How To Choose A Safe Menstrual Cup
Thinking of buying a menstrual cup? Before you buy one, there are a few things to consider so that your menstrual cup choice is a safe one and works for you.
There are numerous benefits to using a menstrual cup including:
- Menstrual cups are cost effective because they are purchased one time but can last several years versus using four to six tampons a day that end up in landfills.
- Tampons need to be changed every four to six hours, sometimes sooner, depending on your flow. Menstrual cups may be left in place 8+ hours (no more than 12 hours).
- Menstrual cups can hold up to 1 ounce of fluid – twice what a tampon can hold.
- There is less odor when using a menstrual cup versus tampons or sanitary pads.
- Experts say menstrual cups are safer than tampons because there is lower risk of bacterial infections.
With the many benefits of menstrual cups, how do you select the best one for you? Safety should definitely be a consideration when you make your choice.
What material should you look for when selecting a menstrual cup?
Menstrual cups are generally made from three materials. These materials are silicon, natural gum rubber and thermoplastic elastomer (TPE). Silicon menstrual cups are made from medical grade silicon which means it is higher quality. Many people are actually allergic to latex. Natural gum rubber has been known to trigger latex allergies which is another good reason to look at a silicon menstrual cup.
Should you choose a menstrual cup with a stem?
Another thing to check for when choosing your menstrual cup is to see if it has a stem. The stem is used to assist in inserting and removing the menstrual cup from your vagina. The stem may allow new users a level of comfort knowing they can easily use the stem as a guide to the base of the cup for easier removal. Be careful not to tug on the stem. If you find that you don’t need the stem but you like everything else about the menstrual cup you have selected, you may be able to clip off the stem but do so carefully so you don’t damage the cup.
Should you choose a firmer menstrual cup?
It depends on how comfortable you find the cup. A firmer cup may press tighter against your vaginal wall for a tighter seal.
Does color matter when it comes to the safety of your menstrual cup?
You may not think that color would matter but it actually is a part of the equation. The color will not affect the safety of the menstrual cup but blood does stain most things including clear cups. Stains will not be as noticeable in a color menstrual cup.
And finally the most important question you should ask when purchasing a menstrual cup? Does it have FDA clearance? Sales of menstrual cups are strictly regulated by the FDA. However, there have been reports of menstrual cups that have been sold without FDA clearance. It’s important that you keep in mind that this menstrual cup is going to be sitting in your vagina month after month for many years. Make sure your choice for a menstrual cup is cleared and registered by the FDA.