The menstrual health and hygiene world has evolved, even though it is a far cry from the ideal scenario. For those who have access to period products, there is a wide variety of options ranging from sanitary pads and period panties to tampons and menstrual cups. But when it comes to experimenting, people tend to be consumed by menstrual cup myths. This Menstrual Hygiene Day, let us bust these misconceptions with the help of a gynaecologist.
What is a menstrual cup?
Menstrual cup is a cup shaped silicone device inserted inside the vagina during the menstrual cycle to collect the menstrual blood. These cups are usually made of medical grade silicone and are cup or bell-shaped with a stem which is used to insert and to pull it out.
Once inserted, the cup can hold for about 4-8 hours depending upon the amount of flow. The cup is then removed by pulling it out with the help of the stem. The blood is emptied out, the cup is rinsed and reinserted.
Why are menstrual cups better than sanitary pads?
Well, menstrual cups are environment-friendly since they avoid generating solid wastes like pads and tampons. They are available in different sizes (how to choose menstrual cup size).
Menstrual cups are one of the most hygienic sanitary products available for women. But just like any other sanitary product, it is a woman’s choice in terms of comfort on which product they would prefer to use.
Common menstrual cup myths
According to Dr Arti Rapol, Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Apollo Clinic, Aundh, Pune, here are some myths and realities about menstrual cup.
“There are several myths and hesitations that women can have around these sanitary products. But they need to be clarified,” says Dr Rapol. Let us take a look at the myths vs facts:
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Myth 1: Menstrual cups are difficult and very uncomfortable to use
Fact: It takes a bit of practice to learn how to insert and remove the cup. For this, you need to choose the right size cup. There are different methods of folding the cup and inserting it so that it goes inside and sits at the right place comfortably. Once you learn this then the menstrual cups are more comfortable than using tampons and pads.
Learn how to use a menstrual cup in the most simple terms!
Myth 2: Menstrual cups are unhygienic and unsanitary
Fact: You need to wash your hands properly before using the menstrual cup to avoid infections. Also, you need to simply rinse the cup with mild soap and allow it to air dry before inserting. Menstrual cups are made up of medical grade silicone which are safe to use inside the body.
Myth 3: Menstrual cups are messy
Fact: If removed properly with the use of the stem, menstrual cups can be easily emptied without spill.
Myth 4: Menstrual cups can get lost inside the body
Fact: It is not possible for the cup to be lost inside the body since there is nowhere else for it to go.
Myth 5: Menstrual cups can be used only by women who have given birth to a child
Fact: Menstrual cups can be used by all women who menstruate. You need to choose the right size of the cup.
Myth 6: Menstrual cups can cause uterine prolapse
Fact: Prolapse of the uterus happens when the pelvic floor muscles become weak. Menstrual cups do not cause prolapse.
Myth 7: It’s not possible to pee or poop with a menstrual cup
Fact: You can easily urinate and pass motion with a menstrual cup inserted. It might be slightly uncomfortable. The cup’s suction will prevent it from falling but as you exert more pressure, it could cause the cup to shift. Thus, you could remove the cup, clean it and put it back once you have finished.
Now that you know the facts, stop believing the myths about menstrual cups and make an informed choice!