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Menstrual Cup Questions Answered

Ova Woman aims to provide a safe space where women feel at ease talking about their bodies and their intimate health questions. We want women to explore their bodies and ask questions so that they know what their body needs.

We want to start conversations, help answer questions, and provide solutions. One way we do that is through introducing new and innovative intimate health products like the menstrual cup. The menstrual cup is a bell shaped cup that sits in your vaginal canal and collects your menstrual fluid. There are many different brands of menstrual cups out there and we'd love to help you find a cup Please check out our website. We would love to help you select a menstrual cup. 

We were excited when we came across a blog post by Scary Mommy. In her post she asks some of the questions that many women have when contemplating a switch to the cup. Luckily, most of us at Ova Woman love trying different cups. Check out our answers below and please let us know if you have any additional questions. 

1. How do you pull it out without inciting a bloodbath?
When you are ready to empty your menstrual cup, you reach up, grab ahold and pinch the cup, which releases the suction and makes it easier to pull out. To avoid spillage, you keep the cup upright and then you dump your menstrual blood in the toilet. WA-La no blood bath. It may take few tries for a first time user, but then you figure out what muscles to relax and boom--you’re a pro. We recommend doing a “dry run.” When you are not on your period, practice inserting and removing your cup. This will allow you to get comfortable releasing the suction and keeping the cup upright.

2. What happens when it fills up?
Just like a tampon, you have to change (empty) your menstrual cup, just not as often. The cup holds approximately three times the amount of fluid a tampon can absorb. Like a tampon, when you have had the cup in too long, you may have some leaking in your underwear, but that’s it. There is no gush of blood, thank goodness. We recommend wearing a panty liner the first few cycles to learn when to empty your cup.

3. What the hell is going on in the public bathroom?
Check out our blog post here about how to take care of your cup in a public restroom. Here are five simple steps to follow.

1. Wash your hands.
2. Once you are in your stall, grab a few squares of toilet paper. Wrap your thumb and pointer finger in the tissue. Grab the base of the cup with these fingers and remove and empty the cup slowly.
3. Wipe off the outside of your cup with either toilet paper or a wet wipe.
4. Reinsert your cup.
5. Once you get home or reach a private bathroom, remove your cup and wash with mild soap and water.

4. What is going on with your fingernails?
HA, no nail brush required. The amount of blood you get on your hands when changing a tampon is very similar to the amount of blood you get on your hands from a menstrual cup. Wash your hands a little more thoroughly and you should be good to go.

5. What’s in the cup?
The fluid in the cup is the same liquid to solid ratio that’s on your tampon. There is a mixture of blood, mucus and tissue. We are not going to lie, it is pretty fascinating to see how much fluid you actually produce during your cycle. Tampons are deceiving.

6. Is this thing going in the dishwasher?
No dishwasher. Use unscented soap and warm water and that should do the trick. Another way to clean your cup and help with discoloration is to boil the cup (after rinsing) on top of the stove. Make sure to store it in a breathable bag and there it will wait for you until your next period.

7. What about the smell?
If your cup starts to smell, boil the cup with a little baking soda. This should take away the odor. Check out this blog post by Lunette for more information.

8. What if I can’t get it out? What if it falls out?

If you are having trouble taking out your menstrual cup, don’t panic. You have to release the suction. Try pressing on the side of the cup, gently wiggle, and pull. Make sure to relax your muscles. Clenching can make it more difficult. This is also where doing a “dry-run” comes in handy—practicing when you aren’t on your period will help you get the hang of it before you feel like you really need to take out your cup.

As for falling out, the beauty of the cup is that its shape and suction keep it in place. There are multiple sizes of cups. If tampons tend to fall out, we recommend starting with a larger sized cup. Check out this cup.

9. Are O.B. tampons the gateway drug to the DivaCup?
There are so many different reasons people use a menstrual cup. Whether you are use O.B., Pearl, or pads, you will be able to learn how to use a menstrual cup with a little practice. It’s important to give yourself time to learn how to use the cup. For some it comes easy and for others it takes more time. Some women decide that the menstrual cup isn’t for them. We are excited for more innovation in feminine hygiene so every women can find their perfect product.

10. Do you miss shopping for ‘feminine hygiene’ every month or two?
Not at all. We don’t miss buying tampons one bit. You save so much money with the cup (unless you are like us and buy every type of cup).

11. Do you think I’m kind of a terrible person?
Definitely not! We love the conversation that your blog post started. We also love your blog. Cheers!

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