As women, menstruation is a big part of our lives. Between the ages of 12 and 52, a woman will have around 480 periods! But pads and tampons are so last century. Get in step with the next generation of period care. With menstrual cup insert protection you’ll never go back. We’ve got the scoop below so you can figure out if menstrual cups are right for you!
What Are Menstrual Cups?
A menstrual cup insert or menstrual cup disc is a menstrual hygiene product that, during menstruation, is inserted into the vagina much like a tampon. Its purpose is to collect menstrual fluid in its cup form. Typically made of flexible medical-grade silicone, latex, or a thermoplastic isomer, they are formed like a bell or cup, and may include a stem or a ring for extraction. Many menstrual cup insert products are reusable and last years. They’re also extremely comfortable to use, as once they are inserted they cannot even be felt. Cool right?
So how do you insert a menstrual cup? Well, there is a bit of a learning curve with using one. Figuring out how to insert your menstrual cup insert product is as simple as reading the directions or watching great support videos from the brand of the cup you purchase. In general, though, most menstrual cups require that you fold or squeeze the cup, and place the cup or disc into your vagina. And when it comes to knowing how far to insert a menstrual cup, well, it will sit just below the cervix and expand behind the pubic bone to stay put.
When it’s time to remove it, there may be a small stem to pull (if your cup has one) in order to reach the base. Once you can feel the base, pinch it to break the seal. Then slowly pull down until the cup comes out, continuing to pinch the base to avoid spills and make the process more comfortable. Some discs do not have a stem or ring, and just require hooking a finger along the rim to break the seal. Whichever product you get, menstrual cup inserts can be a bit messy compared to other products.
READ MORE: Going Green On Your Period
Pads, Period Panties, Tampons?
There are so many other products on the market for period care to keep you comfortable and dry. While there are pros and cons for everyone, it’s important that you choose one that works for your lifestyle.
For eons it seems, pads have been a popular option. Pads are an external product that you place or stick in your underwear to soak up blood, and throw away after use. They come in many different shapes and types of absorbency (the amount of blood they can soak up). While they’re convenient, they’re wasteful and not good for the environment. You can buy reusable pads, but they need to be rinsed, soaked, and dried between uses. And neither one is good for odor protection. Plus you cannot swim with pads and they aren’t very discrete.
Period panties, another external product, look and feel like your regular undies, but are very absorbent. They can be used instead of pads or tampons on light-flow days, or as a backup on heavy-flow days. They’re environmentally friendly and convenient, but like pads though, don’t control odor well, and for those with regular to heavy periods, only act as a secondary protection so aren’t as functional.
Now tampons are a fan favorite. These condensed pieces of cotton with a string attached are inserted inside the vagina, either with an applicator or not. They’re compact, discreet, and great for swimming. But there is a small risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS) when using tampons. They’re also wasteful and expensive.
Why Are Menstrual Cups Better?
Menstrual cup inserts or discs are just overall better for many of the reasons popular items like pads and tampons are not. The upfront costs may seem initially high to some, but given that menstrual cups are reusable for many years, the savings are apparent just a couple of months in. No more making sure the bathroom cabinet is stocked every month, no more wasteful products going into the trash, you can use it swimming, and it’s totally undetectable.
Many menstrual cups can even be worn for up to 12 hours, and all it takes is a simple rinse to clean off and insert it back in for another 12 hours. The downside is that using a menstrual cup insert can be quite messy. The cup can spill as it’s being removed leading to what may look like a murder scene. The good news is that most period cups are easy to take out once the technique has been mastered – it just takes a little practice. A few months in and you’ll be an expert.
Choosing The Right One
Choosing feminine hygiene products is a personal choice. Some women don’t want to insert anything into their vaginas, and others don’t want to add to environmental waste. For many using a menstrual cup is a money saver. Whatever product you want to try or choose, make sure you do all your research, compare the pros and cons, and make a choice that’s right for you. Below is a list of menstrual cup inserts widely available.
Nixit – Just menstrual discs. Comfortable, easy, and simple.
Flex – With a variety of discs and cups, both reusable and disposable, there’s something for everyone.
Saalt – Underwear, cups, and discs are all available
Pixie – This one’s great for those with a high cervix. With a removable stem, removal is easy and gives peace of mind.
Diva Cup – Various sizes for everyone
480 periods is a lot for a lifetime of annoyance with period care that doesn’t work. Get in step with the next generation of period care with silicone menstrual cups. With so many sizes and varieties there’s sure to be one that works for you.
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out Daily Mom’s article on 11 of the Best Apps for Period Tracking.
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