In recent times a new feminine hygiene product is becoming popular. It is an alternative to tampons/pads which is reusable, eco-friendly and convenient.

The product is called menstrual or 'moon' cups. It is a bell-shaped device made of silicone or rubber. The cups sit low in the vaginal canal and collects blood and tissues during periods.

It has been around for decades, but it is gaining popularity only now. The reason is that women are now discovering the advantages it has on their pockets and environment.

In this report, we cover:

  • How do they work?
  • Menstrual cups advantages and drawbacks.
  • What are the factors that can help you buy the best menstrual cup?

How does a menstrual cup work?

A menstrual cup is made using soft and flexible medical grade silicone. To insert it, fold it to make it small and place it inside the vagina. Make sure it opens (you will hear a clicking noise) when you place it under your cervix. You can wear the mooncup up to 12 hours including overnight. Empty its content, wash it and then reinsert it.

Advantages and drawbacks of a Menstrual cup

Advantages:

  1. Cost effective: The cups can be used for a long time which means saving a lot of money. A pad/tampons cost almost $10 per month while buying a cup costs $40 and $55. Initially, the price is high, but in long-term, it is cost effective.
  2. They are eco-friendly: Do you know disposable sanitary pads are extremely harmful for environment? Using reusable cup means fewer pads and tampons in the world. It means less cotton and non-biodegradable material to harm the environment.
  3. No odor: The cup collects the blood rather than absorbing it. The collection of blood means that it doesn’t get exposed to air which means no smell or foul odor.
  4. Beneficial for health and skin: The cup balances the vaginal PH and bacterial level. So, you don’t get TSS and other infection. Also, they are hypoallergenic which means it is suitable for all skins.
  5. Need to change: Tampons/pads need to be changed every few hours. But you can wear a cup for up to twelve hours which is especially great at night.

Drawbacks:

  1. They are Messy: When you are using the cup for the first time, emptying it can be a mess especially in a public washroom. But you get used to it afterward.
  2. Problems with fitting: Every brand offers a different cup size. To find the right fit for you, you need to try more than one brand. It can get a bit costly and irritating.
  3. Removing it: Learning to remove the cup takes times especially if you have IUD. It is best to consult a doctor if you are having trouble with it.

How to Buy the right menstrual cup?

Every women body has different anatomy. To find the right menstrual cup, you need to try one or two brands as they all are unique. But here are some factors that you should keep in mind while buying your moon cup. Also, check this website out that has a quiz that will help you find the right cup https://reusablemenstrualcup.com/buy-a-menstrual-cup/menstrual-cup-quiz/

  • Material

Most menstrual cups made using silicone, so find out whether the material is  100% medical grade silicone or not. Also, check the percentage of latex and TPE(plastic or rubber).

  • Firmness

A firm cup is easy to pop open, but they can be hard to insert especially for women with a sensitive bladder. Always, check all the cups sold by a brand and check its firmness- soft or medium.

  • Capacity

A cup can hold 20 ml-30 ml of blood. So, choose it according to your menstruation flow.

  • Size

The size of the cup involves the length and diameter of both cup and stem. Most brands have two sizes- one for women under 30 who haven’t given birth yet. Second, for women above 30 who have given birth vaginally. Also, the placement of your cervix during periods is an important factor for finding the right size. If confused, take help from your GP.

  • Stem design

The stem of the cup can be rounded, flat, triangular, hollow, and solid and so on. They can be cut short according to your needs, choose the one that is comfortable.

  • Air holes

Some companies have air holes which help in the insertion and removal of a cup. So check the number and placement of these holes.

  • Quality and safety

Buy products that have FDA approval or some other certification. There are many products with no legal support that can harm you.

Remember these factors while buying your first moon cup and you would face no problem.