What is a Menstrual Cup Drain Valve?
Menstrual cups are a type of feminine hygiene product that is inserted into the vagina to collect menstrual fluid. Menstrual cups come with different shapes, sizes and colors. They all have a stem which can be used to remove the cup from the vagina and also to break the seal for emptying, cleaning or removal.
A menstrual cup is inserted into the vagina to collect menstrual fluids. It is made out of silicone or latex rubber, or other materials such as medical grade plastic. The silicone cups come in various shapes and sizes while latex rubber cups come in one size only (small). The latex rubber cups are made of natural rubber which is derived from plants, whereas silicone cups are synthetic products.
What are the Different Types of Menstrual Cup Drain Valves?
The menstrual cups have a hole at the top to let the menstrual fluid flow out of it. This hole is called a “drain valve”. There are a couple of different types of drain valves that you can find on the market.
- Plug – It’s a small cork-like plug that’s completely taken out and replaced (additional replacements are offered when it is bought)
- Cap – Removable and replaceable lids (Maybe attached or maybe not).
- Ball Stopper – Basically, a pinched ball that allows the contents to pass. (additional replacements are offered when it is bought).
- Pinch Valve – It’s the most popular right now, since it doesn’t have any extra moving parts. To keep the contents in place, two pieces join in a resting position, much like a squeezable coin purse. When you squeeze certain areas, the two pieces open, letting the contents out.
How to Choose a Quality Menstrual Cup Drain Valve
When looking for a menstrual cup with a drain valve, it is important to choose one with a good quality valve. The valve is what allows you to empty the contents of the cup without spilling them and without damaging the cup.
Disadvantages of Valve Menstrual Cups
- The stem can’t be shortened, as it’s a vital part of the cup design. One YouTuber commented that they were able to fold the stem over, but it kept unsealing when they weren’t looking.
- Tubing size – though it tends to vary depending on the thickness of blood, clots, discharge, etc. – can be more difficult to select when the contents are slow to drain or too large to pass through.
- The stopper or release mechanism can be difficult to operate and small pieces may get lost or broken.
- Pinch valves need to be squeezed in a specific area, which may or may not be marked. Depending on how the cup has been inserted, you might find yourself in a position trying to squeeze them that seems difficult.
You will have your menstruation once a month (if you have been having regular periods). To make sure your period’s going as smoothly as possible, it’s important to choose the best menstrual cup that reflects your health needs and lifestyle.