Recently, a lot has been said about the menstrual cup, which is supposedly very easy to use, safe and economical, since it does not require the additional use of hygiene products. But women have a lot of questions about this gynecological news.
Tatyana Butskaya, a pediatrician, an instablogger, the founder of the Parents Choice project and the regular author of Letidor, decided to help our readers understand what a menstrual cup is. Tatyana asked the most relevant questions to the obstetrician-gynecologist of the Mother and Child Clinic Kuntsevo Nina Gribanova.
1. Are the materials from which the bowl is made safe?
Menstrual cups are disposable, made from polyethylene, and reusable - from latex or silicone. These materials are safe, but latex often causes allergic reactions, and silicone does not.
2. How to wash a bowl? Will bacteria grow in it?
The bowl should be washed with water and treated with antiseptic solutions before each administration, for example, chlorhexidine or octinesept. If these rules are observed, the bacteria do not spread in the bowl.
3. Can the cup stretch the walls of the vagina, if it is used constantly?
The cup does not affect the volume of the vagina and the elasticity of its walls, even with prolonged use.
4. How to properly use the bowl and how often to change it?
Before the introduction, you need to thoroughly wash your hands, treat the bowl with an antiseptic, squeeze the bowl and fold it in half, then enter into the vagina, there the bowl should open itself.
However, in the medical literature there are cases of improper too deep injection, which then causes problems with extraction due to the very tight suction of the bowl to the cervix.
When menstrual flow is normal in volume, it is enough to change the cup 1 time in 12 hours, with heavy menstruation - more often.
5. Is one bowl enough or is it better to have several?
It is enough one bowl in case of availability of technical possibility of washing and processing of a bowl at its emptying, in case of lack of such opportunity it is necessary to have at itself the second sterile bowl.
6. Is the bowl suitable for women immediately after childbirth and will it not fall out later?
The bowl can be used immediately after delivery. With the right size and tight fit, it does not fall out.
7. At what age can a bowl be used? Are there bowls for virgins?
The bowl can be used at any age. For virgins, the bowl is not recommended, as there is no guarantee of preserving the integrity of the hymen.
8. Is it possible to use the cup during heavy periods?
Yes, it is possible to use during heavy periods, but it will have to be changed more often.
9. Is it possible that it will overflow and all contents flow out?
With proper use of the bowl and its snug fit, the contents cannot even spill out when overfilled.
But one can not say that the medical literature describes cases of toxic shock during the use of bowls - the same as during the use of tampons.
What is the menstrual cup for?
In our country, women have not yet fully understood why they need such a cup, if there is disposable hygiene products.
The menstrual cup is an intimate hygiene product used to collect female secretions during menstruation. The main difference between the cup and tampons and pads is that it collects the discharge, and does not absorb them. When this product is reusable.
The hygienic bowl is cap-shaped and is designed to fit the anatomical features of the female reproductive organs. The menstrual cap has different sizes to fit all possible structures of the female body. It's all about the structure of the vagina. If it is short, then a round cup is used. If the vagina is elongated, then a menstrual cup is required.
Composition and characteristics
Once the bowls were made of latex, but due to allergic reactions to this material, it was replaced with medical silicone. Now silicone menstrual cup is the accepted norm. If the products are made of another material, then it is necessary to refrain from its purchase. An exception is the use of TPE plastic, from which nipples and baby bottles are also made. Disposable cups can be made from other materials.
Although reusability is considered to be a hallmark of a hygienic cup, this product is also available as disposable products.
Standard menstrual cup is of two types: for ordinary and abundant discharge (for young girls and adult women). The first group includes small cups (size S), which collect 15 ml of blood. It is believed that they should be used by girls under 25 years of age.
Large bowls (size L) can hold up to 42 ml of blood. They are recommended for women who have given birth, and for all who are over 25 years old.
Sizes may vary by manufacturer.
Products are marked as deemed necessary by the manufacturer.
- Cuplee. Size S holds 20 ml and L size holds 30 ml.
- Meluna is available in sizes S, M, L, XL.
- Ladycup. Size 23 ml and size L 30 ml.
- Lilacup. Size S for 25 ml and size L for 30 ml
Although the size can be indicated by the same letters, but the volume of the discharge taken is different for everyone. It is easy to guess that the dimensions will also vary. Because of this, choosing the size of the menstrual cup is not an easy task.
Usually a small cup has a diameter of 40-46 mm and a length of 40-50 mm. A large bowl usually has a diameter of 43–46 mm and a length of 50–57 mm. Therefore, you should focus on the numbers, not on the designation of sizes, and look for your manufacturer, whose products are suitable for the size for you.
It is desirable to clean the cup every 1-6 hours, although in standard situations it can be in the body of a woman for up to 12 hours.
