7 Things You Should Know About Menstrual Cups

April 11, 2019
They're hygienic, comfortable and relatively inexpensive over the long term. Menstrual cups have become the perfect solution for a lot of women.

A menstrual period is one of the most reliable friends you’ll have as a woman.

From adolescence to menopause, you’ll have to live with this event every month.  This could mean excessive spending on pads or tampons, which is why we’d like to share some information about menstrual cups with you.

Also Read: Maca Root for Menopause Symptoms

Menstrual cups were invented in the late 19th century and have undergone big changes. They’ve been made out of all sorts of materials throughout the search for the most comfortable characteristics.

In recent years, menstrual cups have become inseparable friends for those that want to help the environment and save money. Would you like to know more?  Keep reading.

1. What are menstrual cups?

what are menstrual cups

The menstrual cup can be used to substitute normal tampons or pads.  They are small devices that catch menstrual flow and can stay in the body for up to 12 hours.

The most modern menstrual cups are made with medical grade silicon or latex.  Women who are allergic to latex should choose cups made with silicon to avoid medical problems.

2. How are menstrual cups used?

When inserting the cup, it’s important to take your time and figure out which method works best for you.  This will take a few tries before discovering which technique is best adapted to your body. It’s very normal and you shouldn’t worry because it gets easier with practice.

Unlike tampons or sanitary pads, which absorb menstrual flow, menstrual cups catch it and prevent it from leaving the body. So all you need to do is insert the cup into your vagina and let it set for 8 to 12 hours, depending on its capacity.

See Also: Pads and Tampons – Inconvenient and Dangerous

After that time, you simply remove the cup and empty it.  For good hygiene, it’s a good idea to wash it with clean water before re-inserting it.  If you can’t do this, it’s not a huge problem. Just remember to wash it the next time.

3. Reasons to choose menstrual cups


  • You can use them for up to 10 years. While you may have to buy pads or tampons monthly, menstrual cups are completely reusable for 10 years.  This means you’ll save tons of money on feminine products, you’ll help the environment. All of this while staying extremely comfortable.
  • They have a high capacity.  Are you worried about accidents?  Do you often have a heavy period?  In this case, menstrual cups have a bigger capacity than pads or tampons. Tampons absorb only 5 mL and pads absorb 10 mL, while the cup can hold 30 mL.
  • Accidents are unlikely.  Because menstrual cups are made with silicon or latex, they very easily adapt to the shape of your body.  That’s why it’s easy to do any sort of physical activity or sport without any problems.
  • The chances of having some sort of adverse reaction are minimal.  Infections are a common fear when using pads or tampons, which does not happen with menstrual cups.  You simply need to make sure that you do not use materials that you’re allergic to. A small percentage of women are allergic to latex. If this is your situation, use a silicon cup.

4. They’re relatively cheap

You can buy a menstrual cup for anywhere between 20 and 60 dollars, depending on where you buy it.  They usually come with a cloth bag that you can store them in when you’re not using it.

If you consider that medium-quality cups can last up to 5 years, and high-quality cups last up to 10 years, that’s a pretty good deal.

5. They’re easy to maintain

menstrual cup

The materials used to make menstrual cups are easily cleaned and maintained:

  • At the beginning of your period: when getting ready to use your cup for the first time or when you’re about to start your period, remove it from the bag and boil it in water for 3 to 5 minutes.  This process will eliminate any residue or contaminants. You can then use your cup with confidence.
  • During your period: it’s important that you wash your cup every time you empty it.  Simply use water from the tap.
  • Once your period is over: wash the menstrual cup again.  If you like, you can use a neutral soap as well. Make sure that you clean it well.  Then store it in the cloth bag that came with it and keep it in a well-ventilated, fresh, and dry area.

6. They come in different sizes

Every woman is different and when it comes to feminine hygiene, you need to choose the right product.  When looking for menstrual cups, you’ll find that there are several different sizes.  The smallest ones are best for women that have not had children, while the larger sizes are great for women with kids.

This is because after giving birth, the size of the vagina changes slightly.  Before buying your menstrual cup, do some research on the different sizes and characteristics of each cup.

7. Some menstrual cups can be used during sex

some menstrual cups let you have sex without any problems

Because the cups go into the vagina, some women are afraid of having sex while using it. Their first worry is that the cup would get stuck, but this is not true.

They are made to be in a certain area of the body, and they do not go beyond that.  Their size simply prevents it. If you’re worried that your partner will feel uncomfortable, be aware that some menstrual cups are designed to go unnoticed for just this occasion.  

The materials used to make them are also very soft and flexible, which is why your partner won’t even notice it.

As you can see, these cups are an option with many benefits over other products.

  • Stewart, K., Powell, M., & Greer, R. (2009). An alternative to conventional sanitary protection: Would women use a menstrual cup? Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. https://doi.org/10.1080/01443610802628841
  • Juma, J., Nyothach, E., Laserson, K. F., Oduor, C., Arita, L., Ouma, C., … Phillips-Howard, P. A. (2017). Examining the safety of menstrual cups among rural primary school girls in western Kenya: Observational studies nested in a randomised controlled feasibility study. BMJ Open. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2016-015429
  • North, B. B., & Oldham, M. J. (2011). Preclinical, Clinical, and Over-the-Counter Postmarketing Experience with a New Vaginal Cup: Menstrual Collection. Journal of Women’s Health. https://doi.org/10.1089/jwh.2009.1929
  • McDermott, C., & Sheridan, M. (2015). Staphylococcal toxic shock syndrome caused by tampon use. Case reports in critical care, 2015, 640373. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/640373