#8 Things You Need to Know About Menstrual Cups

Maybe you’ve heard about menstrual cups, but do you actually know what it is and how to use it? For this post, we talked with Dr. Poliana Pacello, gynecologist, and discovered the essential things you need to know about menstrual cups. Check it out:

  1. 1. It shouldn’t replace the regular pads…

    Although many people believe that menstrual cups can replace the regular pad, it is not supposed to. “As well as happens with the internal tampon, wearing it for too long, allied with the natural movement of the body, causes friction in the vagina, which may lead to microfissures that allow the entrance of harmful bacteria”, says Dr. Poliana. “These bacteria may then accommodate in other places inside the pelvic cavity, leading to more serious infections, which can, in some drastic cases, cause infertility”.

  2. 2. But it may replace the internal tampon!

    Dr. Poliana says that it is perfectly ok to use the menstrual cup instead of the internal tampon. She adds that you shouldn’t wear it for more than a few hours in a roll (like an internal tampon), to allow the vagina to breathe – but it depends on your flow. For example, if you have an intense flow, you should take it off more frequently, otherwise it may cause discomfort.

  3. 3. It is easy to use

    Menstrual cups are made of soft materials, such as silicon, which makes them very flexible and practical to use. There are many sizes available, so you may choose the one that fits better on you. Also, if you prefer, you can buy a specific applier.

  4. 4. It cannot be noticed on the outside

    “Menstrual cups go deep in the vagina, on a no-innerved area close to the uterus”, explains Dr. Poliana. “The open side faces the uterus and collects the menstruation”. This way, it cannot be noticed on the outside, and shouldn’t cause any discomfort – but that depends on the length of the vagina and the size of the menstrual cup.

  5. 5. It can be reused

    Even though some menstrual cups are disposable, most of the options in the market can be reused for years, depending on the brand. This makes it a very eco-friendly choice, since it doesn’t produce as much waste as the internal tampon. Plus, it is easy to sanitize – there are even especial sanitizers you can buy if you prefer.

  6. 6. It is cheaper than the internal tampon

    In Brazil, reusable menstrual cups cost around R$ 90,00 – but there are also cheaper and more expensive options. This means that, on the long-term, they cost less than the internal tampon, that you need to buy again and again.

  7. 7. It can only be used by people with vagina who’ve had sexual relations

    Dr. Poliana explains that menstrual cups go deep in the vagina, and a virgin hymen blocks the entrance of the dispositive. This is why only people with vagina who are sexually active can use it – unlike the internal tampon, that can be used even by sexually inactive people, if you choose the smallest size and know how to properly insert it.

  8. 8. It is not a contraceptive method

    The menstrual cup may remind us of the contraceptive diaphragm, but it was not made with the purpose of being a contraceptive method! “Even though you can have sex while you wear it (depending on the format and the capacity of it), the menstrual cup doesn’t protect you from pregnancy or sexual diseases”, explains Dr. Poliana.

If you are looking for an eco-friendly substitute for the regular pads, as we have seen, menstrual cups are not the best alternative – instead, you can try reusable pads or absorbent panties. But it is a great option to replace the internal tampon. As Dr. Poliana recalls, parsimony is crucial whenever you’re dealing with your intimacy. It is important to remind that you should always talk to your gynecologist before choosing how to handle your period. Also, knowing and listening to your body is essential.

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The article above was edited by Amanda Ardigó.

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