I have spent over 2 decades of my life having menstrual periods every month and only just discovered the beauty of this soft, silicone, delightful, man-made material known as menstrual cups. I feel regret. Regret for those many years spent wearing uncomfortable pads, checking and rechecking myself when out, not being able to have a carefree night’s sleep for 4 nights in a month.
Ladies, if you’re still wearing pads or tampons, take the advice of this internet stranger and give menstrual cups a shot, they are incredibly freeing. There are so many brands out there, like Moon Cup, Diva Cup, OrganiCup, Intimina and even the tampon giants, Tampax, joined the party. You can look through Walmart, Amazon or any other store and pick one that speaks to you.
Now, I must admit, there’s a learning curve to its insertion and use but once you get it, there’s no turning back. There are several videos on YouTube, I like these 2:
The 10 Reasons Why
1. Convenience, hours between changes. You can go up to 12 hours before you need to empty your cup, this would depend on how heavy your flow is at the time. Most cup manufacturers say you can leave it in for up to 12 hours.
2. Feels darn good. You know that constant feeling of wetness when you’re on your period? And Lord help you if you have lots of pubic hair down there the way nature intended. With menstrual cups, say goodbye to that kind of unneeded moisture. Because you will insert the cup into your vagina, it collects the blood before it exits. You’re not sitting around in a pool of your own blood and you don’t have that constant feeling of wetness. You also don’t get to feel that dreaded flow of blood as it exits and lands on your pad.
3. No leaks, no stains. Once you master the use of a menstrual cup and use as directed, you’ll experience no leaks. It’s like the cup just goes up there and seals up the bloody experience. In the beginning, it’s best to use liners or pads until you get the hang of things.
4. Zero period smells. You know that usual period smell? It usually happens because of the oxygen/air that hits your pad when you’re on your period. With cups, there’s no air getting up to your cervix and so there are zero smells. No air = No smell.
5. Cost savings. There are so many brands out there, you can get cups that last for up to 10 years from $10 to about $40. Now depending on the kind of pad or tampon you use, the savings month after month is just phenomenal. The price you pay for your cup beats the cost of disposable sanitary products hands down. Now picture a household with multiple women going through many disposable menstrual products every month. It all adds up. You can calculate how much you have spent on disposable pads or tampons just this year to see how much you can save.
6. Environmentally friendly. I recently stumbled across an ad that said the oceans will have more plastic than fish by the year 2050, can you picture that? That looks like massive levels of pollution and man has greatly messed up our planet. It’s probably irreversible damage but we can still try to reduce our carbon footprint. That happens by reducing waste and things that end up in landfills and oceans. So let’s think: reduce, reuse and recycle.
Like disposable diapers, menstrual products are also huge contributors to pollution. I chickened out of using cloth diapers for my son but the switch to using menstrual cups has been an easy one for me.
7. A good night’s sleep. Depending on how heavy your periods get, you can sleep through the night with your legs flung apart, with zero consideration and care. You don’t have to fold yourself or lay in a fetal position just because Aunt Flo is around. For the first time in over 2 decades, I slept beautifully while on my period. For double assurance, you can still wear a pad until you’re sure how the cup works for you.
8. Workouts are a breeze. You know that feeling of your period making its way out when you’re super active? Where you worry that the next bit of intense activity is about to recreate a scene from A Nightmare on Elm Street? Well, zero worries here. You can twist and turn in any direction and there’ll be no spills or stains provided your cup is snug as a bug in a rug up there.
9. No chemicals up your lady zone. Silicone menstrual cups are made from medical-grade silicone, they don’t contain BPA or other chemicals whose names you can’t identify or pronounce.
10. Freedom! That time of the month does not have to come with dread any longer, you can just insert your cup and leave it until it’s time to change it, no worries, no fears. We can simply call it, plug ‘n’ play.
Some Typical Questions About Menstrual Cups
Can virgins use menstrual cups? Yes, they can. However, note that inserting a menstrual cup can break the hymen.
Will a menstrual cup stretch out my vagina? Menstrual cups are flexible silicone materials and cannot stretch you out. Even if they’re made of steel, their size is really small. In addition, that part of a woman’s anatomy lets a whole baby or babies out and snaps back to place. So no, menstrual cups will not stretch you out.
Can I pee with a cup inside me? Yes, you absolutely can. There are three holes down there, the urethral opening, the vagina opening and the anus. You pee out of one, your period, babies come out of the second and poop comes out of the 3rd hole. I know there are some people out there who do not know pee comes out from an entirely different part of the vulva, not the vagina. For folks who are just learning this, let’s add this new knowledge to your TIL (today I learned) segment of the day.
Will the cup get lost inside me? NO, that’s a hard NO. There’s nowhere for the cup to go, thanks to that wondrous part of you known as the cervix. Your cervix is the gatekeeper between your vagina and uterus. It’s the end of your uterus, at the very top of your vagina and determines what is and isn’t allowed through.
It’s a dead-end up there. They can sometimes get stuck though but that isn’t a problem, you can get tips for when they get stuck here: https://www.intimina.com/blog/menstrual-cup-stuck/
After all is said and done…
To wrap things all up, periods are a bloody business so the sooner we get familiar with our lady bits and body juices, the better. Let’s just accept that you’re going to get your hands a bit dirty, a little more than you would with disposable products but it’s so so worth it. I daresay, once you try menstrual cups, you will not go back to pads or tampons again.
It’s so freeing, you might consider Free Bleeding* next but that’s another topic for another day.
Do you use menstrual cups or any other reusable menstrual products? What has your experience been? I’d love to read from you!
* Free bleeding: this is exactly what the name depicts, having periods without menstrual products for blood collection. So you’re on your period with nary a care in the world. Errr, nope! Not for me.
If you’re a new mum who just got her period back after childbirth, you might find this helpful: Postpartum Body Changes