Menstrual Solutions2018-12-04T11:22:34+00:00

MENSTRUAL CUPS

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Menstrual Cups

For millennia, the monthly menstruation cycle has been the source of myths and some bizarre practices and in the 21st century many of these are still perpetuated.  Women, were and many still are taught that menstruation is something we need to be quiet about, to be kept a secret, not to be spoken about.  Unclean, smelly and in some religions women are not considered ‘pure’ while they are bleeding.

Menstruation means that a woman is healthy, can create life and it is the body’s way to prepare itself for new life.  The monthly cycle of bleeding is the body ridding itself of nutrients not used for the baby if pregnancy does not occur. What could be more clean and sacred than that?

Prior to the disposable sanitary products being available, women used cloth that was washed and re-used.  While the introduction of tampons and sanitary towels has removed this odious task for the modern women and allows freedom of movement and activity, there are associated health risks and negative environmental impact.

Culturally we are conditioned to believe that white equals clean.  However, producers of sanitary products bleach them and base their marketing and advertising strategies on the perception that white is sterile.   Most producers of these products are outside of the EU where strict regulations apply and there is no obligation to specify on the packaging what bleaching agents are most commonly used.  Chlorine the most commonly used bleach releases toxins that are extremely harmful.

Because these products are packaged separately in sealed packets does not mean that they are sterile.  They are not sterilised by manufacturers because their absorbency would be affected.  In fact, sanitary pads contain chemical absorbents.  Pesticides used in the cultivation of cotton also leave a residue in sanitary products.

The vagina has a network of fine veins and capillaries.  Tampons typically stay in the vagina for a couple of hours and these toxins are absorbed through the vaginal wall into the bloodstream and have been known to cause side effects such as bad cramps, increased bleeding and in the worst case scenario,  toxic shock syndrome.   Conversely, tampons soak up the body’s vaginal lubricants and tamper with the Ph balance. Many women report that after they started to use a menstrual cup their cramps and bleeding decreased and the duration of the period is shorter.

Why use a menstrual cup?

Menstrual cups, provide the ideal, all round solution to menstrual issues for the busy, modern woman.

  • Using a cup can teach you so much about your body: How much you actually bleed, how your anatomy is structured, eg. where to locate your cervix, all of things helps to keep track of you cycle and reproductive system and help you be aware of things that are not normal.
  • Menstrual cups are reusable and fit perfectly inside the vagina to collect the menstrual flow, instead of absorbing it. The gentle seal formed with the vaginal walls ensures no leakage. It does not change the natural balance of the vagina or interfere with its lubrication (which absorbent tampons do).
  • Menstrual cups are simple to insert, are very comfortable and allow for up to 12 hours wear in between changes. Simple to remove, empty, wash with natural soap and water and re-insert.  No mess, no fuss, no residue.
  • Menstrual cups do not contribute to the landfill glut that pads and tampons do. Researcher estimate a period of between f 500 to 800 years for the disintegration of menstrual pads and  disposable nappies.
  • Menstrual cups save money! A cup typically lasts for many years realising huge savings on disposable pads and tampons and the drudge of having to shop for them every month.

The cups I recommend are manufactured from top quality, Medical Silicon which is totally latex-free, hypoallergenic and keeps its shape. It can be sterilized using different methods, due to its high resistance to extreme temperatures.

Questions I have been asked

My menstrual cup has been inside me for ten hours, is this a problem?2017-08-18T10:01:37+00:00

The usage limit of 12 hours is a recommended, but longer use will not necessarily cause problems.  I would recommend changing your cup three to four times a day to avoid any risk of infection.

Can I use a menstrual cup with an IUD?2018-03-15T12:19:52+00:00

Yes you can!  If you do use an IUD, consult with your gynaecologist about cutting the strings as short as possible and monitor their length regularly during periods. If the strings seem longer than normal, it could be a sign that your IUD has moved.

How do I know if my flow is heavy or light?2017-08-18T10:04:41+00:00

A flow of less than 80 ml over the duration of your period is considered to be light to normal.  Over 80ml is considered to be a heavy period.

