Menstrual cups: Everything you need to know
While menstrual cups have been around for many years, they have only recently become popular.
A menstrual cup is a small, bell-shaped cup that a person can insert into their vagina to collect menstrual blood during a period.
They are made of medical-grade silicone, rubber, or plastic and are usually reusable. People simply empty the cup, wash it with soap and water, and insert it again.
Some brands are disposable, so a person can throw them away after each use or menstrual cycle.
A person can wear a reusable cup for up to 6–12 hours before it needs to be removed and washed. Anyone with a heavier menstrual flow may need to empty their cup more frequently.
In this article, learn more about menstrual cups, including the pros, cons, and how to use one.
There are many advantages to using a menstrual cup, including:
- Financial savings: A cup can be a higher upfront investment, of around $25 to $45. However, one can last for several years, depending on the cup. Using a cup will ultimately save money, compared with the regular purchase of tampons or pads.
- Comfort: Many people report that a menstrual cup is more comfortable than pads or tampons. Cups tend not to cause vaginal dryness, which is a common complaint about tampons.
- Fewer cramps: There are some anecdotal reports of people having fewer or less painful menstrual cramps while using a cup. However, others find the opposite to be true.
- Less mess: When inserted properly, the cup should not leak or spill, and a person can wear one while working out, swimming, or showering. Some brands report that their cups are safe and comfortable to wear during sex.
- Reduced environmental impact: Pads and tampons are usually single-use and come with lots of packaging, but cups are designed for years of use. This can drastically reduce how many menstrual products wind up in landfills.
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