How to use menstrual cups

Menstrual cups are considered to be the best eco-friendly alternative to pads and tampons.

Menstrual cups are small, flexible bell-shaped cups made of silicone or latex rubber. Unlike pads or tampons, menstrual cups do not absorb the blood, rather they collect the blood. These cups are reusable and can be made to last up to 10 years or at least for 5 years. Whereas some brands recommend changing the models within a year, others recommend replacement between 5-10 years.

How to use it?

You have to tightly fold the menstrual cup. You can do this in one of two ways –

  • U-Fold – For this, you have to press the sides of the cup together and firmly fold it into half forming a tight ‘U’ shape.
  • Push Down – On the top of the rim of the cup place your fingers and press it down into the center of the inside base so that it can form a triangle, thus making the top rim much smaller to insert. 

Then, hold the sides firmly in between your thumb and forefinger to make the curved edge face away from your palm. Either sit spreading your leg or in a squat position, whichever is more comfortable for you, and push the curved edge of the cup horizontally into your vagina. Make sure it isn’t placed way too much inside your vagina, inserting it too deep may cause leaks and also makes removal difficult. Now you must learn how to seal it. Grip the base of the cup, turn the cup by rotating it in full rotation (360 degrees). Make sure that your cup rotates easily as this helps in ensuring that it is fully open and is positioned horizontally towards your tailbone. 

For removing it, you just have to pull the stem of the cup gently until you reach the cup’s base. Pinch the base to release the seal, then continue pulling it down to remove it. After removing the cup, discharge the contents in the toilet, wash the cup in warm water and clean it with the cleanser given with the cup. After cleaning, do not forget to reinsert. 

This is as easy to insert as tampons and not at all painful if inserted in a correct way. Also, using cups do not cause any rashes or itching like tampons and/or pads do.

Many women prefer menstrual cups over tampons and sanitary napkins. The reasons are mentioned below – 

  1. They last longer and can hold any stage of your period – in comparison to pads or tampons. You even sleep better at night as you don’t have to worry about leakage. 
  2. They are eco-friendly as they are reusable. You just have to clean them and they are ready to use! This makes them a better alternative to pads and tampons.
  3. Menstrual cups come in two sizes - one before and one after childbirth. As your body changes after childbirth, the menstrual cup is made in such a way as to accommodate body’s changes.
  4. Although one can use tampons while soaked in water, but sometimes it gets pushed out of your vagina due to the flow but this isn’t the case with the cups. They are safe, comfortable, as well as reliable.

The disadvantages of using menstrual cups are that they take time getting used to as they cause irritation of the skin, and can result in rashes— especially to those who are used to the safety and comfort of tampons and/or pads. Also, it is not easy finding the right fit as the product is still new in the market and hasn’t been accepted by a majority of the population.

WHL Tip: Depending on factors such as your daily amount of activity, the amount of blood flow, your age and weight, choose the hygiene products that suit you best. All products have their advantages and disadvantages. Choose well, what gives you maximum comfort.

About the Author

WHL Staff

The WHL staff comprises a group of ladies out to give you exhaustive, practical health tips and resources.