A few years ago, pregnant me was lying awake at 2am (thanks pregnancy insomnia), mindlessly scrolling through my various social media accounts when I stumbled across people discussing menstrual cups.
My first reaction was, “Uh…. wtf is this that and why are people using it? Ew.” But, I was intrigued because, well… tampons are 100% bullshit & I hate them.
I had SO MANY QUESTIONS.
How does it work? Is that safe for my vagina/cervix? How do you empty it? Does it leak? How do I remove it? Will it get stuck? Does it smell bad? How do you clean it? Will it be painful? Is it worth the money?
Being that I was pregnant at the time, I didn’t have the need to use one so I kept the idea of a cup in the back of my mind for when the time came that I would be dealing with periods again.
Fast forward about 8-10 months after the birth of my son, I finally decided to bite the bullet, spend the $38 and try out the Diva Cup. Being that I’m not BFFs with my cervix and wasn’t sure if she was high or low, I just went by the size guidelines provided by the company and went from there.
There FOR SURE is a learning curve. But it is well worth it.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a health care professional or a doctor. I do not have an IUD and am not sure how or if cups would interfere with the effectiveness of said devices. This is all my own personal experience/opinions. Do more research on your own before making a decision, and if you’re not sure, for the love of all that is good and holy, consult with your doctor. I am also not affiliated in any way with the brands mentioned in this post. I just love their products.
Here are some things that I LOVE about using menstrual cups
- The obvious benefit that it’s great for the planet. I’m no longer throwing tampons/pads into the garbage that wind up in a landfill.
- I have virtually zero cramps. No joke. Occasionally I have some super, super light cramping on day 1 but that’s it.
- On average, my period is less than 5 days long. I was just talking to my husband the other day about this because I’m still blown away. After day 2, it’s pretty much gone. HELL YES!
- Saving Money. Clearly it’s an up-front investment since most of the cups are in the $30 range. But I am not spending $8-9 on a box of tampons every 4-8 weeks. AND the menstrual cup, if taken care of properly, should last almost 10 years. TEN YEARS! That’s one hell of an ROI.
- Try to practice using a menstrual cup when you’re going to be home on the first couple of days of your cycle. Trust me, the last thing you want to do, is try to learn how to use your new best friend in a public setting and be stressing if you’ve got it in right & making a mess everywhere.
- You have to RELAX in order to get it inserted correctly. It’s kinda hard to do that with the 2 shrieking banshees you created in your bathroom, shredding toilet paper and throwing cotton balls around like bird seed at a wedding. Pro-tip: try it when the kids aren’t awake or are otherwise occupied elsewhere.
- Practice in the shower. It should come as no surprise that this can get messy when you’re learning how to use a cup. Easy clean up if you’re already in the shower.
- Experiment with the different ways to fold the cup. Here’s a great link that talks about the different kinds of folds and provides video demonstration as well.
- Once you have it inserted, if it’s painful, it is not inserted correctly. Promise! Take it out and try again. When the cup is inserted correctly, you should barely be able to feel it.
- Time to remove the cup and clean it? RELAX! If you’re clenching, your vagina won’t wanna let your new BFF go. Be sure to read all directions that came with your cup. As a general rule though, don’t just yank on the little stub that hangs off the bottom. I’m not a doctor, but I can’t imagine the extra force of the suction pulling down on your bits is doing good to your insides. You will want to grab onto the base of the cup and pinch the cup to release the suction from inside, then remove it.
- Be sure to clean it every time you empty it with an appropriate cleanser. This is one I use.
I am never going back to tampons because the cup is so damn comfortable.
Don’t get discouraged if you struggle with it in the beginning. Give it a try and tell me how you like it!