Instead of absorbing your flow, like a tampon or pad, a menstrual cup catches and collects it. Menstrual cups have actually been around since the 1930s, but the United States was slow to catch on as the first menstrual cup for the U.S. use was manufactured in 1987. Since then, there have been several others produced using substances ranging from rubber to silicone. Some types are disposable, but most are reusable.
Inserted like a tampon, menstrual cups sit comfortably inside of your vagina. When inserted correctly, cup seals gently to your vaginal walls and moves with you throughout the day, during physical activities, and overnight. The body adjusts to your cup’s presence immediately and there is no sensation from either the cup or the stem. The blood then simply drips into the cup.
To remove it, you pull the stem sticking out the bottom and pinch the base to release the seal. Then you just empty, wash with soap and water, and replace. At the end of your cycle, it is recommended that you sterilize your cup in boiling water.
What are menstrual cups made of?
Menstrual cups are manufactured using medical-grade silicone or latex rubber.