Fluyda dreams of a world where people put menstrual well-being and the planet Earth at the center of their lives. In fact, if every month we choose to contain blood with methods that respect our physiology and the environment, we are good for our cycle and that of the ecosystem, now overloaded by the enormous disposal of sanitary pads and tampons every day. For this reason, we have chosen the cup. Everyone has a personal opinion, we offer facts that rely on scientific data and practical information to explain why we think the cup is a menstrual wonder. We will also give you some tips on how to choose the best menstrual cup, how to use and store it. We are confident that you will eventually join the ranks of people making the world better, one cycle at a time.
How does the menstrual cup work?
The menstrual cup is a containment and collection tool for menstrual blood, with a characteristic bell shape and produced with ecological and biocompatible material. The cup collects blood that flows out of the vaginal canal during menstruation. You insert it when the bleeding starts and empty it regularly, 3 to 5 times a day, depending on your flow. Compared to other methods of containment, the cup minimizes the possibility of leakage because its soft walls adhere to the vaginal walls with a vacuum effect, not to mention that the blood does not remain in contact with the walls, as happens in the case of tampons, which in fact they can cause infections of various types with greater frequency.
Menstrual cup sizes and sizes
The menstrual cup is made of soft medical silicone that allows a practical painless insertion. The average size of a cup is about 4/5 cm excluding the extraction "stem" (or extractor), with an internal diameter (excluding the edges) of about ¾ cm and normally available in the two most common sizes, M and L and in various hardnesses.
Myths about the menstrual cup
It lasts one year
The first myth about the menstrual cup is that it must be replaced once a year: if used and stored correctly it can last up to 5 years. This clearly explains how ethical and eco-friendly it is to use a high quality menstrual cup, designed to last a long time. Many menstrual cup manufacturers are driven by a strong green spirit and a sense of corporate mission geared towards reuse and sustainability.
The size of the cup is related to the abundance of blood flow
Not necessarily. The right size for you depends on an overall assessment of factors such as age, type and tone of the pelvic floor, any pregnancies and births, natural and non-natural parts. The difference in capacity of the two most popular sizes is just about 0.5 milliliters. However, both sizes are able to retain three times the liquid of a normal tampon, so with both sizes the replacement and replacement time is reduced.
Cup means zero plastic
We would like to but it would be naive to think so: many cups on the market are made of TPE, a thermoplastic elastomer, which is a derivative of plastic. Also add packaging, plastic package windows, wrappers, and bags. We always talk about plastic. The Norma cup and the Fluyda cup are made in Italy and made of 100% medical silicone - a biocompatible compound - completely free of latex, dyes, phthalates or toxic substances.
The menstrual cup, a millennial novelty
Not really: in 1937 the American Leona Chalmers invents the first rubber menstrual cup. Then war breaks out and the army uses rubber to shoot the enemy, so goodbye mass production. Then come the boom years devoid of any ecological awareness and then those convenient disposable products become more and more attractive and unfortunately cause that tsunami of waste that we know well today.
One cup is as good as another
Absolutely no. The cup must be chosen carefully and not at the discount store. Check that it meets the most important quality standards: yours. Please make sure that the cup you purchase is of a premium quality material that is safe and soft enough to fit snugly against the walls of the vagina. A practical tip? Make sure it's medical silicone, not food grade. Look at the label: choose a cup produced and packaged in a country that guarantees compliance with high quality and safety standards. Check that the CE mark refers to Europe and not China!
If I am a virgin I cannot use the cup
You can use the menstrual cup if you are a virgin, without losing your virginity. In fact, you can start using the menstrual cup on your first period. You have to do some practice before acquiring the right comfort: the muscles of young and virgin people tend to be more contracted, which makes insertion more difficult. If you feel discomfort or discomfort do not force the insertion but give yourself a break. Lie down, breathe, or get distracted and try again later. The entrance to the vagina is tighter and smaller in width than the rest of the vaginal canal so proceeding gradually will make insertion easier. If you are a virgin, choose the smallest size available in any case. Remember, however, that the hymen is not the seal or the "plug" of the vagina that breaks at the first intercourse because it is "pierced": if this were the case, the girls could not have menstrual flow until the first sexual intercourse. Which is not the case. The hymen is a thin layer of tissue that partially lines the vagina and which can wear out for various reasons such as sports, cycling, self-exploration or clinical exams. By medical standards, rupture of the hymen does not mark the loss of virginity: you lose your virginity at the time of the first full penetrative intercourse or when you feel you have lost your virginity. You decide.
The pros of the menstrual cup
Do you have an abundant menstrual cycle, indeed an infinite one, but would you like to live your life even during menstruation?
The cup allows you to bypass these discomforts because it collects three times the blood of a super absorbent tampon. This generous ability allows you to bleed in peace, without having to think about changing one tampon after another: so you can think about yourself, since these are the busiest days of the month. The cup is perfect even if you are privileged that the menstrual flow does not even feel it coming, because you can play sports and even go to the pool without fear of blood loss.
If you use a tampon, once it is soaked in blood, you will have to throw it away .
The cup can be emptied, cleaned and reintroduced. Do you see the difference? In addition, compared to sanitary pads, you also have a big health advantage: if you use traditional sanitary pads you have probably noticed that after your period you are more prone to dryness, irritation, candida and bad odors and this has an explanation. Tampons also absorb vaginal secretions along with the blood which protect you from the invasion of potentially pathogenic bacteria. The cup solves the root problem because it preserves your natural pH and your "good" bacteria. Moreover, thanks to the perfectly adherent edges, it prevents the leakage of blood which could cause odors.
Do you want to know the truth? Save a bang
Consider that on average you spend around 40 euros per year on the purchase of sanitary pads. With proper use and maintenance, a single cup can last up to ten years and you only pay for it once
Defects of the menstrual cup, but which defects?
Okay, ok, let's be honest: like everything, the menstrual cup has its cons. Let's see which ones and how to overcome these drawbacks.
Unintentional bloodshed during the first few uses is absolutely normal. But just one more sponge wipe and you will see that the next time, especially when you understand how to empty it, you will not lose even a drop of your precious blood. The first few times, empty it in the bathroom, over the toilet to reduce bloodshed!
But don't enter! And it's not a penis! As always when it comes to making friends with their vagina, people may encounter difficulties or a momentary "block" at the time of the first applications. Furthermore, even the presence of the intrauterine spiral can be an obstacle to inserting the cup and therefore you must first contact a gynecologist. However, a 2012 research found that the ejection rate of the spiral is the same whether a menstrual cup is used or not.
Anatomical incompatibilities Sometimes specific anatomical conformations can make it difficult to use a cup: if you have fibroids or a uterine prolapse, the cup may not find the right internal location. For this you should see a gynecologist or a pelvic floor specialist, such as a midwife.
Yes, but what a shock! Some people are not very attracted to the whole care and maintenance process that the cup involves, such as sterilization by boiling or sterilizing solution after each menstruation. The truth, however, is that once you have learned the simple maintenance and conservation techniques, taking care of your cup becomes an integral part of the menstrual cycle and above all of menstruation which often involves a slowing down of the rhythm and greater attention to small details in personal rituals.
Now that we've given you a general overview of the cup you just have to try it and see if it's for you!