Menstrual cup: the complete guide

clementine reusable menstrual cup
Chances are you have already heard about menstrual cups, right? You have at least one friend who uses it and swears by it, and at least one friend who detests menstrual cups. And quite possibly you have even tried it yourself.

Like many things in life, menstrual cups are a question of taste. You either like it or not, just like tampons, pads or period undies. The great attractiveness of the menstrual cup is its sustainability: because it can be reused many times, less waste is generated.


So, if you are curious about the menstrual cup, take a look at this quick and complete guide.
 

Everything you wanted to know about the Menstrual Cup

All the questions you have on the Menstrual Cup and more!

What is a Menstrual Cup?

A menstrual cup is a bell-shaped container designed to be inserted into the vagina and collect menstrual flow. It is made of a flexible material and can have different sizes and thicknesses. Most menstrual cups have a thin stem in the base, that is similar to a tampon string – but usually made of the same flexible material of the cup. Around the rim of the cup, it is common to have a set of wholes, that will help break the seal or vacuum created by the cup.

 

How big is a Menstrual Cup?

There are many sizes of menstrual cups, but no standardised size. Clementine reusable menstrual cups are available in two different sizes:

  • Size 1 (6,7 x 4,3 cm; 25ml): It’s perfect for light to medium flows, if you have not given birth, or if you’re under 30.
  • Size 2 (6,7 x 4,6 cm; 30ml): it’s recommended for light to heavy flows, if you have given birth, or if you are 30 or older.

clementine menstrual cup sizes

 

How do I insert it?

Menstrual cups are supposed to be inserted into the vagina just like a tampon. However, since they have a bell shape, you will need to fold the wider part until flat and then fold again in a c-shape. You can also choose other folding methods like “punch down”, “7-shape” “origami”, “S-shape” …
When folded, you should insert it in the vagina while keeping it closed, until you reach the spot and release it. Menstrual cups sit lower in the vagina than tampons, however, they should be fully inserted, including the stem.

clementine menstrual cup folding methods


How long can I use the Menstrual Cup?

The average menstrual cup can be used for up to 12 hours before it needs to be emptied. But depending on your period flow, you might need to empty it more often. The average capacity of a tampon is around 5ml, so depending on how many tampons you go through on your period, you’ll need to empty your cup more or less often.

Know how to deal with heavy periods.

How do I remove the Menstrual Cup?

To remove a menstrual cup, you should first pinch it with two fingers on the bottom to break the vacuum seal, and secondly, tug the stem gently and pull it out of your body. Do not try to remove the menstrual cup just by pulling the stem as it might cause discomfort due to the suction.

 

How do I empty and clean my Menstrual Cup?

Once removed, just empty your cup in the sink or toilet. To reinsert again, rinse it with water first. Remember, keep your hands squeaky clean, just like you would with non-applicator tampons.

 

How do I sterilise my Menstrual Cup?

After your period ended, you need to disinfect your cup before storing it away for next month. To disinfect your menstrual cup, you need to immerse it in boiling water for a couple of minutes. We recommend keeping one specific pan or bowl to do this, especially if you live with other people. After boiling it, you should dry it thoroughly and store it carefully.


How many times can I use it?

Clementine reusable menstrual cup is designed to last until 10 years. On average, women get a period for about 40 years of their life. So, this means you will need just only 4 menstrual cups during your entire life!

 

Can the Menstrual Cup leak?

Although it is not common, it can happen. The reasons are normally your cup being incorrectly inserted, it being too high in the vagina, having an incorrect seal, or being the wrong size for your flow.

 

Can I use the Menstrual Cup anywhere?

You can use a cup anywhere. However, if you do not have access to a sink or to clean water (for example at a festival) you should carry wipes to disinfect your hands and some toilet paper to wipe the cup clean before re-inserting it after emptying.

 

Is the Menstrual Cup really safe?

Like everything, the menstrual cup has some risks. One of them is Toxic Shock Syndrome but, just like tampons, this happens very, very rarely. Because of being something you insert in your vagina, if you don’t clean your cup properly there’s a risk for yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis. People who suffer from a vaginal or uterine condition should seek medical advice regarding using a menstrual cup.

 

Can I use it with an IUD or vaginal ring?

While technically wearing the menstrual cup with an IUD or a contraceptive vaginal ring is safe, it is advised you talk with your GP before you use it.

 

Is the Menstrual Cup easy to use?

This varies from person to person. Some people love it, and some people can’t even get to insert it. If correctly inserted, technically, you should not feel the cup – just like a tampon. Some people need to cut the stem short because it “peeks out”, and others never had any problems with it. Some people find it easier to use a bit of lube when inserting the cup, the first few times.
Clementine’s menstrual cup is made of soft silicone makes it easy to fold and insert like a tampon.

 

Can I use the menstrual cup after pregnancy?

No. It is recommended to use the cup only 3-4 months after childbirth to let the uterus and vagina heal.

 

Can I use the cup during sex?

Not at all. Just like tampons, cups must be removed before sex.

 

Does using the cup mean I cannot use any other menstrual products?

You can use the cup and still use other menstrual products, of course. You cannot, however, use a tampon and the menstrual cup simultaneously. Some people feel safer using a panty liner at the same time as the cup, and some others still alternate between the cup and tampons. Prefer using night pads to sleep? Perfect, it is totally your choice.

 

Menstrual Cup: to use or not to use?

To use or not to use a menstrual cup is actually for each one to decide. A woman’s choice of menstrual products is a very personal choice, and no one should try to dictate that. As such, you need to decide if a menstrual cup is your cup of tea (ha!) or not. And, of course, you can always change your mind whenever you feel like it.

At Clementine, we’ve recently included our first menstrual cup in our selection of menstrual products. Our reusable menstrual cup, designed to last until 10 years, provides up to 12 hours of reliable leak protection and it’s made of medical-grade and soft silicone for a comfortable, flexible fit. It’s free from BPA, latex, and phthalates, which makes it suitable for sensitive skin.

This is because we work very hard to produce solutions that we fully stand behind, be it in terms of quality and sustainability. So, our offer now includes not only organic cotton tampons, pensos higiénicos and panty liners, sustainably produced and with lower environmental impact, but also a menstrual cup; and all of our products are created following rigorous testing methods that ensure their safety for your health.

It is important for us to give our lovely customers as many safe, healthy and sustainable choices as possible. At the end of the day, all we at Clementine care about are happy vaginas and a healthy planet!

Take good care. Of your vagina. Of yourself. Of our planet.

 

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/menstrual-cup
https://www.menstrualcupsaustraliaonline.com.au/menstrual-cup-faqs/
https://www.healthline.com/health/menstrual-cup-dangers

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