Menstrual cup: everything you need to know to use it properly!

The menstrual cup is a more ecological, economical and healthier alternative to tampons. What are the advantages? What are the drawbacks? And how do you use it? In this article, we give you some advice and a guide to its use.

What is a menstrual cup?

The menstrual cup was originally created in the USA in the 1930s. However, its democratization is very recent and follows a growing ecological awareness, and scandals surrounding the composition of disposable protection.

The menstrual cup is, as its name suggests, a cup measuring 4 to 6 cm in length, and about 2 to 5 cm in diameter at the top. Of course, different sizes are available to suit a wide variety of women and their flow patterns.
The menstrual cup is made from high-quality silicone. The difference with other conventional sanitary products such as tampons or pads is that the cup retains the blood inside the vagina, rather than absorbing it as a tampon does.

It can be used by all women, whatever their age. You just need to be comfortable enough with your body to be able to use it, put it on and take it out.

What are the advantages of a menstrual cup?

If the menstrual cup is popular with many women today, it's because it offers a number of advantages.

Economical and ecological protection

One of the main reasons why women are turning to this solution is that it's environmentally-friendly - you don 't produce any waste - and economical (it lasts for around 1 year, depending on the manufacturer), and its price is around 10 to 30 euros. Several brands offer them, including Meluna, Claricup, Luneale...

Absorb up to three times more blood

Another advantage is that they can absorb much more blood than tampons: up to 3 times more. Its silicone material provides long-lasting, hypoallergenic protection to limit the risk of allergies, vaginal dryness or mycosis. As with tampons, it's very discreet, invisible under your clothes or if you're doing sports like swimming, or in the bath.

What's more, the cup is available in several sizes depending on age, size or number of children. Choosing the right size is essential to benefit from good protection and avoid any risk of leakage! Available in several sizes, the menstrual cup adapts to everyone.

How to choose your menstrual cup?

To choose the right menstrual cup, you need to consider a number of factors:

  • Whether or not you've given birth: childbirth modifies a woman's body and the tone of her perineum. If you've just given birth, external solutions are recommended to allow the body to heal safely.
  • Abundance of flow: light, normal or heavy

Several parameters can indicate whether the size is right for you:

  • leaks: a cup of the right size does not leak, but if it does, it's either too big and therefore not deployed properly in your vagina, or it's badly positioned.
  • discomfort: if you feel discomfort when wearing your menstrual cup, it means you've chosen the wrong size.

How do I put on a cup?

First and foremost, wash your hands thoroughly before and after inserting the cup. Important: between each cycle, it must be sterilized.

There are several ways of inserting the silicone cup:

  • you can fold it into a U-shape by squashing it flat and bringing each side together to form a U-shape
  • or bend it into a hook shape by pressing down on the top edge of the cup and bringing it inwards.

Maintain this fold as you insert it into the vagina. As when inserting a tampon, settle into a comfortable position, spread your labia and insert the cup into your vagina.

When correctly positioned, the cup adheres perfectly to the vaginal walls, and you won't feel it.

How do I remove a filled cup?

The cup can be removed after 4 to 6 hours. To remove it, pull on the stem until you can grasp the base of the cup. Then simply pinch the cup, tilt it from side to side and remove it. Once the menstrual cup has been removed, all you have to do is empty the blood into the toilet, then rinse it with hot water to eliminate bacteria. It should be washed once a day with an oil-free, fragrance-free soap. When wearing a menstrual cup, hygiene is very important.

How long can I keep a menstrual cup?

You can keep a menstrual cup up to 6 hours maximum. It's best to empty it more often to avoid the risk of developing toxic shock.

What precautions should I take when keeping a cup overnight?

It's not advisable to wear it at night. Generally speaking, all internal sanitary protection is not recommended at night. The stagnation of blood encourages the proliferation of bacteria, which can lead to the development of toxic shock syndrome. At night, external protection is preferable.

What are the external alternatives to the cup?

IF you want to choose this product out of ecological concern or fear of the dangers of the menstrual cup, you should know that there are many alternatives, all equally healthy. The menstrual sponge is another type of eco-responsible internal protection. As for external solutions, you can choose between washable pads and menstrual pants. We advise you to opt for Elia menstrual pants: healthy and eco-friendly, you can keep them on for up to 12 hours (depending on your flow), even at night. Organic cotton is 100% respectful of your intimate zone, and is a breathable, antibacterial material that will prevent the proliferation of bacteria and allow your intimate zone to breathe.

Menstrual cup FAQ

Why use a menstrual cup?

The menstrual cup is a more ecological and economical alternative to tampons, and its use offers a number of advantages. Its composition is hypoallergenic, making it ideal for vulvas easily irritated by the chemicals in tampons and pads. Using it can also help reduce fungal infections, since when it's properly used and sterilized before and after each period, it doesn't disturb the vaginal flora.

How do I apply and remove a menstrual cup?

Applying the menstrual cup is surely the most complicated step in using this type of protection. Indeed, it can be frightening. But in reality, all you have to do is fold it to insert it successfully. Once properly positioned, it won't move. To remove it, use the pin at the bottom of the menstrual cup, then, when you're able to reach the base of the cup, pinch it and move the cup from side to side to remove it.

When to empty the menstrual cup?

The menstrual cup should be changed every 4 to 6 hours, depending on your flow. At night, external protection is more suitable.

Is it normal to smell a bad odor from my cup?

If you feel a bad odor, itching or abnormal discharge, consult your doctor, midwife or gynecologist.

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