Your menstrual cup from SELENACARE
Welcome to SELENACARE! Curious about using a menstrual cup? Let us tell you a bit about them… These versatile aids, also known as period cups, are an excellent, sustainable alternative to tampons and pads. Buying a menstrual cup means taking a step towards producing less waste and enjoying more comfort during your period. Read on to find out more!
ContentsWhat is a menstrual cup?
How a menstrual cup works
Size and firmness – finding the right menstrual cup for you
Inserting and looking after your menstrual cup
Advantages of menstrual cups at a glance
No more waste! Invest in a menstrual cup for a cleaner future
Menstrual cups are a sustainable alternative to conventional, disposable period products. The little, conical cup made from medical-grade silicone collects the blood; you empty it into the toilet and then reinsert the cup. A menstrual cup can be used for many years, and does not constantly produce new waste.
If you’ve ever used tampons, using a menstrual cup will be relatively easy. The principle is both simple and ingenious: unlike tampons, menstrual cups sit lower in the vagina – approx. 1–2 cm above the vaginal opening is sufficient. Once in position, the folded menstrual cup opens up and creates a vacuum, which ensures that it is securely held in place. No leakage, no discomfort. When the menstrual cup is full, you simply empty it, rinse it and reinsert it – zero waste created!
Choosing the right menstrual cup requires a little preparation. To determine the right size, it helps to measure height of your cervix during your period. You can do this yourself. Simply insert a finger (either the index finger or middle finger) into your vagina until you feel your cervix. With the other hand, mark the vaginal opening on the inserted finger. Now measure the length from the vaginal opening mark to the tip of your finger. It’s important that you measure while you are on your period as the cervix is often lower down at this time of the month. By the way: the height of your cervix can also change during your period, so it helps to repeat the measurements on different days.
And on top of this, the strength of your pelvic floor muscles also plays a decisive role when choosing the firmness of your menstrual cup. If your pelvic floor muscles are of normal strength or are slightly weaker, a softer cup (SELENACARE Premium) is ideal; if your pelvic floor muscles are stronger, we recommend a firmer cup (SELENACARE Active).
Inserting a menstrual cup is easy once you’ve had a little practice. By using various folding methods and a little water to moisten it, the menstrual cup is easy to insert. Unlike tampons, the cup doesn’t absorb the blood, instead it collects it – hence the name menstrual cup.
You should clean your menstrual cup before, during and after your period.
- Before your period: Clean with rubbing alcohol or sterilise it in boiling water for 5 minutes.
- During your period: Clean with water and mild liquid soap.
- After your period: Clean with mild liquid soap and then sterilise.
- Sustainability. Menstrual cups are reusable and create less waste in comparison to tampons and pads, which make them a more environmentally friendly choice.
- Cost efficiency. Although the initial outlay may seem quite high, menstrual cups are more cost effective in the long term as they can be reused for many years.
- Long wearing time. Menstrual cups can be worn for up to 8 hours at once, depending of course on your personal flow.
- Comfort. Many users report that the cup is hardly noticeable once it’s been inserted. This makes for a very comfortable period.
- Large capacity. Menstrual cups can hold more blood than most tampons or pads, which makes them more practical for heavy bleeders.
- Less odour. As the blood in the menstrual cup does not come into contact with the air, odour is kept to a minimum.
- Health and safety. Menstrual cups contain no bleach, perfumes or other potentially harmful chemicals.
By switching to a menstrual cup, you save money and also make an important contribution to protecting the environment. Menstrual cups create zero waste and can last for many years if properly cared for. Take the plunge and try our high-quality menstrual cups – for you, your body and the environment!
The most frequent questions
How often do I need to empty my menstrual cup?
This is completely dependent on your flow. Generally, you should empty the cup every 4–8 hours. If you bleed heavily, it may be necessary to empty it more often. As a rule, you can go by the intervals at which you changed your tampons.
Can I use a menstrual cup at night?
Yes, you can use a menstrual cup while you sleep. It provides up to 8 hours of protection depending on your flow. However, for night-time we also recommend our period underwear as well as our washable pads and panty liners.
Can I use a menstrual cup while I exercise?
Yes, a menstrual cup is an excellent choice for activities including swimming, running and yoga as it provides secure and comfortable protection.
What size cup is right for me?
Choosing the right size depends on various factors including your age, your childbearing history and the strength of your pelvic floor muscles. You can measure the height of your cervix during your period to get a better idea of which size is right for you.
Are menstrual cups safe?
They are made from medical-grade silicone and do not contain any harmful chemicals.
What is toxic shock syndrome (TSS)?
TSS is a very rare, yet serious illness. It usually occurs during your period as internal period products can disturb the mucosal barrier, allowing bacteria to enter the uterus more easily. If you show signs of high fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, sunburn-like symptoms, headache or muscle pain, remove the menstrual cup immediately and seek medical attention for TSS.
What makes the menstrual cup sustainable?
On average, anyone experiencing menstrual bleeding will use more than 15,000 disposable period products in their lifetime. When looked after carefully, menstrual cups can be used for years. Therefore, by reusing your cup with every cycle, you prevent mountains of waste from being created and help protect the environment.
Where are SELENACARE menstrual cups made?