How does the menstrual cup differ from the tampon?2017-08-18T10:04:34+00:00

Both the menstrual cup and tampon provide internal menstrual protection.  The difference is that the menstrual cup collects the blood and the tampon absorbs it. The tampon can be used only once whereas the menstrual cup can be used for many years. A tampon is rigid while a cup is flexible, hence softer in your vagina.  The tampon not only absorbs the menstrual flow, but also the natural lubrication within the vagina, causing dryness.

Can I sleep with or swim while I am using my menstrual cup?2017-08-18T10:04:27+00:00

Most definitely!

Sometimes I have leakage when I use my menstrual cup. Can this be related to the cervix?2017-08-18T10:02:52+00:00

The cervix is the entrance of the uterus through which menstrual blood flows through a pin-sized hole into the vaginal canal.  It is usually located high in the vagina keeping it above the menstrual cup which is placed lower down.  If your cervix moves to a lower position during menstruation or if the cup is inserted too high, then the cup might come into contact with the cervix and cause leaks or discomfort.

You can locate your cervix in the upper part of your vagina and it feels like the tip of a nose. If you can’t locate it then it just means yours is deep enough not to affect the cup.

If you’ve given birth recently, or more than once, exercise the pelvic diaphragm muscles by doing Kegel exercises (the added bonus it can also help with incontinence and improving sex!)

I can’t get my menstrual cup out. Should I worry?2017-08-18T10:04:18+00:00

Your menstrual cup can’t get lost inside you!   Removing your menstrual cup can be strange at first but relax. Take a deep breath, relax your muscles and slowly try to grasp the bottom of the cup with your fingers before gently easing it out.  You can also try a little rocking back and forth or squatting. Sometimes it is easier while sitting on the toilet with your knees (and vagina) wide open and legs relaxed.

I am prone to bladder and yeast infections. Can I use a menstrual cup?2017-08-18T10:02:21+00:00

You most certainly can but my advice would be to buy a soft cup like the IrisCup which won’t irritate or put pressure on your vaginal walls and the surrounding organs (bladder).

Iris Cup

Iris Cup

IrisCup, the Rolls Royce of menstrual cups is manufactured from 100% platinum silicone which guarantees a level of hygiene superior to menstrual cups hardened with peroxide.   It is ideal for women who want a high quality menstrual cup and for those who have dermatological problems or allergies.

  • It’s soft and pliable, completely adapts to your body, respecting the vaginal environment and avoiding unpleasant leaks.
  • IrisCup supports your lifestyle… it is perfect to use when playing sport, swimming, travelling, sleeping and is compatible with contraceptive methods, such as IUDs and the contraceptive ring.
  • IrisCup is safe and anti-allergenic. It is suitable for all women. Even those with dermatological allergies to tampons or latex. This is because it is made with 100% Platinum Silicone, a chemically inert material that is totally safe in contact with the body because it does not cause any reaction, allergy or inflammation.
  • It is odourless and does not absorb odour either.
  • IrisCup has FDA approval and complies with all the EU Health Department requirements.
  • Lasts up to 10 years.

IrisCup Sizes

Size S- Women up to 25 years and who have not given birth.
Size L- Women over 25 years or who have given birth.

Recommendations in case of leakage

If the Iriscup menstrual cup is correctly placed, you will not feel it and you should not experience discomfort or leakage. Correct positioning:

Iris Cup Sizes

Poorly placed menstrual cup which can cause leakage.

Menstrual cup in the correct position.

Lunette Cup

Lunette Menstrual Cups

I have personally tested a large range of menstrual cups and am able to offer the best on the market.

Different brands have different features and because all women are different, these will appeal for different reasons.

Lunette is also a medical grade silicone cup and comes in a multitude of colours – allowing buyers to personalize their purchase.

The dyes used are FDA approved for medical and food use. The colours don’t contain heavy metals (e.g. lead, chromium VI, cadmium, mercury) or phthalates. The dye used is trapped inside the silicone so that it’s not possible for the colour to leach into the vaginal environment as do some cheaper dyes which are used in other menstrual cups.

