Menstrual cups are gaining popularity in the US because they are a healthy alternative to tampons and pads: they are reusable, eco-friendly, provide leak-proof protection up to 12 hours and can be worn at night and during workouts. Since the cup collects your menstrual fluid, rather than absorbing it (occurs with tampon or pad use), you reduce your chances of irritation or dryness while keeping your vagina pH balanced.
For those of you who are curious or fully ready to make the switch, here are some easy steps for making your switch to a menstrual cup easier.
1) Purchase your size
To begin, you should find a 100% medical-grade, silicone cup in a size recommended for your vagina. For Organicup:
- Size A is for light to medium flow and/or if you haven’t given birth
- Size B is for medium to heavy flow and/or if you have given birth vaginally
The Bloomi recommends menstrual cups made with 100% medical-grade silicone that are allergy certified for sensitive mucus membranes. Organicup also comes with an unbleached cotton bag and recycled cardboard packaging (very eco-friendly).
2) Sanitize it and practice
Once your cup arrives, are you are ready to try it, you’ll need to sanitize it. To do this, boil it in a pot for 3 minutes. If it makes you feel more comfortable, use a small pot that you can store away in your bathroom to avoid mixing it with other kitchen dishes. Repeat the disinfecting process after each period.
If it we recommend trying it BEFORE you get your period to get accustomed to it. Many people report insertion is easier with a bit of water-based lubricant and by putting one leg on top of the toilet to get a good angle. The most popular way to insert is using a c-fold where you pinch the cup into a c-shape and slowly insert with small side to side movements. Allow the cup to unfold and create a light vacuum by pinching the bottom and twisting the cup a bit. When the cup is unfolded correctly, you shouldn’t be able to feel it. Try walking around a bit and re-inserting if it doesn’t feel right to you.
You can also trim the stem (cutting a small amount at a time) to make it fit comfortably, as needed and ensure you don’t feel that bottom part of the cup.
Once you get your period and are ready to use it, re-sanitize it in boiling water. Once inserted, it can be left in place for up to 12 hours. Also, note that it takes most people 2-3 monthly uses to become a confident user, so be patient with yourself!
3) Emptying and cleaning it
To empty your cup, grab the stem and pull it gently until you can get a grip around the bottom of the cup. Next squeeze the bottom to release the suction and take the cup out gently by moving it side to side. Empty menstrual fluid in the toilet and wash cup with warm water before you insert it again. If you are unable to thoroughly rinse your cup, you can clean it with a menstrual cup wipe.
Congratulations, you are now a menstrual cup pro and ready to try one!
Video from Organicup: