Cost conscious women looking for an environmentally friendly solution to their personal hygiene have found a new ally in the form of a menstrual cup. If you’ve never used one before, it’s worthwhile knowing what to expect when you use one.
Here are some considerations that are borne out the experience of women, who have used menstrual cups, which you should be aware of before using one for the first time:
1. Avoiding the Vaginal Slap
To insert a menstrual cup into your vagina, you have to make it more compact by folding it so it can fit comfortably. What can happen is that the cup can pop open before it’s all the way inside the vagina which results in a “slap” to the front of the vagina.
The most common reason why this happens is that when you have inserted the cup halfway into the vagina, you accidentally let go of the cup, causing it to pop open. While it does not cause any lasting damage, just a bit of momentary shock, if you’ve got a particularly sensitive vagina, you might have to be extra careful when inserting the cup.
Make sure you have a firm grip while inserting the cup, as you could also be at risk of dropping the whole cup into the toilet. While you can retrieve the cup and wash it clean if you drop it in your toilet at home, you need to be extra careful if you’re using a public toilet.
2. Cup Overflow
If your cup has started to overflow and you need to change it, it’s quite likely for you to find blood on the outside of your cup. If the cup is just getting quite full, you have to still squeeze it to take it out of the vagina. As you begin to pull the cup out, there’s likely to be some squeezing and some blood will come out and trickle down your hand.
If you’re somebody who doesn’t like getting blood on your hands, after a few times of using a cup, you will get habituated and will not be concerned about getting a little bit of blood on your hands.
3. Choosing a Menstrual Cup With the Correct Size and Firmness
Menstrual cups come in different sizes depending on whether you have given birth or whether you haven’t and come with different firmness. Because of the way the female reproductive system is situated within the body relative to your urinary system and bowels, the cup can actually presses either on the bladder or on the urethra.
If the cup presses on the bladder it might impede urination, so you might not be able to urinate at full flow. If you’re experiencing this with your cup then either a smaller cup or one that has a lower firmness.
Also, because of where the vagina is situated, if you have a cup that’s too big for your or too firm, you can sometimes experience a problem emptying your bowels. This may be particularly evident if you have dietary issues that cause your faeces to be quite firm. So if you’re trying to go the toilet to empty your bowels and you have a cup inserted, what can often happen is, as the faeces pass through the bowels it can actually knock the cup out of position. This could cause it to leak.
In the worst case, you just might need to buy a new menstrual cup and considering that one can last you many years and it’s inexpensive, it’s worthwhile making the investment.
4. Changing Your Cup Regularly
As convenient as they may be, you can sometimes forget your cups are even in there. You might only get symptoms of your period like cramps for the first day, which soon disappear. If you are accustomed to wearing a sanitary pad, it can be pretty hard to forget you’re wearing one. When you go the toilet it’s quite obvious to see you’ve got it.
Once you’ve inserted a menstrual cup, it’s easy to forget you have it in, but you need to make sure you change it twice a day, as with most cups it’s recommended to change them every 12 hours at least.
And just don’t forget that it’s in there! One of the jobs of the cup is to create suction and that suction means that all the menstrual fluid will be going into the cup and not leaking out of your body. If this happens you might find upon waking up in the morning and going to change your cup that it will have migrated up slightly during the night and will need to be readjusted.
5. Menstrual Cup Discoloration
If you’re likely to use your cup for a good 5-7 days, once a month for many years, then it’s probably not going to look exactly how it was when you took it out the packet. You will notice no matter how much scrubbing and cleaning you do it will retain some kind of tint.
This doesn’t mean the cup is dirty, it’s still very clean. It’s only that the silicone becomes a little bit discolored over time. If you buy a colored menstrual cup from an Australian online store, you are probably going to see the staining less than if you were to buy a white or clear cup. In the long run it’s just a bit discolored so it really does not matter.
Whether you choose to use a menstrual cup or not comes down to your experience and personal preference. The first few times you use your cup it will take a little bit of getting used to inserting it and removing it. Sometimes you might choose not to use a cup just because it feels uncomfortable, however, once you get accustomed to using one, you’ll really wonder how you managed without one for all these years.
Aiza Tordil is a beauty and health blogger from Love Thyself offering helpful advice on beauty tips and healthy living which she practices to keep looking healthy and attractive. She is passionate about sustainable living and always up on the hottest natural and organic skincare trends. Ultimately, she hopes to tell stories that strike a chord with people and provide them the importance of using only natural and organic products.