“Some people freak out at the idea of cups, but I wish I’d discovered them years ago.” Robyn McLean, The Hello Cup
Menstrual cups are proving popular amongst ladies for all sorts of reasons. Let’s take a closer look and discover the facts.
What the heck is a menstrual cup?
We asked the same thing when we kept hearing soft murmurs about menstrual cups. On closer inspection, it turns out they’re a bit of movement. A menstrual cup is basically a version of a feminine hygiene product for when we have our period—an eco-friendly alternative to tampons and pads if you like. As the name suggests, they’re a flexible, funnel-shaped cup usually made of medical-grade silicone or, in some instances, a medical-grade TPE (a type of plastic) for those with silicone sensitivities.
How do they work?
You insert the cup into your va-jay-jay like a tampon where it collects your period blood. Bonus? It holds far more than a tampon.
We asked the founders of The Hello Cup Robyn McLean and Mary Bond about menstrual cups. “We call them a game changer for good reason. They hold three times the amount that tampons do and can be left in for up to 12 hours. They are super comfortable (as in you can’t actually feel them), they don’t smell, you can exercise, swim, and sleep in them, and they’re hypoallergenic and don’t leave fibres inside you,” says Robyn. “One of our cups lasts five years so after two periods it pays for itself and you start saving some serious money. The other huge benefit cups offer is the positive impact on the environment. Every woman who has a period creates an average of 150kg of sanitary waste in their lifetime, plus ours are made of TPE which is fully recyclable.”
How To Use A Menstrual Cup
Menstrual cups come in different sizes so you’ll need to know or give an educated guess of the size you need. They usually come in S/M or M/L, and The Hello Cup also has an XS for teens. “Working out your size can be tricky, but we recommend S/M for those under 30 who haven’t given birth and M/L for those over 30, if you’ve given birth or if you have a heavy flow,” says Robyn.
Putting Them In
Menstrual cups are generally soft and flexible so you fold them and insert. You can use coconut oil or similar if you need help with lubrication. Once inside the cup opens and settles into place offering an airtight seal. To remove it, there is a nodule that you reach in and pull (like the string on a tampon). Empty it. Clean it. And if you’re still flowing, reinsert. Simple.
If you’ve got a heavy flow, remove it every three or four hours, for lighter days you should be able to go six to 12 hours.