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Everything you NEED to know about Menstrual Cups

Everything you NEED to know about Menstrual Cups

Everything you NEED to know about Menstrual Cups
So menstrual cups are a thing. A thing I’ve never known about until now. I’ve heard people reference them before but admittedly I never really considered that they might be a real, functioning and extremely popular thing. Menstrual cups are a lot more common than I realized. I recently started to research them as an option for me and while I haven’t tried them yet I thought I would share with you the most important things that I learnt about menstrual cups. 

So here we are –
Menstrual cups – why, where, who and everything in between. 
 
Menstrual cups are essentially an alternative to using tampons or pads when a woman is menstruating. It is a flexible cup that women can insert in to their vaginas to collect their menstrual flow. 
 
So why do women choose this method instead of the regular pads or tampons? There are many reasons. A big one is the environment. A single menstrual cup is reusable for years and drastically reduces waste. Think of all those pads and tampons that wouldn’t be used over the course of several years. Another reason is finances. A single menstrual cup usually costs €30 including delivery and saves you money in the long run. 
 
Many women also find a menstrual cup a lot more comfortable than wearing pads or tampons. When inserted correctly there should be no issue with leaking, chaffing and perhaps more seriously – infection. Tampons have health risks associated with them such as Toxic Shock Syndrome. It can be caused by the materials used in Tampons. 
 
If inserted correctly a menstrual cup should not feel uncomfortable at all. Many women forget that it is even there. It will take a little practice but the majority of women admit that they could never go back to pads or tampons once they have tried one and used if effectively. Inserting it is a little more involved than inserting a tampon and it does involve being comfortable with your own body. For example, you will need to be familiar with where your cervix is in order for it to be inserted correctly. 
 
You can leave the menstrual cup in for up to twelve hours at which point you should remove it (there are instructions on how to do so. Again, practice is involved but you’ll get the hang of it. The biggest risk lies in ensuring you don’t spill the contents or drop the cup in to the toilet), wash your hands, wash it and reinsert. 
 
You can leave it in overnight, during exercise and while swimming. 
 
If your fear is about the cup leaking do not fear. Menstrual cups only leak if they are not positioned properly. It has to “pop open” fully and if this does not occur it will not be in the right position to it’s job properly. We recommend using a back-up pad for the first couple of days until you get the hang of it’s positioning. 

Leaking due to having a heavy flow is very rare. Most menstrual cups are designed to be able to carry a full menstrual cycle’s worth of blood. You may feel more comfortable emptying the cup a little sooner than twelve hours if you have a heavy flow but that’s totally your choice. Whatever makes you feel confident and comfortable. 
 
There are several brands available online so do your research and order one that feels right for you. 
 
If you are feeling a little anxious about having to be so “involved” with your anatomy and menstrual cycle – own it girl. Imagine 12 hours of uninterrupted life. I think I’m sold....
 
Written by Tracey Quinn staff writer at Family Friendly HQ. Tracey also blogs at www.loveofliving.ie