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For Cup newbies, Menstrual Cups might seem a little daunting at first, but stress less, Moxette - this handy lil' FAQ will have you sorted in no time! Here are some helpful things to know...
WHAT IS A MENSTRUAL CUP?
A Menstrual Cup is a reusable and sustainable alternative to period disposables and is designed to be inserted inside the vagina during menstruation to collect menstrual fluid.
HOW ARE THEY DIFFERENT FROM PADS AND TAMPONS?
Unlike pads and tampons, menstrual cups collect liquid rather than absorb it. During your period, a cup can be inserted and removed as frequently as you might change a tampon or pad - but unlike tampons and pads, instead of throwing it away, you simply rinse it and re-insert that same menstrual cup throughout the duration of your cycle. Similarly to tampons, cups are designed to sit inside the vagina, though they will generally sit lower than a tampon.
HOW DO THEY WORK?
When inserted correctly, menstrual cups form a suction-like seal inside the vagina, which is what helps keep them in place and prevent any leaks! Your cup may sit higher or lower in your vagina, depending on where your cervix is located (some women have a higher cervix, or a lower cervix, and it can even change position throughout your cycle!).
WHAT ARE THEY MADE FROM?
Cups come in various shapes, sizes and materials, but our Moxie Menstrual Cups are made with medical-grade silicone that's latex, plastic and BPA free. We chose medical-grade silicone because it's super soft, making it easier (in our opinion, anyway!) to insert and remove.
Moxie Menstrual Cups are proudly made using a ZERO WASTE or scraps production process. We use an injected moulding technique which means that we only use the exact amount of silicone required to make your Cup (same goes for it's outer carry Pod, too!).
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
As well as being re-usable, menstrual cups can last for YEARS if properly looked after. This means less waste and environmental impact that regular period disposables. You'll spend less in the long-run on period products, too, and you also won't have to remember to buy them as often. Huzzah! Oh and add to this, they're super convenient - you can wear them for up to 8 hours at a time and go about your daily business like it's no-one's business! Moxie Cups come complete with a purse-worthy carry pod, which makes for super easy and hygienic storage in-between uses.
DO THEY COME IN DIFFERENT SIZES?
Do they ever! You'll find a myriad of cups on the market and most will have sizing guides on their packs, but in all honestly, it can be a bit confusing and will often be about a bit of trial and error in order to figure out which one is best for you, your needs, your flow and your body.
Moxie Menstrual Cups are currently available in two sizes, because we wanted to keep things super simple to begin with:
* Regular (the pink box!): for those with a medium flow, or those who are under 30, or those who have not given birth. Our Regular Cup holds approx. 2.5 tampons worth of fluid (30ml up to the holes on the cup) at any one time.
* Super (the blue box!): for those with a heavy flow, or those who are over 30, or those who have given birth. Our Super Cup holds approx. 2.5 tampons worth of fluid (40ml up to the holes on the cup) at any one time.
Both our Moxie Menstrual Cups measure 70mm in length (the Super is just a little bit wider than the regular), including the little stem, so if you have a particularly short cervix, these may not be right for you. More on how to better understand your cervix position, HERE.
HOW DO I INSERT OR USE A MENSTRUAL CUP?
We've penned the ultimate go-to guide to easy(er) insertion and usage, from the 'C fold' to the 'punch-down' fold methods (with pics!) - check it out, HERE.
DOES IT HURT?
Using a menstrual cup can take a bit of practice and getting used to, we're not gonna lie... BUT, it certainly shouldn't be painful, if inserted correctly. You should feel as if you're not wearing anything at all. The trick is to 'fold' it as small as possible for insertion to avoid any discomfort a the vaginal opening (more on that in a bit).
HOW OFTEN AM I MEANT TO REMOVE IT?
Menstrual cups can be worn for up to 8 hours at a time - you can remove, empty, rinse and repeat more frequently if you need to, but never leave your cup in for more than 8 hours at a time. Make sure you've got clean hands before insertion and removal.
CAN IT LEAK?
It CAN, but if your cup is the right size for you and if it's inserted correctly, it shouldn't. Some people like to wear a panty-liner as a back-up. Check out our post on reasons why your menstrual cup might be leaking (with tips on what to do about it!).
CAN I SLEEP WITH A MENSTRUAL CUP IN?
