Most of us are lucky enough to have a variety of period products readily available. The faithful pad and tampon combination have served us well for years. However, this world isn’t getting any smaller, and so it may be time to consider a more planet-friendly option.
Allow us to introduce you to, the cup! You may have heard of it, but never seen one up close and personal. Or maybe you bought one on a whim, but haven’t quite gotten around to giving it a go.
It’s only natural to stick with what you know, but we’re here to celebrate the cup in all its glory. The menstrual cup is a product that has been with us for a while (since 1937, to be exact), and is now on the rise to becoming one of the most popular sani-saviours on the market.Not only does it take the hassle out of a constant rotation of changing and dispensing, but is also super good for the environment. Look after your cup, and it will look after you – meaning less waste, less money spent on period products in the long run, and a complimentary boost in confidence that can give a whole new meaning to the care-free period. A pretty nifty little tool if you ask us.
We realise you’re probably bursting with questions, none of which are too small or silly. Here’s a little list of the most frequently asked questions about our new best friend – the cup:
Put simply, a menstrual cup is a tool we use during our period. Much like tampons, the cup is inserted into the vagina and works to prevent any pesky leaks. However, rather than absorbing, the cup collects and holds your period blood until ready to dispose of down the loo.
We believe in encouraging a plastic-free-period, and so our cups are 100% medical grade silicone, Hypoallergenic, Latex, Phthalate, BPA and Dioxin free.
Menstrual cups can come in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit your body and age. When using the Hey Girls cup, we recommend trying a small (white) cup if you are age under 30 and not given birth vaginally, or a large (red) if you are over 30 or have given birth vaginally whatever your age.
All bodies are different and the sizing is really just a rough guide, so you may need to try a few different cups to find the brand, shape and size that work for you. Don’t give up – it may not pop into place first time, but practice makes perfect!
Yes! Everyone should take the time to get to know their bodies, and like any other period product you are free to use what you feel most comfortable with. However, we would advise maybe testing the cup before your period starts – it can be fiddly until you get the knack! We would also recommend only trying the cup after having used tampons – you’ll already be in familiar territory!
Safety first! If you have the coil or an IUD, always check with your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you to wear a cup.
Never, unless you decide to tell them.
If your cup has been inserted correctly to fit the shape of your body (some practice and a bit of maneuvering will do the trick!), you shouldn’t feel it. Comfy & pretty much care free.
Like everything to do with the cup, this may take a little patience and practice.
Pinch the tip of the cup, and gently wiggle out until you can feel the pressure begin to release. The cup should move to the fit the shape of your body, but if you need a little extra support to remove in a more controlled motion, bring the cup low enough to pinch the base and encourage out with a fuller grip. We recommend putting your pelvic floor muscles to use to help you out here!
Your cup may feel a little stuck in places as you’re getting comfortable using it. A firm grip and some gentle persuasion should do the trick, and try not to worry – it nor you will break in the process!
It’s no worse than getting a tampon lost or stuck, so don’t worry about asking for help from a medical professional or someone you trust. However, if your cups takes a wander or simply isn’t budging, seek medical assistance as soon as possible.Like everything to do with the cup, this may take a little patience and practice. Pinch the tip of the cup, and gently wiggle out until you can feel the pressure begin to release. The cup should move to the fit the shape of your body, but if you need a little extra support to remove in a more controlled motion, bring the cup low enough to pinch the base and encourage out with a fuller grip. We recommend putting your pelvic floor muscles to use to help you out here!
This will of course depend on your flow, but the general hygiene recommendation is to empty and clean your cup every 10-12 hours. A lot of time for living in-between!
You don’t need to take the cup out to go to the loo, but it’s always worth checking it’ still in place after any visit.
Cleanliness is key to keeping your cup, and your body, happy. Before insertion, always sterilise your cup in boiling water for 5 minutes or so. Between each change, rinse your cup with warm clean water, ensuring its spick and span before wearing again – stay clear of the dishwasher, this is a soap-free zone! Maintenance can take a little time (not to mention some privacy), but looking after your cup will ensure it looks after you.
Between your periods, make sure your cup is clean and dry, store in a breathable bag or clean container.
Put simply, nope! Wearing a cup won’t affect the length, heaviness or regularity of your flow.
Yes! This is where the cup comes in handy. Once you’ve gotten familiar with the fit and can no longer feel the cup in place, you’re free to swim, run, jump and gym to your hearts content!
Most cups won’t allow you to have sex whilst you’re wearing them, however there are some available on the market that have been designed specifically for you to wear during intercourse.
1. Before we get started, make sure you hands are clean. Your cup should have been sterilised in boiling water for 3 minutes before first use. It’s also a good tip to wet your cup before insertion – this makes it a little easier to use!
2. Find your fold. There are many different ways to fold your cup, so take some time to find out which suits you best.
The “C” Fold
The “7” Fold
The “Punch Down” Fold
3. Gently insert your cup and guide inside your vagina until it reaches your cervix. Give your cup a twist to help it into place. Your cup will unfold naturally to morph to the shape of your body.
You can adjust the handle at the bottom so it sits comfortably. This tip should sit within reach, however you may need to readjust your size or placement if the cup sits too low. You can do this by snipping some of the tip if the cup if it is too long. You shouldn’t be able to feel when sitting or going about daily life.
4. To take your cup out, it’s always wise to make sure you have some privacy and are in a comfortable position over the loo. Pinch the tip and gently push to release the seal, and then pull down – a twist or two can be helpful here also.
As your cup moves further down, you can grasp the bottom for a better hold. You should begin to feel a release, and the cup will slip out.
Tip the contents into the toilet and if you are reinserting make sure to clean with water or a silicone friendly cleaner. If you’re in a public place, don’t worry – wipe it with some loo roll or simply reinsert.
If you’ve reached the end of your period or no longer need to use the cup, sterilise once again in boiling water and make sure the cup is thoroughly dry before being put away.
We hope you enjoy using your Hey Girls cup! Remember this nifty little tool can take some getting used to, so don’t worry if it takes a couple of tries before getting the fit just right. Once you’re there, you can enjoy a plastic-free, happy and liberated period!