Able to ditch pads and tampons for good? Right here’s how to decide on the most effective menstrual cup for you


Given all the excitement surrounding menstrual cups—wellness faves like Lee Tilghman (AKA Lee From America) and Lauren Singer swear by them—you is likely to be stunned to listen to that the doohickies will not be a brand new invention. The primary usable industrial cup was patented in 1937 by American actress Leona Chalmers (*the extra you recognize*). As we speak, after a number of a long time and plenty of changes made to the unique mannequin, there are almost as many types of menstrual cups to select from as there are tampons and female pads.

So, what precisely is a menstrual cup? At it’s most elementary, it’s a vessel that’s designed to be inserted into the vagina to gather menstrual fluid, in lieu of a pad, tampon, or period-proof exercise shorts (yep, that’s a thing). Cups are sometimes bell formed, stemmed for straightforward elimination, and constructed from medical-grade silicone or rubber.

Now that we’ve acquired that coated, we will transfer on to the million-dollar query: How do you employ one?

Maintain studying to see if a menstrual cup could also be best for you—and the way to decide on the most effective one on your wants.


The professionals

The surge in recognition of menstrual cups is basically attributed to its eco-friendliness and price effectiveness. One cup could be reused for as much as 5 years or longer—so whereas the preliminary value of the cup could also be increased than a field of pads or tampons (however at $15-$40 per cup we’re not speaking by a lot), making the change will prevent a reasonably penny in the long term.

Plus: Along with the decreased waste averted by not recurrently disposing of tampons or pads themselves, the truth that it’s reusable means you don’t need to throw away handfuls of wrappers and applicators every month.

The cons

Actual speak: There’s a studying curve related to utilizing menstrual cups. Some customers could have issue inserting the cup, significantly youthful women or girls who’ve by no means had intercourse. Women with IUDs should consult with their OB/GYN or primary care physician, because the cup might doubtlessly catch the string of the IUD, doubtlessly dislodging it.

Menstrual cups additionally current a possible for mess when emptying the cup. (When you’re a cup skeptic, that is probably why.) It’s beneficial that you simply empty the cup whereas hovering over the bathroom and ideally at residence, so that you’ve got easy accessibility to a sink for laundry your palms and rinsing the cup.

Latest studies have shown that menstrual cups allow more air to enter the vagina in comparison with tampons. Elevated airflow creates a extra favorable surroundings for micro organism to develop, which can improve the chance of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) (a doubtlessly deadly bacterial sickness related to tampon use). That mentioned, TSS is uncommon (about 1 in 100,000 people annually) and as with tampon use, you possibly can cut back your danger by washing your palms earlier than inserting the cup and you’ll want to empty the cup no less than each eight hours.

How one can use a menstrual cup

Okay, let’s get right down to it.

  1. Fold or pinch the cup vertically to cut back its width, permitting for simpler insertion into the vagina.
  2. As soon as inserted, the cup will unfold and will create a seal towards the vaginal partitions. The cup shouldn’t leak or trigger discomfort. If both of those happen, modify the cup by twisting it or flexing the vaginal muscle mass. When correctly inserted, it’s best to barely really feel the cup should you even discover it in any respect.
  3. Relying in your circulate, take away the cup after 4 to eight hours of use by pinching the bottom of the cup and pulling. Don’t pull it out by the stem as a result of that might create extra suction, making it tougher to take away.
  4. Empty the cup into the bathroom, rinse it out, and reinsert. When you can’t simply get to a sink to rinse the cup (like in lots of public restrooms), you possibly can wipe it out with clear tissue or a moist wipe, after which rinse the cup if you find yourself subsequent in a position to. You can even think about carrying a water bottle with you to rinse the cup in these conditions.
  5. On the finish of your menstrual cycle, wash the cup with a gentle cleaning soap and sterilize it in boiling water for a couple of minutes earlier than storing.

When you really feel you’ve inserted the cup correctly however leakage continues to happen, it’s best to think about emptying the cup extra continuously or buying a bigger sized cup.


How to decide on the most effective menstrual cup for you

Most manufacturers promote cups in small and huge sizes. The small dimension is usually beneficial for ladies below the age of 30 who haven’t given beginning vaginally, for mild flows, and/or first-time cup customers. Bigger sizes are meant for ladies greater than 30 years of age, who’ve given beginning vaginally, or have a heavy circulate. (Facet be aware: Is it attainable to listen to the phrases “heavy circulate” with out having Imply Ladies flashbacks?)

As a result of not all vaginas and never all menstrual cups are made the identical, you’ll have to do some Goldilocks-style trial and error earlier than you discover the proper menstrual cup. And don’t be discouraged in case your first selection isn’t an ideal match; it’s exhausting to buy “the one” on the primary strive.

To assist slender down the sector, we’ve scoured quite a few articles and consumer opinions to seek out the 4 hottest cups available on the market.

MeLuna Traditional; $25

Manufactured in Germany and well-liked all through Europe, MeLuna is available in quite a lot of sizes, making it an excellent model to probe for first-time cup customers. The MeLuna web site even affords a size calculator that will help you discover the proper cup.

To purchase: MeLuna

The DivaCup; $30

DivaCup has been round for 15 years, making it one of many best-known cups available on the market and the primary cup many ladies strive. Obtainable in two sizes, DivaCup options extra-grip ridges for straightforward elimination and was the primary cup to obtain MDSAP (Medical Device Single Audit Program) certification.

To purchase: Amazon

Lena; $40

Lena affords cups in small and huge sizes as effectively a delicate mannequin, constructed from a barely softer silicone that’s extra perfect for first-time cup customers or these with a delicate anatomy or bladder. When you’re unsure which cup dimension to purchase, Lena additionally sells a two-pack containing a small and huge cup that may be alternated based mostly in your circulate.

To purchase: Amazon

Blossom; $14 and up

Blossom cups are probably the most inexpensive cups available on the market and have a money-back assure, making it an excellent introductory cup. Reviewers additionally rave in regards to the softness of the Blossom cup.

To purchase: Amazon

Discovering the proper match

When you’re a fan of tampons, then the inner resolution of a menstrual cup is likely to be an excellent match for you. The most important takeaway is that this: if you wish to get monetary savings and discover a extra environmentally-friendly resolution on your intervals, then strive the menstrual cup—after which strive it once more—as a result of experimentation is the secret. Don’t essentially count on to get it proper in your first strive, and don’t quit if all doesn’t go as deliberate from the start. You’ll be a menstrual cup professional earlier than you recognize it.

Want extra intel? An expert gives a detailed (no such thing as TMI here, folks!) explanation of how to use one. And thanks to this new product, period sexy just got a lot less messy

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