Menstrual cups have been around since at least the 1860s. They weren’t marketed until American actress and singer Leona Chalmers began promoting her patented catamenial receptor, now known as a menstrual cup, in the 1930s. Because of concerns about inserting them and the discomfort of the early rubber models, these cups weren’t widely used. Menstrual cups have recently become mainstream partly due to an improved design and soft silicone construction.
Menstrual cups are bell-shaped cups made of silicone or rubber. When you fold one and insert it into your vagina, it pops open and forms a seal against the walls of the vagina. Menstrual fluid is then trapped in the cup until you remove it for emptying.
There are quite a few perks to using menstrual cups, the most notable being that they’re reusable. Many menstrual cups can be used for up to 10 years. Instead of spending money on tampons or sanitary napkins each month, you can save some cash by using menstrual cups. You just clean Clean the menstrual cup.
You can also wear a menstrual cup for up to 12 hours before it needs to be emptied. Compared to the average 4 to 8 hours for a tampon, that’s a fair amount of time saved.
Other advantages of menstrual cups include the following:
- Unlike tampons, menstrual cups don’t dry the vagina. This preserves the healthy bacteria that protect you from vaginal infections.
- Menstrual fluid develops an odour when exposed to air. Cups eliminate this issue.
- Menstrual cups aren’t associated with toxic shock syndrome (TSS), which is a rare, life-threatening condition linked to tampon use.
- Menstrual cups don’t contain chemicals found in tampons and pads, such as bleach and dioxin. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), some dioxins are known to cause
cancer in humans.
- Many women report having less severe cramping when using cups, although no clinical studies have been performed to support this.