We have often wanted to switch to a menstrual cup but felt too scared to actually make the switch. The fact that we are inserting a foreign object inside our body makes us really scared. To answer all your queries about a menstrual cup, read what Dr. Madhushree Vijayakumar, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital Bangalore has to say.

What Is A Menstrual Cup?

using menstrual cups

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A menstrual cup is a women's hygiene reusable product. It is a small, flexible funnel-shaped cup made of rubber or silicone, inserted into the vagina to collect menstrual fluid.

Cups can hold more blood than other methods, so many women prefer menstrual cups because they are more environmentally friendly. You can also wear a cup for up to 12 hours, depending on your flow.

Is It Safe To Use If You Are A Virgin?

Some people worry that if they are a virgin, they should not use a menstrual cup. That is not true—anyone can use a menstrual cup or should feel comfortable trying one to determine whether it is for them. The menstruation product used by a person should be determined by their needs rather than their virginity or age.

There is a common misconception that using a menstrual cup will result in the loss of one's virginity. It is assumed that a hymen rupture will result in the loss of virginity. Using a menstrual cup, on the other hand, can disrupt but not break the hymen. Hymen can even be broken or stretched by everyday activities such as dancing, swimming, or yoga.

You can begin using a menstrual cup as soon as you get your period. Although there is no age limit, you must be comfortable with your body and period. The vaginal muscles of virgins and young girls are tenser, making inserting a product more difficult. As a result, you might want to practice at first. Avoid using it if you are not comfortable with it. 

Things Women Need To Know About The Process Of Inserting And Removing A Menstrual Cup

how to insert and remove menstrual cups

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For inserting a menstrual cup for the first time

  • Wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Insert it after taking a shower.
  • To help insertion, use water-based lube or coconut oil. After folding your cup, take a firm grip on it with your fingers and rub some lube on the rim and walls of the menstrual cup.
  • Finally, squat or place one foot on a stool and remember to relax. You can even try inserting it while lying down in bed.
  • Gently pull the labia apart with one hand and slowly insert the menstrual cup.
  • Gently wiggle it from side to side while applying light pressure and pushing it in.

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For Removing A Menstrual Cup

  • Wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Sit in the squat position or as low as you can to reach the cup easily. 
  • With one hand, gently separate the labia while reaching for the cup's base with the other.
  • If you can only reach the stem of the cup, use it as a guide to locate the cup's base. It is fine if you may need to introduce your index, middle, and thumb a few centimeters.
  • You can also use your stomach/ Kegel muscles to press the cup down while reaching for the stem or base of the cup.
  • Never just pull on the stem; it is essential that you release the suction before pulling the cup. 
  • Pinch the cup's base firmly or reach inside the vagina and pull the stem to release the suction.
  • Pull the cup gently out of your vagina and throw away the menstrual fluid into the toilet.

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Benefits Of Using A Menstrual Cup

benefits of using menstrual cups

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  • There are various undeniable advantages to using a menstrual cup. A menstrual cup, unlike tampons and pads, can be worn for up to 12 hours(read about menstrual hygiene). A menstrual cup can also last years, not just hours.
  • Menstrual Cups Are More Reliable. 
  • You are not at risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS), a rare bacterial infection associated with tampon use, because menstrual cups collect rather than absorb blood.
  • Menstrual Cups Have A Greater Capacity For Blood Storage. 
  • A menstrual cup holds one to two ounces of menstrual flow. Tampons, on the other hand, have a capacity of one-third of an ounce.
  • They Are Environmentally Friendly.
  • Reusable menstrual cups can last for a long time, which means you're not adding more to the waste stream.

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