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While menstrual cups are not new, they have become more popular nowadays among women and they are believed to be a healthier better alternative to sanitary pads and tampons. A menstrual cup is a small flexible funnel-shaped cup made of silicone or latex rubber that you insert in your vagina during the menstrual cycle.
Unlike a pad or tampon that absorbs the menstrual blood, a menstrual cup collects it. While some menstrual cups are disposable, most of them are reusable.
To decide switching to a menstrual cup, you have to know all about them. In this article, you’ll get to know all about the pros and cons of a menstrual cup, how to use it, and where you can find it in Egypt. Remember that you have to check with your gynecologist before you start using a menstrual cup.
It’s claimed that a woman shouldn’t use a menstrual cup while inserting an intrauterine device (IUD) as the cup might cause expulsion of the loop. However, a study by the National Library of Medicine stated there is no evidence that women who report using menstrual cups or tampons for menstrual protection have higher rates of early IUD expulsion.
Pros of a menstrual cup
- Chemicals free: This is the most important advantage of using a menstrual cup. While a tampon is a better alternative to a sanitary pad, some still question the unsafe effects of bleached cotton, rayon, viscose fibers, and dioxin that are used in tampons. A menstrual cup is made of hypoallergenic silicone and doesn’t contain any chemicals or fibers that might transfer to the vagina. This makes a menstrual cup a safer option as long as you are not allergic to silicone.
- Budget-friendly: If you check the online stores mentioned below that sell menstrual cups, you might feel that they are expensive. However, you’re paying once for a reusable cup that lasts from 6 months up to 10 years if you correctly applied the aftercare steps stated by the manufacturer. Over time, this makes the cost less than what you pay for disposable pads or tampons.
- Overnight and heavy days protection: Compared to a pad or tampon that has to be changed every four to eight hours, a menstrual cup should be emptied every 12 hours depending on your flow. Although there are many highly absorbent types of pads and tampons in the market, none of them can absorb up to 29.5 to 50 milliliters which is the amount a cup can hold.
- It’s a more convenient option when you want to go swimming during your period.
Cons of a menstrual cup
- Difficulty in finding the right size: A menstrual cup is not a one size item, but comes in different sizes. Finding a suitable size might include some trial and error. It depends on some factors like the age, flow heaviness, the capacity of the cup, and whether you gave birth vaginally. Generally, small cups are suitable for women under 30 who had cesarean labors. Women above 30 with a heavy flow or who gave birth vaginally should look for large cups.
- Difficulty in insertion and removal: Not all women are familiar with menstrual cups especially if they haven’t used tampons before. You will need some time to learn how to fold it the right way. Removing it, in the beginning, could be messy especially if you’re not at home and can’t stand or sit in the needed position. The video below can help you throughout the process.
How to use a menstrual cup
This video can teach you how to insert and remove the menstrual cup, as well as how to clean and take care of it to avoid any infections and make sure it lasts longer. After inserting the menstrual cup, you shouldn’t feel it and you can move freely and do any physical activity. If you feel any inconvenience after insertion or have any difficulty in placing it, you should consult your gynecologist.
Places that sell menstrual cups in Egypt:
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Menstrual Cup & More
Further reading: 10 Tips to Ease Menstrual Pain