The characteristics of the bowl for menstruation are very different, because the products should be suitable for any woman. Therefore, her choice takes into account the physique, age, size of the vagina, the abundance of secretions, as well as factors such as past childbirth and abortion.
Advantages and disadvantages
Having understood why a menstrual cup is needed, and what kind of a cup it is, it's time to understand how it is better or worse than modern hygiene products. Perhaps it makes no sense at all to refuse tampons with gaskets. Let's start with the advantages of this product.
- The vagina is not in contact with the discharge. As a result, bacteria do not multiply as actively as they could.
- Saving money is substantial. One cup serves 5-10 years. Although such products are more expensive than standard tampons with gaskets, they quickly pay for themselves due to their multiple use. In order to calculate the profit yourself, you need to know that in a lifetime, every woman uses an average of 11 thousand pads and tampons.
- Reduced health risks. No correlation was found between toxic shock syndrome and the use of the menstrual cup.
- There is no typical smell of discharge.
- The menstrual cup is located inside the body, which means that there is no discomfort from the tail of the tampon or the feeling of a “compress” from the gasket. Possible adjustment to any structure of the female body.
- It can be used during sports.
- Tightly touches the walls of the vagina and does not leak. If the menstrual cup is leaking, it means that its size was selected incorrectly or it was inserted incorrectly.
- May collect more discharge than any tampon. Accordingly, you can sleep with her during menstruation.
Having learned about all the positive aspects of the product, you should not think that everything is so good. There are certain disadvantages that you should pay attention to:
- between cycles it is necessary to carry out sterilization
- you need to get special skills to know how to insert the menstrual cup correctly. It is equally important to learn how to extract it. Improper process will lead to leakage during menstruation,
- you need to have water on hand to rinse the bowl after its replacement,
- if you violate the rules of using the menstrual cup, leakage of blood may enter the uterus back,
- There are certain medical contraindications for using this method of intimate hygiene. Basically all the contraindications for the use of the menstrual cup are various diseases of the reproductive system.
If it is difficult to make a choice, you can consult with your gynecologist. Even if the decision was made to buy a cup, it is still necessary to consult a doctor to help him with the choice. He also tells about the existing contraindications.
Instructions on how to use the menstrual cup
When buying a hygienic product you need to make sure that the instruction is available. It must be, and its absence indicates that the product is a fake. Boil it for 5 minutes before using it for the first time..
How to enter
- Hands must be washed with soap, because they will be in contact with intimate places. Also the cap is washed with soap if it is not used for the first time.
- Choose the most comfortable position for the introduction (squatting, with a raised leg, lying on the back, etc.) The easiest way to do this is squatting, but each woman is individual, and you may need your own special posture.
- Vaginal muscles need to be relaxed.
- To better enter the bowl, it must be lubricated with lubricants (can be wetted with water).
- To make the menstrual cup easier to enter, it is folded in half.
- With one hand, the labia are moved apart, and the second is inserted into the vagina in the women's cup for critical days. The tip of the tail should go in a couple of centimeters. If you introduce a mouth guard not too deep, then it will cause discomfort. If it is introduced too deeply, monthly discharge will flow past it.
- The menstrual cup stuck in must be fully rotated around its axis (as if we were twisting it), after which it will take the correct position.
After the introduction of hygiene it is necessary to change several poses and move. At the wrong introduction discomfort will be immediately felt. After a properly performed procedure, a vacuum will be created inside due to the fact that the rims of the bowl will stick to the walls of the vagina.
How to remove
Everyone who has seen the menstrual cup knows that it has a tail. But it will not work out if you just pull the tail. In this case, nothing can be budged. Consider step by step how to take out the cup.
- My hands.
- We already know how the menstrual cup works, so you need to become in the bath or above the toilet. In the cup gathered selection, which may accidentally spill, so caution just in case.
- Feel the base of the cup with your finger and lightly press on it. This should move it slightly, breaking the tightness.
- Turning the bowl along the axis or against the axis, take it out slowly, holding the tail.
- If a disposable cup was used, it is discarded along with the contents.
- Reusable bowl is washed under running water, and then cleaned with hot water and soap. After drying the product, it can be used again.
If the bowl for menstruation is used last time in the current cycle, then it must be boiled for 5 minutes, then put in storage in a special case (must be sold in the kit).
Terms of care and storage
For the menstrual cup to serve for many years, it is necessary to properly care for it. The rules are quite simple:
- disinfection after each use and boiling after the end of menstruation,
- after disinfection and boiling it is necessary to wipe dry with a hygienic means,
- while the menstrual cup is not used, it should be stored in a special case that lets air in,
- Outside the house, the bowl can be cleaned with wet wipes.
A few simple rules will save you health and help you use the cap many times.
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Menstruation cup - what is it for?
