So you’ve read all about the advantages that menstrual cups have over pads and tampons, and you’re ready to take the plunge and get your first menstrual cup. Which type should you purchase, and what do you need to know in order to make your transition as easy and fuss-free as possible? In this article, we explore all that, and more!
What are the different cups available?
Menstrual cups generally come in two sizes – one larger, one smaller. The larger one will be able to hold more blood, and you’ll have to empty it less frequently, but you should be choosing your cup based on which size is more comfortable (as opposed to which is lower-maintenance). The larger sizes are typically for people who have given birth; if you haven’t done so, you’ll probably find the smaller ones more comfortable to use.
Is it tough to insert and remove the cup?
Some women get the hang of it right away, whilst others might take a week or even a month to get used to it. Just make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and if that doesn’t work, try googling to get some tips from ladies who have experienced the same problems. When it comes to removal of the cup, things get a little more tricky – you need to use your pelvic floor muscles to push the cup down, before you can reach up and grab the stem. The more you practice your Kegels, the easier the removal process will be!
Can you use a cup if you have an IUD inserted?
Technically speaking, you shouldn’t face any issues using both a menstrual cup and IUD at the same time – there’s a 2012 study which shows that menstrual cups don’t interfere with IUDs at all. That having been said, some manufacturers will point out that there’s a risk of your cup pulling on the string of the IUD, or dislodging it. We recommend talking to your doctor and getting his/her opinion if you’re unsure.
Is it impossible to get Toxic Shock Syndrome when you’re using a cup?
Whilst many menstrual cup advocates are quick to claim that using a cup means that you’ll never get Toxic Shock Syndrome, this isn’t quite true. You can still get TSS whilst using a menstrual cup, but it happens extremely rarely (once in every 100,000 cases, to be precise). So, yes, you definitely face a lot less risk with menstrual cups as opposed to tampons, but there still is a teeny chance that you might get TSS.
How do you wash your cup?
You’ll need to wash your cup every time you reinsert it – as these cups are made with medical grade silicone and do not harbour bacteria, all you need to do is to rinse them with water. If you want to err on the side of caution and use soap to wash your cup, that’s fine – be sure to use a mild and unscented soap and rinse thoroughly, so that you don’t get any residue which ends up irritating your vagina.
If you’re considering purchasing a menstrual cup, we recommend the Lunette Cup, which is made with soft, medical grade silicon which is both BPA and chemical free. Check out the links below to learn more!