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A menstrual cup is a reusable, plastic-free, silicone cup-shaped item that is used vaginally during your period. It has grown in popularity in recent years with many menstruators loving the fact that this is better for your vaginal health, it is more comfortable and more convenient. The cup sits lower than your ordinary single-use tampon, it can be worn for longer and it catches your period blood rather than absorbing it. A menstrual cup that is well cared for can last for around 10 years meaning you will never be caught without and you will save money in the long run. And this is precisely why I wanted to cover how to clean and care for your menstrual cup, so that you can confidently look after yours each and every month.
Before using a menstrual cup and after your period has finished, you should sterilise it in boiling water for around 5 minutes. You should also sterilise it for a few minutes after each full day during your period either in boiling water or by using sterilising tabs or fluid. Some brands offer handy sterilising pods for quick and easy sterilising in the microwave just like this one from Ruby Cup.
Remember to wash your hands before doing this and also before insertion.
Emptying and Washing
Once it comes to the time when you need to empty your menstrual cup, carefully remove it and tip the contents into the toilet. If you need to reinsert it you can either wipe it clean with a little bit of toilet roll or rinse it under the warm tap. If you are in a public toilet and would prefer to rinse your cup, take a reusable bottle of water in with you to use for cleaning. If you won’t be using your menstrual cup again that day, you can now sterilise it and store it away.
All menstrual cups will have air holes around the rim. These help with the suction function and if they become blocked it will affect its performance so you must check that these are clear prior to each use. You can clear these with water, an old toothbrush, a nail scrubber or a pin.
Over time you may notice that your cup stains which is perfectly natural. If you want to remove these you can simply scrub it using bicarbonate of soda until the stains lift away.
Storing Your Menstrual Cup
Make sure that your cup is clean, sterilised and dry before storing it away. It can then be placed inside a material pouch or drawstring bag that will allow it to breathe but will also keep it away from items that could damage or contaminate it. Ideally, you’d keep this in a dry and cool place such as a drawer in your bedroom.
How Can I Be Sure It Is Hygienic?
As long as you follow these guidelines and/or the brand’s care instructions you will be confident that your cup is most definitely hygienic. Dirty hands and a dirty cup can lead to vaginal issues such as infections so always make sure you have clean hands, that you wash your cup well and sterilise as advised.
For more information on the menstrual cup, why not take a look at these articles?
Once you find a cup that works for you and a care routine you can get to grips with, the menstrual cup can be a great reusable period option.
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