From minimising waste to making your periods comfier, menstrual cups have plenty to offer. The best part is they save you a ton of money and can last for almost a decade. All you gotta do is take good care of them which boils down to washing them properly. To help you with a fool-proof guide on the same, we recently got in touch with Dr Taruna Dua, Senior Gynecologist at Aakash Healthcare, Dwarka. She talked to us about the difference that menstrual cup hygiene can make to one’s health. She also helped us with a guide on how to do it properly. Excerpts below:
Dr Taruna give tells us why it’s important to clean your menstrual cup thoroughly:
Wearing a dirty cup with blood remains and dirt can irritate your genital skin. It can even cause rashes, redness, and allergy. These conditions can grow to cause bacterial vaginosis (vaginal inflammation caused by bacterial overgrowth) and chlamydia. “It can even aggravate an underlying condition like a fungal or a urinary tract infection (UTI),” explains Dr Taruna.
All the bacterial accumulation in a dirty menstrual cup can get hazardous for you. “If the bacteria enters your bloodstream through an open wound/cut, it can cause toxic shock syndrome (TSS),” warns Dr Taruna. TSS is a potentially fatal condition caused by the release of toxins in the bloodstream from an overgrowth of bacteria. It’s rare but you should remain cautious and clean your cup properly.
Menstrual blood has a metallic odour. But the excessive bacterial growth can turn it into a foul stench. This can make your intimate area stink while you’re on your period.
Menstrual cups have holes on the rim to create suction for a strong grip inside the vagina. Accumulation of blood and vaginal discharge can block them. As a result, the cup might not get placed properly and cause abrasions due to friction. This makes you prone to sexually transmitted infections.
Proper cup maintenance calls for cleaning up the cup twice—once during your period and once when it’s over. Here’s a proper guide as shared by Dr Taruna:
“While menstruating, empty the cup in a pot and rinse it with clean water every 4-6 hours,” explains Dr Taruna. At night, you can go for a proper cleanse and wash your cup thoroughly.
“Always wash your hands before washing the cup and use a non-scented, water-based cleanser for it. Steer clear of ingredients like alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and vinegar when it comes to cleaning the cup,” adds the doctor.
Oh, and guess what? We have a cleanser in mind that perfectly fits the bill— the Sirona Menstrual Cup Wash. It is formulated with mild ingredients and cleans the cup while protecting your skin from residue or irritants. Check it out:
“A 28-30 day gap between your periods is sufficient for bacteria and germs to contaminate your menstrual cup,” warns Dr Taruna. That’s why she recommends cleansing the cup and sterilising it before storing it. While cleaning, don’t forget to unclog the cup holes with a clean toothpick. If you want to sterilise the cup, boil water in a pan, and then leave the cup in it for 10 minutes.
Now, we understand this seems like a time-consuming task. We do have a perfect solution. You can use the Sirona Menstrual Cup Sterlizer to do the job in just three minutes. It claims to kill 99.9% of germs in one-third the time without creating any mess. All you need to do is fill its base with 5ml of water, place your cup inside, and switch it on. FYI, it has an auto-cut feature and you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn it off. Once done, let it cool, take out the cup and clean it with a dry tissue. Remove any tissue remains and store it in a cotton pouch for your next period.
Isn’t that easier than you thought? Let’s never risk our intimate health by using a dirty menstrual cup ever again. Here’s to a safe, sustainable, and happy periods!
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