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9 Things To Know Before Trying To Use A Menstrual Cup

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Tired of tampons? Not a fan of pads? Just plain lazy? Menstrual cups might be for you. A less messy way to handle your monthly flow, menstrual cups have been around for years, but recently risen in popularity. But before trading in your usual products for something new, there are a couple things to know before using a menstrual cup for the first time.

For example, you'll want to know how a menstrual cup works, right? Well, let me break it down, health class style. You insert the silicone, rubber or latex cup so it sits right beneath your cervix, according to Cleveland Clinic. You can leave it in for up to 12 hours, during which time it collects your menstrual fluid. When you remove it, you spill out the blood, wash the cup out and tuck it up there again. Simple, right? Totally. But knowing how to insert the device isn't the only info you'll need. There are some other, er, handy, things to know before you dive on in.

From whether or not you can get it on while wearing a menstrual cup to the benefits of choosing this over a traditional tampon or pad, here are 9 things about menstrual cups that could help you decide if you're ready to make the switch.

1. It's Like Inserting A Tampon

As the women from BuzzFeed Yellow explained in their video, inserting a menstrual cup feels just like inserting a tampon. Meaning that you gotta be relaxed in order for it to feel right.

2. It Can Be Worn During Sex

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According to Cleveland Clinic's medical blog, it's totally safe to have intercourse while wearing a menstrual cup. Though you may wan tot discuss with your partner first. I can say from personal experience that dripping occasionally occurs, and your SO may not be OK with that.

3. It Decreases Your Risk Of TSS

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Tampons work by absorbing menstrual blood. But tampons also absorb vaginal fluid containing helpful bacteria that help balance vaginal pH. If too much bacteria is absorbed, toxic shock syndrome can occur, according to Mayo Clinic. With the cup, however, you're not changing the pH of your vagina, thereby lowering you risk of TSS.

4. It Needs To Be Removed By The Base

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So, basically, you're going to use a pinch and pull technique to get the cup out. Girl, you got this (literally) in the palm of your hands.

5. It Can Be Messy

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Chances are you'll get a little blood on your hands when removing the cup. But that can also happen with tampons too.

6. It Has To Be Thoroughly Cleaned

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Because you're using a product meant to be repurposed, you have to take care of it. But don't worry, just run it beneath the tap after each use. Between cycles, boil some water and clean your cup like you would sterilize a baby bottle or clean a vibrator.

7. It Saves You Cash

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Brokelyn reported that a menstrual cup can save you up to $1000 annually. No more midnight tampon runs!

8. It Might Not Fit, Because Everyone's Anatomy Is Different

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Doctors who contribute to the Cleveland Clinic medical blog reported that women with fibroids or a dropped uterus might have some difficulty getting the cup to fit. If this is the case, see your physician before using a menstrual cup.

9. It's So Eco-Friendly

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Huffington Post reported that, on average, a woman uses 9,120 tampons in her life. That's a lot of bloody cotton sitting in a landfill. By switching to a menstrual cup, you're cutting out on a lot of pollution.

I'm not trying to sell you on the menstrual cup. Well, maybe I am just a little. If you feel like it, figure out which menstrual cup is right for you. Give it a try, and if it's not for you, that's OK. It's just nice knowing you have the option. Isn't it?