I stock only the Lunette™ menstrual cup, as this is the only cup available in Australia that I personally recommend using.
Menstrual Cups are a reusable and safe alternative to tampons. Made from soft, flexible materials, they are folded into a smaller shape, inserted into the vagina – where they collect the menstrual flow. Once the cup has been in place for several hours, it can be removed, the contents emptied into the toilet (or shower/sink), the cup rinsed and reinserted. The one cup can last you many years (around 10+ years), so while they may seem to be an expensive product initially, they can save you money in the long term, and without the TSS and other health risks tampons can cause.
Unlike tampons, a menstrual cup does not dry out the vagina, making it not only more comfortable to insert and remove, but by non-absorbing, it does not affect the ph of the vagina (which can contribute to thrush). Cups have a far less risk of TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome, a condition that has lead to the death of countless women) and can safely be used overnight or for up to 12 hours at a time.
Having a much greater capacity than a tampon, they only need to be emptied a couple of times a day, allowing you to go out without requiring additional supplies. All you need is access to a toilet and some water to rinse the cup in. If your flow is lighter, you may find you can avoid emptying it while out altogether. While they may look large and seem difficult to use, with a little practice you should find them easy to use, and comfortable to wear.How to use a Menstrual Cup
Always make sure you wash your hands and the cup prior to use, and relax! 🙂
To use the cup, you first need to fold it. This makes the width of the cup smaller, for easier insertion. It will unfold inside you to form a seal against the vaginal walls, preventing leaks. There are many different ways you can fold the cup, and some women find different folds are easier or work better for them. To perform the most common, “C” fold, flatten the cup, then fold it in half, so that the rim now forms a “C” shape. Different positions can help make insertion easier. Some women find it easier to squat, some prefer to put one leg up on a toilet/bath, some prefer to lie on their side. Experiment with what positions make it easier for you.
Once folded, keeping pressure on the cup to keep it folded, carefully insert the cup as you would a tampon. With practice you will find the best positioning for your cup and your body. They are not designed to sit as high up as a tampon, you may find it sits quite low. When it is in the correct position you shouldn’t be able to feel it. Gently release the pressure on the cup and allow it to slowly open up. To check that it has fully opened up, use your finger to feel around the rim of the cup. If you can feel any areas where the cup is bent inwards, the cup has not fully opened and you may get leakage. Try to use your finger to press against the vaginal wall, allowing room for the cup to fully open. You can also try holding the base of the cup and turning the cup.
You may like to wear a pantyliner with the cup, to catch any small leakage or residual blood. As some blood will flow down while you are emptying and reinserting your cup, you may have a little spotting while that residual blood flows out. You can trim the stem if you find it’s length irritates you, but be careful not to trim too much off, or to damage the bottom of the cup. You should start off cutting only a little bit off, as you can always cut more off if you need to. It is recommended to leave the cup in place for no longer than 12 hours. The cup can be worn overnight.
When it is time to empty the cup, wash your hands, and then carefully locate the bottom/stem of the cup. Use your finger to slide up beside the cup and press the rim of the cup inward. This should “break the seal” between the vaginal wall and the cup, allowing you to remove it more easily. Using the base of the cup (not the stem itself), pull the cup down to the opening of the vagina. Tip the cup sideways a little and you can squeeze the cup a little to make it more oval shaped. Bring one part of the rim of the cup out first, then the rest. This may feel slightly uncomfortable at first, but should not hurt. Some women find they can fold the cup while it is inside the vagina, to make it smaller for removal.
Tip the contents of the cup into the toilet, or down the sink. Placing a little toilet paper into the toilet before emptying the cup, will allow the blood to flush away better, as otherwise it will sink to the bottom of the bowl. You can also use some toilet paper in the cup to absorb the blood and place the soaked paper into the toilet. You can also empty the cup in the shower.
