For women who have yet to start using menstrual cups, the feat can be daunting, as the feeling could be comparable to the familiarity of waiting in vain for one’s first period to happen at any moment. Yes, it is normal to feel this way that such uncharted territory is bound to stir a feeling of anxiety to those who are reluctant to use a newer alternative, in favour of another that has been widely popular for vast generations, thus, considering disposable pads and tampons a better option. But the feeling of unease is usually short-lived if one finally considers using menstrual cups for the first time, and at the least, try and learn to use them correctly. We’ve been there too, just so you are aware, and let us tell you that most women, who have gone past the unfamiliarity, feel joy after successfully using their menstrual cup for the first time, and wondered in disbelief why they haven’t tried this genius alternative sooner.
This feeling is due to newness and lack of information regarding the proper use of menstrual cups. Some would even think that they cost more money than using tampons and disposable pads. From the get-go, this is more than likely, but, after knowing that menstrual cups could last for up to 10 years (depending on the brand or manufacturer), one would probably feel relieved and convinced that they are actually a cost-effective and worthwhile after all. By now, your mind might attempt to explore compelling reasons to make the switch from disposable pads or tampons to menstrual cups, and personally, one powerful motivation that I truly consider inordinately essential has something to do with the topic of the reduction of waste for the good of the environment. And if this is compelling enough for you as well, then get to know how to finally use a menstrual cup during your period.
The Steps on How to Use a Menstrual Cup are:
- Take your time and practice patience in reading the accompanying instructions along with the menstrual cup of your size. Some women often feel intimidated when faced with unfamiliar steps and how to’s leading them to succumb to their fears and skip reading the instructions altogether. Just be open-minded and be optimistic, after doing the steps more than once, it becomes a habit and without knowing you become adept in its proper use.
- Do the instructions in the comfort and privacy of your bathroom. Make sure no one will dare bother you while you try to insert the cup. It’s not recommended to do this in a public bathroom where you may easily get distracted to the hustle and bustle of other women going in and out of the bathroom or restroom.
- Make sure to do the steps when you’re period is happening. One common mistake that often leads to frustration of not being able to make it work. This is largely due to the fact that the opening is not well lubricated and your cervix has a tendency to divert from its usual position while you’re on your period.
- Experiment on different folds. The trick is to finally get used to a fold that sets the menstrual cup comfortably without leaking. There are many types of folds that you can practice while you’re at it namely the punch down fold, C fold, 7-fold, double 7, labia fold, triangle, and more. The perfect fold also depends on the type of menstrual cup you’re using.
- Before you start, ensure that your hands are clean, as well as, the menstrual cup. You want to make sure to clean your hands with soap and water. If it’s the first time using the cup, it must be boiled to prevent problems like yeast infection. Don’t use soap when you need to rinse the cup clean after the first use. Your menstrual cup should contain unique instructions on how to keep it clean for long-term use.
- Keep your pelvic muscles relaxed. It’ll be harder to insert the cup if your pelvic muscles are tense. Take a few deep breathes and relax. It’ll also be a huge help if you do Kegel exercises to keep your pelvic muscles active, this makes the process easier during insertion. Remind yourself not to give up after failing once or twice because this is nothing new. Patience and perseverance will help you get through this process eventually.
- Decide on a comfortable position during insertion. There are various positions that you can try, for example, some women find it easier to insert the cup when they squat, or while they lift one leg on the toilet. Whatever works for you is best.
- Get used to the idea of pinpointing where your cervix is. Positioning the cup in the direction of your cervix helps. You can insert your finger inside your privates to feel your cervix. It may also be possible that it’s positioned higher so you may not feel it at all. You may also position the cup towards the lower part of your back.
- Make sure the cup opens while inserting the cup. While inserting the cup using a type of fold that works for you, make sure that the cup is in a 45-degree angle facing the pubic bone. You should ensure that the cup is completely open. If otherwise, this is where Kegel exercises like jumping jacks or squats will come in handy or by manoeuvring the cup by twisting until you feel that it’s open. You’ll feel more comfortable if the cup is closer to the cervix. Create a vacuum by pulling the cup downwards in order to set it to secure it from possible leakage.
- Empty the cup after 12 hours or so depending on what’s stated in the instructions. If the cup seems full before 12 hours or whatever duration is recommended per instructions on when to empty the cup, simply follow through.
These simplified steps will help you get through your first use of menstrual cups; however, we do recommend that you read the instructions as stated along with the type you purchased to ensure successful usage.
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