Features of the Lunette Cup

  • The stem on the cup is completely flat, flexible, and thin which makes it more comfortable to wear. A solid, flat, stem allows no room for bacterial to breed.
  • The inside surface is completely smooth without any writing or marks, allowing for easier cleaning, and is hostile to bacteria.
  • The cup has a soft base which makes it easier to ‘pinch and release’ the vacuum seal when removing the cup. It also has convenient ridges that assist with easy removal.
  • The rim design makes it easier to insert, as the rim of the Lunette cup is smooth and small.
  • The Lunette form is slightly shorter yet designed to maximize capacity.
  • The measurement lines assist in understanding your menstrual cycle. By monitoring your flow you are able to predict your heavy and light days.

Sizing and Consistency

Lunette cups come in two different consistencies:   Firm and soft. Model 2 is firm and easily pops open during insertion. While the smaller Model 1 opens easily, its consistency is different:  It was designed to be softer and squishier.  This is a benefit for younger users to make insertion easier. It also is more comfortable for women with lower cervixes or who have sensitive bladders.

Yuuki Cup

Yuuki Menstrual Cups

The name Yuuki comes from Japanese YUU meaning ‘gentleness’,  ‘of higher merit’ and combined with KI meaning ‘radiance’, ‘hope’ or ‘Life.   Encouraging us to be kinder to ourselves and to nature!

Yuuki Menstrual Cups are high-quality Czech products made of medical grade silicon, meeting the strictest medical standards. All production and inspection processes are in full compliance with the requirements of the ISO 9001 standard.

Features of the Yuuki Cup

  • Well-priced and economical.
  • Total comfort during use because of the softness.
  • Complies with EU health regulations.
  • Comes in a range of rainbow colours.
  • Contains no dyes and phthalates.
  • EU product from a specialist in the manufacture of medical components.
  • Has a unique raised edge inside of the cup to prevent spillage during removal.
  • Comes in original and unique packaging. The container is solid and prevents the cup becoming damaged while it is not in use.  (i.e. being carried in a handbag).
Yuuki Cup sizes

Sizing and Consistency

Yuuki menstrual cups come in two sizes:   Number 1 is a smaller cup for young girls and women who have not yet given birth while number 2, a slightly bigger cup, is designed for women who have given birth and for those who are over 28 years of age and enjoy a regular sex life.

Yuuki Cup

Merula Menstrual Cups

What distinguishes the Merula cup from most other menstrual cups?

  • It has a very large capacity (up to 38ml). With a diameter from 40mm to 46mm Merula adapts perfectly to your body and is an ideal companion for light to heavy bleeding.
  • From weak to strong pelvic muscles: Merula stays where it belongs. As it can be used collapsed and does not have to open completely, even strong pelvic muscles do not make it lose its shape – literally.
  • Due to its spherical shape, Merula has a short height of only 39mm and an impressive capacity, which is bigger than the amount of two of the highest absorbency tampons. Because of that, Merula can easily be used by women with a low cervix. The cup can also be used without any difficulty if you have a high cervix, as it has a long, ladder-shaped stem.
  • Measuring the height of your cervix before using the cup for the first time is not necessary. Simply decide, which length of the stem would be perfect for you. If necessary, you can adapt it by cutting one or two levels from the stem.

Insertion & Removal

Punchdown-Fold

Push the rim of the cup at one point in direction to the inner bottom and fold the whole cup. As you do so, the cup becomes smaller and it is easier to insert. You can wet the cup or use a water-based lubricant. Insert the folded cup and make sure that the rim opens again when inside. The bottom of the cup can stay collapsed. If the cup leaks, try to correct its position. The cup does not have to be inserted as deep as a tampon. For removal, press the cup slightly downwards and hold the stem. Move the cup downwards, with slow zigzag movements, until you can reach the bottom. Press the bottom in order to remove the light suction. Now, you can remove the cup completely and clean it.

