Now Is the Time to Try a Menstrual Cup

Coronavirus pandemic leads to a shortage of sanitary napkins and tampons

Have you been to the grocery store lately? Have you seen the panic-induced lines at Costco and Walmart due to the Coronavirus?

People are stocking up on hand sanitizer and toilet paper. Tampons and sanitary napkins may be next on the list of products in short supply. If the hoarding continues the coronavirus pandemic may lead to a shortage of feminine products.

An eco-friendly option

Now is a great time to invest in an alternative feminine hygiene product called a menstrual cup. A menstrual cup is a small silicone cup gently placed inside the vagina to contain menstrual blood.

These cost-effective, environmentally friendly cups are growing in popularity. Menstrual cups are safe and reusable. One cup costs around $25–30 and can be used for up to ten years. Despite the higher upfront costs, these reusable cups save money long term. There are many brands available. The most popular brand is the Diva Cup.

High patient satisfaction

I admit when I first heard about menstrual cups years ago, I found the idea a bit strange. Patients who use menstrual cups swear by the. My patients sold me on this great option. They plan to never return to traditional feminine products.

How to insert a menstrual cup?

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Apply a small amount of water or lubricant to the rim of the cup.
  3. Insert the cup rim up into the vagina.

If placed correctly, one should not feel the cup inside the vagina. If the cup feels uncomfortable, it may need a slight nudge with your finger to move it up higher in the vagina.

Lubricant is not an absolute necessity, but most patients find it helps to make insertion more comfortable. Rinse the cup off if it is dropped or falls to the floor during insertion. The five-second rule does not apply.

The cup creates a small seal collecting the menstrual blood released from the cervix. The device will pop into the proper location when inserted into the vagina. One does not have to worry about placing it correctly. Unless it is leaking or causing pain, the cup is in the right spot.

The menstrual cup should be removed and cleaned when full. It may be removed and rinsed as often as needed but should not stay in for more than twelve hours.

How to remove a menstrual cup?

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Pinch the tip of the cup with your thumb and index finger to release the seal.
  3. Remove the cup and dispose of the contents into the toilet.
  4. Wash the cup with mild soap and warm water for reinsertion or storage.

Safer for the environment

Menstrual cups are better for our environment than traditional products. They reduce the use of nonbiodegradable feminine pads and tampons. An estimated 20 billion feminine products are used in North America each year. Discarded pads and tampons sit in landfills. The plastic and nonbiodegradable components take up 50 years to degrade.

Skip the lines and try it out

Menstrual cycles are a part of life. As the Coronavirus spreads the supply chain for household products may get worse before it gets better. Avoid the lines at the grocery store. There is no need to stock up on feminine products. Order a menstrual cup and try out this eco-friendly option.

Thank you to BeingWell for publishing this article on Medium.

Blog Author: Dr.Jeff Livingston

Blog Photo By:  Josefin on Unsplash