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Menstrual Cup: Do You Know How To Use It?

The menstrual cup is a type of feminine hygiene product; it replaces disposable items like tampons, sanitary napkins and panty liners. Besides being reusable, which is good for the environment, it can hold more blood than the other products and give the sensation of being dry. 

Even though it is a good method, a lot of women do not know about it and those who know many times do not have the specific instructions on how to use it. We contacted a gynecologist, Doctor Mariana Procópio Cavalari, specialized in natural gynecologist, female sexuality and LGBTQIA+ health, who created a complete guide to help those who want to start using the menstrual cup.

First some general information about the product: 

  • What material is it manufactured? Usually is made of silicone or TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) a type of rubber used in surgical material.

  • Where to buy? You can found it online or at pharmacies;

  • How much does it cost? The price depends on the brand you are looking for, but a kit with two menstrual cups costs on average R$ 90, 00. Those who have a sterilizer cup to clean it are more expensive, reaching R$ 145,00.

Now, let’s see a guide to help you with the menstrual cup:

  1. 1. First of all, how to know the right size? 

    You have to consider just two factors. 1. The size of your uterine lap, if you do not know, consult your gynaecologist. 2. The intensity of your menstrual flow.

  2. 2.   How to insert the menstrual cup?

    You can start doing a fold in a “C” format or another kind of fold that you can feel more comfortable, then you introduce it in your vagina (it does not have to be so deep). After that, you can spin the menstrual cup or put your finger between the vagina wall and the menstrual cup, to see if it is well fitted.

  3. 3. After use, how to take off the menstrual cup?

    You must take it off according to the intensity of your flow, but you cannot stay for more than 12 hours, be aware! 

    To remove, you just have to put your finger between your vagina wall and the menstrual cup in a way you can take off the vacuum created by the product. Then you just have to pull the stem out, the blood can be poured where you prefer, then wash it with water and soup.

    TIP: The best position to do that is crouched.

  4. 4.  Finally, how to clean the product?

    It is important to remember that you have to sterilize the menstrual cup after every period, it has to be a deeper cleaning. It can be made in a microwave or a stove, you need to put the menstrual cup in boiling water and let it rest around 10 minutes, the time depends on the brand you chose, you have to be aware not to burn it and not to lose its elasticity.

    Some menstrual cups already come with a sterilizer cup or a specific pan, if it is not your case you can use an object (pan for the stove or glass for the microwave) of your preference. After boiling let the product cool down and store in a “breathable” bag.

    TIP: Teflon pan or aluminum are not recommended, they can release some substances that can damage the silicone. 

  5. 5. Advantages

    Besides this complete guide, Doctor Mariana told us the advantages of this hygiene product “The menstrual cup does not cause any kind of itch in the skin; it keeps the natural humidity of the vagina; it does not provoke any odours; has a shelf life of 10 to 12 years, you can use at the pool or others activities without the concern of a ‘leak’; last but not least the garbage produced is recyclable”, explains Mariana. 

  6. 6. Common Doubts

    Some women have specific doubts about the use of a menstrual cup like those that have IUD (Intrauterine device). They ask if they can or can not use the menstrual cup, and the answer is: YES, you can, just have to be careful to pull it off, because of the string that the IUD has. 

    Another doubt is from virgin women, they ask if they can use it even though they never had sexual intercourse involving penetration, this topic is very individual because it depends on your concept of virginity. Normally, the women who ask this relate virginity with the hymen. Doctors explain that the hymen is just a set of membranes that recover the entrance of the vagina and most of the time it has spaces between them.

    So, the hymen is not a synonym of virginity that is why the menstrual cup or other kinds of hygiene feminine products that you put inside your vagina do not have the “power” to take your virginity away. Only you can decide if you want to use it or not.

So, after all this brand new information, are you willing to be part of the menstrual cup revolution? Tell us!

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The article above was edited by Mel Trench

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