A Hypoallergenic Menstrual Cup is a flexible, bell-shaped device that is inserted into the vagina to collect the menstrual fluid, rather than absorbing it as pads and tampons do. Most menstrual cups are made of medical-grade silicone, which is hypoallergenic, safe, and easily cleaned. Some menstrual cups are made of latex, but I would recommend using caution with those as it is possible to develop a latex allergy with frequent, repeated exposures to the mucous membranes. There is one brand of menstrual cups that is disposable (Instead Softcups) and there are many brands that are reusable (Divacup, Mooncup, Lunette, Sckoon, and The Keeper—just to name a few).
Most brands of Hypoallergenic Menstrual Cup offer a few different sizes and choosing a size is dependent upon the amount of your flow, whether or not you have ever been pregnant, your age, location of your cervix, and how physically active you are. When changing a reusable Hypoallergenic Menstrual Cup, you remove the cup, empty the menstrual fluid into the toilet, rinse the cup out with water, and then reinsert it. Most manufacturers recommend boiling the cup in water at the end of your cycle to cleanse it thoroughly, but I boil mine once a day during my cycle just to make sure that it is extra clean and fresh.
There are numerous benefits to using a Hypoallergenic Menstrual Cup. The most significant for me is that it has eliminated about 95% of my cramps and I find that my period is a few days shorter. It’s also incredibly comfortable and I literally can’t feel it at all when inserted correctly. This seems to be the anecdotal case for a lot of other women as well. The cup doesn’t sit against or hit the cervix and it doesn’t compromise the pH balance of the vagina. Because it doesn’t absorb the fluids, a menstrual cup also greatly reduces the risk of toxic shock syndrome. Depending on the size of the cup and the amount of your flow, the cup does not have to be changed as often as tampons or pads for many women. On most days, I only have to empty my cup twice a day. On the heaviest day of my period, I do have to empty it more frequently, but usually no more than four times per day. The reusable cup has some financial perks as well. The cost of most cups is in the $30-40 dollar range and they can last from 1 – 10 years, depending on the brand and the manufacturer’s recommendations. For myself, that will result in a cost savings of about $130 per year in feminine hygiene products alone! Because the cup is reusable, environmental waste from applicators, wrappers, tampons, and pads is eliminated.