Its Leaking Why Is It Leaking
You might also have an issue with leaking if you have really heavy periods. Everyones cycle is different, but according to Dr. Gupta, if you find yourself having to empty a full cup every two hours or so and sizing up doesnt solve the problem, thats a good sign that your period is heavier than average. In this case, Dr. Gupta suggests making an appointment with your ob/gyn to figure out why your period is so heavy, since that can be a sign of a health condition like polycystic ovary syndrome or uterine fibroids.
‘i Used One Cup For Over 20 Years’
Catherina Petit-van Hoey, 62, who lives in Hemel Hempstead and Valencia, Spain, said she used a menstrual cup for decades since the late 1980s after hearing about it from a friend.
“It took some time to adjust, but when I got the hang of using it, I never looked back,” she said.
“It was easy, I saved money and I did my bit to ‘save’ the environment.”
She added: “I used one cup for all my periods over more than 20 years. I never sterilised it, but washed it well with soap, which may be questionable.”
To wash it out while using public toilets, she said she sometimes used disabled toilets or “waited until I heard no-one at the public sinks”.
“Yes at times it can be messy especially when you do not have a sink with clean water available at all times, but the costs and the environmental benefits of the cup outweigh it all.
“It’s so convenient and comfortable that it feels like not wearing anything most times.
“I’d strongly recommend it and I’d go as far as saying that in this era of environmental concern, it should be a tax-deductible item and promoted as largely as other menstrual products”.
Cleaning And Caring For Your Period Cup
You can simply rinse your cup with water every time you empty it, before reinserting. You do not need to disinfect your cup between uses during your cycle. Also, avoid washing your cup with scented soaps or other products that may irritate your skin.
When your period has ended, you should disinfect your cup before storing it away until your next cycle begins. To disinfect your cup, place it in a bowl or pan of boiling water for 3 minutes or according to your brandâs directions. Be careful not to boil for too long or you risk damaging the silicone. After boiling, let your cup cool, dry it thoroughly, and store according to the manufacturerâs directions.
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Use The Power Of The Sun
It may sound strange, but the suns UV rays have antibacterial properties. Leaving your cup in bright sunlight for a few hours can help remove the smell from a period cup and even bleach light stains. Just make sure its not at the hottest time of the day so the heat doesnt compromise your cups integrity.
The Double Life Of Cervical Caps
The menstrual device theory could also have been inspired by the history of cervical caps, which were originally introduced as a method of birth control over 100 years ago . These little silicone devices are placed right at the cervix before intercourse and are meant to block ejaculate from getting to the cervix.
At some point , some doctors started wondering whether cervical caps could be used for the complete opposite purpose: If they could be used before sex to keep sperm out, could they be used after sex or insemination to keep sperm in to make conception more likely?
Keep in mind that these days, given better forms of contraception, cervical caps have largely been abandoned and many OB-GYNs today have not fitted nor prescribed them.
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How To Relax Your Pelvic Floor
If its your first time inserting a menstrual cup, a good first step would be to learn how to relax these pelvic floor muscles. You can try tensing the muscles first to know how to relax them. Follow these steps to practice tensing and relaxing your pelvic floor:
Congratulations, you just did a Kegel! You may have heard that there are benefits to exercising your pelvic floor and this is true. We know that doing Kegels regularly reduces the chances of leaking urine accidentally, increases blood flow to your pelvis, and some people claim improves their sexual pleasure. Plus, its a form of exercise that you can do anytime, anywhere, and does not require any special equipment or expensive gym memberships!
Shape Size And Firmness
Menstrual cups come in many shapes and sizes.
When buying a menstrual cup, youre going to want to ask yourself the following questions:
Am I just getting my period for the first time?
Am I a first-time user?
Am I 29 or younger, or 30 and older?
Am I used to light or moderate flow, or do I have a heavy flow?
Have I had children?
Do I have toned pelvic floor muscles?
Do I have problems with incontinence?
How active am I?
The list of factors goes on of course, but these are usually the most common ones when choosing a cup.
As previously mentioned, there are menstrual cups out there with a more rounded or v-shape.
Though the triangular ones arent found as easily, you can buy them online if youd like to try them out.
However, make sure youre buying from a serious vendor, and always remember to double-check that it’s a high-quality product that you’re about to buy.
Another important factor is firmness, i.e. how firm or soft the material is.
