Menstrual cups are made of silicone, I thought silicone was bad for my body?
Let’s get one fact straight, when you are thinking silicone you are thinking of silicone toxic leaking on breast implants right? Menstrual cup are made from medical grade silicone, this is a solid stable piece of silicone (with the feel of soft rubber) that cannot leak or release molecules into the body. The same silicone used to make menstrual cup is also widely used in the medical industry for internal valves and tubing as well as baby bottle teats and breast pumps.
It is a totally different silicone to the type used on the early breast implants, these were made from a bag filled with silicone gel some of which leaked and caused the health issues now associated with silicone gel.
Does menstrual cups contain any phthalates or Bisphenol A (BPA) like some silicones and plastics do?
Absolutely not! they are 100% medical silicone grade or in the case of Meluna TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) which is also free of those chemicals.
How do I know which size I am?
Each brand have their own recommendation according to your age and if you had childbirth or not. If for example, they recommend the smaller size before 30 and the bigger after 30 and you are 28, you are probably better off using the bigger size. There is only a few millimeters difference between the two models, but it is important to use the recommended sizing to prevent leakage. As we age, our hips naturally widen and the vaginal muscles lose elasticity. Because the vaginal muscles hold the cup in place, it is important to use a bigger size, even if you have not had childbirth. Of course this a general guideline, we are all unique and it’s up to you to try what you think is adequate to your body.
It looks big. Does it hurt to insert or remove it?
If you do it correctly and carefully, it shouldn’t. Virgins may have some discomfort at first, but unless there is a medical condition, the discomfort should go away. The vagina is a flexible muscle; it can expand during sexual activity, or to fit a baby’s head. Then it shrinks back down again. An average woman or girl’s body should be able to accommodate a cup just fine, with some practice.
Can the cup get lost inside of me?
No. You are sort of like a pocket up inside, with walls all around and a closed-off end. There is nowhere for a cup, or anything else to go. You can reach the cup only half a finger away. The menstrual cup is designed to catch your menstrual flow rather than absorb it. Its bell shape allows the cup to fit snuggly and comfortably up against your vaginal walls, below but not touching your cervix. The rim is designed to help create a suction that keeps the cup in place and collects your menstrual flow inside of it. The small holes around the rim are to help release the suction when you remove the cup.
How does the cup stay in place?
The cup is held firmly in place by the muscular walls and closed-end of the vagina. It also stays in via a light suction that is formed up inside. Those little holes around the rim of your cup are there to help break the seal.
Will using the cup affect the tightness of my vagina and/or stretch it out at all?
Physically, the cup is suitable for women of all ages as the vagina is made up of very flexible tissue and muscles. Women’s bodies are designed this way to be able to deliver a baby. After being expanded, after intercourse or childbirth, the tissue returns back to its normal size. Pilates and Yoga is great for training this specific area.
Can a virgin use the cup?
Physically, there is no reason why a virgin cannot use a cup. However, some cultures or religions have certain beliefs about internal menstrual products, or they hymen (a menstrual cup can alter the hymen). So this will need to be taken into consideration. But if this is not an issue for you, your family and/or your culture– then yes, a virgin can use a cup.
Can it be used as a method of birth control, or STD protection?
No it cannot. Furthermore, the menstrual cup is not a contraceptive device and does not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases (STD).
Can I have sex while wearing the cup?
Not penetrative vaginal sex. The cup would get in the way, or be squeezed/crushed, so the seal would be broken. You should always remove your cup before any penetrative vaginal sex. If you want to have sex while having your period without having to buy a new set of bed sheets, some people use baby sea sponges or the Instead soft cup.
Can I receive oral sex then?
Definitely yes, no more damp string sticking out making you feel unsexy. The cup will act as a barrier letting you reassured that there will be no leaking or evidence that you have your period.
I am allergic / sensitive to latex. Can I still use the cup?
Yes, only the brown Keeper cup is made from latex. The other menstrual cups are made of medical grade silicone, and can still be used even by people with latex sensitivities.
Can I use a menstrual cup if I have an IUD?
Many women who use a menstrual cup also have an IUD. Some menstrual cup manufacturers support the combination use of a menstrual cup and an IUD, while others do not. It is important that you read all the information in your product instructions. As with all medical concerns, you should also ask your doctor for additional advice. But if you compare a cup with a tampon, the tampon sits much closer to the cervix than a cup does since it’s almost only half way in the vagina while the tip of the tampon almost touch the cervix. I have personally used cups which I had a IUD without any issue. Same thing goes for Nuvaring.
Can the cup be used along with contraceptives?
You should always remove the cup before having penetrative vaginal sex. But with some products like Nuvaring, the pill, the patch, or an IUD– they should not harm your cup. It is usually not recommended to use things like contraceptive gel or foam with a cup though, because not much is known about the effects of those products on the cup’s material. As always, consult with your doctor before combining these products.
I am pregnant, but sometimes, I still spot or have discharge. Can I use the cup for times like this
Pregnant women should not use internal vaginal products, for any reason, unless directed to by their doctor. When you are pregnant, your vaginal ph levels are far more sensitive than usual, making you prone to infection, even when you are not doing anything differently. For this reason, unless you are engaging in sexual intercourse, it is recommended that the vagina remain clear of foreign objects as much as possible during this time, again, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
I just had a baby, and I am bleeding heavily. Can I use a menstrual cup for post-natal bleeding?
The menstrual cup should not be used for post-natal bleeding. Because there are open wounds healing up inside, there is a greater risk of infection with any kind of foreign objects, no matter how clean. Please wait until your doctor says you can use internal menstrual products again, before using a menstrual cup.
Can I use the cup to collect other types of bodily liquid?
Menstrual cups have been approved for the collection of menstrual fluid only, and are not recommend for collecting any other fluids, or for any other use.
Is there an increased risk of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) when using the Cup?
Menstrual cups are not associated with an increased risk of UTI. You may need to trim the stem a bit so that it is not protruding near to the urethra. Also, it is important to wash and rinse the cup and the stem thoroughly. It is best to use a mild and perfume-free soap, so that residue is not left on the cup. Residue may cause irritations. As for all gynecological concerns, we suggest you consult your doctor.
I need to use a lubricant to make inserting a cup easier. Which kind should I use?
You should use a water-based vaginal lube. The bottle should tell you wether or not its water-based. Usually, if it is “safe to use with a condom”, that is a good indicator. Never use oil-based lubes, as oil is not very biocompatible with the sensitive tissue environment of the vagina. Do not use silicone-based lubes. These can bind with the material of the cup, and ruin its quality.
I have long nails. Can I still use a cup?
You can, but you may need to be more careful than other women, during insertion and removal. The material is thick enough to where your nails will not damage it, but long nails may hurt the delicate skin in that area, if special care is not taken.
I have a tilted cervix / uterus. Can I still use a cup?
Many women with these conditions still successfully use a cup. Since it is worn lower in the vaginal canal it does not interfere with the position of the uterus. But of course, it is always best to consult with your doctor on this, as he/she can give you more details on the shape of your anatomy.
I pass large clots during some days of my period. Can I use a cup?
Yes you can, the cup would be emptied more often than every 12 hours. A bit of trial and error may be in order, but one quickly learns how often to empty the cup to meet their specific needs.
I’m going through menopause, and my cycles are very unpredictable. Can I still use a cup?
Absolutely! Vaginal dryness is normal at this stage of a woman’s life and you may even find that the cup will make it more comfortable since it won’t absorb anything. If you happen not too bleed the cup won’t affect you in any way. PreMeno are ovules that can help you achieve vaginal rehydration.
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