If you’re new to menstrual cups, I highly recommend reading this post first: Menstrual Cups: A Newbie’s Perspective.
I’ve used menstrual cups for about a year and I would NEVER go back to tampons. They are far more comfortable and convenient to use than their disposable counterparts. I don’t have to worry about buying menstrual supplies each month and I don’t deal with pain from inserting a dry, scratchy tampon. Menstrual cups have made my periods much more manageable and less of an interruption to daily life.
When I broach the subject of menstrual cups with other women, the question that seems to always come up after how do you insert them, is how do you deal with them while out and about? It’s a valid question, and an easy one to answer.
First of all, you can wear a menstrual cup for up to twelve hours before it needs to be emptied, cleaned, and reinserted. TWELVE HOURS guys! That means you may only need to insert your cup in the morning, empty it in the evening, and reinsert and forget about it until the next morning. Compared to tampons which need to be changed every 4-6 hours, that’s a big change! Twelve hours typically works for me. If my flow is unusually heavy, I’ll go ahead and empty around the six-hour mark, but the Lunette I use has never been full at that point. Since I typically only have to empty the cup once a day, I am almost always able to do so at home. This is highly convenient since I have the privacy of my bathroom to empty, clean, and reinsert. I do recommend doing several trial runs of emptying and reinserting the cup at home before you venture into public restroom changes of the cup just to get yourself familiar with how it all works.
If you do have to be out and about when your cup needs to be emptied, it’s manageable and easy! You used to carry a bag with tampons or pads right? Well, technically you can use that same bag for these disinfecting wipes. However, the wipes are so tiny you could easily slip one in your pocket and no one would ever know. To empty your menstrual cup in a public restroom:
- Wash your hands (just as you should before changing a tampon!).
- Remove the cup and empty the contents into the toilet.
- Wipe the inside and outside of the cup off with toilet tissue.
- Once wiped well, use the cup wipe to finish cleaning and disinfecting your cup.
- The wipes can be discarded in the trash or flushed if no trash can is readily available.
- Let the cup air dry (it only takes a few seconds, you won’t be left sitting there for several minutes waiting).
- Reinsert your cup.
- Wash your hands.
See, no more complicated than changing a tampon. If you’re worried about getting blood on your hands, you could easily put an extra wipe or an individually wrapped regular wipe in your bag or pocket to clean your hands before leaving the stall and washing them. Once you’ve practiced emptying the cup at home several times, you generally won’t have to worry about blood on your hands anymore than you would with tampons.
Have you made the switch to reusable menstrual care products yet?
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