The menstrual cup is a container that is placed in the vagina to collect the menstrual flow. There are different materials, all considered more ecological than the traditional compresses and tampons.
The menstrual cup is a container that is placed in the vagina to collect the menstrual flow (the rule). It is an alternative to the classic tampons and compresses. As we will see, it is manufactured in three types of basic materials . We explain the differences between them, and other characteristics of this method.
The basic advantage of the menstrual cup is the ecology since it is reusable and, therefore, it does not produce waste that must be discarded. It is estimated that each woman, on average, sheds about six kilos of compresses and tampons a year. In addition, the manufacturing process is more ecological since only one package is used and then recycled. We must also count the packagings of each compress or tampon (with applicator) that are discarded in each use. Although it may seem more expensive at first, over time it is more economically profitablethan tampons or pads because it lasts over time.
Another advantage is that, as it is not absorbent, it does not dry the vaginal walls as tampons do on days of lower menstrual flow. They also do not leave a trace of fibers in the vagina, as they are compact.
There are three basic types of menstrual cup materials:
Silicone: it is a special silicone like the one that is used in some surgeries and therefore absolutely safe and compatible with the human body. It is the most used material in menstrual cups since it is soft and firm at the same time and without changing according to the temperature. In addition, it is very little allergenic so the reactions to this silicone are very rare.
Latex: it is an ecological material, elastic and soft, that adapts very well. Does not let air or humidity pass. The problem is that some people have allergic reactions to latex that can range from a little irritation in the area in contact with latex to anaphylactic shock, which is very serious and endangers the life of the person.
Surgical plastic or TPE: it is a recyclable material that is used in medical material such as catheters, or in utensils such as bottle nipples, pacifiers … It produces very few allergic
The menstrual cups, both silicone and plastic surgical may have different colors are achieved with food coloring so that they are not hazardous to health .
There are several extraction systems. At the end of the menstrual cup, (in its narrowest part that is the one that remains in the outer area of the vagina) the cup has a handle to pull and extract it. Most handles are a narrow and elongated tube with some kind of roughness so you can pull it easily. In addition, they can usually be cut in case it bothers and is too long. Although some menstrual cups have a handle in the form of a ball or ring to be able to pull better from it.
All women can use the menstrual cup. It is true that some will feel discomfort at first, but most women adapt very quickly to it. Partly because there are different sizes to adapt to different women. In fact, most brands have two different sizes: the small one for women under 30 and who have not given birth vaginally (since their vagina is usually somewhat narrower) and the large size for women over 30 years or vaginal births.
But some brands have other sizes even smaller for women who have not had sex and make it easier to introduce and remove without breaking the hymen. These size recommendations are very general, but they can change according to the anatomy of each woman, the strength she has in the vaginal muscles …
Not every occasion of vaginal bleeding can be used the menstrual cup. Women with blood loss after delivery, called lochia, can not use menstrual cup (as tampons have contraindicated) until your doctor tells you so as there is a risk of infection by dilation of the cervix. The same happens after an abortion: the use of tampons or menstrual cups is not recommended until the review with the specialist and checking that everything is correct.
What you should know…
Silicone, surgical plastic or TPE are the three most used materials to make the menstrual cup.
Both silicone and surgical plastic can have different colors that are achieved with food dyes so that they are not dangerous to health.
The silicon is the material used in menstrual cups as it is smooth and firm time without change with temperature.