The thought of buying tampons or pads doesn’t exactly excite you. It is more of a necessary annoyance to make the monthly run to the drugstore to find out what brand is on sale.
However, the popularity of menstrual cups is giving mainstream period products a run for their money. A study found that 91% of tampon users recommend menstrual cups to friends and family. Here’s why the hype exists.
Menstrual Cups: How Do They Work?
Leah Millheiser, MD, a clinical assistant professor, “A menstrual cup is effectively a fluid collection cup made of medical-grade silicone that you place inside of the vagina.” The menstrual cup catches the blood rather than absorbing it like a tampon. In the same way as a tampon, the cup fits inside the vagina.
Menstrual Cups: How To Use Them?
The instructions differ from brand to brand, so read the instructions before trying this at home. Christine Greves, M.D., a board-certified ob/GYN, says this is how you insert a menstrual cup.
- Keep your hands clean
- Fold the cup in half
- Insert the cup into your vagina with one hand like a tampon, rim facing up
- The seal will form inside you once it opens up
Dr. Greves said, “If it’s in the proper location, you shouldn’t feel it. The last thing anyone wants is to feel it all day.”
Menstrual Cups: How To Remove Them
It’s best to do this over a toilet to avoid a mess. A small stem hangs down on many menstrual cups. Dr. Greves recommends gently tugging on this to reach the bottom of your cup. You can remove the cup by pinching its base and emptying it into the toilet once the seal is broken.
What Are The Signs That My Menstrual Cup Is Full?
Jessica Shepherd, M.D., an ob/GYN, says It seems like a guessing game when determining when your menstrual cup is full. She says, ” Every person will know their flow best and when to change their cups.” But if unsure, she recommends checking for things like fullness, spotting when you wipe, or blood spots on your underwear.
Menstrual Cups: How Often To Change
Dr. Greves recommends emptying your menstrual cup every three to four hours until you sense your flow. She adds, “Have a pantyliner in case it overflows.” A light flow day will allow the menstrual cup to stay in for 24 hours if you are bleeding heavily.