Hey all! Emily here–and today I want to talk about menstrual cups. A few months back, I decided to try one out, so I could share my experience using it with all of you! A menstrual cup is a soft, squishy device that looks like a cup with a tail, and is usually made out of silicone. They are designed to be placed inside of the vaginal canal near the cervix to collect the flow of blood during menses.
So how do you actually put it in? First, you choose one of the ways to fold the menstrual cup (below is a photo with different fold options). I would try several and see which one feels most comfortable for you. After the cup is folded, hold it your dominant hand, then bring it to the opening of your vaginal canal. You can do this while seated on the toilet, standing, one foot up on the toilet…wherever is comfortable and you can relax your pelvic floor. To insert, take a big inhale to relax your pelvic floor, and then insert the cup to the top of your vaginal canal (the tail of the cup should just barely be at the opening, and not hanging out of the opening). To remove, you HAVE to break the suction first. Read the instructions on your cup to find out how to do this. For most of them, you can just use your pincher fingers to pinch the bottom of the cup to break the suction.
Once you’ve broken the suction, hold either the bottom of the cup or tail, and then pull it out with your pelvic floor relaxed (try an inhale or exhale to find what’s comfortable). You can dump the blood in the toilet, rinse the cup in a sink, and then reinsert. The awesome thing about menstrual cups is that you can leave them in for 12 hours, and even pee and poop with them in. Some people ask “Well what if I need to empty it when I’m not at home?”. Unless your flow is super heavy, you can just leave the cup in place when you use the restroom out in public, and then empty it once you’re home.
How do you choose which one to use?? There’s an awesome website called putacupinit.com that has a quiz to match you with a few options based on history of child delivery, anatomy, heaviness of flow, etc. I personally use the Lola cup size 2 (different sizes depending on if you’ve given birth and/or have incontinence), and I really enjoy it. There is a new cup that launched last week called the Sunny cup, and it’s the first cup designed with an applicator (like a tampon)!
How to clean it: At the start and end of your cycle, boil the cup in water for 10-15 mins to sanitize it. It’s unnecessary to do this during your cycle unless you feel like it’s starting to smell or if your cycle is very long (6+ days of bleeding). During your cycle, a good rinse in the sink before reinsertion will do just fine.
I know it can feel overwhelming to try new menstrual products, but I really encourage a lot of women to try a cup! It’s more convenient than changing a tampon every few hours, not as expensive as buying the organic non-tox tampons, and is more sustainable. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out!
These emails are meant to be educational and instructional. They are not able to diagnose or treat a specific issue and are definitely not a substitute for a professional evaluation.