There is a lot of hoohaa about the cleanliness of a menstrual cup, so I am here to lay the cleaning part straight for you....
It is fucking gross.
You need to shove your fingers up your hoohaa to get the bugger out and pull it out without spilling the contents, and then you need to proceed to pour out the gunk and rinse it with your hands in order to put it back in, and then you need to wash your hands again.
Glamourous... isn't it?
So ladies, I suggest that you prepare to get down and dirty with your body, and invest in some intimate wipes because they are going to become your new best friend. There are going to be things you find that you didn't even know you had! Here is the nitty-gritty of keeping your menstrual cup clean...
General Care: Before you are about to start your cycle, make sure that you clean your cup and check for any signs of deterioration - this includes unusual discoloration or any strong odors (the cup shouldn't smell like anything more than silicon). You can simply disinfect it but popping it in some boiling water.
Can't get the darn thing in? Not to worry, you can use a lubricant, but make sure that it is a water-base lubricant as others will degrade the silicone. Coconut oil is always a winner and is approved for the Pink Cup, plus it has other anti-bacterial benefits! Winner!
During a Cycle: You do not need to disinfect the cup during a cycle, however, if you feel that you would like to then there is no harm in doing so. You will just need to keep your cup clean during the course of the cycle. You can do this by rinsing it under a tap of warm water when emptying and replacing the cup - never put a full cup back in (it's both gross and harmful!). If you really want to clean it properly then use an intimate wipe once you have rinsed it.
After your Cycle: This is when I would recommend you give the cup a good clean. I usually rinse the cup, pop it into a boiling water/Miltons solution for about 10 minutes and then wipe it down with an intimate wipe. I'm super-seriously clean like that. Although my process is unnecessary, it works for me and I feel comfortable doing it this way.
Submerging your menstrual cup in boiling water after rinsing it is sufficient, but if you feel that you would like to do more then Miltons Baby Sterilizer is an approved sterilizer for the Pink Cup. Soaps, especially fragranced ones, are best avoided when it comes to cleaning the cup.
The Pink Cup comes with a silk bag that you can place the cup into for safe keeping until your next cycle. Avoid storing the cup in an air-tight container because this will cause bacteria to grow in the cup - a serious no-no when it comes to objects being put into your fu-fu. 🙂
This post is one of a few in a series because there is just too much to share about a menstrual cup. I will be telling you about my first experience with the cup, how to easily insert and remove it, and how to clean the cup. My cup of choice is the Pink Cup because it is available in South Africa. Menstrual cups come in different shapes and sizes but they are only available overseas. I am looking into getting a few in order to try them out and see if the different shapes and sizes actually make a difference.