What is a Menstrual Cup and how do you use it anyway?
When I first discovered the menstrual cup 2 years ago, my first thoughts were ‘’How am I supposed to fit that big thing up there?” I could not even begin to imagine the mechanics of it. The more I researched it, the more the benefits outweighed the doubt.
What is a Menstrual Cup?
It is literally a cup shaped thingamajig made from medical grade silicone. Just like a tampon, you insert it into the vagina to collect the flow during menstruation.
Like any new skill, there’s that awkward period of trial and error as you get acquainted with a new way of doing things. I thought Inserting the menstrual cup was going to be a breeze seeing as I have been using tampons for most of my adult life. Boy was I wrong! The menstrual cup is definitely different to anything you have ever used.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that it is bad…it’s just different. I find the more I use it, the more I really enjoy it. My biggest issue was trying to figure out how it all worked.
So, to save you the crazy maths, here is a step by step guide to using a menstrual cup.
How to insert
On the first day of your cycle, sterilise the menstrual cup for 3 to 5 minutes in boiling water. Be sure to read the instructions as times may vary depending on the brand.
Wash your hands. This goes without saying, but is well worth a mention.
*For first timers, it would be a good idea to try this in the comfort of your own bathroom rather than test driving this baby in a public setting.
Get Comfortable. Sit over the toilet, squat or stand like Captain Morgan with one leg lifted up for better access.
RELAX!! If you tense up, your pelvic floor muscles will contract making it a little bit tougher to insert or manoeuvre.
Fold the cup in the fold that suits you best. There are a few folds that you can try, but its best to experiment with each one until you find the fold that works for you. Once you do, you’re halfway there.
Insert the cup towards the small of your back (and not directly upwards). Push the cup inside until the bottom bits are no longer visible from the outside and when it feels comfortable.
Ok, here’s where it can get a little graphic…
Wiggle the cup around so that all the folds are removed. This requires you to reach in a little deeper than you are usually used to. Sometimes even inserting the cup a little higher, then pulling it down can easily unravel the fold. Getting rid of the folds forms a seal which could save you from untimely and embarrassing leaks. I found physically feeling around the edges gave me better piece of mind.
You be you for the next 8-12 hours
How to remove
Relax your pelvic floor so that the cup can be removed easily
Reach in and find the bottom handle. If it is just slightly out of reach, then pull it a little lower until you have a better grip. If you have the dreaded feeling that it may be stuck, then it is important to relax and not panic. Rather get up and walk around for a bit, then try again.
Squeeze the base of the cup to break the seal
Remove the cup while still holding onto the base, then tip out the contents. If you hold on the little bottom tip, you may lose your grip and risk dropping the entire cup into the toilet, so hold on tight.
Rinse the cup with water.
If you have not tried it before, this may sound a little over whelming, trust me I was just as anxious as you. Just remember, practice makes perfect. Before you know it, you will be operating it like a pro and wondering why you haven’t made the switch sooner.
Have you tried the Menstrual cup? What was your experience? Comment Below