The menstruation cup first appeared in the 1930s, just like tampons. In those days, they were used by the units of the most literate and independent women, since discussing intimate hygiene was considered bad form. Later, tampons became more widespread due to monthly consumption, and menstruation cups were bought once, few friends or acquaintances could learn about them and menstruation cups became popular in the 1980s.
Varieties and sizes
Disposable menstruation cups are impractical, they are fragile and can rupture, but reusable menstruation cups serve with proper care for up to 10 years.
Bowl for the menstrual cycle, what is it for? This is a container for collecting discharges during menstruation. When purchasing a bowl, you need to choose the size: S or L. Where to buy? Menstruation cup can be purchased only through the Internet.
Variants of bowls for menstruation cycle
There are two types of bowls for the menstrual cycle:
- Soft polyethylene menstruation cups for single use, similar to the diaphragm (contraceptive),
- More durable reusable menstruation bowls made of latex or silicone in the form of a bell with a handle of various configurations: flat, tubular, ring.
The most famous menstruation cup today marks from medical silicone, Where to buy? opportunity to purchase only through online resources: CupLee, Linette, Yuuki, LadyCup. Products TM Keeper are made of latex.
All manufacturers produce two sizes of menstruation cups:
- S - for young girls and not giving birth, the average diameter of the menstruation cup - 40 mm, height 47 mm,
- L - for women who give birth or are older than 25 years, the diameter of the menstruation cup is 44 mm, height is 53 mm.
The volume of the menstruation cup in both cases is equal to 20 ml.
Manufacturers of menstruation bowls are slightly different sizes (by about a few tenths of a millimeter), but all come in two varieties. The exception is the menstruation bowls MeLina, Where to buy? They are available in four sizes.
Menstruation bowls come in different colors, non-allergenic dyes are used for dyeing. And although transparent means lose their appearance more quickly, turning yellow from excretions and sterilization, but they can always see any contamination, which allows menstruation cups to be kept in perfect condition.
Menstruation cups are packed in multi-colored bags of cotton fabric, where they are stored between cycles.
Reviews of gynecologists confirm the safety of the bowl for the menstrual cycle. Observing the rules of use and size, the bowl will not cause you any discomfort.
Scheme for use
Instructions for using the menstruation cup are as follows:
- Wash your hands well
- Moisten the menstruation cup with water or water-based gel.
- To double the menstruation cup, as shown in the picture in the package insert,
- Relax as much as possible and insert the menstruation cup into the vagina.
The menstruation cup itself straightens, has no folds and, settling inside you, does not cause any discomfort. Gynecologists in the reviews advise for the first time to try to enter the menstruation cup not during menstruation, in order to adapt to its presence.
The frequency of emptying the menstrual cup depends on the amount of menstrual flow. The minimum period of the menstruation cup is considered once every 2 hours, but you should not keep more than 12 hours.
When you first use the bowl for the menstrual cycle, you need to sterilize these reviews are vecists. The order of use of the bowl only according to the instructions
Remove the menstruation cup as follows:
- Grope bottom
- Press on the bottom side to break the vacuum effect,
- With two fingers grab the menstrual cup from different sides, connect them,
- Get the menstruation cup,
- Rinse the menstruation cup,
- Carry out the process of sterilization of the menstruation cup.
At the end of the monthly bleeding, sterilization of the menstruation cup should be performed again. Put the clean and dry menstruation cup in the bag which is in the complete set until the next cycle.
In the process of storing the menstruation cup, you must follow certain rules, according to the advice of gynecologists:
- Do not put the menstruation cup in a plastic bag,
- Avoid exposure to sunlight and overheating.
Compliance with these measures will significantly extend the duration of the menstruation cup.
Хотя менструационная чаша у нас не популярна, некоторые женщины уже познакомились с ее действием и оценили преимущества менструационной чаши, что можно отметить по отзывам. Негативные отклики менструационной чаши встречаются обычно от тех, кто купил изделие не своего размера.
Недостатки в использовании менструационной чаши также имеются:
- The introduction of the menstrual cup and the extraction requires a certain skill. In the absence of such, it is possible the flow of fluid
- The observance of the rules of hygiene of the menstruation cup - clean hands - it is not always realistic if the situation arose outside the home,
- Requires sterilization of the menstrual cup during the change and between cycles
- When emptying the menstruation cup water is needed.
A menstruation cup is necessary to collect discharge during menstruation. It has specific features during administration and withdrawal, as well as during storage and maintenance of the menstruation cup. Having studied the reviews of gynecologists and users, we can note a number of indisputable advantages of the menstruation cup.
If you have doubts about the choice of the menstruation cup, you should consult with your gynecologist. Turning to the question of where to buy a menstruation cup in our country, inconveniences are possible. Where can I buy? Today, the menstruation cup is only available via the Internet, since they are not yet available in the free market.