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Are You Tired of Using Tampons?

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Are You Tired of Using Tampons?

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Are you tired of using traditional pads and tampons for your period? Menstrual cups are the best hygienic way to replace them. Read the article to know more.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Sameer Kumar

Published At July 8, 2022
Reviewed AtAugust 23, 2022

What Is a Menstrual Cup?

Menstrual cups are flexible, small funnel-shaped cups made of rubber or silicone, reusable feminine hygiene products. These cups are inserted into the vagina to collect and catch the period fluid. It is an eco-friendly alternative to tampons and can hold more blood than other traditional methods. Depending on the period flow, you can wear the cup for up to 12 hours. Many brands of reusable cups are available in the market nowadays. Some disposable menstrual cups are also available.

Are Menstrual Cups New to the Feminine Care Aisle?

Menstrual cups were found in the 1930s but did not gain popularity and were not widely accepted. Later they were again manufactured in 1987. Today more and more women are using menstrual cups. They are proven effective and safe. They are more eco-friendly, easy, reusable, and wallet-friendly than pads and tampons.

How to Use the Menstrual Cup?

Talk with the gynecologist first before using a menstrual cup. Though many brands of menstrual cups can be bought, detecting the correct size has to be guided by the gynecologist. Most of the brands sell small to large sizes of menstrual cups.

To figure out the correct size, the gynecologist would consider the following :

  • Age.

  • Cervix length.

  • History about the blood flow during the period.

  • The capacity of the cup.

  • Flexibility and firmness of the cup.

  • History of vaginal birth.

  • Strength of pelvic floor muscles.

Larger size menstrual cups are recommended for women over 30 years of age who have given birth vaginally or have a heavy period. Smaller cups are recommended for younger women less than 30 years of age.

How to Insert the Menstrual Cup?

Menstrual Cup is easy to use once you get use to the method of using:

  • Initially, using a menstrual cup may be uncomfortable. But greasing the cup can make the process smooth. Before inserting the cup, lubricate the rim with water-based lubricant. A wet cup is easy to insert.

  • Wash hands thoroughly before placing the menstrual cup.

  • Lubricate the menstrual cup with a water-based lubricant.

  • Tightly fold the head of the menstrual cup in half, facing the rim upwards, holding it in one hand.

  • Same as inserting a tampon, insert the cup, and rim up into the vagina.

  • The menstrual cup should fit a few inches just below the cervix.

  • Rotate the menstrual cup once it is into the vagina. This will spring open the cup to create an airtight seal that can stop leaks.

  • If the cup is inserted correctly, it cannot be felt at all. One can sit, move, jump, stand and do all the activities without fearing that the cup will fall. Consult the gynecologist if there is any difficulty in inserting the menstrual cup.

When and How to Remove the Menstrual Cup?

Depending on the flow of the individual, a menstrual cup can be worn for about 6 to 12 hours. These can be used for overnight protection. The menstrual cup should be removed by the 12-hour mark, or it must be emptied before the scheduled time to avoid leaks.

Steps to be followed to remove the menstrual cup are:

  • Wash hands thoroughly before removing the menstrual cup.

  • Place the thumb and index finger into the vagina and reach the base of the cup by pulling the stem of the cup gently.

  • Pinch the base of the cup gently; it helps to release the seal, and pull down the cup.

  • Once the cup is removed, empty the cup and wash thoroughly.

  • The menstrual cups which can be reused should be washed and wiped thoroughly before inserting into the vagina. Twice a day, emptying the cup should be done. Reusable cups can last for six months to ten years with proper care.

What Are the Benefits of Menstrual Cups?

  • Menstrual Cups Are Budget-Friendly: Menstrual cups are a one-time investment, unlike pads and tampons. Comparatively, they are very budget-friendly.

  • Menstrual Cups Are Safer: Menstrual cups collect period fluid rather than absorbing them, so the risk of getting toxic shock syndrome (a rare bacteria infection) is reduced.

  • Menstrual Cups Can Hold More Period Fluid: The capacity of the menstrual cup is more than traditional methods of holding the period fluid. It can hold about one to two ounces.

  • Eco-Friendly: Menstrual cups do not contribute more waste to the environment as the cups are long-lasting.

  • Safe While Having Sex: Reusable cups need to be removed before having sex. Soft disposable cups can stay while getting intimate. There would be nothing odd about the sex, and you also do not have to worry about leaks.

  • Can Wear the Cup With an IUD (intrauterine device): Menstrual cup can be used with an intrauterine device. Some companies claim this. Consulting your gynecologist for further queries is always a better option.

What Are the Drawbacks of Menstrual Cups?

Menstrual cups have many benefits, but still, some points are to be kept in mind while using them:

  • Wearing the Menstrual Cup: Inserting and removing the menstrual cup can be a tough task. Individuals can find it hard to get the right fold to put the menstrual cup in and pinch the base to pull the cup out.

  • Removal of Cups Can Be Messy:Removing the cup can be difficult and awkward at times. Sometimes spills while removing the cup cannot be avoided.

  • Finding the Right Fit Can Be Hard: Menstrual cup size varies from individual to individual. Finding the right fit is difficult. You need to try a few options before you find the perfect size for you.

  • Allergy to the Material:Most menstrual cups are made from latex-free materials, which helps individuals with latex allergies. But some individuals do get allergic reactions to rubber and silicone material.

  • Increased Chance of Infection: Regular washing and drying of cups are necessary. Washing hands thoroughly before and after handling the menstrual cups is mandatory. Do not reuse disposable cups.

  • Vaginal Irritation: In some individuals, menstrual cups can cause vaginal irritation. It may cause discomfort while inserting and removing the cup.

