around since the 1930s, but no active advertising were done to make it popular. Most cup users learn about the cups through the internet or word of mouth.
Until now, not a lot of women know about this eco-friendly alternative to pads and tampons. In fact, in some parts of the Philippines, menstrual cup is a taboo, never-heard-of topic when it comes to feminine hygiene.
check out our menstrual cup vlog below:
What is a menstrual cup?
A menstrual cup is a small and flexible cup made of latex rubber or silicone that you insert into your vagina to catch and collect your blood (period fluid). They are reusable and can last longer.
Compared to other methods (napkins and tampons), menstrual cups can hold more blood. There are a lot of available brands in the market. Brands and prices vary. I am currently using a local brand (#suportalocal) by Right & Bright – the Malaya Cup.
How to insert and remove the menstrual cup?
Just tightly fold the menstrual cup and insert it into your vagina when you have your period. Some put lubricant or water to the rim for easier insertion. If used/inserted correctly, you shouldn’t feel it.
The cup should spring open upon inserting. If it doesn’t, you may need to rotate it and let it rest against the walls of your vagina. It will form a seal to prevent leaks, then the blood then simply drips into the cup.
To remove it, while in a sit or squat position, use your pelvic floor muscles to push the cup down. Using your index finger and thumb pinch the base of the cup to release the seal. Afterwards, pull the stem sticking out the bottom of the cup then you just empty it, wash it with soap and water, and replace it back into your vagina. At the end of your cycle, you can sterilize your cup in boiling water.
How to choose your size?
Malaya Cup recommends SMALL (41mm x 72mm – 15ML) for women younger than 30 years old who haven’t delivered vaginally, and LARGE (45mm x 72mm – 20ML) for women who are over 30 years old, have given birth vaginally, or have a heavier period.
The Pros & Cons of Menstrual Cup
Did you know that one sanitary napkin or tampon that ends up in landfills takes 400-500 years to decompose? And each sanitary napkin is equivalent to 4 plastic bags. Given the proper care, a reusable cup can last for 10-15 years! Imagine how much plastic we will save if all ladies will all convert to a reusable menstrual cup.
If you are a napkin-user who spends PhP50 every month, that’s PhP600 a month and PhP9000 in 15 years! The menstrual cup (Malaya Cup) I am using costs PhP600. A bit pricey at first but it means less money over time.
Better Leak Protection
Cups can hold more menstrual fluid – roughly twice the amount of a super-absorbent tampon or pad – so they provide better leak protection.
Blood starts to smell when exposed to air, and a menstrual cup forms an air-tight seal around your vaginal lining.
Menstrual cups have a lower risk of bacterial infection and toxic shock syndrome which are common in pads and tampons. Also, compared to a pad, menstrual cups lessen the chances of irritation and rash down there.
It can be tough to find the right fit
Finding the perfect fit can be a challenge, more so if you have a tilted uterus or low cervix. It can take some trial and error until you are able to finally find your “match”. There will also be accidental leaks for new users.
Removal can get messy
If you are using a public CR and need to empty the cup, how will you wash it? You may temporarily use a wet tissue paper (because wet wipes are non-biodegradable) to wipe the blood off your cup when you encounter this situation.
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