Adaption

First, try your Merula cup. After that, you can adapt the stem to your individual length. Remove the parts that are highlighted in red with nail scissors to adapt the stem to your required length. The cup should disappear completely inside your body, but still be easily reachable with at least one finger.

Keep the cup always in a container that is permeable to air, such as the bag that is delivered with Merula. Well maintained, a single cup can be used up to 10 years.

  • The Merula Cup is made of certified medical grade silicone and without chemical additives like plasticizers.

  • VEGAN

  • Made in Germany

RUBY CUP

Ruby Cup

Ruby Menstrual Cups

Ruby Cup is a high quality menstrual cup, made of 100% medical grade silicone, that is reusable for 10 years. It has many advantages over disposable products: it is cheaper in the long term, healthy, environmentally friendly, and it removes the monthly stress of wondering where the next pack of menstrual health products will come from.

What does “sustainable” mean to us: ensuring that our programme participants get the full benefits of using Ruby Cup and enjoy worry-free periods for 10 years. The Ruby packaging is also biodegradable, meaning low waste.

Buy One, Give One. Change someone’s life. For each cup you buy – Ruby cup donates one cup to a girl in need.

Each Ruby Cup donation comes with an educational workshop on reproductive health, includes a thorough introduction on how to use a Ruby Cup by trainers who use one themselves, and gives the girls access to a support network to make sure they get the help they might need once they start using their Ruby Cup.

It makes all the difference, and it starts with you. Read here how we make sure the donated Ruby Cup makes a real difference for the girl who receives one https://rubycup.com/blog/buy-one-give-one-menstrual-cup-donation-long-term-positive-impact/

Ruby Cup is a healthy, sustainable, cost-effective and eco-friendly menstrual cup. Made from 100% soft, medical grade silicone, Ruby Cup is safe, comfortable and hygienic.

Benefits

You’ll use up to 12,000 disposable period products in your reproductive lifetime.

Swapping to a Ruby Cup dramatically reduces the impact your period has on the environment. This is because each cup can be reused for up to 10 years. The planet will thank you for it!

A Ruby Cup has 3 times the capacity of a super tampon. That means you can wear it for up to 12 hours, depending on the heaviness of your flow. You have everything you need in one simple product. Job done!

Ruby Cups are made from 100% medical-grade, soft silicone and are free from plastics, latex, toxins and bleaches. You can care for your body, all while knowing that the product you’re using is completely harmless.

Sizing and Colours

Ruby Cup is available in 4 different colours purple, red, blue and clear and two sizes: Size Small for a light flow; Size Medium for a heavier flow

http://rubycup.com/how-to-use-a-menstrual-cup/which-menstrual-cup-size-should-i-use/

Yuuki Cup

100% Cotton Cloth Pads

Cloths pads are reusable pads made from 100% ORGANIC COTTON that can be rinsed and re-used. Using cloths pads has many advantages:  they are soft, eco-friendly, healthier and initially save you money. Many women report that switching to reusable products also created a change in their attitude towards their body and femininity. During the years we have grown apart from our body and our cycles. The more we grow apart the more we hear about PMS, bad cramps, periods that are getting longer and heavier and many other syndromes. Long time ago, when women came back to their tribe after menstruating, the wise men would consult them because their period time was known as time of dreams and intuition. With time, this approach disappeared and with it also the joy of having our period.

Nowadays we are taught not to talk about our menstruation flow, periods are a hassle and we prefer to get rid of it any way we can. When we get more in touch with our body, with our cycle and period we find out that our body is in fact very wise and tells us what it needs.  Our body needs to slow down, to rest to be more ‘in’ than ‘out’ and it will signal it to us in any way it possibly can.

The advantages of 100% ORGANIC COTTON cloths pads:

Those cloths pads are really soft, made from layers of only 100% ORGANIC COTTON and breathable.  It is not sealed with any synthetic fabrics to allow your body to breath.  It is attached to your panty with snaps.

