How to Clean a Menstrual Cup while traveling
This is the story of how the menstrual cup came into my life 5 years ago. It all started thanks to a trip. I had a fam trip for my job back then, and that unwanted visitor decided to join me on the ship. I was taking the Ferry to the Dominican Republic that afternoon, and no, I did not have any pads… what I was supposed to do at that moment? Of course, may people would argue “how to clean a menstrual cup while traveling?” And definitely, I figured out that and decided to go around the world doing that.
I was in the office, and I was supposed to go directly from there to the pier to take the ship. My secret weapon was calling mom! Since I was still scared, I bought pads on my lunch break. Now I had two 14-pads boxes and a small backpack on which they didn’t fit. I was now supposed to carry them shamelessly in a bag through all those hotels in Punta Cana we were visiting that weekend. GREAT!
Dear menstrual cup: You don’t know how much I value the fact that you came into my life. The hardest days of the months have been simple days thanks to you. – A small thought I wrote on Menstrual Cups
For reference: What is a menstrual cup?
According to Wikipedia, a menstrual cup is a menstrual hygiene device that is inserted into the vagina during menstruation. Its purpose, naturally, is to collect the menstrual fluid. Menstrual cups are usually made of flexible medical-grade silicone, latex, or a thermoplastic isomer. Some of them are meant to be disposable, and most of them are not, which is the main reason why it becomes an economic option if you are a fellow traveler. How to clean a menstrual cup tends to be very easy, but it is always something that people think it is harder than it is.
The moment I decided to use a menstrual cup
When I came back to Puerto Rico from that weekend, I decided to find out where to buy a menstrual cup. I have never been a tampon person, and I knew that, as a frequent traveler, I could not keep on traveling with huge pad boxes. A few years ago I got my period in Sweden, and I couldn’t find any brand big enough for my flow. So yes, a menstrual cup was definitely an option for me.
Things you need to know when buying a menstrual cup
I started my research: there was only a store back then in Puerto Rico that sell menstrual cups. I went all my way there and bought mine. The guy who worked there explained everything to me pretty well. He showed me all the brands he has, and I made my decision. Most of the menstrual cups in the market come in two sizes:
#1, which in most brands the diameter is 41 mm (1.6 inches) by 47 mm (1.9 inches), the stem measures 25 mm (1 inch), and the volume of the cup is 25 ml (0.85 fl oz).
#2 has a diameter is 46 mm (1.8 inches) by 52 mm (2 inches), the stem measures 20 mm (0.8 inches, and the volume of the cup is 30 ml (1.0 fl oz).
When you find out this, the first question to ask is:
Which size of the menstrual cup is better for me?
The reality is that it is more of a personal choice and how well you know your body. #2, even though it is recommended if you have a heavy flow, I would say it is definitely up to you. If you have given birth, #2 must be your option. In any other case, I would go straight to #1. Why? Because what will definitely change is the frequency on which you are going to empty it. You can wear a menstrual cup even for 12 hours in a row, and no, not necessarily it will leak. How to clean a menstrual cup, when it comes to frequency, usually plays an important role in the decision you will make. You have to do it more frequently if your flow is heavier.
Where can I buy a menstrual cup? Which menstrual cup brand should I buy?
There are a lot of menstrual cup brands available. The most popular brands are definitely Diva Cup and Lunette. I would definitely suggest you buy online a whole kit that also, besides including just the cup and the bag, it will include the menstrual cup cleaner for a reasonable price. Which menstrual cup brand should you buy? The one you feel works best for you!
Those little bags the menstrual cup brings…
Those little bags that the menstrual cup brings make them the perfect addition to your trips. They fit anywhere, and it won’t be as bulky as carrying a whole box of pads. I finally found a way to save space and money on all my trips while on heavier flow days.
Using a menstrual cup has helped me to save a lot of money that I spent on pads. Now I can save it… for another trip!
Are there any other options that are not pads or menstrual cups?
Nowadays, there are plenty of options that are not only menstrual cups or pads. There are menstrual cloth pads and menstrual underwear. I feel that no one knows our bodies better than ourselves. We know what we really need for our period. I realized that either tampons or pads weren’t made for me. That is why I looked around and found that menstrual cups were an option. I have tried the cloth pads and underwear, and the fact that I know how to clean a menstrual cup and the other ones are a bit harder played a role in my decision. For the type of body I have, most cloth pads have not worked. I must say that combining underwear with a menstrual cup has been a blessing. Definitely, this is something I will keep on doing while I am traveling.
How to clean a menstrual cup while you are traveling
How to clean a menstrual cup? As I mentioned before, there are a few brands that include menstrual cup cleaners. I suggest you buy these since most of those menstrual cup cleaners are travel size friendly. Another option to use to clean them while traveling is always to have an empty small cup to clean in any bathroom. This tip has saved my life more than once. Especially in hostels and I am quite sure it might work also while hiking or camping.
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