In this post, you’ll find out:
- What a menstrual cup is
- Its origin
- Its function
- Answers to the most common questions we get from our customers.
And best of all, you can either choose to read the full article below, or just watch our video which will explain all the basics for you.
What is a menstrual cup? (Video)
What is a menstrual cup (In a Nutshell)
Menstrual cups are small containers that resemble miniature cups, made of medical silicone that is inserted inside the vagina during menstruation. They are harmless and adapt to the vaginal walls at all times regardless of the movement you make, collecting all the menstrual flow inside the cup. They are economical, odourless and environmentally friendly as you can reuse them. The average price of a menstrual cup is between 20 – 40 EUR. With proper care, a menstrual cup can last a minimum of 7 years. The average annual cost of sanitary pads and tampons is between 50 – 150 EUR.
Are menstrual cups the ultimate gift from science?
Menstrual cups are not new. And they are not the gift of the latest technological innovation. Menstrual cups were first invented in 1930. However, they were not so popular back then.
The first menstrual cup in the US was manufactured in 1987. Over the years, it has improved. Now you can get menstrual cups in various sizes and materials. Many brands are making them. So, you have many choices.
How is a menstrual cup different from a tampon?
Both are inserted into the vagina but work differently. Tampons absorb any fluid and cups collect it. PERIODINO menstrual cups are made of 100% hypoallergenic medical silicone, which is completely harmless to your body. Tampons are treated with chemicals which come into contact with your vaginal wall, incorporating toxic elements into your body. They tend to dry out the vaginal wall as they not only absorb your period but also the moisture from your vagina, causing allergies, itching, yeast and in some cases toxic shock.
Types of menstrual cups
There are several brands of menstrual cups on the market. The difference between one and the other are several: the material they are made of, the price per unit, the colours, etc. All the ones I mention here are reusable, that is, you can wash it, clean it and reuse it several times.
Brands of menstrual cups that you can find on the market
- Periodino Cup
- Diva Cup
- Moon Cup
- Keeper Cup
- Lena Cup
- Lily Cup
Why are menstrual cups so popular?
Menstrual cups are gaining popularity as a feminine hygiene product with women of all ages who can use them and discover the convenience of wearing them, even on those days when menstrual flow is heaviest. There are also other reasons why more and more women users are discovering that when they do, none of them go back to buying disposables.
Menstrual cups are affordable. Sanitary pads are quite expensive. You only have to make a one-time investment for menstrual cups and they will last for many years.
Menstrual cups can hold more blood than tampons or pads.
Menstrual cups are an environmentally friendly feminine hygiene product.
The menstrual cup can be used for 12 hours, washed and reinserted again.
Women can use menstrual cups with an intrauterine device.
Why should I use a menstrual cup?
Menstrual cups are popular. There’s no doubt about it. Why should you stop investing in pads and buy menstrual cups? Here are some logical reasons to choose menstrual cups.
Menstrual cups are economical
Have you ever calculated how much you spend on tampons and pads in a year? If you calculate it you will see that in a year you don’t spend less than 50 Eur. You have to keep buying them every month. On the contrary, with the menstrual cup you buy it only once in 7 years. So it is a one-time investment. You save a lot of money.
Menstrual cups are healthy for your body
Menstrual cups are a healthier choice than other feminine hygiene products. There is a valid reason behind this. Menstrual cups do not absorb blood. They only collect the blood from your period. You are less likely to suffer from a bacterial disease like toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Many women suffer from TSS when they use tampons. They do not dry out your vagina as they do not alter your natural pH. That will save you from itching, doctor visits, vaginal ova and general discomfort.
You can relax from 0 to 12 hours
Menstrual cups have a larger capacity than pads or tampons. They can hold 15-25 ml of blood. Therefore, you don’t need to take it out as many times a day. You can keep it for six to twelve hours a day. You can go to university, attend classes, go home, work, play sports and even sleep with it. Just remember to empty and clean it after 12 hours.
Super absorbent tampons have a maximum capacity of 12 ml, which means you need to change them every 4-6 hours.
You can contribute to the zero-waste movement
If you take good care of your menstrual cup you can use it for 7 years. So you are doing your bit to contribute to creating less waste to nature as you will only dress your blood to nature. Have you ever thought when you take a tampon or sanitary towel out of the wrapper all the waste that is produced? Have you ever been walking along the beach and you see a wrapper from one of them lying around?
What NOT to do while using a menstrual cup?
