Menstrual cups seem to be everywhere these days, yet many people are still confused about what exactly, they are. There is lots of myth busting to be done around menstrual cups, so let’s get started.
Menstrual cups are an alternative to tampons or pads. They are small cups, about the size of a shot glass. The average amount of blood a woman loses during her period is exactly this amount, and therefore the cup is sized perfectly! There are many brands on the market these days, although most cost around $30. Menstrual cups are inserted into the vagina (need to be “folded up”), and ultimately form a suction to the inside walls of the vagina which helps keep it in its place. The cup can be worn for up to a full 12 hours, and then removed at the end of the day. The blood is simply washed out, or flushed into the toilet. And then the cup gets cleaned and re-inserted.
Here are a few other fun tid-bits to know about a menstrual cup:
- They do not need to be sterilized, since the vagina is not sterile. Simply clean with mild soap and water, if necessary
- There is no increased risk of toxic shock syndrome with menstrual cups
- They can be safely used with an IUD
- They are better for the environment, since they are meant to be reused and most last up to 10 years!
- They will save you money, since you do not need to keep buying other products like tampons or pads
Inserting a menstrual cup can be tricky, and requires a few tries at getting it right. It can also be especially difficult for women with vaginismus to maneuver the cup into the vagina, although this is usually no harder than inserting a large tampon. If you have vaginismus, and would like to use a menstrual cup – the clinicians at Maze women’s health would be happy to help guide you.