From ages, women have been using either cotton cloth, or sanitary napkins and tampons during menstruation. Not many know that a menstrual cup is a healthy alternative to these methods.
What is a Menstrual Cup?
Well, it is a flexible bell-shaped cup-like structure designed to use during menstruation to accumulate menstrual blood. It doesn’t absorb the flow like a sanitary napkin or a tampon, but holds it until it is emptied manually.
Image Source: By Frank Krueger (www.meluna.eu) via Wikimedia Commons
A menstrual cup is made up of rubber of silicone. However, women who are latex sensitive should strictly use only those menstrual cups that are made completely of silicone.
A woman can use a menstrual cup on almost all the days of the cycle. However, one should change it more often during heavy flow. Ideally, you can remove and rinse the cup after 12 hours. A single menstrual cup can be used for as long as 15 years.
Advantages of a Menstrual Cup
Most of the menstrual cups are reusable. Therefore, it is eco-friendly as no sanitary waste goes to landfills.
It has a great holding capacity so we get enough time between the changes. While, a tampon or sanitary napkin is changed anything after 4 to 8 hours, a menstrual cup can easily go up to 12 hours.
It is pocket friendly as 1 cup can last upto 15 years. Even if we use it for a year it is very economical as compared to the traditional methods.
No way does it exposes the vagina to chemicals and bleech that is otherwise present in tampons and sanitary napkins.
Menstrual cups maintain the bacterial balance and pH in the vagina as it collects the flow rather than absorbing the flow.
There is no issue of odor as the fluid is not at all exposed to the air.
One can easily play sports or go to swim with a menstrual cup.
When used with clean hands, there is no issue of infection and rashes.
Disadvantages of a Menstrual Cup
Inserting might be a major problem.
Emptying the menstrual cup after 12 hours can also be a mess.
There can be fitting problem especially in women who have dropped uterus or fibroids.
Maintenance as after every menstrual cycle, one has to sterilize the cup either by using a sterilizing solution or by using boiling water.
While, menstrual cup is healthy, hygienic, comfortable, economical and eco-friendly, it depends on woman to woman whether they wish to use a cup or a sanitary napkin. Interestingly, these cups come in various sizes and are available in the pharmacies as well as on the e-commerce websites online.
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