Frequently Asked Questions on Menstrual Cups
1. Menstrual cups are made of silicone. I thought silicone was bad for my body?
Let’s get one fact straight. When you are thinking ‘silicone’ you are thinking of toxic silicone leaking in breast implants, right?
Well, here’s some good news. Your menstrual cup is 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.
2. Do menstrual cups contain any phthalates or Bisphenol A (BPA) like some silicone plastic do?
Absolutely not! They are 100% medical silicone grade or in the case of Me Luna, TPE (thermoplastic elastomer), which is also free of those chemicals.
3. I am allergic / sensitive to latex. Can I still use the cup?
Yes, menstrual cups are made of medical grade silicone, and can still be used by people with latex sensitivities.
4. Can it be used as a method of birth control, or STD protection?
No, it cannot. Furthermore, the menstrual cup is not a contraceptive device and does not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases (STD).
5. Can I have sex while wearing the cup?
Not penetrative vaginal sex. The cup would get in the way, or be squeezed/crushed, so the seal would be broken. You should always remove your cup before any penetrative vaginal sex.
6. Can I use a menstrual cup if I have an IUD?
Yes. Many women who use a menstrual cup also have an IUD. If you compare a cup with a tampon, the tampon sits much closer to the cervix than a cup does, since it’s almost only half way in the vagina while the tip of the tampon almost touch the cervix.
7. Can the cup be used along with contraceptives?
8. I am pregnant, but sometimes, I still spot or have discharge. Can I use the cup for times like this?
Pregnant women should not use internal vaginal products, for any reason, unless directed to by their doctor.
9. I just had a baby, and I am bleeding heavily. Can I use a menstrual cup for post-natal bleeding?
The menstrual cup should not be used for post-natal bleeding. Because there are open wounds healing up inside, there is a greater risk of infection with any kind of foreign objects, no matter how clean. Please wait until your doctor says you can use internal menstrual products again, before using a menstrual cup (same goes for tampons).
10. Is there an increased risk of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) when using a cup?
Menstrual cups are not associated with an increased risk of UTI. It is important to wash and rinse the cup thoroughly with plain water.
11. Can I use the cup to collect other types of bodily liquid?
Menstrual cups have been approved for the collection of menstrual fluid only, and are not recommended for collecting any other fluids, or for any other use.
12. I pass large clots during some days of my period. Can I use a cup?
Yes, you can. Just remember that the cup would have to be emptied more often than every 12 hours. A bit of trial and error may be in order, but one quickly learns how often to empty the cup to meet their specific needs.
13. I have a tilted cervix / uterus. Can I still use a cup?
Many women with these conditions still successfully use a cup. Since it is worn lower in the vaginal canal it does not interfere with the position of the uterus.
14. I’m going through menopause, and my cycles are very unpredictable. Can I still use a cup?
Absolutely! Vaginal dryness is normal at this stage of a woman’s life and you may even find that the cup will make it more comfortable since it won’t absorb anything. If you happen not to bleed the cup won’t affect you in any way.
15. How do I know which size I am?
We believe one size fits all. We have a standard sized cup.
16. The cup looks big. Does it hurt to insert or remove it?
If you do it correctly and carefully, it shouldn’t. Virgins may have some discomfort at first, but unless there is a medical condition, the discomfort should go away. The vagina is a flexible muscle; it can expand during sexual activity, or to fit a baby’s head. Then it shrinks back down again. An average woman or girl’s body should be able to accommodate a cup just fine, with some practice.
17. Can the cup get lost inside of me?
No. You are sort of like a pocket up inside, with walls all around and a closed-off end. There is nowhere for a cup, or anything else to go. You can reach the cup only half a finger away. The menstrual cup is designed to catch your menstrual flow rather than absorb it.
Its bell shape allows the cup to fit snugly and comfortably up against your vaginal walls, below but not touching your cervix. The rim is designed to help create a suction that keeps the cup in place and collects your menstrual flow inside of it. The small holes around the rim are to help release the suction when you remove the cup.
