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This week’s Ask Sorta Crunchy Mom is not about one specific question, but rather from a ton of questions I have seen about menstrual cups over the years. So, here is everything you ever wanted to know about the menstrual cup!
Q: What is a Menstrual Cup?
A: A menstrual cup is a silicone cup that is inserted into the vagina to collect the lining of the uterus as it sheds. You can wear it for up to 12 hours before it needs to be emptied. The one I use is called the Blossom. Most cups have a stem at the bottom which is supposed to make it easier to pull out. I always trim mine off. You could also flip the cup wrong side out.
Q: Isn’t a Menstrual Cup Gross & Messy?
A: Gross and messy are subjective, of course, but I can say that it is less gross and messy than I expected. I have been using mine for about a year now, and have had no problems with leaking or spilling the cup. It actually seems cleaner to me, since it collects the blood before it exits the vagina, unlike pads where you can feel the wetness. And I like that I know what I am putting in my body.
Q: Walk Me Through How to Empty a Menstrual Cup.
Easier than you think, though there is a bit of a learning curve.
Start by placing one one leg up, like on the toilet or the edge of the tub, and use two fingers to grasp the bottom of the cup (or the stem) and pull. I find bearing down a little bit helps. You will feel the seal break and then you can easily remove it. Dump the contents into the toilet or down the drain, rinse, and replace. I wash mine once a day with mild soap and boil at the end of every cycle.
Q: Okay, Fine, I Can Empty My Cup at Home. But What About at Work? Or School? I Don’t Want to Risk Spilling!
So, the cool thing about the cup is that you don’t have to empty it as often as you would change a tampon. Unless you have a super heavy flow, you can go up to 12 hours without emptying. (You might be surprised by how little blood actually comes out during your period.)
So, empty it before school or work, then again when you get home. Unless you have a super heavy flow, you shouldn’t need much more than that. I can honestly say I have had to empty my cup once on the go.
Menstrual Cups Resources
If you are interested in trying a menstrual cup, you might be a little over whelmed! Here are the best resources on how to choose the right brand and size and how to insert and remove your cup.
- Choosing a cup: This post compares all the different brands.
- Someone created a quiz to help you find the right cup, because of course someone did.
- This Live Journal post (I know!) shows a ton of different folds for inserting the cup.
- These videos use champagne glass to show you how to insert the cup.
Got other resources or favorite menstrual cups? Feel free to share additional resources or experiences in the comment section.
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