By using cloths pads made from 100% ORGANIC COTTON we help the environment. No synthetic fibres that our landfill takes hundreds of years to disintegrate.  By using 100% ORGANIC COTTON we help to keep our body & environment healthy.

Many women switching to 100% ORGANIC COTTON cloths pads report that they don’t suffer from yeast infection BV, bladder infections etc. At the cotton industry that is being used for the disposable pads they use pesticides and other chemicals (about 800 different chemicals).  These cloths pads are free of all those chemicals.

These 100% ORGANIC COTTON have high absorbent ability, they suit women with heavy bleeding and postpartum.  The cloths pads do not go through dying with chemicals or bleach and therefore their absorbent ability is high.

Besides the first investment they last you a good few years. A woman is fertile about 30 years and these 100% ORGANIC COTTON will last you a while (also due to not being sprayed with dyes which are basically chemicals).

They are always there; you cannot forget to buy them.

One word about smell- blood doesn’t smell. Blood that went through oxygenation and/or mixed with chemicals will smell…

100% ORGANIC COTTON cloths pads are made from a few layers of soft organic cotton, they have wings and wrapped around your panties with snaps.

100% ORGANIC COTTON cloths pads come in a few models and each model has a few sizes: pads for menstrual blood, daily liners, postpartum cloths pads and menstruation for teens.

  • They have high absorption, comfortable, healthy and eco-friendly.

  • They are washed easily and don’t need lots of maintenance.

  • One needs 6-12 cloths pads depends on her flow, length of her period and washing routine.

100% ORGANIC COTTON is built with 2 parts. The lower part is attached to the panties with nickel snaps and the upper part is a liner which is folded into 4, also made from 100% ORGANIC COTTON, so when the upper part is saturated you fold it differently and it can continue absorbing.

How to use the 100% ORGANIC CLOTHS PADS?2018-07-08T16:18:04+00:00

The cloths pads close on your panties with snaps. When you finish with it you wash it as advised. The cloths pads have 2 parts: one that is attached to your panties with wide wings to prevent stains and the second part, foldable which allows you to feel clean, when one side is fully saturated you fold it inside out and it can still absorb.

How many 100% ORGANIC COTTON cloths pads do I need?2018-07-09T06:06:21+00:00

Menstruation cloths pads- between 6 to 12, it depends on how many times you change, how is your flow, length of your period and washing routine. There are 2 sizes: Light to medium and heavy.

Daily cloths pads- between 6-12 cloths pads, depends on how many you change and washing routine. There are 2 types of the daily: thin and think. The thin- as a liner and the thick also can use you as a backup for your cup.

How do I wash them?2018-07-11T14:46:10+00:00

When you finish with it, soak in cold water for a few hours, squeeze and wash in the washing machine at 40 degrees, with no bleach and eco-friendly detergent.

Daily liners no need to soak.

Many women tent to flinch from dealing with blood but after experiencing that they find out that it is about 5 minutes each cycle.

Blood contains proteins and they break down easily in cold water. It is advised to hang in the sun.

You can wash with higher temperature and use tumble dryer but that will shorten the cloths pads life span.

TYPES OF COTTON PADS AVAILABLE

They are bigger than the other pads and highly absorbent.

The cloth pads are very soft and nurturing to your body as you deserve after giving birth.

Eco, breathable & absorbent. Very soft and comfortable and your body will accepts them in the most  natural way. The cotton didn’t go through chemical spraying therefore it is more absorbent and last longer.

The pad has 2 parts: one part that wraps around your panty with nickel snaps and the second is a liner folded in 4. The unique shape of the pad allows you to change fold when the upper part is saturated and you can still wear it and feel dry and comfortable.

Washing: When you finish with it, soak in cold water for a few hours, squeeze and wash in the washing machine 40 degrees, with no bleach, and eco-friendly detergent.

Price: one pad is R170 a pack of 3 will be R490.

  • All the fabrics are organic certified.
  • You can mix between the cloths pads.
  • These cloths pads are great for women who tend to suffer from candida, infections etc.

