Period Talk | Menstrual Cups

Written by: Kaitlyn

Even though menstruation has occurred literally since the beginning of time, there have been really only three main inventions in the past 100 years to help capture blood and excess vaginal fluids: pads, tampons, and menstrual cups.

The first menstrual cup was patented in 1932 by McGlasson and Perkins and was put into commercial use in 1937. Although this product has been around for quite some time, many still hesitate to use it due to the lack of education surrounding how to actually use the product and what it actually does.

Hopefully this makes you more comfortable with the idea of using a menstrual cup: a safer, cheaper, and more environmentally-safe product.

Menstrual Cup Options

There are two different kinds of menstrual cups: the first is a disposable cup that is soft and resembles a diaphragm; the second is reusable cup that is belly-shaped and usually made out of either rubber or silicone.

Menstrual cups are designed differently than pads or tampons because they are meant to collect blood instead of absorb it.

How To Use Them

One of the largest reasons that some stay away from using the cup is they are afraid that they won’t know how to put it in or take it out properly. This can easily be fixed with further education about your own body and looking into different techniques on how to insert it. It’s a similar process when you’re first learning how to use a tampon.

Julia has used the cup for years and said, “I think it get you more in touch with your body. Like you have to come into contact with you.”

To use a menstrual cup, follow the following instructions:

  1. Hold together the sides of the cup and then fold the sides in half.

  2. As you hold the cup in one of your hands, the single curved edge should be away from your palm.

  3. With your other hand separate the labia and push the curved edge of the folded menstrual cup up into the vagina. Insert the menstrual cup fully following the natural angle of your vagina. Aim towards the small of your back, not the top of your head.

  4. Once the menstrual cup is fully inserted grasp the base of the cup, not the stem, and rotate it once to ensure that it has fully unfolded

  5. When you first use your cup, you may notice that the stem is too long for your body, you may cut it off to the right length for you.

Another big worry many have with using the cup is the cleanup process. Depending on your lifestyle, you may be weary of cleaning out your cup in a public space. If this is a concern of yours, this can easily be remedied with the use of a disposable cup rather than a reusable one.


Menstrual cups can be worn safely for 12 hours and need to be changed almost 2 times less than a pad or tampon.

“You’re not even wearing anything,” Julia said. “Sometimes I forget I’m even on my period.”

The cup is also made out of safer materials with no chemicals, fibers, or bleaches that could harm the body. This is ideal for people with sensitive skin or anyone who is worried about what they put in their body.

Menstrual cups are also healthy for the environment due to their reusable nature.

If you buy a reusable menstrual cup, you should replace it once a year. That is saving you from buying tampons or pads every month. Although a menstrual cup can range from $20-40, in the long run, the cost is cheaper than other feminine hygiene products. According to Roy Morgan Research, using a cup could save you $120 a year.This money adds up over the years. One cup user told me that she calculated that she would have spent over a thousand dollars in just tampons in the time she’s had one cup (if well taken care of, cups can last several years).

If you’ve worn pads or tampons for years and are comfortable with trying something new for your period, menstrual cups are a safe and cost-effective option for you.

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