Conclusion:

Menstrual cups are a no-brainer. They are a great option for individuals who are not willing to use tampons and pads. It offers great period hygiene. Always read all the instructions and be familiar with the products before trying them. Follow all the precautions and care before and after using menstrual cups. If you are still unsure about using the menstrual cups, talk with your gynecologist about the care, options, and brands that are best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

Which Is Better, Pads or Tampons?

Both pads and menstrual cups are used as menstrual cups. The choice to use products depends on the patient personal preference and needs. People who are uncomfortable inserting something into the vagina can use pads. Both tampons and pads cause irritation and discomfort. People should use the most comfortable product and be confident in using it.

2.

Which Are Safer, Menstrual Cups or Tampons?

Both menstrual cups and tampons have risks and benefits. Menstrual cups are safer than tampons because of the following reasons:
- Menstrual cups have been shown to have a lower risk of toxic shock syndrome as compared to tampons. 
- Menstrual cups do not contain chemicals and fragrances, so reduce the risk of irritation and infections. 
- Menstrual cups are reusable.
- They are cost-effective.

3.

What Are the Healthiest Options to Follow During Periods?

The good option for periods is as follows:
- Menstrual cups are eco-friendly and safe options for managing periods.
- People should choose a product that is made of organic cotton to decrease their exposure to chemicals and fragrances. 
- Period panties are designed to absorb menstrual flow. 
- Cloth pads are reusable and eco-friendly.
- Regular exercise can reduce periods of cramps and overall health during menstruation.
- Eating a balanced, healthy diet can reduce bloating and mood swings.
- Getting enough rest can reduce stress and overall well-being during menstruation.

4.

What to Drink During Periods?

Some recommended drinks during periods are as follows:
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
- Herbal tea, such as ginger, helps in reducing cramps.
- Drinking fresh fruit juices containing vitamins and minerals may help women to manage their menstrual symptoms.
- Coconut water can prevent dehydration during periods.
- Drinking milk provides calcium for bone health.

5.

Does Jaggery Rise Period Flow?

Jaggery is a natural sweetener that contains iron and other nutrients which is beneficial during menstruation. Iron is used in the production of red blood cells, which helps in maintaining a healthy flow of blood. The amount period of blood flow varies from person to person and can be influenced by certain factors like age, hormones, and health conditions.

6.

Do Gynecologists Recommend Menstrual Cups?

Many gynecologists say menstrual cups are safe and effective for managing periods. Some gynecologists say about menstrual cups are as follows:
- It is eco-friendly and cost-effective.
- It reduces the risk of toxic shock syndrome.
- Many people find it more comfortable and convenient.
- The choice of menstrual cups depends on the personal choice of the people.

7.

Do Tampons Lead To Leakage More Than Pads?

Both tampons and pads leak during periods. It depends on the type and size of the product and the amount of blood flow. Tampons are inserted into the vagina, and pads are placed over the panties to catch the menstrual flow. If the tampon is not inserted correctly, then it can leak, and if the pad is not positioned correctly, then it can also leak. Changing the pads and tampons frequently reduces the risk of leakage.

8.

Is It Normal to Leak Tampons After One Hour?

There are a few reasons that lead to leakage of blood after one hour
- An individual uses a tampon with lower absorbency. A person with heavy flow needs to switch to high-absorbent tampons.
- It needs to be inserted correctly to prevent leakage.
- Tampons need to be changed regularly to prevent leakage. 
- Exercise and sports can cause tampons to shift, leading to leakage,
- Change in the menstrual cycle leads to heavier blood flow.

9.

Do Tampons Shorten Periods?

No, tampons do not make periods shorter. Tampons are inserted into the vagina, which will absorb the menstrual blood flow. They do not have any effect on menstrual blood flow. The length and duration of the menstrual blood flow vary from person to person. It depends on various factors, such as age, hormones, and medical conditions.

10.

How To Know When the Tampon Is Full?

Changing the tampons regularly may prevent leakage. Tampons should be changed after every four to six hours. When a tampon is full it needs to be changed. If a person feels difficulty in removing the tampon, then it is full and expanded to a maximum capacity. If a person feels wet, then it may lead to leakage. If a person notices a strong odor, then it needs to be changed.

11.

Why Does the Tampon Leak When Half Full?

Menstrual flow can sometimes be uneven and can lead the tampon to be bloody. Some people may experience heavy period flow, and some experience light blood flow. If the tampon is not positioned properly then the part of the tampon may not be bloody. The menstrual cycle differs and varies from one person to another.

12.

Why Do Tampons Hurt on Sitting?

 
If the tampon is not inserted correctly, then it may hurt. It is important to take care while inserting the tampon so that it is not causing any discomfort. If the tampons are deeply inserted into the vagina, they can press against the vaginal opening leading to pain and discomfort. The tampon can be too dry that it may stick to the vaginal wall and cause discomfort and pain.

13.

Why Do Tampons Slide Out When Full?

The tampon may slide out when full because it has reached maximum absorbency and does not have more menstrual blood. The tampon may slip down from its original position. Changing tampons regularly may prevent slippage and leakage. If the tampon slides off after a short period of time, then the tampon may be very large for the blood flow. If the tampon is not positioned properly then it can lead to sliding off.

14.

Are Tampons Hurt to Insert?

Inserting tampons can be painful and uncomfortable. If the tampon is not positioned correctly, it may lead to pain and discomfort. If a person is new to using tampons, then it may cause pain. If pain continues, then a person needs to talk to a healthcare provider. They can provide recommendations based on individual health and needs.
Dr. Sameer Kumar
Dr. Sameer Kumar

Obstetrics and Gynecology

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menstrual cup
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