Menstrual cups are used as alternative solutions to tampons and sanitary pads. These products are growing in popularity, even though they have been on the market for a long time now. Keep on reading if you want to know what is a menstrual cup and how to use it.
Unlike a tampon, a menstrual cup is designed to collect menstrual fluid and it can last for up to ten years. This cup will act as a barrier and you can clean and re-use it. In addition, a menstrual cup has proven to leak less, is comfortable to wear and is associated with less health risks. You are also less likely to have vaginal infections when wearing this cup. There are two types, a flexible, soft, and disposable one that looks like a diaphragm and a bell-shaped reusable one that is made of latex or silicone.
How to Use a Menstrual Cup
It is very important to read the instructions or directions carefully before using the menstrual cup. When you decide to use it, you should first try to insert it at home in the privacy of your bathroom. You might be tempted to use it on a dry run before your period, but you should not do this because it’s usually more lubricated and the cervix can be in a different position when you are menstruating.
Another suggestion is to practice some different fold options. The C fold is not the best technique for most women because the widest section of the cup will be at the beginning.
To get started, you should use soap to wash your hands and water to rinse the cup to remove any dirt or dust. You should also boil the cup as well when using for the first time. Bear in mind that soap should not be used on the menstrual cup as it could trigger yeast infections among other problems.
After cleansing the cup and your hands, you should relax to insert it inside your vagina. Tensing your pelvic muscles can make the insertion difficult or painful. Try to get into a position that is comfortable. This can be over the toilet or squatting down inside the shower or tub; standing with one leg positioned on the edge of the bath tub or toilet; positioning your back against the bathroom wall in a squat, or lying flat on the floor with your legs apart and knees up.
After that, you should try to find your cervix. This can be done by sticking a finger in your vagina to find the cervix that will feel much-like your nose tip. It’s a small, spongy nub with a dent in the middle.
Aim the cup towards your cervix to insert it. Fold the cup, use one hand to hold it, spread your labia apart and use the other hand to find the vagina opening. At this time, you should push in the cup at an angle of around 45 degrees towards the pubic bone. You should hear the cup pop open. When this happens, you need to continue pushing the cup until its comfortable inside.
After that, you need to wait for up to twelve hours. You’ll have to empty the cup more often if the blood is flowing heavy during your period. Prepare to do some experimenting when using the cup for your first cycle to determine how long the cup can be left inside before leaking. A good recommendation is for you to wear a panty liner as a backup.
When you are ready to remove the cup, you can bear your muscles down for it to go down farther. You should keep on doing this until the stem is reached. Wiggle the menstruation cup down, and back and forth. Pinch the base as this will help to break the vacuum and make it easier to take out the cup.
Be sure to remove the cup in an upright position after reaching the opening of your vagina to reduce spillage. Use one of your fingers to fold the menstrual cup in a C or punch down fold before removing if the rim is too wide to for you to take out comfortably. The contents can spill out from the back while you are removing the cup if you are doing it over a toilet.
After dumping the contents of the menstrual cup in a sink or toilet, you can use pure water to rinse it out. While holding it under the water, you can bend at the suction holes to remove menstrual fluid.
If it is too slippery when done, you can dry it for reinsertion.
Now that you know what is a menstrual cup and how to use it, you should remember that it might take some time for you to get accustom to using one. It has a learning curve of around 3 to 4 cycles, but once this time passes you can enjoy many benefits in health, comfort, hygiene, reliability, and convenience.