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Trying anything new can, sometimes, be intimidating, particularly if the new thing involves managing your menstrual period. If you intend to switch from your tried and true pads and tampons to menstrual cups, it’s normal to have questions like, ‘can I get infections from a menstrual cup?’ or ‘is it safe?’ cross your mind.
Personal hygiene is important
When used properly, a menstrual cup is safe, just like any other period management product. Infections are usually caused by bacteria and other microorganisms invading your tissues often via abrasion in your skin. Yeast infections and other common vaginal infections such as bacterial vaginitis occur when there is a pH imbalance.
Whenever you insert a foreign object into your vagina, the chances are that unwanted bacteria is coming along for a ride. And menstrual cups are not an exception. But if you clean your menstrual cup and wash your hands before inserting or removing it, you don’t need to worry about infections. Research shows that period cups are more sanitary compared to tampons and pads, but only if used properly.
If you are using menstrual cups, the best way to avoid infections is to stick to hygiene tips. For example, you must wash your hands thoroughly before removing or inserting the cup. Your hands may contain bacteria from the surfaces you touch, and while inserting the cup, it’s easy to introduce harmful bacteria into your reproductive tract. This creates a perfect environment for both bacterial and yeast infections.
Additionally, you must clean your menstrual cup properly at least twice daily. Use warm water and unscented, water-based soap. Experts recommend purchasing a menstrual wash in case you are worried about choosing the right soap. For thorough cleaning, you can use boiling water and baking soda once monthly, then let the cup dry in a sunny area to prevent instances of staining.
A menstrual cup isn’t the type of cup you stick in the dishwasher. Unless you intend to have a warped silicone that will defeat the leak-free purpose of the cup, don’t try to clean yours in this appliance.
If you have been hesitant to try menstrual cups because of unfamiliarity, you are not alone. A recent study indicated that most people are likely to try a menstrual cup if they know another person who has been using it. But you don’t have to be afraid. Menstrual cups are safe as long as you use them correctly.