What Are Menstrual Cups? Is it Safe? All You Need to Know

During the lifetime of an average menstruating woman, she uses more than 16,000 tampons or pads. As a result, about 12.3 billion sanitary napkins, which accumulate 113,000 tons of monthly waste in India’s landfills every year. These menstrual products contain most of the toxins, harmful chemicals and synthetic substances like plastics. Once they reach the landfill, it can take hundreds of years for them to disintegrate. In addition to harming the environment and the planet, these menstrual products also harm millions of women.Also read – World Parkinson’s Day 2022: Signs, Symptoms, Causes and Treatment, What You Need to Know – Expert Speaks

With these facts in mind, many women are looking for environmentally friendly alternatives that are good for the environment and for themselves, such as the menstrual cup. Menstrual cups are a safe, healthy and durable alternative to sanitary napkins and tampons. Due to the lack of information and the many stigmas surrounding the menstrual cup, many women are afraid to use it. Let’s try to obscure and condemn menstrual cups for women to facilitate the transition from pads and tampons to menstrual cups. Also read – Vegan Diet: 3 Ways to Get Protein if You’re Vegan and Looking for Alternative Foods

What is a menstrual cup and how does it work?

Menstrual cup is a reusable feminine hygiene product made from medical-grade silicone or latex rubber. It is a small, flexible funnel or bell-shaped cup that can be inserted into the vagina to collect menstrual fluid. At the beginning of the menstrual cycle, the menstrual cup should be folded tightly and inserted into the vagina like a tampon. Once inside, the cup will open and rest against the walls of the vagina, creating a seal to prevent any leakage. After the period flow will drip into the cup and accumulate. Since most of these cups are reusable, women can remove and empty them after 10-12 hours and wash them for reuse. This menstrual cup should be sterilized in boiling water at the end of each cycle. Also read – Covid Teeth Warning: Can Coronavirus Affect Your Teeth? Here are the possible features explained – see

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How to choose the right size?

Not all menstrual cups are made the same. As a result, women must find and choose the right size. In addition, depending on how heavy or mild the periods flow, women can choose the size of their menstrual cup. Women over the age of 18 who have given birth naturally (vaginally) should choose a larger cup. In contrast, women over the age of 18 who have not given birth or who have given birth by c-section should choose a smaller cup. Adolescents should use the smallest variety of cups available.

How to insert and remove menstrual cup?

Women should wash their hands thoroughly with soap before pouring the menstrual cup. Then, the cup should be folded so that it is easy to insert inside the vagina and its edge is facing upwards. When inserting the cup should be gently moved or rotated until it opens and forms a leak-proof seal. To remove the cup, women should pull the stem of the cup while pinching the base to release the seal. Then, the cup should be emptied, washed and either re-inserted or replaced. At the end of each cycle, all cups should be sterilized.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a menstrual cup?

Many women use menstrual cups because they are cheaper than tampons and sanitary napkins. The menstrual cup collects period fluid instead of absorbing it, so it is safer and contains no harmful chemicals or ingredients. Menstrual cups are reusable and have a long shelf life, minimizing the harmful effects on the environment. In addition, the menstrual cup does not need to be changed every few hours, it can last up to 12 hours. Despite the many benefits, some women complain of clutter, difficult insertion and challenges in finding the right size. In addition, not all menstrual cups are compatible with the intrauterine device (IUD). It is best to consult a gynecologist before using a menstrual cup. Because it is not in contact with the cervix, it does not irritate it, unlike tampons, which can irritate the cervix if kept in the vagina for too long.

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Farewell thoughts

Trying anything new involves a learning curve, but most women seem to adapt to the menstrual cup with time and habit. Using a menstrual cup can also reduce environmental damage, the risk of bacterial infections, and the cost of menstruation. Menstrual cups can easily be purchased at nearby drugstores or online. They come in different sizes, colors and materials by different brands. Trying a menstrual cup for the first time may seem like an uphill battle, so women are advised to talk to an obstetrician-gynecologist to guide them through the process and make the transition easier.

Inputs by Dr. Sheetal Sachdeva, MBBS, DGO, DNB, Obstetrics and Gynecology New Delhi – Moti Nagar


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