Menstrual: Cups FAQ

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Menstrual Health: Cups FAQ

You can see the range of menstrual products we carry starting at the bottom of this page

Learn how to use a menstrual cup here

How do I know when to empty the menstrual cup?

There is no hard and fast rule here except that it must be emptied every 12 hours. By monitoring the fullness of the cup when you first begin using it you will quickly learn how often to empty it according to your flow. Usually, you will find that you only need to empty it once in the morning and then again in the evening. This depends on your flow on different days of your period and it can be emptied as often as you feel comfortable with.

How do I manage in a public toilet?

Most women find that they do not need to empty the menstrual cup very often and so this situation is not a common occurrence. However, if you do need to empty the menstrual cup in a public toilet simply remove and empty as usual and use toilet paper or paper towel to wipe the cup and reinsert. Rinse the cup with water at the next convenient removal.

Is the silicone that my menstrual cup is made of safe?

The menstrual cups sold at and at the Anarres Apothecary are made from medical grade silicone. This is a solid stable piece of silicone (with the feel of soft rubber) that cannot leak or release molecules into the body. The same silicone used to make menstrual cups is also widely used in the medical industry for internal valves and tubing as well as baby bottle teats and breast pumps.

A totally different type of silicone is used from that used in early breast implants, which were made from a bag filled with silicone gel some of which leaked and caused the health issues now associated with silicone gel.

If it's so good why haven't I heard of it?

Different types of menstrual cups date back to 1896 but disposable products have overshadowed them. menstrual cups are only now starting to become more popular and widely known again. This is because women are becoming more ecologically aware and are realizing how much damage disposable products are doing to the environment.

The health benefits are also starting to lead women to look for an alternative to tampons that have been linked with Toxic Shock Syndrome in recent years.
This is something to share with as many women as possible; it really is a simple yet revolutionary product!

What about Toxic Shock Syndrome?

menstrual cups, unlike tampons, have never been linked with TSS. This serious and sometimes fatal condition has been linked to prolonged use of tampons.
Since the menstrual cup is simply a receptacle and does not interfere with the natural vaginal moisture levels and self-cleansing processes it has no link with TSS. However, remember to observe the 12-hour rule.

Do menstrual cups leak?

menstrual cups are a highly reliable form of sanitary protection.

When sitting correctly in the vagina, menstrual cups will not leak at all. In fact, most women find menstrual cups much more reliable than tampons and pads. Just as with tampons, it can take one or two periods to perfect the correct insertion technique for you but it is well worth the effort as many women find that they have no need for backup pads or panty liners, even when used at night.

Are menstrual cups hygienic?

The menstrual cups at Anarres are made from medical grade silicone, which is easy to clean and sterilized. They can be boiled in water or rinsed in sterilizing fluid such as vinegar in between periods and need only be rinsed at least twice daily with water during use.

The silicone used to make menstrual cups is antibacterial and does not support the growth of bacteria as tampons and pads can. It is not absorbent and does not upset the slightly acidic PH environment of the vagina and therefore does not increase the risk of infection and has never been linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome as tampons have.

Can menstrual cups get stuck?

The vagina is an elastic opening roughly the length of your middle finger from fingertip to knuckle. At the top of the vagina is the cervix, a thumb-like closure of the uterus or womb, that works as the end of a balloon when tied off. menstrual cups cannot get stuck or lost. Cups sit much lower in the vaginal canal (not high like a tampon) this makes it quick and easy to remove.

If you find that it has ridden up and is difficult to reach simply bear down with your stomach muscles and pull on the stem until you can reach the base of the cup. You can then pinch the base of the cup to release the seal and remove it.

How long can I use the same menstrual cup?

A menstrual cup can be used for a number of years before it needs replacing. It is really up to personal preference how often you do this, some women may want to replace it every couple of years while others may be confident to use it for up to 10 years before purchasing a new cup. You may use it so long as the cup is intact (no holes) and you sanitize it.

A menstrual cup is a hygienic long-term option.

Will my menstrual cup be delivered in discreet packaging?

We package orders in unmarked boxes and envelopes. Our return address is shown as Anarres Natural Health. If you are outside of Canada, the Customs Form will state that the contents are "personal hygiene" items.

I have just started my periods can I use the menstrual cup?

Yes, is it perfectly safe to use a menstrual cup from your very first period although you may find it easier to insert the cup wet, or using some water-based lubricant.

Can I use a menstrual cup when I have a light flow?

A menstrual cup is great for light flow, insertion and removal are easy, it is not absorbent so will not cause dryness.

Can I leave my menstrual cup in during sexual intercourse?

No, the menstrual cup should be removed before intercourse, it sits very low inside the vaginal cavity so would cause an obstruction. It is not a contraceptive and will not give protection from sexually transmitted diseases.

Can I use a lubricant to insert my menstrual cup?

Yes, water-based lubricants such as KY jelly can be used very effectively with the menstrual cup. Oil-based lubricants should be avoided as this can damage the silicone.

I have recently had a baby, can I use a menstrual cup?

It is not recommended to use any form of internal protection for post-natal bleeding, although you can start to use a menstrual cup six weeks after giving birth.

I have an IUD fitted can I use a menstrual cup?

Yes, you can use a menstrual cup with an IUD (coil). Take care to position your cup correctly and have your IUD strings checked periodically by your GP.

I have very heavy periods, is a menstrual cup suitable for me?

A menstrual cup is great for heavy period sufferers, it holds three times the amount that one tampon or pad can absorb so you can go longer between emptying. You can even measure your flow and some women find that cramps are eased when using a menstrual cup.

Can I swim and play sports when I'm using a menstrual cup?

A menstrual cup is brilliant for an active lifestyle and can be used while swimming, cycling, running, camping, and traveling, along with all outdoor pursuits and sports. There are no bulky spares to pack and you cannot run out of supplies. Since menstrual cups can be left in for longer than tampons you can enjoy your whole day and forget about your period completely, so long as you remember the 12-hour rule.

How do I know that my menstrual cup is in the right position and is fully open?

Some women find that their cup is easy to insert but does not always open up once it is inside them. This is a simple issue to resolve; simply grasp the base of the cup and gently rotate the cup, this will make it open up and the seal will form.

The base of the cup should be easy to reach, it sits just inside you much lower than a tampon and the stem should be outside your body, you will need to trim this to a length that is comfortable for you; some women even remove it altogether.

How do I fold my cup to insert it?

There is more than one way to fold a menstrual cup for insertion. We have put together a series of photographs which show the different ways you can fold it. Many women find one fold is much easier than another. Click here to view.

Does a menstrual cup contain any phthalates or Bisphenol A (BPA) like some silicones and plastics do?

Anarres' menstrual cups contain no BPA or phthalates. They are made of 100% medical silicone.

After sterilizing my cup, it has gone cloudy; is it safe to use?

Yes, it is still perfectly safe to use. This can happen when silicone is immersed in a sterilizing solution (usually when it is left in for longer than recommended) and is completely harmless. The cloudiness is caused by the salts in the sterilizing fluid reacting with nitrates in water.

You can see the range of menstrual products we carry starting at the bottom of this page

Anarres Natural Health cannot accept returns and we do not provide refunds for sexual health, menstrual and contraceptive products.