Technically you can, but just like with tampons, we'd strongly recommend not to wear your Cup to bed/whilst you're asleep. Menstrual Cups (and tampons) are only meant to be left in for 8hrs at a time, MAXIMUM - so if you happen to sleep longer than that, you MAY be increasing your risk of things like Toxic Shock Syndrome (Also known as TSS. More on this a few qns down). We'd strongly recomment using an overnight pad instead.
CAN YOU USE A MENSTRUAL CUP WITH AN IUD?
For those who don't know, an IUD (intrauterine device), is a birth control device that is inserted into a woman's uterus to prevent pregnancy. The short answer is YES, you should be able to, as an IUD sits right up inside the uterus and a cup sits in the vagina, below the cervix, although if you do have an IUD, we strongly recommend seeing your Doctor or a trusted health professional prior to using a Menstrual Cup.
CAN YOU GET TSS FROM USING A MENSTRUAL CUP?
Although rarely associated with the use of menstrual cups, Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) can still occur and so it's important to use this product responsibly and use only as directed in the leaflet in pack. If you experience any symptoms like a high fever, faintness, vomiting and/or diarrhoea, remove your cup and seek medical attention immediately. For more information on TSS, visit toxicshock.org.au
HOW DO I CLEAN IT?
Prior to use, you should sterilise your cup, as it won't be provided to you as sterile. For our Moxie Cups, we suggest placing them in a pot of boiling water for 3 - 5 minutes and allowing to cool before removing and inserting. During your cycle, you can simply empty your cup and rinse it - first with cold water, then with warm water or warm soapy water, but you should sterilise it again before your next cycle. In between uses, you can keep it in its purse-worthy pod. Tip: make sure not to use super hot water when cleaning your Cup during usage - rinse in cold first, THEN hot, as hot water can set stains in and discolour your Cup.
If you're in public and cleaning isn't easy, either just rinse your Cup in cold water, or empty it and wipe it out with some loo paper and pop back in it's Pod for proper cleaning once you get home.
HELP! I ACCIDENTALLY DROPPED MY CUP IN THE TOILET!
If you do accidentally drop your menstrual cup in the toilet, first thing to do is to fish it out - please don't try and flush it, as this can clog pipes and end up in our waterways. If you have some disposable gloves, pop these on and pull it out.
If you dropped your cup in a public toilet, we would recommend disposing of it - you don't know how frequently (or infrequently) that toilet has been cleaned, so you could be exposing yourself to a myriad of germs and potentially even viruses like hepatitis.
If you dropped the cup in your own toilet, then you need to make a tough decision, knowing how frequently (or infrequently!) you clean your own loo; do you turf it, or to you re-sterilie/sanitise it and re-use it?
Firstly, DO NOT re-insert your cup immediately after having dropped it in the toilet, or even on the floor for that matter. Both are FULL of germs like E.Coli and streptococcus, and so if you do intend to use your cup again, you need to boil it for 20 minutes in boiling water (make sure the water is boiling before you put the cup in). Make sure it is submerged in the water, but not touching the bottom of the pot (microwaving it in water won't cut it in our personal opinion, so best boil it in a pot on the stove).
It's really your choice as to whether you want to re-use it or not, bearing in mind that you could be exposing yourself to potentially harmful bacteria if you don't clean it properly - if in doubt, dispose and replace (our reco would be to replace, but we respect that cost and personal choice are considerations).
HELP! MY CUP HAS DISCOLOURED!
This is not unusual, Moxette, and is actually quite common/normal. If your Cup discolours, it doesn't necessarily mean it's time to turf it. To keep your Cup in tip top, like-new condition, always follow the care instructions in pack and try rinsing in cold water upon removal first, in order to get the bulk of your 'flow' off the silicone. THEN wash in warm water (hot water can set stains in!).
If your Cup has discoloured, you can try soaking it in the sun for a few hours - this can be antibacterial and can also help break down any stains. You can also try rubbing it with alcohol (Hot tip: Opaque silicone cups, like our Moxie one, tend not to stain or discolour as easily as transparent silicone might).
WHERE CAN I BUY A MENSTRUAL CUP?
You can find Moxie Menstrual Cups online via our e-store or at Chemist Warehouse stores nationally.
For more info on how to clean and care for your Cup, check out the leaflet provided in each pack.
Any more questions? Shoot us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org