Guys (MEN), I’m telling you to look away right now.
The following post is about periods. So, seriously.
If you’re still here, you’re reading at your own discretion.
Ladies: if you’re squeamish, turn away now. This post requires a bit of maturity.
Well, ladies, let’s talk about it. I can’t say there’s any one of us that loves our period.
As someone who suffers from menorrhagia, I completely empathize with all of you. Of course, I turned to tampons when I got old enough to wear them. Who didn’t? They’re so much easier, comfortable, and convenient to use. And no one wants to wear those icky pads. Walk around with blood hanging out in your pants all day? Yeah, it sucks.
Did you know that companies bleach tampons? Yeah, they do. Imagine that going in your.. you know what. Kinda gross, right?
It’s also kind of gross that we continue to use these things. Because, let’s face it, what’s really happening when you use one is that it’s plugging you up. But seriously, you’re literally using it like a plug! How can this be healthy?
Short answer: it isn’t.
No one wants to go back to using the dreaded pads, and I wouldn’t recommend that you do. They’re terrible. What do I recommend instead?
I recommend using a cup.
GASP! WHAT’S A CUP?! What is this thing?! There’s another option?
Yes, there is another option: a menstrual cup. And it’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s a flexible cup that can bend to your body’s unique shape.
I really do talk to all of my friends about my cup because I love it. It has literally changed my life, and I can’t imagine my life without one now.
Does it work? I have been using the cup for almost a year and it has never failed me unless I put it in wrong. That is, it’s my own fault that it doesn’t work.
Will it hold all my.. stuff? Yes, it will hold a significant amount of blood. I used to use 3 super plus tampons per day, and I can go all day without changing my cup.
Is it easy to use? It is once you get the hang of it. I won’t lie, when you first get the cup, there is a huge learning curve. You have to be comfortable touching yourself. You have to be patient. You have to learn not to freak out when it won’t come out (but don’t worry; it will come out!). Instead of worrying about my period all day, I simply change and wash it every morning in the shower and right before I go to bed – super simple. PS: you can wash it with a very common wash.
I’m intrigued. Where can I get one? Well, let’s talk about this question for a second. There are many, many menstrual cup companies out there to try. Of course, none of them are advertised on TV because the cup can last up to 10 years with proper care. The cost upfront is a bit steep; but if you think about it, you’ll be getting your money’s worth back within a few months.
Alright, now that that’s out of the way: let’s talk about a few aspects of the cup you need to consider:
Have you had a child? YES! This is a HUGE question to be asking yourself. The vaginal walls of a woman who has had a child are way different than those of one who hasn’t.
What kind of pliability do you need or want? Some of the cups are more “flexible,” while some are more “stiff.”
How do you want to pull your cup out? Some are built with a stem in, while others have a “knob” on the bottom. This is a preference, really. You’ll use whatever is on the bottom to pull it out.
What color do you want? No, seriously, this is a real question. There are some amazing colors out there.
There are many, many websites that can help you choose a cup. Here is one of them.
I was really lucky. I bought a Lunette and was in love from the moment I used it. I can only offer some advice if you decide to get one:
- If you get one with a stem and don’t like the length, cut it.
- You’ll find a position (and fold) of insertion that is most comfortable for you. I prefer the C-fold in a squat position. There are endless amounts of folds you can use to insert your menstrual cup comfortably. Here is a video of 9 of them.
- To get the cup to pop open (you WILL hear it “POP”), twist it. The easiest way to do this is butt in the air, head to the floor – trust me. You have the greatest width (in the you know what) this way.
- Don’t freak out if the cup doesn’t come out. It’s NOT going anywhere. You probably just need a better grip on it (and you need to relax). If you don’t relax, you’re guaranteed to be tensing the vaginal muscles that are holding it in place. Just pull it until you can grab the bottom of where the stem is. This gets better with practice, I promise.
- Take the cup out when you’re in the shower or when you’re sitting on the toilet. I’ve never dropped my cup, but you’ll want to have a place to pour it out immediately.
- If you need to rinse in a public bathroom, use a bottle of water.
- Don’t wash the cup in warm water – use cold water ONLY! It will stain in warm water.
- If you do get stains, don’t fret. Your cup isn’t ruined. Soak it in a 3% hydrogen-peroxide solution for 8 hours.
Menstrual cups are awesome. They really are. It freaked me out when I thought of the chemicals the tampon companies might be putting on their products. It’s evident that they are, though, since some companies advertise that they’re selling unbleached tampons. The best thing about menstrual cups, though, is that they’re environmentally friendly. Yup, no more wasting paper and cotton in the trash.