What is a Reusable Menstrual Cup?
Menstrual cup is inserted to the vagina during menstrual period. The primary objective of such is preventing menstrual fluid to leak to the clothes. Reusable menstrual cups are typically made from flexible medical grade silicone and have a bell-like shape with a stem to which it is used for the removal and insertion to the vagina.
As for its bell-shaped design, this is intentionally designed to effectively provide a seal against vaginal wall right below the cervix. Every four to twelve hours or depending to the amount of flow, the cup needs to be removed, emptied and rinsed before it is reinserted to the vagina.
Not like pads as well as tampons, these menstrual cups are collecting menstrual fluid instead of absorbing it. Believe it or not, one cup can be reused for more than five years, which makes its long term cost lower than disposable pads or tampons despite the fact that the initial cost of buying one is higher. Menstrual cups in addition are promoted as a practical and eco-friendly option compared to pads and tampons.
Before menstrual cups are inserted to the vagina, it has to be either pinched or folded. It automatically unfolds and creates a light seal against the vaginal wall. There are instances however that the user might have to twist the cup or even flex the vaginal muscles in order to make sure that the cup is fully open. The cup must not leak or even cause discomfort as what tampons do if it is inserted correctly. As for those who know how to insert non applicator tampon, inserting a cup can be learnt fast. The C-shape is one of the most popular folding techniques that can be used for the insertion of the cup.
If ever lubrication is necessary for the insertion, it must be water-based because some lubricant ingredients could be damaging to the silicon. Four hours after the insertion, a day or depending on how strong your flow is, you should remove the menstrual cup by reaching the stem to get the base. Pulling the stem is never recommended when removing the cup as it can cause suction. You should pinch the base of the menstrual cup to be able to release its seal and remove the cup easily.
Before you reinsert the cup to the vagina after emptying it, be sure to rinse or wipe it. A mild soap may be used to wash it or sterilize it in boiling water for couple of minutes. Sterilizing solutions manufactured for breast pump equipment and baby bottles can also be used for soaking the cup.