Menstrual cups are a rising trend as a convenient, zero-waste period care option. Whilst reusables might not be for everyone, if all the talk is making you curious then this blog is for you! Find out about cups and most importantly how to use a menstrual cup.
What is a menstrual cup?
First things first, let’s talk about what a menstrual cup actually is. A menstrual cup is a reusable alternative to a tampon. It works differently to a tampon as it collects your menstrual flow instead of absorbing it. You then empty the cup, wash it out and use it again!
Why are menstrual cups popular?
Menstrual cups are a zero-waste period care option. The cup can be reused on your period and with excellent hygiene, they can last for many years. This eliminates the amount of waste you are sending to landfill on your period! It’s predicted that 200,000 tonnes of period product waste ends up in landfill each year. This is one of the main reasons why people choose to make the switch to a menstrual cup. Reusable menstrual cups are also popular because they are cost-effective. The cup is more expensive to buy upfront, but as you can reuse it for up to 8 years you save a lot of money in the long run.
It’s important to remember it’s all about finding what works for you. Reusables aren’t for everyone, which is why we are super proud of our organic cotton range! These are an eco-friendly alternative to regular disposables. If you are looking to cut down on waste this can be another alternative.
How do you insert the cup?
If you are reading this blog, it’s highly likely you’ve looked at a menstrual cup and thought “how do you insert it?”. They can be intimidating at first glance, but inserting it is super simple. Our cup is medical grade TPE, so is a soft and flexible material. This makes it easier to insert!
You will need to fold the cup before inserting it. There are lots of different ways you can fold a menstrual cup. It’s worth experimenting with folds when you first get the cup, as it can take a bit of getting used to. Check out this blog here for a detailed breakdown of all the cup folds.
Once you have chosen your fold, it’s important to hold it together firmly. Adopt a comfortable position, part the labial lips and slowly insert the cup like you would a tampon. Make sure you keep hold of the cup and angle it back towards your tailbone.
How do you know whether the cup has inserted properly?
It’s important to note that the cup sits lower than a tampon. Once inserted, the cup will pop open (this is how it collects your menstrual flow). The cup needs to ‘seal’ in order for it to not leak. To check it has opened properly and sealed, circle your finger around the base of the cup. Tilting the cup back towards your tailbone and slightly squeezing the bottom of the cup can also prompt it to open and seal.
How long can you wear the cup?
With any cup, it’s important to apply the same practice as a tampon and empty the cup every 4-6 hours. Our gynaecologist has advised to not use any internal period care product for longer than 8 hours.
How do you remove the cup?
Removing a cup doesn’t have to be messy. There is no right or wrong technique, but certain techniques can help make removal a lot smoother.
First things first, it is not advised to go straight in and pull on the stem to remove the cup. This can result in the contents of the cup spilling out. Plus, this could potentially cause you discomfort.
When you are ready to remove the cup, relax and adopt a comfortable position sitting on or squatting over the toilet. Using the stem or base of the cup, slowly tilt the cup from side to side. This will prompt the seal to release and the cup will be ready to remove. Carry on tilting the cup whilst sliding the cup down. When you have removed the cup, carefully empty the contents into the toilet, rinse the cup and re-insert! We’ve got lots more info on removing a cup here.
How do you clean the cup?
When you first receive your cup, you will need to boil it to sterilize it. Simply pop it in a pan of boiling water for 5 minutes! To clean it in between cycles, you will also need to boil it. When using the cup day to day, you can rinse it out with warm tap water. If you are out in public and don’t have access to a cup in the toilet cubicle, you can wash it out over the toilet with bottled water.
How do you store the cup?
Our cups come with an organic cotton drawstring bag, which you can use to store it in between uses. It is advisable to store it in something like this as it is breathable so let’s the cup air out. We wouldn’t advise storing it in any sort of sealed box or Tupperware.
We hope this blog has helped you understand all about menstrual cups! Ready to make the switch? You can shop our cups here. Got a tip you think will help others? Leave it in the comments below or let us know on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.