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Everything you need to know about menstrual cups

 Everything you need to know about menstrual cups (Photo: iStock)

When choosing which period product to use, we consider our flow (how heavy or light our period is) and how often we need to and can change the product.

Limited to pads, tampons, panty liners, menstrual discs and menstrual cups, most of us will probably use a combination of these products throughout our lives.

Menstrual hygiene and management encompass access to menstrual hygiene products, as well as privacy and dignity.

According to the fifth National Family Health Survey, 77.3pc of women aged 15-24 use hygienic methods during menstruation, with only 0.3pc using menstrual cups.

Despite their low usage, menstrual cups are becoming an increasingly popular option. Here’s what you need to know about them:

Insertion: Choose the right cup size. Fold the cup into a C shape and insert it into the vagina so it unfolds near the cervix. To remove, push with pelvic floor muscles, press the base and gently pull it out.

Cleaning and care: Wash hands before handling the cup. Empty it at least twice a day and wash it with soap and water. Avoid using harsh cleaning agents. Sterilize it in boiling water at the end of your period and store it in a breathable cotton bag.

Absorbency: Ideal for heavy flow, menstrual cups hold 30-40ml of fluid and can be used for up to 12 hours before needing to be emptied.

Reusable: With proper care, a menstrual cup can last up to 10 years, making it a sustainable choice.

Effective: Eco-friendly and cost-effective, menstrual cups do not promote pathogenic bacteria growth like pads and tampons, allowing for worry-free activities such as swimming and exercise.

Inconvenient for some: Not recommended for women with intrauterine devices or certain gynaecological conditions like endometriosis, ectropion and vaginismus.Studies show that menstrual cups are as effective as tampons and pads, but personal preference plays a crucial role.

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