What is a menstrual cup?

A menstrual cup is a type of feminine hygiene product (like tampons, pads and liners) constructed of a flexible material. It is inserted inside the vagina during menstruation to catch the blood. The menstrual cup gets its name from how it collects blood. Rather than being absorbed into the feminine hygiene product (like a tampon or pad) the blood pools inside a cup and is collected until the menstrual cup is removed and emptied. Unlike tampons and pads, menstrual cups are reusable.

Is the Menstrocup uncomfortable?

If worn correctly, the Menstrocup shouldn’t’ feel uncomfortable at all. Most women can forget they have it in, thanks to the flexible silicone that warms up to match your body heat.

How do you insert the Menstrocup?

Prepare – Wash your hands with soap and rinse your Menstrocup with water to remove any dust that may have accumulated. Do not use soap on the Menstrocup.

Take your position – Get into a comfortable position: – Stand – Squat – Sit on the toilet – Stand and put one leg up on the bathroom – Lay on the floor with your knees up and legs apart

Relax – Try not to tense your pelvic muscles (the muscles you use to stop and start peeing), keeping your pelvic muscles relaxed will make inserting the Menstrocup a much easier task.

Get ready – Hold the base of your folded Menstrocup in one hand and with your free hand gently separate your labia.

Insertion – Slowly insert the Menstrocup into your vagina; aiming it horizontally towards your tailbone (the very bottom of your spine). Your cup will pop open before it is properly inserted. Despite this, continue inserting towards your tailbone until the stem is even with the vaginal opening.

Ensure the cup is open – You may have heard or felt a “pop” as your Menstrocup unfolds. You now want to make sure that the cup is firmly in place if you touch the base of the cup it should feel round. Rotating the cup 360 degrees in either direction will ensure that the cup is fully open and positioned towards the tailbone.

Alternatively, you can swirl your finger around the outside of the cup to ensure you have a good seal.

How do you remove the Menstrocup?

You have reach inside the vagina and pull on the stem until you can reach the base of the cup. Pinch as far up the cup (as close to the top rim) as possible and squeeze it for a few seconds to give the seal time to break. Once you have squeezed the base to release the air, pull the cup out at a sideways angle.

How the do you clean the Menstrocup discreetly when you’re in a public bathroom?

Generally, it shouldn’t be a problem since it can be worn for up to 12 hours. However, if you do get into a situation where you have to empty your cup immediately, this is all you have to do: Remember to carry hand sanitizer and wipes around while on your period. You can clean your Menstrocup by wiping it with either wipes (or toilet paper if you don’t have wipes) and then rinsing it when next possible. However, remember to wash/sanitize your hands before and after you clean it.

Can you have sex with the Menstrocup in?

While it is possible, it might be uncomfortable, for either your partner or you. However, many people report not feeling discomfort at all. There is also the problem of the Menstrocup moving up into your vagina, but can be pushed out. So basically you can, but it isn’t recommended.

What are the disadvantages of using the Menstrocup?

Learning curve – Unlike other feminine hygiene products, practice is required to perfect the technique of inserting and removing the Menstrocup.

More mess – While using the Menstrocup, you will be washing your hands more than usual; particularly when you are just learning how to use the Menstrocup correctly.

Difficult if young – If you are a younger girl who is yet to have intercourse, then you may find inserting the Menstrocup difficult. The Menstrocup can also break the hymen, which is used as the evidence of virginity in some cultures. This can discourage young women who have been brought up in those cultures from using a Menstrocup.

Fit problems – The Menstrocup will not fit everyone. If you have fibroids (benign tumours that develop on the walls of the uterus) or a dropped uterus (the uterus sags into the vagina), then you may find the Menstrocup will not fit correctly.

Maintenance – After each cycle, it is recommended that you sterilize the Menstrocup before storing it away. While a minor inconvenience, it is still a step that is not required with pads or tampons.

What are the advantages to using the Menstrocup?

Convenience Benefits

Longer wear – The Menstrocup can be worn up to 2 – 3 times longer than a tampon. This means that the Menstrocup is great for overnight use or those times when you don’t have ready access to a bathroom.

No strings attached – Literally, the Menstrocup has no strings or wings making it the perfect menstrual solution for women who lead physically active lifestyles. Running? Swimming? Yoga? Enjoy them all in comfort.

Travel light – The Menstrocup is perfect for holidays and road trips as you do not need to worry about buying or disposing of products. If you enjoy hiking, camping or travelling a Menstrocup should be your feminine hygiene product of choice.

Absorb more – The Menstrocup is capable of holding up to 30 ml of liquid, that’s five times as much blood than a tampon can hold. Focus on your job – The Menstrocup allows you to focus on your career. Are you deployed? A firefighter? No need to pack the pads and tampons. A single Menstrocup will do.

Health Benefits

Nothing harmful – Unlike other feminine hygiene products, the Menstrocup contain no toxic substances. Shock free – Unlike tampons, the Menstrocup has not been associated with Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).

Kiss the dry goodbye – Tampons absorb every bit of moisture around them. Unfortunately, this includes healthy bodily fluids that are supposed to stay inside your body. Since the Menstrocup collects blood rather than absorb it, you will not experience a dryness down there.

Hypoallergenic – Sensitive skin? Dermatitis? Latex allergies? The Menstrocup will not trigger your allergies.

Can fix health problems – The fit of the Menstrocup means that you may no longer experience menstrual cramping. Many women report that they no longer suffer from dryness, infections and vaginal itching since swapping over from tampons and pads to the Menstrocup. Some women even say they bleed less when using a Menstrocup instead of a tampon.

Odour free – When exposed to air, menstrual fluid can give off a unique and somewhat unpleasant odour. The Menstrocup prevents air from reaching the blood preventing bad smells from occurring.

Double is not a problem – If you have the rare condition known as uterus Didelphis (having two cervixes), then the Menstrocup is still a viable period solution. Because the cup sits below the cervix, it is will still collect blood and fit right.

Cost Benefits

It is estimated that the average woman will spend over R80 000 on menstrual products in her lifetime (excluding the costs for pain medication, new underwear, chocolate, heating pads, etc.). That is a lot of pads and tampons! While many women consider tampons and pads a necessary monthly expense, buying these products can still be a significant struggle for low-income households. The Menstrocup is a one-time purchase that saves big in the long run.

Environmental Benefits

Let’s say that you are on your period. If you were to use five disposable feminine hygiene products a day for five days, you would use 300 disposable pads or tampons across a year. This grows to over 10,000 disposable products across your lifetime! That’s a LOT of waste. With the Menstrocup you won’t be contributing to that waste anymore.