Let’s talk periods, shall we? I am actually really into talking about menstrual cycles, I love normalizing the dialogue about them. So… that’s an opening, right? Oh, and if you’d like to see the visuals on how to use the menstrual cup and/or you’re more of a listener than a reader, click here for my YouTube video.
First off, what is a menstrual cup? It is a silicone cup that is inserted into the vagina and suctions onto the cervix, capturing your menstrual blood. What are the benefits, you may ask? They are safer for your body, as the chances of getting Toxic Shock Syndrome are next to none when using these. They are a clean alternative to tampons, in that you dump out your menstrual blood into the toilet and you are not leaving your menstrual blood in trash cans around the house to fester. If you are sensitive to the scent of menstrual blood, the silicone option seals in the scent. This is super cost efficient! A one time purchase of the silicone cup could last you for all of your future cycles, as silicone does not break down in time. Also, great for travel, as you only have to ensure your one cup is stashed in your luggage as opposed to a entire box of tampons, and what if you run out? What if your flow is lighter than usual this time? Ugh, too much planning.
How you care for your menstrual cup is very simple. You boil it. Yes, boil it. Most come with an anti microbial storage bag to keep it in while not in use (and store it while clean!). So, when your menstrual cycle is over you boil your cup for about 10 minutes, allow to air dry, and store it safely back into it’s baggie for a future use.
So now the hard part: How to use this *thing.* Step one: Be patient! You have to learn your body and how to insert the cup in a way that will ensure a proper seal, which may take a few cycles. It’s normal, you’re not a failure. My pro tips could be what sets your experience apart from mine: Get your cup wet prior to insertion and squat down. Fold in one side of the opening to create a triangle and insert the cup into your vagina at an angle and allow to pop open. Try twisting the cup to set if it is in correctly, if it twists you’re good, if it doesn’t twist it’s not in right. To try to correct the opening so it will catch your menstrual blood, you can insert a finger along the side of the cup towards the opening and try to reposition the top to open up. This is harder to type than it was to film. In order to remove the cup, either pull the stem at the bottom or insert a finger along the side of the cup and push it inward to release the seal. Dump out the menstrual blood into the toilet and either wipe the inside clean with toilet paper or rinse clean prior to reinsertion. And, of course, wash your hands before and after handling your cup.
Well, typing this was incredibly difficult, I hope it was helpful and clear!