Menstrual cups are one of the ingenious solutions that are healthy for our bodies and better for our environment and pockets in managing our period.
The little silicone cups are folded and inserted, then catch period blood and are easily emptied every six to twelve hours.
There are a number of benefits to using menstrual cups compared to single-use products (although, no shame if you prefer tampons or pads) but they need to be kept clean.
Today is Menstrual Hygiene Day, where companies and charities get together to highlight the importance of ensuring people across the world have access to clean and safe period products.
Helping spread this message and donating where you can is amazing, but on a micro level you can also ensure that your own products are hygienic – as well as letting friends know how they can do the same.
How often do menstrual cups need to be cleaned?
Each time you empty your menstrual cup you should give it a rinse with warm water and potentially a cup-safe soap.
However, between periods you should sterilise your cup thoroughly, as well as before you use it for the first time.
How to clean your menstrual cup
Empty your cup at least twice a day. Those with a heavier flow might prefer to do so every four to eight hours.
When you do so, tip out the blood, and run the cup under warm water. Some people prefer to use soap as well, and if you do you should ensure this is a non-scented soap. Make sure it’s rinsed thoroughly each time.
For easy and clean emptying you might want to try doing so in the shower.
After your period and before your next period you’ll want to sterilise your cup.
Some brands come with a special receptacle that can be filled with water and the cup and be placed in the microwave.
Other brands recommend that you place the cup for up to seven minutes in a pan of boiling water.
If you don’t have facilities to do this, you can buy sterilising tablets (such as Milton) and leave your cup in some water with these to clean it. Just make sure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines in dilution.