Softer cups may have a harder time unfolding if you have toned pelvic floor muscles.
Firmer cups, on the other hand, can be uncomfortable.
Shape, size, and comfort are mostly a matter of personal preference and comfort, and finding the perfect cup may be a process of trial and error.
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What You Need To Know About Menstrual Cups
Menstrual cups have been around a LONG time â weâre talking longer than tampons. But theyâve only recently come to the forefront as a way to supplement your period care. Those who already use menstrual cups feel really, really strongly about them – the word âlife-changingâ has come up. Instead of having to choose between pads and tampons, menstrual cups add to your options by offering a solution that gives you something different. Of course, thatâs not without some important things to consider – plus a tricky learning curve. Hereâs what you need to know.
Size Shape And Flexibility
Most menstrual cup brands sell a smaller and a larger size. The smaller size is typically recommended for women under 30 or women who have not given birth vaginally. The larger size is typically recommended for women over 30 or have given birth vaginally, or have a heavy flow. However, there have been no studies that show any need for a different sized cup base on age or parity. Cups with even smaller sizes are recommended for teenagers, as well as women and girls who are more physically fit, as those with stronger pelvic floor muscles may find a larger cup uncomfortable. If the cervix sits particularly low or is tilted, a shorter cup may be more suitable. Capacity is important for women who have a heavier flow. The average menstrual cup holds around 20 ml. Some cups are designed to be larger and hold 3751 ml. Most sizes have a larger capacity than a regular tampon, which is 1012 ml.
Menstrual cups also vary by firmness or flexibility. Some companies offer a range of firmness levels in their cups. A firmer cup pops open more easily after insertion and may hold a more consistent seal against the vaginal wall , but some women find softer cups more comfortable to insert.
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First: What Is A Menstrual Cup
A menstrual cup is a reusable, sustainable period product, often made from medical-grade silicone. It has a small, flexible, cone-shaped design, usually with a straight stem or loop at its base to aid in its removal. It collects menstrual blood within the vaginal canal after being inserted . If you are completely new to the product, you might benefit from reading our article What is a menstrual cup?
Measuring Marks And Capacity
The average menstrual cup usually holds between 20 and 30 milliliters.
A more compact cup holds 10-20 ml, while the larger models hold 30 ml and upwards.
For those with very heavy flow, the larger cups can be a good alternative.
The absolute largest can hold upwards of 40 ml.
Teenagers and very small individuals should consider the smallest cups available.
There are sometimes small measuring marks on the side of the cup, much like a measuring cup, indicating how much the cup can hold.
This feature can be useful for those who for whatever reason need to measure their menstrual flow.
You can search and compare menstrual cups in our database to see the variety of dimensions and capacities available.
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Pro: Keep Everything In Balance
We all know how important vaginal health is. Any slight disruption in the body such as stress, diet or medication can cause an imbalance.
Pads can create a warm, moist environment that encourages the growth of bacteria and can increase infections. These undesirable bacteria can end up causing a lot of discomfort and irritation.
The removal of this good bacteria, as well as blood, could create an imbalance in your pH level. A menstrual cup does not absorb anything but instead collects it.
So, any natural fluids that are produced by your body are collected and then emptied later theres no over-absorption, dryness, or discomfort.
Pro: Change Isnt Always Good
The manufacturers recommend that you change your tampon every 4 to 8 hours, and pads normally every 8 hours or so.
One of the many pros of a menstrual cup is that you can wear it for up to 12 hours. This is due to the larger capacity of a menstrual cup, which is a strong advantage.
A night pad can hold between 10 to 15 millilitres of blood, whereas a super-absorbent tampon will hold 12 millilitres of fluid.
Depending on the size of your cup, the capacity can range from 25 to 30 millilitres. This means that you can go longer without having to empty your cup.
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Is It Ok To Have Sex While Using A Menstrual Cup
Some of the soft disposable menstrual cups can be worn during sex, though you should check the instructions on any cup you use first,” Dr. Cullins notes. “Remember, though, menstrual cups are not birth control, so if youre trying to prevent pregnancy, make sure you use the birth control method of your choice. If you use a diaphragm and spermicide, remove the cup and use your diaphragm in preparation for, during, and after sex. Then go back to using the menstrual cup.