Have penetrative sex. I edited another article on this specific topic and I invite you to read it.
How should you use a menstrual cup?
If you have used tampons before, then you can easily use a menstrual cup. However, if you are using menstrual cups for the first time, you can use them by following these simple steps and visiting our video tutorial:
Wash your hands with mild soap.
Wet the cup with tap water. This will help it slide more easily when you insert it. I don’t recommend using lubricants as this makes them too slippery.
Fold the menstrual cup to insert it (in the video tutorial I show 3 ways to do this).
Insert the menstrual cup gradually into your vagina, just like you would a tampon. But the difference is that a tampon is inserted until it touches the cervix while the menstrual cup is only inserted halfway down the vaginal canal.
Gently rotate the menstrual cup in your vagina until it makes an airtight seal (vacuum effect). This will ensure that the cup opens completely inside your vaginal canal and collects all your menstrual flow. It will do this while you work, play sports, swim or sleep.
How would you feel after using a menstrual cup?
If you insert the cup the right way, you won’t feel anything. You may even forget that you are using a menstrual cup. You can walk, sit, sleep, jump and do all your usual activities. The cup will not fall out.
How to remove a menstrual cup?
When the time has come, use the stem of the menstrual cup as a guide to find the base. Pinch the base of the cup and pull it out with gentle side-to-side movements. Pour out the contents, wash and reinsert it.
When should I take out menstrual cups?
Much depends on the type of flow you have. In general, you can keep your menstrual cups for 8 to 12 hours. You can go to bed with a menstrual cup. There is no need to worry about staining the sheets. The cup is enough to cover you during the night.
How to clean menstrual cups
It would be best if you take out your menstrual cup at least twice a day. Empty the menstrual blood and clean the cup with cold water.
Remember, your menstrual cups can last seven to ten years, with proper care. However, this only applies to good quality menstrual cups such as PERIODINO.
Reasons to avoid using menstrual cups
Menstrual cups also have some disadvantages. If you are planning to buy menstrual cups, then you should know their advantages and disadvantages. We have already discussed the reasons why menstrual cups should be used. Now let’s discuss why menstrual cups should be avoided.
A low cervix and you use an IUD
Some people have a very low cervix and use IUDs. The threads that are suspended from the IUD can be affected by the cup. I recommend talking to your gynaecologist about the use of the cup and compatibility with the IUD.
How can you find the perfect menstrual cups for you?
The material is one of the most important criteria as it will be inserted in your body for many hours. I have seen cups of all types and some plastic ones that are not only short-lived but toxic. You should look for those that are made of medical grade silicone.
The cups should be flexible yet firm so that they never change shape. I have seen some that after one use are flattened and dented. This should never happen as they will not be able to collect the flow as they do not conform to your vaginal canal resulting in leakage. Sizing is another important point as you should use the size that is right for you and not the size that the manufacturer wants to sell on their box.
The size of the cup has nothing to do with the length of the cup or the capacity. The perfect size has to do with the diameter of the menstrual cup as this is what will determine that it will adhere perfectly to your vagina. I invite you to watch the video tutorial as I explain it in detail.
The colour of the cup: many manufacturers make them in various colours such as pink, purple or even black. The reason why they use colours is so that it is not so noticeable when the cups are stained. Why are they stained? The iron that the blood has when it comes in contact with hot water leaves its traces, that is why I recommend to wash the first time with cold water, once the blood has been removed you can wash them with hot water and soap.
In the case of the PERIODINO cups we make them with white silicone because that way you can clearly see the amount as it has a meter in ml to know how much you are menstruating. You will also be able to see the colour of the cup and thus have information about how your body is functioning, i.e. as the cup is transparent you will have more information about yourself.
What factors influence when you are deciding on the perfect size for you:
How old you are.
Whether you have given birth to a baby naturally.
The strength of your pelvic muscles.
If you are under 30 or have not given birth to a baby naturally, choose the small menstrual cup. However, if you are in your thirties and have not given birth vaginally, then the large menstrual cups are the best option for you.
The menstrual cup has a lot of advantages for your body, it will give you freedom and moreover for your wallet. You will stop running to supermarkets to buy disposables, if you find yourself in an emergency you will no longer have to ask a friend to rescue you by presenting you with one of her disposables. You won’t have to carry them in your handbag as a spare. You will be able to enjoy 12 hours of freedom doing sports, working, swimming, sleeping, etc. If the only dis-benefit is that you can’t have penetrative sex during those days, I think it’s worth it. 😍