Using JuJu Menstrual Cup and FAQ
Posted on 07 October 2015 by Leonie Satori
For many women, the concept of using a menstrual cup is a little too strange for comfort, here we address some of the practical aspects of using our JuJu Menstrual Cup and answer some menstrual cup frequently asked questions.
So What is Menstrual Cup?
Essentially a cup that is inserted vaginally to collect menstrual fluid, a menstrual cup is a sanitary product that replaces disposable tampons as a more environmentally conscious choice for a woman's menstrual blood. Where a tampon absorbs menstrual fluid, a menstrual cup collects this fluid in a device that can be re-used over and over.
Why Would I Want To Use a Menstrual Cup Rather Than Tampons?
Obviously, each woman is different, but let's look at some of the advantages of using a menstrual cup (specifically the JuJu Menstrual Cup) over say disposable tampons:
- Environmentally, using a menstrual cup reduces landfill waste. On a daily basis, the amount of waste produced by a woman using disposable tampons may not seem significant, however over a year or a decade of menstrual cycles, tampons, pads, panty liners and packaging can contribute significantly to landfill. The JuJu Menstrual Cup should last for at least 5 - 10 years for a woman, maybe longer, and theoretically a menstrual cup could replace between 1000 - 2000 tampons over five to ten years.
- Financially. We can see that the initial outlay of purchasing a menstrual cup can seem a little more pricey than your average packet of tampons, but if you look at the figures in the above point, five to ten years of tampons could conservatively cost from AUD $450-$900 or more.
- From a practical and waste management aspect, I see the JuJu Menstrual Cup as a stress free way of managing my monthly flow. I do not need to keep track of the number of tampons in the bathroom or anticipate the quantity that I need for a weekend trip away - one menstrual cup will cover me for the rest of the year. One cup = many, many tampons (= less stress).
- From a health perspective, a quality hospital grade silicone menstrual cup will not harbour pathogens in the way that a well used tampon will. While we do suggest regular emptying and cleaning of your JuJu Menstrual Cup, it is believed that menstrual cups are not as closely linked with TSS as tampons. Additionally, as the JuJu Menstrual Cup collects menstrual fluid, as opposed to absorbing menstrual fluid, a menstrual cup will not draw fluid from the vaginal wall and cause dryness or irritation. This simple collection, rather than absorption method is suitable for women with a tendency to irritation or dryness with tampons.
How Do I Use a Menstrual Cup?
It can take a little time to get used to using a good quality menstrual cup, but once you have the hang of it you will wonder why you hadn't started using them earlier. Firstly, wash your hands and your menstrual cup before using. While it may seem tempting to do a 'dry run' before your period starts, we suggest first trying your menstrual cup while you have your period as the location of your cervix and natural lubrication changes throughout your cycle. For some women it is helpful to familiarise yourself with the angle of your vagina and the location of your cervix, once inserted the menstrual cup will slip into place snugly, however it is a good idea to know which direction you are aiming - it will be different for all women.
Once you have folded your menstrual cup (see diagram below for folding suggestions) you will need to insert your menstrual cup vaginally at a roughly 45 degree angle until the cup 'pops' open and in place. We suggest that after each insertion that you check the base of the menstrual cup to ensure that it has opened fully and is in a comfortable position.
Depending on your flow, your cup will need to be changed every 4-12 hours, even if you have quite a light flow, and are not filling your cup to the brim with menstrual fluid, we suggest that you check and remove your menstrual cup much more regularly than the often suggested every 12 hours.
To remove your menstrual cup, we suggest that it the best position is seated over a conventional toilet, in this position you will find it easy to access your menstrual cup and any spills will be collected in the toilet. The stem of the menstrual cup will be easier to locate once you activate your pelvic muscles, once you have a grasp of the stem, you need to gently find the base of your JuJu Menstrual Cup and apply pressure to the base of the cup with your index finger and thumb - this action will release the pressure of the cup and allow you to have a firm grip of the cup. Removal of the cup should be easy once you have located the base of the cup and release the pressure.
Once removed, the contents of the cup can be disposed of, your menstrual cup will need to be cleaned and will be ready for re-insertion if required.
How do I Clean My Menstrual Cup?
JuJu Menstrual Cups are made from hospital grade silicone and tend not to harbour bacteria or pathogens, however regular cleaning is imperative to good hygiene and longevity of your menstrual cup. We suggest cleaning your menstrual cup after each removal with clean, warm water. Regular, thorough cleaning of your menstrual cup should be done regularly and at least at the end of your cycle. While some manufacturers suggest the usage of harsh chemical based antibacterial washes for your menstrual cup, we do not believe these are necessary if you follow sensible hygiene practices. Some suggestions for cleaning your menstrual cup include adding your cup to boiling water, as you would for sterilising baby bottles and teats, however where this method is not suitable, we suggest a natural liquid soap, warm water and a good rinse should be sufficient to thoroughly clean your menstrual cup.
How To Fold a Menstrual Cup
Folding your menstrual cup before insertion, we believe is one of the most important factors influencing the comfort of using a menstrual cup. Most cups, like the JuJu Menstrual Cup have a majority of the 'bulk' of the cup at the top of the cup, which is the first part that is inserted and for many of us women, using the conventional "C fold" as pictured below can be a little uncomfortable. There are many methods for folding your menstrual cup before insertion, but the aim is to minimise irritation and encourage your cup to simply slide into a comfortable position. Below are two folding methods for insertion of a menstrual cup that we find are simple and practical, practice these two methods first and then you may find your own way of using your menstrual cup that is suited for you. Below we show the "7 fold" and the "push down fold" as our favourite menstrual cup folding styles.
Can I Use a Menstrual Cup Whilst Sleeping?
We understand that every woman is designed differently, however we do suggest that using your menstrual cup at night should be perfectly suitable. For some women, lying an a horizontal position can change things around a bit, if this is the case, we suggest using one of our Lunapads Pantyliners or one of our organic disposable panty liners to catch any over flow during the night.
Can I Use a Menstrual Cup While Exercising?
Absolutely! Swimming, cycling and mountain climbing are not prohibited while using your menstrual cup. We love that you don't have to check for a 'string', when you are at the beach wearing your favourite bikini.
Purchase your own JuJu Menstrual Cup in our online store.
Need more practical information? Read our product comparison article: Comparing The Keeper and JuJu Menstrual Cup.