Menstrual cups have been around for quite a while now, yet so many of us are still curious about them. How exactly do they work? Are they better for me, or just the environment? Will I regret the switch from pads or tampons?
Well, if you’ve ever wondered about any of the above, we’ve got the answers for you. Here’s everything you need to know, and a full menstrual cup review from KISS reader, Sinead.
What are they?
Basically, a menstrual cup is a small, funnel-shaped cup made of rubber or silicone you use while on your period. Nurse Shelley describes it as “a small cup, which should be made of silicon (safest material), inserted into the vagina, and left there for up to twelve hours to collect menstrual blood. You then empty this blood into a toilet, clean the cup and reinsert it.”
What are the benefits?
There seems to be plenty of benefits when it comes to menstrual cups. But just to name a few, they’re much better for the environment as they’re reusable and not discarded after a single use.
Because it’s a once-off buy, it means you don’t have to be spending money each month on sanitary products for your period.
What else is there to know?
When it comes to trying a menstrual cup for the first time, you might find it a bit difficult. But once you get the hang of it, as with most things, you’ll be able to do it with your eyes closed (well, best not close your eyes, just in case!).
According to Nurse Shelley, keeping the cup clean is key. “Cleaning the cup properly is very important; you can either place the cup in boiling water for several minutes or soak in sterilising fluid for the period of time recommended on the product instructions.”
We chatted to Sinead who has been using a menstrual cup for the past six months, and here’s what she thinks.
Why did you decide to try out the menstrual cup?
I had seen a lot about them on social media and had heard good things. I knew they were much more sustainable and thought I would give it a try!
Did you have any concerns about using it at first?
I was a little apprehensive, but I thought I would give it a try and if I didn’t like it, I would just stick with tampons. The mechanics were a little tricky on the first go, but I watched a YouTube tutorial and it was very helpful about how to insert and remove the menstrual cup. If you are unsure of getting one, I would definitely say go for it, and give it a try!
Did it take you long to get used to?
Not really, after the first time trying it out – I found it very easy to used to. I couldn’t get over how comfortable it was. The shape and look of them can be a little daunting but don’t let that put you off!
Do you find it easy to use?
Well, the YouTube tutorial helped with that, as I hadn’t a clue at the start! But after a bit of practice, it is really easy. Taking it out can be a little tricky at first, but after a few goes, I found it was fine.
What benefits have you found so far?
I couldn’t get over how comfortable menstrual cups are, I really wasn’t expecting to be fully converted, but I really am! I don’t know if I will ever use a tampon again! They are really comfortable and you can leave them inside you for up to 12 hours, which is very handy. A big benefit is obviously money, I would buy a box of tampons a month so there is a reduction in costs there and also I do feel like I am doing my sustainable part!
Would you recommend the menstrual cup to others?
Definitely! I am fully converted and I think anyone who tries them would be too. Don’t let the idea of them put you off, give it a go, I really don’t think you will regret it!
As with any period products, there can be a lot to think about when it comes to pros and cons. The switch between period products, especially from pads to tampons or menstrual cups, is something you might have a lot of questions about, so if you can talk to an adult about your options before changing over to ensure you keep yourself safe.