I know what some of you are thinking, menstrual cups? GROSS! I found out about this wonderful invention just over a year ago now and became completely fascinated by them. The biggest draw in for me though was the money.
I dread to think how much money I have wasted over the years on pads and tampons, not to mention the time worrying about when I’m going to run out and need to restock. Also when paired with my pre pill days and the unpredictability of my period. After doing a little research I realised I would be paying just £20 for something that is supposed to last me about 10 years. The idea of how much money I’d be saving and the added F.U to the government for not having to keep paying their stupid sanitary product tax was a definite win for me.
I then started researching the benefits it had to helping the environment, which you probably don’t need me to tell you is quite a large when you think about how many sanitary products you go through in just one month and then multiply that by how many other women there are in the country and then again by how many women use sanitary products in the world. I wanted to do my bit to help the planet.
We then go on to the health benefits. I know for me traditional sanitary products dried out my vagina and gave me loads of other problems such as yeast infections and the like when I had finished using them. Not to mention the discomfort that comes with taking a tampon out to soon or just misjudging your flow entirely. Also lets not forget the dreaded toxic shock scenario. The menstrual cup got rid of all that. Because it’s made of silicone its not absorbing any of your vagina’s natural lubricant making it easier to get in and out but also make it still feel healthy and not dried out and uncomfortable.
The last added bonus to the cup was the amount of time that I could leave it in. The instructions for the diva cup say it can be left in for up to 12hours meaning I would never have to deal with my business whilst I was out and about anymore. I could pop it in when I woke up in the morning and not have to worry about it until I came home from work in the evening. It also meant I could lie in for as long as I wanted without the worry of any leaks (providing I had put it in okay).
The two big fears I’ve come across over the years from research online and discussing it with other around me is :
- Dealing with the blood. YUK! GROSS!
- The stigma behind getting it in right and not having leaks. Also getting it stuck up there and not getting it out.
Now to address the first query. If you are squeamish and not into blood this probably isn’t really for you. But if like me you are the kind of person who likes popping pimples and black heads and are curious yet comfortable with how your body functions then this is something you’ll probably get over quite quickly. I find nothing more satisfying than taking my menstrual cup out after a long day and checking how much blood I have collected before dumping it out. It gives you a realistic idea of how much blood you actually lose during your period (which isn’t actually that much) and also a better idea of how your cycle runs (which days are heaviest etc.)
As for the second query I have never had any issues with putting in or getting my cup out. I think a lot of people get themselves worked up about this, but if you practice a couple of times before you put it in you’ll be set no problem, as long as it doesn’t feel uncomfortable I’m sure its in there and doing its job properly. I am not however saying everything is smooth sailing, hey I’ve had a few moments especially at the beginning where I thought I was having leaks, I just wasn’t used the still having my vaginas natural moisture around with something sat up there. However that being said everyone’s shape down there is different so do be aware you may come across other initial troubles. For example I have found out during my period I have a lot lower cervix meaning less space for my cup to sit therefor I have to cut off all of my stem for comfort reasons. Other people struggle with it going in further and not being able to get it out, just be patient with it you’ll be able to get it out and like I said, practice makes perfect.
Now as for my use of the cup over the last year. I ended up using two different cups because of what I said previously and well I just needed a smaller cup in the end. I originally started off with a Diva Cup. This was the cup that I had read the most about and was the preferred cup for most people. Now I’m not saying I had problems with it as a functioning menstrual cup, it was great and worked exactly how it was supposed to, it was just a little too big for me and even with the stem cut off completely it still poked out a little aggravating the entrance to my vagina.
After sticking with the Diva Cup for a few months and umming and ahhing over what my smaller options were I ended up going for the Moon Cup. I soon learnt that different entry methods work better with different cups. For all cups there are two preferred folding methods for insertion. For the Diva Cup I found that the C/U fold method was best however I find that now using the Moon Cup the Punch Down method is better due to its thicker rim.
Since changing to a menstrual cup I have not stopped shouting from the rooftops about how fantastic I think they are. Their pros out weigh their cons big time, not to mention they were very popular back in the 1920s, and I’m a sucker for anything 1920s.
So next time you’re thinking about buying a new pair of shoes or some jeans for £20 rethink and invest that money in something better for your body and the environment and most likely an item that is gonna stick with you for a lot longer than the pair off shoes that will only last you a season.