Daily liner made from soft organic cotton. It is one piece, eco- friendly breathable and light.

The cotton didn’t go through chemical spraying therefore it is more absorbent and last longer.

You wash it with the rest of your laundry, low temperature.

Price: one pad is R140 and pack of 6 will be R810

  • All the fabrics are organic certified.
  • You can mix between the cloths pads.
  • These cloths pads are great for women who tend to suffer from candida, infections etc.

The pad has 2 parts: one part that wraps around your panty with nickel snaps and the second is a liner folded in 4. The unique shape of the pad allows you to change fold when the upper part is saturated and you can still wear it and feel dry and comfortable. The cotton didn’t go through chemical spraying therefore it is more absorbent and last longer.

Washing: When you finish with it, soak in cold water for a few hours, squeeze and wash in the washing machine 40 degrees, with no bleach, and eco-friendly detergent.

Many women tent to flinch from dealing with blood but after experiencing that they find out that it is about 5 minutes each cycle.

Many report that after using these pads , experience less PMS, their periods got shorter and feel more feminine.

Price: one pad is R160 a pack of 3 will be R450.

  • All the fabrics are organic certified.
  • You can mix between the cloths pads.
  • These cloths pads are great for women who tend to suffer from candida, infections etc.

Cloths pads suited for teens with light flow and for the first & last day of your period (for heavier periods see below).

Eco, breathable & absorbent. Very soft and comfortable and your body will accepts them in the most  natural way. The cotton didn’t go through chemical spraying therefore it is more absorbent and last longer.

Made from a few layers of organic cotton and its length fits teens. The cloths pad wraps around the pantie and is closed with nickel snaps.

It is made from layers of 100% ORGANIC COTTON and is one piece, its length fits teens and it has  wings wrapped around your panties and closed with  nickel snaps.

Price: one pad is R150 a pack of 3 will be R420.

  • All the fabrics are organic certified.
  • You can mix between the cloths pads.
  • These cloths pads are great for women who tend to suffer from candida, infections etc.

This type of cloth pads suit heavy bleeding and for night time.

Eco, breathable & absorbent. Very soft and comfortable and your body will accepts them in the most  natural way. The cotton didn’t go through chemical spraying therefore it is more absorbent and last longer.

The pad has 2 parts: one part that wraps around your panty with nickel snaps and the second is a liner folded in 4. The unique shape of the pad allows you to change fold when the upper part is saturated and you can still wear it and feel dry and comfortable.

Washing: When you finish with it, soak in cold water for a few hours; squeeze and wash in the washing machine 40 degrees, with no bleach, and eco-friendly detergent.

Many women tent to flinch from dealing with blood but after experiencing that they find out that it is about 5 minutes each cycle.

Women who use them report that they experience less PMS, their periods got shorter and feel more feminine.

Price: one pad is R160 a pack of 3 is R450.

  • All the fabrics are organic certified.
  • You can mix between the cloths pads.
  • These cloths pads are great for women who tend to suffer from candida, infections etc.

This type of cloth pads suits average bleeding, for the day.

*There is also an option for thinner cloths pad.

Eco, breathable & absorbent. Very soft and comfortable and your body will accept them in the most  natural way.

The cotton didn’t go through chemical spraying therefore it is more absorbent and last longer.

The pad has 2 parts: one part that wraps around your panty with nickel snaps and the second is a liner folded in 4. The unique shape of the pad allows you to change fold when the upper part is saturated and you can still wear it and feel dry and comfortable.

Washing: When you finish with it, soak in cold water for a few hours, squeeze and wash in the washing machine 40 degrees, with no bleach, and eco-friendly detergent.

Many women tent to flinch from dealing with blood but after experiencing it they find out that it takes about 5 minutes each cycle.

Women who use them report that they experience less PMS, their periods got shorter and feel more feminine.

Price: one pad is R160 a pack of 3 is R450

  • All the fabrics are organic certified.
  • You can mix between the cloths pads.
  • These cloths pads are great for women who tend to suffer from candida, infections etc.