Menstrual Cup — means of intimate hygiene — capacity or barrier placed in the vagina to collect menstrual fluid. Unlike tampons or sanitary pads, menstrual Cup does not absorb secretions.
Types of menstrual cups:
- Disposable Menstrual Cup is made of polyethylene and resembles the contraceptive diaphragm. An example of cups of this type — “Instead”.
- Reusable Menstrual Cup is the most common type: the calyx bell-shaped, made of rubber (latex), medical silicone. These cups are reusable and can be used up to 10 years. Some manufacturers recommend replacing your Cup every year, others every 5-10 years.
Soft disposable menstrual cups may be used during sexual contact, but they are not contraceptives. Silicone or latex cups in the shape of the bell should be removed before sexual intercourse.
Menstrual Cup collects menstrual fluid. The first version of this hygiene products in the form of a bell was patented in 1932, in the 1960s of menstrual cups sold under the brand Tassaway, but they had no commercial success, apparently the woman was not yet ready for such means of hygiene. They began to gain popularity in the late 1980s. at First, the bowls are made only from rubber, but latex and other rubber components in many women are allergic, the more common bowl made of medical silicone.
How to Use a Menstrual Cup
The bowls attached instructions for use, but most may need time to get used to a new medium, usually a woman accustomed 2-4 of the cycle. It may seem that the design of the Cup is too large, however, we must remember that it is inserted in a collapsed state, although its diameter is still somewhat larger than the diameter of the tampon. First, the procedure of installation of the bowl can really be a daunting task, there is required skill. It collapses in different ways and you can choose the most convenient option. After getting used with proper installation and choosing the right size it does not create discomfort.
In a bowl fit more menstrual blood than a tampon or pad, so that it can be worn longer. Typically, the bowl capacity is 25-37 ml. Many women think that their selection is abundant, but in reality, a woman loses an average of from 30 to 120 ml per day (or 2-8 tablespoons), and the allocation of more than 60 ml are considered abundant.
The bowl needs to be emptied every 12 hours (this can be done more often in case of heavy secretions), then it must be rinsed with water using a neutral soap, after which it is possible to re-install. At the end of each menstrual cycle the Cup should be boiled for 20 minutes. For the purification of silicone bowl it is not necessary to use anything but soap and water, otherwise it can be damaged. When used properly, silicone menstrual Cup should serve at least a year.
Best Menstrual Cups
Typically, a manufacturer produces 2 sizes of bowls: small – for women under the age of 25-30 (depending on brand) that have never been pregnant, and a large – for women over 30 or women giving birth.
Comfort when wearing a menstrual Cup depends on proper sizing and softness of the material. Bowl size is determined by diameter and length. If you know how the cervix is located (low or high), then it is easier to determine the size. For example, if You can easily touch your finger to the cervix, then most likely, You will approach short of the Cup. Of course, everything is very individual, the choice should be based on their feelings. You may need to try several options from different manufacturers. On the market are several brands of menstrual cups is the Diva Cup, Lunette Cup, Keeper Cup, Fleur Cup, Moon Cup, MCUK, Meluna, Lady Cup and Yuuk.
When choosing a bowl it is worth considering this figure as the softness or stiffness of the material. The Cup Keeper Cup tighter, so they are better suited for women with strong vaginal muscles or for nulliparous women. The Meluna Cup is of different degrees of softness.
Benefits of using menstrual cups
Health and safety
When using menstrual cups the vagina is in normal mode, it is self-cleaning, and the walls of the vagina remain moist, which is important for protection from infection and damage. The bowls are made from either medical grade silicone or natural rubber, this means that bacteria have nowhere to breed.
Menstrual cups do not contain dangerous chemicals, additives or bleaches. Tampons also are made of specially treated and bleached fibers of cotton and viscose, after treatment in the fibers remain dioxins (by-products of bleaching, which are cumulative poisons and are a group of dangerous xenobiotics), so wearing tampons is potentially dangerous for women. Also, tampons dry out the vagina. Using tampons can cause infections and toxic shock syndrome. Unlike tampons until it was discovered connection between the use of menstrual cups and toxic shock syndrome.
Many women say that reducing the amount of menstrual flow and reducing cramping when switching from tampons to menstrual cups.
If you use bowls is happening self-cleaning of the vaginal secretions, respectively, does not appear beneficial environment for bacteria, as in the case of using tampons. Vaginal environment using a bowl is no different from the vaginal environment without the use of the bowl.
The use of bowls is just as hygienic as using other means, the bowl can be further sterilized. As in the Cup of menstrual fluid is separated from the vaginal walls and has no air access, the use of this hygiene is associated with less odors than in the case of using pads or tampons.
All that is required for cleaning of the bowl is a neutral soap and water. Easier, of course, to empty the contents of the bowl in the shower, but if you need to do it in a public toilet, you can carry a bottle of water and napkins.
The bowl can be worn up to 12 hours depending on intensity of emissions, they can be used before the start of menstruation (not to miss the beginning of it and not remain without protection), you can use at night.
They are perfect for sports because it does not cause cramps and bloating, they are reliable and nothing is visible from the outside, they also do not absorb liquid, making them an excellent method of protection during the voyage.
When used no need to carry a spare bowl, no need to worry that the Cup might fall because it rests in the vagina due to be created with the introduction of vacuum and smooth muscle of the vagina.
One menstrual Cup can cost approximately 20 – 50$, depending on the model and brand. Given the fact that usually a woman for a year uses about 180 tampons, Tampax tampons 16 PCs cost about 10$., for the year 60-100$ out, menstrual Cup pays for itself within a year.
Most manufacturers of bowls back money guarantee, so if one menstrual Cup does not fit, you can return and choose another bowl at no additional cost.
The average woman throws out of 16,800 disposable pads or tampons in her life. The menstrual Cup can be used up to 10 years, so this can greatly reduce the waste that is dumped in landfills and eventually get into the soil in sewage systems, into rivers and the sea.
Manufacture of tampons and pads associated with the use of inorganic cotton, synthetic materials, wood, for which forests are cut down. These materials are then chemically processed, which also leads to environmental pollution and use more energy.
Cons of using menstrual cups
The use of bowls requires a certain skill, which can be a barrier to use for some women. The folding bowl can slip out of your hands. Also not a simple procedure, the removal of the Cup and if you fail to spend her menstrual fluid may leak. So first it is better to do it in the shower.
Not everyone is a hygienic product
Although the majority of women says that the bowls are very comfortable, some women feel uncomfortable, feel pressure on the rectum or urethra, other women find the suction too strong.
Because the bowl can cause stretching or rupture of the vaginal corona (hymen), virgins to use the bowl is not recommended.
In the case where this is not suitable hygienic means should consider the use of reusable pads, which are also more safe both for the woman and for the environment.