Public restrooms – a menstrual cup user’s worst nightmare. Fortunately, menstrual cups can be safely worn for up to 10 hours so public restrooms don’t get used nearly as often when changing and cleaning your cup.
Sometimes we get stuck running errands or on the road, and the time to empty our cup comes creeping up, leaving public restrooms as our only option. Here are four tips to help you out:
Keep a good grip on your cup. Start by thoroughly washing your hands before handling your cup. When you’re ready to remove your menstrual cup, you may want to use both hands if you’re worried about being clumsy. You definitely don’t want to drop your menstrual cup in a public restroom (especially into the toilet – yuck!). When removing, hold on to the stem and get a good grip on the base before pulling it out. A second hand down there can help to catch it just in case. If it spills on you – no biggie, just wash it off.
Empty it, wipe it, and re-insert it. Another benefit of using a menstrual cup is that you don’t need to wash your cup every single time you empty it. In fact, many women prefer to simply empty the cup into the toilet, wipe it out with some toilet paper, and then reinsert. However, keep in mind you will need to disinfect the cup between cycles, but if you’re still on the same cycle feel free to just dump it out and then re-insert it. It is recommended you wash your cup at least once or twice each day – but you can save these for when you’re home or in a private restroom.
Carry cloth wipes and a bottle of water. For some women, you may prefer to wipe or wash your menstrual cup every time you empty it. I find that a small cloth wipe with a little bit of water is very effective in wiping out a cup without having to use a sink. You can easily carry a couple of clean cloth wipes in your purse or even your pocket. Once you’re done with your cloth wipe, just rinse it off and stick it in a wet bag. In addition, a bottle of safe, clean water is useful for thoroughly rinsing your cup without having to leave the stall. Easy, right?
Be fearless! If you feel that you really MUST wash your cup and you find yourself in a stall without a sink, be fearless. Yes, some women may get grossed out seeing you clean a menstrual cup in the public restroom sink. On the other hand, many times women are more curious than they are disgusted. Use this opportunity as a chance to spread the word about reusable menstrual care products.
Do you have a tip not listed above? Let us know in the comments or join the discussion on Facebook.
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