Some people are a little weirded out when they first learn what a menstrual cup is. It might sound a little strange since our society is so used to tampons and pads. It is theorized that the first menstrual cup product was invented in the 1930s but did not gain much popularity until now. Menstrual cups have evolved since then and become more user friendly and less taboo which is helping them rise in popularity.
For those of you who have not heard of a menstrual cup, it is a small flexible cup made from silicone, rubber, latex, or thermoplastics. It is inserted into the vagina during menstruation and it catches and collects the blood. If you are new to menstrual cups, you may have a lot of questions but it really is as simple as a flexible cup that collects your period blood. Since they have been growing in popularity, there are now different shapes and sizes available. The cups can hold more fluid than a tampon. The frequency that you have to empty the cup will depend on the size of the cup and how heavy your flow is. On average a menstrual cup can be worn for up to twelve hours.
Women have been growing fond of menstrual cups for many reasons including:
- They are more comfortable than the standard tampon or pad
- More user friendly for physical or long activities
- Less odor
- Ability to wear it for a longer period of time than a pad or tampon
- More environmentally friendly
- Cost savings
Many women find the menstrual cup more comfortable than a pad or tampon and easier for sports and activities. Depending on the size of the cup and the rate of menstrual flow the cup can be worn for up to twelve hours. No more forgetting a tampon and then having to ask around for one. No more having to dig for tampons or pads at the bottom of a purse. Menstrual cups are reusable which makes them more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly.
There are some downsides to menstrual cups to consider. At first, it may be difficult to learn how to put the menstrual cup in and take it out of the vagina. Since there are different shapes and sizes it may take some trial and error before a woman finds the right one for her. Sometimes emptying the cup can be a little messy when first learning how to use it. The menstrual cup should be sterilized between periods which can usually be done by placing it in boiling water. Whether the menstrual cup is a good option for you is your choice but it is good to know that there is an alternative to pads and tampons and there are many women who are taking the plunge.
- Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, October 27). Mayo Clinic Q and a: Menstrual cups – why the recent increase in popularity? – mayo clinic news network. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved December 11, 2022
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