All SELENACARE menstrual cups were developed in Austria and are produced in Germany, Italy and Poland. We use high-quality material – 100% medical-grade silicone – that is made by our partner in Germany.
My menstrual cup has turned a strange colour. Do I need to replace it?
Discolouration may occur, but it is not harmful to your health. It can be removed by placing the cup in dissolved denture cleaning tablets or three per cent hydrogen overnight and rinsing it thoroughly with water and mild soap the next morning.
How do I remove my menstrual cup?
Wash your hands thoroughly and adopt the same position as you did to insert the cup. For example, crouching or sitting on the toilet. Gently squeeze the menstrual cup along the grooves to release the vacuum. Now you can carefully remove the cup. Gently twisting the cup and tightening your pelvic floor muscles can help here. In the beginning, it may take a few tries and a little patience – don’t worry, it’s quite normal! Even if it seems difficult at first, never pull the cup out by pulling on the ring or the studs without having released the vacuum. If you do not release the vacuum, it can increase and cause pain. Worst case scenario: a prolapsed uterus.
What should I do if the cup is stuck?
Particularly in the beginning, it may take some time to get used to removing your menstrual cup. First of all, you need to wash your hands. Then you need to adopt a comfortable position (standing, sitting, crouching). Try out different positions to find out what is easiest and most comfortable for you. Then you need to release the vacuum that holds the cup in place. To do this, insert your index finger along the bowl of the cup until you are able to push it in on itself. The vacuum will be immediately released and then you can remove the cup by pulling on the ring or the studs. Please note: releasing the vacuum is important. Never pull on the ring or studs without having released the vacuum first. The main thing is that you are relaxed when removing your menstrual cup. If you still can’t remove your cup, get into a warm shower, take a deep breath and squat deeply. This should make the cup slip a little lower, where it is easier to reach.
How do I empty my menstrual cup?
When you have removed the cup, you can simply empty it in the toilet or the sink. You do not have to remove it to urinate. You should empty your cup after 8 hours at the latest.
Can I use the menstrual cup after having given birth?
Once you’ve had the green light to use tampons again, you can also start using your menstrual cup.
How do I know that the menstrual cup has fully opened up?
Once you’ve inserted the cup, you can use your finger to feel between it and the vaginal wall to see if it has fully opened up. If it has, there will be a slight vacuum around the opening of the cup.
Can I use a menstrual cup if I also have an IUD/copper IUD?
Generally, it is possible to use a menstrual cup if you also have an IUD/copper IUD. However, do talk your doctor before using the cup. If you haven’t had your IUD/copper IUD very long, you may have to wait a while before being able to use a menstrual cup. During your first period after the IUD is inserted, you cannot use any internal period products – including tampons. That makes it the ideal opportunity to try out our menstrual underwear and washable pads! For later periods you can use them in combination with or instead of the cup. If you’ve already had your IUD/copper IUD for a while, there is generally nothing to prevent you using a menstrual cup. Just make sure that the IUD string does not get caught between the menstrual cup and the vaginal wall. If this happens, speak to your doctor; they can shorten the string for you. NOTE: When removing the menstrual cup, it is important that you first release the vacuum. Of course, you should always do this, but it is particularly important if you have an IUD/copper IUD.
What should I do if my menstrual cup doesn’t sit properly and leaks?
If your cup leaks, check the following: Did the menstrual cup fully open up? Does the cup also leak when it’s half full? How much blood leaks out? It may be that the cup simply fills up more quickly on heavier days and then leaks. In this case, you simply need to empty it more regularly. Otherwise, it could be that your pelvic floor muscles are very strong and your menstrual cup is too soft. This would mean that it initially sits properly, when there’s only a little blood inside it, but it will later overflow when more is collected. Depending on how much blood leaks, it may be due to residual blood left on the vaginal wall after you emptied your cup.
I’m having problems inserting the cup. What can I do?
Finding both the right menstrual cup and the best folding technique can take some time as there are many individual factors that play an important role. As a rule, you should not be able to feel your menstrual cup. To make it easier to insert, you can use a water-based lubricant or a little water to moisten the cup.
How do I know which firmness I need?
Menstrual cups are available in all shapes and colours. There are also various degrees of firmness. If you exercise frequently or have not given birth vaginally, your pelvic floor muscles are probably in good shape. In this case, you may need a firmer cup. A softer one may not sit properly and leak. Firmer menstrual cups are easier to insert as the material does not bend so much.
Can you feel the menstrual cup when it’s inserted?
If you have inserted your menstrual cup properly, i.e. low enough, you shouldn’t feel it. The cup can be inserted just below the cervix or a little lower, depending on what feels most comfortable. If your cup does not sit properly or you can feel it, this is not usually due to it being the wrong size. More likely, it is due to lack of practice.
What do I need to know before buying a menstrual cup?
When buying a menstrual cup, you should ensure that you choose the right size, firmness and material. Menstrual cups are usually made from medical-grade silicone, thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) or Latex. There are also versions that sit right on the cervix and others that sit a little lower. Our cups are produced in Europe. We obtain our medical-grade silicone from Germany and it is certified according to selected ISO 10993 tests and USP Class VI for use in the healthcare industry. Therefore, we are confident that our menstrual cups conform with our standards of quality.