From feeling uneasy in a heavy tampon to sneakily adjusting pads in a public place, we’ve all had our share of struggles when it comes to periods. Thankfully, it’s time to move on! The quest for foolproof period protection has made several people switch to menstrual cups. They are a striking departure from their disposable period-management counterparts—pads and tampons. These sustainable babies are way kinder to the environment and your pockets. The best part is that they can turn your periods into an uninterrupted leak-proof party. That’s because menstrual cups can give you stain-free protection for hours at a stretch. You don’t need to make frequent loo runs to clean/ change them.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you can take their long lasting cover for granted. Bear in mind that safe menstrual cup usage boils down to two important factors—timely and thorough cleansing. We got in touch with Dr. Rita Bakshi, Director, RiSAA IVF, Delhi, to understand this better. Here’s everything you need to know about the right cup conduct:
“Menstrual cups create a suction grip with the pelvic floor muscles and collect menstrual blood instead of absorbing it. That’s why they last much longer than single-use pads and tampons,” Dr. Rita says.
“While pads and tampons need to be changed every 2-4 hours, you can go on wearing a menstrual cup for 12 hours straight. However, if your period flow is heavy, you should empty the cup sooner to avoid overflowing and leaking,” she warns.
Now, this can be quite helpful during hectic days when there’s no time or access to change as frequently. But remember, the 12-hour mark is the upper limit. It is advisable to empty and clean the cup every 6-8 hours in the normal course according to Dr. Rita. So, if you’re at home or have access to a clean washroom, you should empty your cup within this duration.
She also adds that for a cup to offer such a long-lasting protection, it has to be of high quality. We suggest you try Sirona’s Reusable Menstrual Cup. Made with medical-grade silicone, it can offer leak-proof protection for 8-12 hours.
Wearing a cup for more than 12 hours without cleaning has more disadvantages than just the leakage risk. “If the cup is worn for too long, it can lead to vaginal and urinary tract infections (UTIs),” says Dr. Rita.
“It can also cause bacterial growth in the vagina. And if this bacteria enters the bloodstream through a cut or wound down there, it can lead to instant death due to toxic shock syndrome (TSS),” she explains. For the unversed, TSS is a fatal condition caused by bacterial toxins. And although chances of TSS with a good-quality menstrual cup are rare, wearing any for too long can pose a risk.
Cleaning a cup twice a day during your period can prevent bacterial buildup and keep infections at bay. “Empty the cup in a pot or a drain, rinse it with water, wipe it with a clean towel, and put it back on,” Dr. Rita suggests.
You can sterilize the cup after your period is over to keep it ready for your next cycle. “Boil water in a pan and dip the washed cup in this water for 5 minutes,” Dr. Rita explains. Alternatively, you can sanitize your cup in half the time using the Sirona Menstrual Cup Sterilizer. All you need to do is fill the base with 5ml of water and place your cup inside the device. Three minutes later, your germ-free cup will be ready for use.
Now that you know the safe cup conduct, go ahead and enjoy wearing it through the day. Cheers to a hassle-free, happy period!
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