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What Is a Menstrual Cup and How Do You Use It Right?

Women today have many options beyond tampons and pads for managing their period. One is a flexible, reusable silicone cup that fits inside your vagina and collects, rather than absorbs blood. It can collect blood for 10–12 hours before you empty it. Then you wash it with water and replace it.They come in various styles and sizes; you may need to experiment to find the right fit.

How to use a menstrual cup

The menstrual cup is a feminine hygiene product that is inserted into the vagina to collect (without absorbing) menstrual fluid.

If you feel it inside or notice blood leakage, the cup is likely to have been placed incorrectly. Also, a menstrual cup might leak because of:

  • an intrauterine device
  • anatomical peculiarities (uterine retroversion, a short or scarred cervix, postpartum scars)
  • the wrong cup size (age and the number of births you have had should be taken into account since it can affect vaginal elasticity.)

Before inserting a menstrual cup, you should thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. The cervix is slightly open so the risk of infection during menstruation increases many times. To remove the cup, don’t pull it, but push it out with the pelvic floor muscles. Then press on its base, grab it with both thumb and forefinger on both sides and easily remove it.

Menstrual cup: cleaning and care

During menstruation, the cervix is slightly open, which increases the risk of infection.

Before inserting or removing a menstrual cup, be sure to wash your hands with soap.

Empty the hygiene product at least twice a day or once every 12 hours.

If you don't have a chance to wash it, pour out the contents and wipe the cup with a special napkin. Make sure your hands are clean.

Don't use lubricants to insert the cup. Don't wash it with vinegar, oils, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or soda because these will damage the silicone.

For the same reason, don't put the product in the dishwasher.

After your period ends, wash the cup as usual or boil it for 5–10 minutes. Keep it in a bag made of breathable cotton.

Is a menstrual cup suitable for every woman?

In the event of certain diseases and using certain contraception methods, menstrual cup usage is not recommended, despite the fact that it is made from safe medical silicone.

Try to avoid using menstrual cups if you have:

  • any cervical diseases, including cervical ectropion (eversion), as contact with a foreign body and retaining menstrual fluid inside, can aggravate the painful condition
  • endometriosis, since menstrual blood retained inside the body can influence the development of the disease
  • an intrauterine device. If you repeatedly insert and remove the cup, there is a chance that the strings of the IUD might cling to it, which will result in displacing the IUD and reducing its reliability.

If you have any doubts about whether to use a menstrual cup or not, consult your doctor. You’ll get a professional advice on what hygiene products suit you best. Your doctor can also show you how to insert a menstrual cup correctly, so don’t hesitate to ask anything!

http://www.webmd.com/women/guide/5-things-about-your-period http://www.webmd.com/women/guide/menstrual-cup

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