The single greatest inanimate object to ever enter my life. This is a response to You Want Me To Put That Where!?.
Let me start off with a brief introduction: Last April, I was an 18 year-old virgin and a devout pad user since I started my period at 12. I’d never been able to tolerate penetration and the thought of it made me cringe, and I’d never, ever had success with tampons though I’d mulled over the idea several times.
Whenever I tried any tampons, however, I would be grateful that I would ultimately fail because of TSS scares, despite how infrequent they actually are. All of this holds true to this day.
I found an online community for menstrual cups and was interested in its environmental soundness and the idea of having a period without even realizing it. I did some research and everything checked out A-okay, but I was still very skeptical given my history and the fact that it was so unheard of, especially in my small community.
I did find a place that sold them, and on the second day of my period that April, I woke up to an absolute horror movie screen cap in my bed and decided that was the last straw. $35 or not, I’m diving in head first and going for it. It will be worth it, but I still saved the box, original packaging, and receipt in case I was so revolted after experiencing it that I could ask to return it to the company or something.
In most women, the cup wraps around the cervix and easily catches all the blood that flows through. Suction forms when the cup opens up, and when removing, re-folding the cup (grab the base, squeeze it, push a centre pivot inward to bring the outer edges in together – see C-fold in the above link) causes the suction to break and makes removal much easier and more comfortable.
Many people also notice that their flow appears much lighter when using a menstrual cup; absorbent materials always exaggerate the amount of blood, and artificial chemicals used in absorbent products may prolong or slow a period.
You can wear a cup anytime in your cycle, whether you’re bleeding or not. You can use it to catch any other sorts of discharge. Cleaning? Rinse and wash with hot water and fragrance-free soap or boil it or let it sit a few minutes in a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution. If you’re in public, you don’t even have to wipe or rinse your cup since it’s all your own organic discharge. Just be sure to wash it properly the next time you have a chance since it had been handled with your hands that potentially touched some not-so-sanitary things in everyday life. It’s all up to you!
It does take some getting used it and has a fairly steep learning curve, but I’m told tampon users will have an easier time than pad users. The vast majority of women required at least one full cycle to get the hang of using a menstrual cup — don’t let initial teething troubles discourage you!
Ending note: Not all cups are created equally. There are several popular brands available on the market, and all are created with different materials (as a result, some are softer, some are stiffer), they have different stems, designs, sizes. The most popular North American cup is the Diva Cup, widely available and Canadian-made.
Other popular cups include Moon Cup (UK), Moon Cup (USA), Lunette, Lady Cup (recommended for younger girls or those who feel they have a light flow), and the Keeper to name a few. When one cup doesn’t work out, it’s for one reason or another that a different cup may be able to resolve. In my opinion, it’s a transition I’ll be grateful I made for the rest of my life.
Does this change your opinion of the menstrual cup? Do you have any questions? Would you try it?