18. How does the cup stay in place?
The cup is held firmly in place by the muscular walls and closed-end of the vagina. It also stays in via a light suction that is formed up inside. Those little holes around the rim of your cup are there to help break the seal.
19. Will using the cup affect the tightness of my vagina and/or stretch it out at all?
Physically, the cup is suitable for women of all ages as the vagina is made up of very flexible tissue and muscles. Women’s bodies are designed this way to be able to deliver a baby. After being expanded, after intercourse or childbirth, the tissue returns back to its normal size. Pilates and Yoga is great for training this specific area.
20. Can a virgin use a menstrual cup?
Physically, there is no reason why a virgin cannot use a cup. However, some cultures or religions have certain beliefs about internal menstrual products, or the hymen (a menstrual cup can alter the hymen). So this will need to be taken into consideration. But if this is not an issue for you, your family and/or your culture– then yes, a virgin can use a cup.
21. Before first use, what should I do?
Check that the air holes at the top of your cup are open. Wash your hands and clean the cup by washing with water thoroughly. Boil water in a clean utensil, take it off fire and soak the cup in it for a few minutes. Do not use soap, sterilizing tablets or any other disinfectant, any residue may cause irritation.
22. How to sterilise your cup?
Boil water in a clean non greasy utensil, take it off fire and soak the cup in it for a few minutes. Do not use soap, sterilizing tablets or any other disinfectant, any residue may cause irritation.
23. I have long nails. Can I still use a cup?
You can, but you may need to be more careful than other women, during insertion and removal. The material is thick enough to where your nails will not damage it, but long nails may hurt the delicate skin in that area, if special care is not taken.
24. How do I store my menstrual cup when I don’t use it?
Never store your cup in a plastic bag, or an air-tight container, as this can cause mold. A cup must have air flow when being stored away for the rest of the month. The best thing to store a menstrual cup in, is clean, dry cloth pouch (which are provided in the case of the Nari-Yari cup), and away from extreme heat, cold, or sunlight. After your period is over and you have cleaned your cup, store it in the cloth pouch.
25. Is there anything that can damage my cup?
Remember to never use silicone based products as they can damage the cup. If you want to use lubricant, use the water based ones; no silicone or oil base. Just clean it as recommended and keep it away from extreme temperatures and in its provided pouch when not in use. Keep it away from your pets and children:) You will then ensure a maximum lifespan that can last up to 10 years.
26. How often do I have to empty/wash the cup?
It depends on your flow, and the size of cup you get– all women are different. If you have an average to heavy flow, the cup can usually sit well for 4 – 10 hours. Some women with a very light flow (or on a light day) can go as long as 12 hours. Never go longer than 8 to 12 hours without emptying and washing your cup.
27. Will my cup get full and leak?
A tampon can hold from 6ml for the light flow one to 18ml for the super +. You keep them for hours without a problem. A NariYari cup can hold upto 20 ml making it the equivalent of a super + tampon. There is no absorption happening, it is all collected in liquid form, so it will be a lot less than what you imagine. Even if you keep your cup in all day long, it is very unlikely that it will get full and leak.
28. How do I empty and clean my cup in a public restroom?
Remove and empty it the same way you would at home, but you can bring some bottled water, or a wet paper towel in the stall with you for rinsing/wiping the cup. Then simply reinsert it. You can give the cup a regular wash after you get home.
29. I need to use a lubricant to make inserting a cup easier. Which kind should I use?
You don’t need any lubricants to insert the cup. Your menstrual blood acts as a natural lubricant. Just in case you need to, water based lubricants should be used and never silicone based lubricants.
30. What if there is no clean, potable water available to clean my cup with?
You can clean it as you would in a public restroom, just wipe it out with toilet paper, and wait until you have access to drinking water for a proper cleaning. Otherwise just empty it, put it back with clean hands and you can clean it properly when you get home.