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Lena Menstrual Cup For a Zero Waste Period

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Lena Menstrual Cup For a Zero Waste Period

Lena Menstrual Cup for a sustainable and waste-free period.

Compostable spoons and forks. Biodegradable phone cases. Edible packaging.

There are endless new innovations designed to help us live more environmentally-friendly lifestyles. But you know what’s actually a surprisingly old invention?

Menstrual cups

Get this.

Did you know the first menstrual cup was patented in the late 1880s and became available in the 1930s? This reusable and flexible product poses as a greener alternative to plastic pads and tampons. So why aren’t they more popular?

In a nutshell, tampons and pads have been marketed to be much more convenient, discreet, and efficient. But the environmental costs are huge.

Listen: each menstruating person will use 5 to 15 thousand products in their lifetime. This includes tampons and pads--both usually contain some plastic parts. Think absorbent plastics, applicators, and materials. This is a huge industry because about two billion people in the world is of menstruating age.

Menstrual product manufacturers started using plastics in the 1960s to replace pure cotton for two reasons. One was for convenience: thinner plastic materials absorbed liquid better, and plastic wings held pads in place. These helped women be more discreet and efficient in the workplace and in other activities like exercising or running errands. The second reason had to do with society’s attitude about menstruation.

Plastic was used to further shame women about periods. Plastic tampon applicators ensured that women wouldn’t come into contact with their genitalia or body fluids. Plastic packaging ensured that the products wouldn’t be seen or heard when bought or opened, respectively. Lastly, plastic packaging hid the product during disposal.

So there you have it. Now you know that menstrual products have a history of convincing women that periods were something to be dealt with in shame. Consequently, manufacturers used this marketing to endorse the use of plastics in the products.

But periods are not something to hide. They’re natural and signal that our bodies are healthy and working like they should be. The menstrual product industry has a history of using plastics for period-shaming, but now is a good time as any to revolutionize the market.

Since menstrual cups are one of the oldest products, they’ve improved over the years. They’re now truly easy-to-use, safe, and clean. While there are various brands available, I recommend the Lena menstrual cup, especially if you’ve never tried one before.

I’ve put together a comprehensive guide below to help you get familiar with the product--how to use it, clean it, and other important things to note before purchasing one.

Ready?

What is the cup made out of?

Most menstrual cups are made out of silicone or a type of rubber latex. The Lena cup is made of FDA-registered silicone. It does not contain BPA or latex. In other words: it’s safe to use inside your body.

Furthermore, the dyes won’t leak any chemicals into your body. That’s not all. Their paper packaging is made of 100% recycled materials and made with vegetable-based inks. If their word isn’t enough, they’re also certified by the international organization Forest Stewardship Council.

Moreover, all of the company’s production processes are based in California, including the printing and assembly methods. This makes their process more sustainable and eliminates unnecessary waste like long-distance shipping. Plus, we always ship 100% plastic-free with eco-friendly and recyclable supplies.

Let’s move on.

How do I choose the right cup for me?

The number one question on your mind is probably, “How do I know what menstrual cup will fit?” Other menstrual cups in the market base the size on whether or not you’ve given birth or if you are an adult. But things are a little different with the Lena menstrual cup. Designers here believe that cup size depends on your flow, cervix height, and body type.

They have sizes small and large. However, they report that some mothers use small with no problem and some adolescents use large. What’s the bottom line? If you have a heavy flow, consider purchasing the large size. If you have an average flow, the small size is ideal.

Beyond size, we offer the Lena menstrual cup in a cute pastel pink color.

How do I use the Lena menstrual cup?

Now here comes the nitty gritty. You’re probably familiar with tampons, and using a menstrual cup is very similar.

There are three main ways to insert the Lena menstrual cup. For any of these, start holding the cup upright so it looks like an open tulip.

  • C fold: Fold the cup in half  so the rim forms a “C” shape.
  • Punch-down fold: Push one side down towards the middle so it touches the base on the inside. Pinch the sides together before and during insertion.
  • 7 fold: First, flatten the cup at the top, pinching the rim together. Fold the right corner down towards the stem. Hold the cup securely during insertion.

With your other hand, gently part your labia. Hold the cup in your chosen fold method securely during insertion. When you let go, the cup will unfurl and seal around the vaginal walls.

There is a ridge that runs along the bottom of the cup and you should be able to feel it on your fingertip from below. Gently try to rotate it to test that it’s secured inside. If the cup does not budge, it is fully sealed and you won’t experience any leaks.

Remember: it might take a few tries to master the fold, but the cup should never be uncomfortable. You should not feel the stem or the cup inside. Some people might need to trim the stem, depending on how their cup sits, but most people do not need to.

If you want to see the folds in action, check out the video demonstration on Youtube.

I know what you’re thinking.

How do I get the cup out without making a mess? Don’t worry, a menstrual cup is probably the cleanest way to go when it comes to periods. The silicone cup won’t produce any odor, unlike other products like pads or tampons. Frankly, a lot of people are hesitant to use a cup because they’re worried about leaks, but you’re just as likely to leak from other products compared to a cup.

The first and most important step is to wash your hands before removal. To remove, move the stem side to side in a shimmying motion until you can get ahold of the base. Pinch the base. This will release the suction from your vaginal walls so the cup comes out smoothly. Do not just tug on the stem as it might be tricky or uncomfortable pulling out the cup without releasing the suction.

Empty your cup and wash if needed. Otherwise, place it in the provided cotton bag until your next cycle.

Note: each person’s menstrual cycle is different. What I mean is, you’ll need to get used to the Lena cup and see how often you need to empty out the cup each day. Lena advises emptying your cup at least twice a day. The good news is you can wear it up to 12 hours straight if you have an average flow or if you need to wear it overnight.

How do I take care of the menstrual cup?

Before you use the Lena menstrual cup for the first time, you must clean it.

Here’s how:

Let the cup float in a pan full of boiling water anywhere between five to seven minutes. Make sure the cup does not make contact with the bottom of the pan. Remove from the pan and let it cool before using it. Repeat these steps between periods.

At the start of your cycle, wash the cup and your hands before insertion. Try to use mild, unscented, and water-based soaps along with warm water.

Why is this important? Harsh chemicals from heavy-duty and synthetic soaps could wear down the cup, not to mention irritate your skin when using the cup. More importantly, don’t use antibacterial hand soaps or facial cleansers to wash your cup.

After each use, empty cup and the wash. To prevent stains, rinse the Lena menstrual cup with cold water before proceeding with warm water and mild soap.

When not in use, store your cup in the included cotton bag. Alternatively, you can keep it in another porous container. To ensure safety and product efficiency, examine your cup before first-time use and between periods in case you need a replacement.

Are you ready to try out the menstrual cup? This might seem like a lot of information, but like with anything in life--you just need time and practice. Trust me, the environmental benefits are worth it.

The Lena menstrual cup makes sure menstruating women have a natural, eco-friendly, and respectful option to dealing with this natural phenomenon.

So what’s stopping you?

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