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The Active Period

On paper, the menstrual cup seems like the perfect environmentally friendly period product. However, some people have been apprehensive to try the menstrual cup because of fears it isn't practical for their active lifestyle. 

We believe in championing all people, active or not! And we want to bust some of these myths, so you can get the most out of your cup.

Swimming and water sports

Swimming is infamous for not being a period friendly activity. We know that sanitary towels are a big no no when we want to take a dip. Tampons are more acceptable, however some people are self conscious of the string showing outside their bikini or swimming costume, and the risk of water absorption. 

Many menstrual cup users have reviewed the cup's practicality during swimming and rave about its SUCCESS. The positives of using a menstrual cup instead of a tampon, whilst swimming, are:

No Strings - you wont have an escaping tampon string on show, so you can wear that cute bikini and SLAY!

More Comfortable - because menstrual cups move with the body and are flexible, some people have said they are actually more comfortable than wearing a tampon during exercise.

No Water Absorption - our menstrual cups are made of silicone, so water will not absorb into it, meaning no gross saturated soggy tampons to remove afterwards.

 

Sports and gym:

More and more people are diversifying their workouts and seeking the health benefits of weightlifting, squatting, running, cycling and yoga as part of their exercise routines. Which is AWESOME!!

Some people are concerned about how a menstrual cup will hold up, if you are heavily active, and how this compares to using a tampon or sanitary towel during workouts. 

"Will sprinting make my cup dislodge?"

"Could I squeeze the cup out if I squat?"

"Will sweating or explosive movements affect my cup's position"

"Can I ride a bike for long periods of time with the cup in?"

"Will my yoga workout affect how the cup stays in?"

Menstrual cups are ideal for physical activities. Here's why:

Moulds to your body - Our menstrual cups are silicone and are flexible. When inside the body, as you move, the cup moulds to fit your shape. So no matter how you move (squat, jump, sprint, twist or squeeze etc) the cup will move with you and stay in place, and not feel rigid or resistant, like a tampon can. This means you can enjoy a workout in comfort without the worry that the cup will fall out, dislodge or leak.

No chaffing - A menstrual cup sits inside the vaginal wall, rather than on your clothing. This means that even if you sweat heavily from working out or make a lot of repetitive movements, you are not at risk of chafe or awkward rubbing. A feeling, which is commonly experienced when wearing a sanitary towel. There is also no string on a menstrual cup, as with a tampon, so there is little risk of irritation when cycling or running long distance. 

Seals and secures - Our menstrual cups create a sealed area inside the vagina, when inserted properly.This means that no matter which way you move, you are protected from leakages and spotting - which is sometimes not prevented when wearing a sanitary towel or tampon.

Long distance usage - You can wear a menstrual cup for up to 12 hours a day without changing it or worrying about toxic shock syndrome. This makes them perfect for long distance athletes who take part in sporting activities over several hours.

Environmentally friendly - many people who live active lifestyles enjoy outdoor spaces and make the most of nature. Using a menstrual cup, instead of disposable tampons or sanitary towels, will prevent plastic pollution and litter cause by period products and will protect our green spaces and oceans from more waste. 

Advice for all:

The main advice when using a menstrual cup during exercise is:

Empty your cup before your activity, if you can. This will increase security and prevent leakage caused by overflow.

Check you have a tight seal beforehand. The cup should be placed fully inside the vagina and pulled down slightly to create a sealed vacuum. This will ensure the cup is in place and will prevent the cup becoming loose. If this has been done, the cup is in place correctly and should not dislodge or leak. 

Leakages are rare, if the proper cup size is used and the cup is inserted properly - however some women have expressed leakage when they have forgotten to empty their cup prior to working out. So ensure you have made the proper checks before starting your workout to ensure full protection and security.

Camping:

So, we've covered sports and activities... but how do you care for and use your menstrual cup when you're camping and at one with nature?

The ease of use will vary depending on your camping set up. But you can definitely use a menstrual cups in all camping situations.

Here's how:

If you are in a campsite with facilities, then caring for and using your cup will be fairly straight forward. Firstly, empty and wash out your cup in the toilets as you would usually, using soap if you can. If the campsite has hot water to hand, then leave to soak in boiling water for 2 minutes and cool, before placing back inside.

If the campsite has no hot water, you can boil cold water with your cooking equipment and sterilise that way. Some users prefer to have two cups so they can take one out and wash, and replace with a clean sterile one.

If you are wild camping, you can wash and clean the cup in a stream, but do not put back in the body without sterilising in hot water first. Take some water from the stream and boil it to sterilise the cup. Again, some women prefer to take two cups so they can replace the first one as they sterilise the other. This also gives you more time should you prefer to wait until you pass a restaurant or pub to sterilise and replace the cup indoors.

If you are planning on camping over a prolonged period of time, we advise taking two or three cups for convenience. As well as sterilising with boiling water from a stream or river after each use. Because you are not ingesting this water, you don't need to use your supply of drinking water to boil and sterilise the cup. Natural running water sources are fine. Ensure the water you are using from the river or stream is relatively clear. Avoid water from still sources like lakes or ponds.

The benefits of menstrual cups in this situation is there is no waste, so you aren't having to store your used tampons or pads in your bag, and there's no risk of littering (of course you wouldn't anyway, but with a menstrual cup, there's no temptation). Emptying the cup into a dug hole in the ground and wiping dry with toilet paper or cleaning in a flowing water source is fine as this is a natural bodily substance - it is no different to a wilderwee or wilderpoop! 

If you have any questions about the above topic, please feel free to contact us on info@naturallyadapted.com. We would also love to hear your stories of using our cups whilst exercising or out on your adventures. Please do get in touch ❤

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Footnotes, resources and references:

https://menstrualcupreviews.net/swimming-with-menstrual-cup/

https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/menstrual-cups-and-sports?

https://gippslandunwrapped.com/2019/01/04/using-a-menstrual-cup-while-camping/