The menstrual cup already occupies a prominent place among women’s options to cope with the consequences of menstruation. Also known as fleurcup , after the French brand that makes one of the most popular models, this product can be purchased online or in supermarkets and pharmacies without the need for a prescription.
Those who have used them say that they make us forget about the drawbacks of the rule , that they are comfortable , they are cheap and they are also beneficial, in terms of conservation of the environment , because they do not generate as much waste as the use of tampons.
In fact, one cup can be used for a period of about two years , while other feminine menstruation products need to be replenished much more often.
These items have been on the market for more than 20 years, but it has been more recently when they have begun to gain a foothold on store shelves. Since then, several models have been produced, made from different substances, ranging from rubber to silicone.
In general, the publicity that is made of them is very scarce and most of the women who use them, know them through the Internet or by word of mouth.
Advantages of the menstrual cup
As a summary, we indicate the main advantages of this intimate product for women:
- It is ecological and economical. There are reusable brands that cost between 20 and 40 euros. They can last up to ten years, although they are usually changed every two. That means less waste in landfills and less money spent.
- Long duration. We can leave it on for 12 hours . Tampons should be changed every 4 to 8 hours, depending on the flow. But the cups can stay longer so they are good for protection at night. And once we get familiar with the way of insertion, there is no need to use a backing pad or liner.
- Greater capacity. They can hold 28.5 milliliters of flux, about twice the amount of a tampon or super absorbent pad. The difference may be greater comfort on your most period days.
- We can have sex without problems. Although most silicone and rubber ones must be removed before intercourse , the soft and disposable ones are designed not to be incompatible with it . They look like a diaphragm, they are dome shaped (not like the usual bell). Our partner cannot feel them and there is nothing to worry about, although despite everything, many couples prefer to remove them when they are going to have sex.
- Less smell. Menstrual blood may begin to smell when exposed to air, but the cup forms an airtight seal.
- Safety. According to some experts, it is safer than a tampon, because it has a lower risk of bacterial infection . And compared to a compress, there is no chance of chafing or a rash.
- More knowledge of one’s own body. Women tend to ignore many things about our genitals. The truth is that the vagina is inside our bodies and it is normal that, in part, it is a little unknown to us. Therefore, using one of these solutions is a good experience, not only for practicality and convenience, but also because it makes us much more aware of our own body.
Every woman is different and some may need a softer cup to ease cramps, or a harder cup if they have strong pelvic muscles. We can fix this by testing several different makes and models.
Emptying the cup can be annoying. If we are in a public bathroom, for example, it can be difficult, to later lift the pants, wash it in the sink and then go back to the bathroom to insert it.
We must also keep track of where we have it when we are not using it. If we are used to always having tampons and towels in our purse, in the bathroom closet, in the car, in the gym bag and anywhere else, it can be a bit nerve-racking to know that we only have one cup and we better know where this. Of course, we can also keep some pads and tampons just in case.
How is the menstrual cup used?
The first thing we must do is wash our hands to make sure that bacteria do not come into contact with our body.
The cup is made of a flexible silicone, so we should be able to bend it to place it. The most common is the C-fold, where we fold it in half, or the perforation, where we fold it at its base to insert it.
Then, we insert it gently until we feel it open. The cup creates a seal against the walls of the vagina, so that the blood does not leak and go directly into the glass.
What do we notice once we have inserted it?
We shouldn’t notice anything. The cup should remain completely inside the vagina, but if the cervix is low and the stem of the cup is a problem, we can cut it to fit the most comfortable size.
How do we know that it has been inserted correctly?
The menstrual cup is placed slightly lower than a tampon, just below the cervix to trap blood.
The cervix can sometimes move or swell during the cycle, so the cup must be adjusted accordingly. Once it is in place, we can usually hear it opening.
If we do not hear the sound of when it opens, we can use our fingers to feel its walls and make sure that they have come in contact with those of our vagina. In the event that they have not, we can rotate it, adjust it or simply remove it and insert it again.
How do we get it?
Once the glass has been filled, we take the stem to pull it down, but we do not pull completely by the stem, to avoid possible dirt, damage or discomfort. Once we feel the base, we must use two fingers to gently pinch the walls of the cup, allowing air to enter and eliminate the suction.
We take it out, empty the blood and rinse it in the sink, clean it with a handkerchief and we can now fold it again to insert it again.
How often should we clean it?
In these cases, more hygiene means more safety. However, if at the time of taking it out we are away from home, it is enough to wash our hands well before emptying it and reinserting it. However, it is advisable to carry wipes by hand or clean it with a tissue.
But if these products are not available, it can be re-inserted directly, because in reality the cup has only been in contact with clean hands, so there is no bacteria in it.
When we have finished the cycle, we must clean it and rinse it completely to disinfect it. We can put it in boiling water and let it rest for a few minutes.
What to do in the event of a traffic jam?
When there is no way to remove it, it is best to try not to panic. If we let that happen, our nerves and muscles tense up, we contract and this can even make the situation worse. So we must breathe deeply and try to relax.
Next, we must pull the stem down. We can try to use the muscles of the stomach or the pelvic floor to help in the process.
Can it ever fall on its own?
Not fortunately. We should not fear that this will happen, not even when we do some kind of physical exercise. This device fits inside the body with force and thanks to the suction it exerts on the walls of the vagina, it is not possible for it to fall off. Even if we use the bathroom, it remains fixed.
Should we change it every time we go to the bathroom, like a tampon?
Not necessarily. Even so, it is recommended to do it when we are still starting to use it. But in reality, it sits completely inside the vagina and does not come into contact with any of the other bodily functions .
How to know the correct size?
Most brands offer two sizes, recommending the larger one for women who are older or who have had one or more babies. But they all have a different shape, so these guidelines don’t always lead us to the correct size.
There is no guaranteed way to know which one to choose, nor any dimension we can measure to be sure. But if we have tried one and it feels too long, wide or narrow, we can use that as a reference to compare.
In some brands, the different sizes are made with different materials. The question is to try and find one that adapts to our vagina, in such a way that we forget about it when we wear it and we can make a life as far as possible from the problems and complications of our menstrual period.
Over the course of her life, the average woman produces 28.3 kilograms of waste due to her menstruation , such as pads or tampons. With a menstrual cup or fleurcup , however, you don’t fill your trash with hundreds of polluting and disposable products. The solution of the glasses is not only more beneficial for the environment, but since the same product can be used for several years, you only have to make a specific expense in that period, which represents significant savings.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.