Cleaning the Cup
The cup can be sterilised before using it, and after your period has finished, by boiling it in a pot of water for 2-5 minutes (Do not boil the cup for longer than 5 minutes). Make sure there is enough water in the pot to completely submerge the cup and ensure that the pot does not boil dry, as this will damage your cup. It is recommended to use a pot only for sterilising your cup and not for cooking. Remove the cup with tongs, and allow to cool and dry before putting it away or inserting it.
It is not necessary to sterilise the cup in daily use, sterilising it before it’s first use is recommended though. Between uses it should be at least washed with a mild, fragrance free soap, or a washing solution designed for silicone adult toys. Special Lunette washing liquid is available (I do not stock this as I don’t believe it is necessary). After you have removed and emptied the cup, you can rinse the cup with fresh water and re-insert it – there is no need to wash or sterilise the cup to reinsert it. However it should be given a thorough cleaning after your period finishes, before you put it in it’s storage bag, and before you use it again the following month.
To clean out the airholes, you can fill the cup with water, place the palm of your hand over the cup and squeeze the cup with your other hand. This should force the water out through the holes, clearing them. You may need to do this a couple of times if they are very blocked or the blood has dried.
If you are emptying the cup in a public toilet, you can wipe the cup clean with toilet paper while in your stall, and then rinse it out in the sink, then go back into the stall to reinsert it, or take a bottle of water or wet wipes into the stall with you, so that you can clean it without needing to leave the stall. Some women just empty it and reinsert it as is, and some just wipe it with toilet paper and reinsert – without rinsing.
Store your cup in a cloth bag, so that it can “breathe”. Do not store it in an airtight container.
There are 2 sizes of Lunette™ cup. The size 1 (smaller) and the size 2 (larger).
Generally speaking, the smaller cup is designed for younger women, women who have a light flow, or women who have never had sexual intercourse. This size cup is smaller in diameter, with a slightly lower capacity. Size 2 is recommended for older women, women who have a heavier flow, and for women who have been pregnant. This size has a larger diameter and capacity.
Diameter = 4.1cm
Capacity (to brim) = 25mls
Length (without stem) = 4.7cm
Length (including stem) = 6.6cm
Diameter = 4.6cm
Capacity (to brim) = 30mls
Length (without stem) = 5.2cm
Length (including stem) = 7.2cm
These size recommendations are a guide only. Please see http://www.lunette.com/au for more information.
Lunette features include:
- Made from 100% medical-grade silicone
- Will last up to 10 years
- Smooth inside lining of the cup, with minimal writing on the outside and solid stem – to make cleaning easy
- Smoother outer rim, for more comfortable insertion/removal
- Flexible flat tab stem, which can feel more comfortable than “tube” style stems, while still providing a stem to grip
- Measuring lines of 7.5ml and 15ml for for monitoring the amount of your flow
- Can be sterilised by placing in boiling water for 2-5 minutes
- Comes with a storage pouch, and packaged in a box
Lunette Disinfecting Wipes
The Lunette Disinfecting Wipes are a great option for sanitising your Lunette menstrual cup when you don’t have a chance to rinse it. The wipes eliminate most of the germs and enable you to also use the Lunette menstrual cup when there’s no clean water available. The box of 10 disinfecting wipes are individually packaged and are small in size. They fit everywhere and allow you to use the Lunette menstrual cup anywhere you go.
Kind to you and the Environment, the Lunette disinfection wipes are made from viscose, which biodegradable material that breaks down quickly. You can flush the wipe down the toilet if there is no sanitary bin available, or throw the used wipe into compost where it will decompose in less than 6 weeks. Perfect for camping as well as everyday use when you are out and about.
Using Lunette disinfecting wipes is easy! First wipe and dry the cup with a tissue, then disinfect the cup with the Lunette disinfecting wipe. After the disinfection let the cup dry completely before you insert it again (this takes only a few moments). Furthermore it is recommended to disinfect the Lunette menstrual cup before and after your period by cleaning it with the Lunette disinfecting wipe or boiling it in hot water for 3-5 min.
**It is important to note that while the disinfecting wipes are perfect for your cup, they are not suitable for cleaning your genital area**