Go About Your Day More Easily
A menstrual cup has 2-3 times the capacity of a large pad or a super tampon. This means less time spent on trips to the bathroom. Once you get the hang of using it, you will not feel it and you will feel comfortable and free to get on with your day and your preferred activities. And because you cant feel them inside you, you have more freedom to do what you want.
Like what? Sports, for example. You can do all the activities you would do when not on your period, without having to worry about leaks, or flaps, or strings. One of the most common questions is can you swim with a menstrual cup in?Of course you can! You can also bike, run, ride a horse, go curling. Whatever your heart desires.
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Cleaning And Disinfecting Your Menstrual Cup
Before you use your menstrual cup for the first time , itâs important to disinfect it. This can be done quickly at home: just grab a pot, drop the menstrual cup in, add water until the menstrual cup isnât resting on the bottom of the pot, and stick it on the stove top. Boil the menstrual cup for five minutes, and thatâs it. Remove the menstrual cup from the pot and let it cool down completely before insertion .
While you are on your period, you do not need to disinfect your menstrual cup each time you empty itâa simple cleaning with warm water and a mild soap will be enough. Make sure you clean out the tiny holes just below the rim of the menstrual cupâthese are responsible for creating suction so that blood doesnât leak past the cup.
Best Overall Menstrual Cup
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Do Menstrual Cups Hurt For Virgins
Virgins can use menstrual cups without pain and without tearing the hymen. Using a menstrual cup will hurt only if you tense up during insertion, causing your pelvic floor muscles to contract and making insertion difficult. So, if its your first time, remember to relax, try a comfortable insertion position, some water-based lube, and take lots of deep breaths.
What Are Menstrual Cups And How Do They Work
At first, you may have to try a few different folding methods to get it inserted correctly, says Ms. Fragale. To help make the process more comfortable, try using water-based lubricant or wetting your cup first. Once you get it placed correctly, you shouldnt feel it.
Depending on your flow, most period cups can be worn up to 12 hours and most are reusable. But read the instructions that come with your cup for specifics.
When its time to empty the cup, wash your hands thoroughly first, explains Ms. Fragale. Then gently remove it, wash with mild soap and water and reinsert it. Some brands even make soap specifically for cleansing your menstrual cup, but a fragrance-free soap often does the trick.
At the end of your cycle, you can sterilize your reusable cup in boiling water, let it dry and store it away until your next cycle. Dont reuse a disposable menstrual cup as this can put you at risk for infection, adds Ms. Fragale.
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Menstrual Cup After Care
It is really important to clean the DivaCup every 10-12 hours with warm water and DivaWash or a mild, unscented, oil-free soap. Not cleaning the cup in between uses can lead to some unpleasant odors and irritation. Ensuring the four holes around the brim are clear will help ensure the seal is in place and against leaking.
For a list of ingredients to avoid, please visit our Care and Cleaning webpage.
Selecting A Menstrual Cup
The DivaCup comes in three different sizes for different life stages:
- Model 0: Youre new to the world of periods or 18 years of age or younger.
- Model 1: Youre between the ages of 19 and 30 and have a medium menstrual flow.
- Model 2: Youre over the age of 30 and/or have a heavier menstrual flow.
However, just because you fit into one age group doesnt mean that will necessarily be the right fit for you. If your DivaCup doesnt feel right, connect with our Consumer Support Team and they can help you.
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Why Would I Want To Switch To A Menstrual Cup
Well, to switch less often. While regular tampons typically hold five milliliters of fluid, a reusable menstrual cup may hold anywhere from 30 to 60 milliliters of fluid, which means you donât have to empty your cup as often as youâd have to change a tampon.
Many cup users find they only need to empty their cup once or twice a day, depending on where they are in their menstrual cycle. And unlike traditional feminine care products, reusable period cups collect your flow instead of absorbing it like tampons and pads, so you avoid irritation and dryness during menstruation.
Youre Going To Get Intimate Real Intimate
Yes, you do have to insert your menstrual cup and yes, its a little different from even non-applicator tampons since you have to position it as well. Dont forget to wash your hands each time youre about to insert or remove your cup. Also make sure you dont have any cuts or infections while using the cup. Having an open mind and fearless fingers is a requirement but we assure you it pays off BIG TIME. From being more attuned to your health downstairs to actually improving your sex life, getting acquainted with your vajayjay is awesome!
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