Aug 17 2009

Menstrual Cups – The Environmentally Friendly and Healthy Alternative to Tampons

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A menstrual cup is a small washable silicone cup that are worn inside the vagina to trap and collect menstrual flow. Menstrual cups are used in place of tampons or pads during menstruation. The cups are normally smooth for easy cleaning and can last over 5 years. The cups are latex free and hypo allergic.

The cups form a tight seal with the vaginal walls and a slight negative pressure on the inside forms a suction seal. The cups are also safe enough to use at any time. There is no opportunity for toxic shock syndrome with the cup (TSS).

Cups can be cleaned by dumping the contents into the toilet and washing it with plain normal running water. At the end of your period, the cup should be boiled in water before putting it away. The cup should never be washed with soap or chemicals.

Placement of Tampon inside the Vagina

Tampon Inserted (License: Creative Commons Author: User.Fabiform)

 

 

Placement of a Menstrual Cup inside the Vagina

Menstrual Cup Inserted (License: Creative Commons Author: User.Fabiform)

 

Menstrual Cups in Two Different Cup Sizes

Two cup sizes, 25ml and 37 ml

 

Menstrual Cup

Menstrual Cup (License: Public Domain)

 

The average woman will menstruate for 39 years, approximately 500 cycles. If she use 20 pads and/or tampons every cycle she will use 260 pads or tampons a year. That is a whopping 10,140 pads and tampons over her lifetime. Add to this the wrappers and packaging and every woman will end up creating with a small mountain of used menstrual products that are largely non-biodegradable

The cup is normally made of medical grade silicone that is post-cured to make it non-porous and non-absorbent. It comes in various sizes and colors. The cup often comes in two sizes, one for young women that did not give birth yet and a larger size for women over 30 years old or that has given birth already. The size is because the cup for older women is wider so that it will still fit. In older women the hips widen out and the vaginal muscles use their strength.

The INSTEAD SoftCup is a disposable cup that should not be washed and reused. It is made of the same material as the non-latex condoms – Polyethylene. Due to its size, it can easilly handle 12 hours of heavy menstrual flow without any negative consequences. The INSTEAD SoftCup also have two other uses:

  • Allow clean and dry period sex without interfering with intercourse
  • Provide a cup to keep semen close to the cervix after male ejaculation (fertility treatment)

If you are using an IUD (intrauterine device) for birth control, you should not use a menstrual cup. The reason for this is that you can pull on the IUD strings when you pinch the cup to remove it.

Normally the cup comes with a long stem on the bottom that can be used to remove the cup from the vagina. Theis stem can be trimmed to a comfortable size by the user.

 

There are no known side-effects to using the SoftCup.

 

Two Sizes Diva Cups

Cups normally come in two sizes for young women and older women

 

Transparent Menstrual Cup

Transparent cup

 

Uncolored Menstrual Cup

Uncolored Cup

 

Menstrual Cup Size Compared To Applicator Tampon and Digital Tampon

Menstrual Cup vs. Disposable Tampon

Menstrual Cup

 

Menstrual Cups with Normal Stem

Stem removal tab

 

Menstrual Cups with Ball Stem

Ball removal tab

 

Menstrual Cups with Removal Tab

Ring removal tab

 

Menstrual Cups with No Stem or Removal Tab

No removal tab

Three Sizes Cups with Three Sizes Tampons

Three different sizes cups and tampons

Disposable INSTEAD SoftCup

Instead SoftCup Disposable Cup

Disposable INSTEAD SoftCup Made Of Polyurethane

Instead SoftCup disposable menstrual cup

Disposable INSTEAD SoftCup

Instead SoftCup disposable menstrual cup

Folding the INSTEAD Softcup for easy insertion into the Vagina

Instead SoftCup disposable menstrual cup

Inserting Instructions for Menstrual Cups

Instructions for Inserting the cup

 

Removal Instructions for Menstrual Cup

Instructions for removing the cup

Folding the Menstrual Cup for Insertion

Folding the cup in this way before insertion is recommended

 

How to use a menstrual cup

 

Different brand menstrual cups

 

Using the Diva Cup for the first time

 

How to use menstrual cups (using the Instead Cup)

 

How to use a menstrual cup (using a MoonCup)

 

Advice on using a MoonCup

 

Cleaning a menstrual cup

 

Demonstration of how much a menstrual cup can take

 

 

 

References

Menstrual Cups from WikiPedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menstrual_cup#Cups_by_Brand_Name

MPower Menstrual Cups http://www.mpowercup.co.za/ (South Africa)

Yunki Menstrual Cups http://www.yuuki.cz/en/presentation/ (Czech Republic)

Diva Cup http://www.divacup.com/ (Canada)

MoonCup http://www.mooncup.co.uk/ (UK)

MiaCup http://www.miacup.co.za/ (South Africa)

MeLuna http://meluna.eu/home/ (German)

Lunette http://www.lunette.fi/int/index.php?id=67 (Finland)

LadyCup http://www.ladycup.eu/ (Czech Republic)

The Keeper http://www.keeper.com/index.html (USA)

Fleurcup http://fleurcup.com/default.htm (France)

Femmecup http://www.femmecup.com/index.html (UK)

INSTEAD SoftCup http://www.softcup.com/ (USA)

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