Menstrual cups have reached different women of any culture and age around the world. A recent study claimed that the global market size of menstrual cups would reach up to US$ 46 million by 2024. It indicates a continuous widespread awareness of menstrual cups, resulting in a growth spurt in its revenue.
For those who just recently heard about it, it may sound intimidating, especially for teenagers. Even so, females in the teenage years are believed to have personalities that are mature enough to adapt “change.” Listed here are a few frequently asked questions about menstrual cups from teenage girls.
Why should I opt for menstrual cups?
According to Healthline, there are several reasons why you should use menstrual cups than sanitary pads or tampons, as follows:
- Economical. It’s reusable for up to ten years, so it has a one-time price.
- Safer. These cups collect blood, rather than absorb. This attribute prevents the risks of toxic shock syndrome (TSS), which is a condition caused by bacterial toxins associated with high-absorbent tampons.
- Larger hold capacity. Cups can hold more blood about 1-2 ounces of menstrual flow.
- Environmentally-friendly. These cups are reusable, which means less landfill waste.
In general, reusable, cheap, doable, and eco-friendly are the reasons why you should use menstrual cups. You don’t have to be stressed out on changing every three to five hours because you can wear it for up to 12 hours.
How to choose the right cup for me?
Before purchasing menstrual cups at any store, it’s recommended to talk first with your gynecologist. There are a few medical considerations that a doctor needs to do in selecting the right cup for you, which you can’t perform alone. Here are a few of them:
- Length of cervix
- Strength of pelvic floor muscles
- Menstrual cups’ firmness, flexibility, cup capacity
Apart from these three, the doctor needs to know your age, menstrual flow, and whether you’ve given birth. Typically, a small sized menstrual cup is recommended to women younger than 30 years of age.
Will I lose my virginity if I wear it?
One’s female reproductive organ is surrounded by a thin piece of mucosal tissue called “hymen.” The hymen doesn’t have a specific physiological function, but it partially covers the external vaginal opening.
Inserting anything into a female’s genitalia can tear the hymen, including internal menstrual products like tampons or cups. It can be naturally torn, as well. First, it can be stretched open when doing sports, such as riding a bike. Another it may dissolve through females’ natural hormonal discharge.
Hymen can also be torn open through sexual intercourse. Many people consider torn hymen as a sign of losing one’s virginity. That’s why the term ‘hymenally-challenged’ is utilized and ‘considered’ politically correct word for anyone who isn’t a virgin anymore.
It makes sense, though. If you’re a female, I bet you heard about bleeding during your first time. That’s because your hymen is torn open after the insertion of one’s male organ into you, which caused the bleeding. That’s the time you’re ‘hymenally-challenged’ or not a virgin any more after you had sexual intercourse only.
A female’s genital is a tube. The starting point of it is located inside your body, starting from your cervix and ends outside your body. There’s no way a menstrual cup would pass through beyond the cervix as it’s smaller than a vagina. The vagina is around 7-12 cms, while the cervix is usually about 2-3 cms only.
There are rare instances when it’s hard to locate the stem of a menstrual cup, though. However, again, it doesn’t mean it got lost inside you. An article on Clue recommended a few tips on how to remove the cup when you cannot reach its stem.
- Change your position. Try to squat or sit.
- “Bear down” or increase internal abdominal pressure, as if you’re pooping, so you can push the cup down.
- Wait until the cup is filled. You can wear the cup for as long as 12 hours. If the cup is filled up, it may go further down the vaginal canal.
If you still can’t locate the stem and you’ve been wearing it for almost 12 hours, don’t use any tool to remove it on your own. Consult a medical professional instead. A stuck menstrual cup is not as harmful as you think. However, if you do unnecessary actions, it may lead to infections.
Looking for the right size can be troublesome, more so if you have a low cervix or tilted uterus. As a teenager, you might be into curiosity and do trial and error with menstrual cups by yourself. However, again, don’t recklessly use cups unless you’ve already consulted a doctor.