First off, why does a menstrual cup have to be called a menstrual cup? It sounds so gross and not cool at all. I definitely want to get the name of these things changed.
But anyway, these things are amazing and I am going to spend most of this post raving about how great they are. Although, I will address the cons of menstrual cups (and not just the name). So if you are interested in purchasing one and have questions beforehand, I am hoping this blog post will be able to help you.
I purchased a menstrual cup just before I got the implant as I knew it was common for periods to be heavy and irregular. I wrote about my experience with the implant here which concludes with me not having periods anymore so I haven’t used my menstrual cup in over 3 months, although I do always carry it with me. Mine is the Diva Cup and comes in a little bag which is great for making it easy to carry with you, and it is pretty discrete.
Why should you get a menstrual cup?
- They are so much cheaper than tampons and sanitary towels, mine cost around £25 which is a lot to pay out at first but I would normally spend £5-10 a month on tampons so in the long run you save a lot of money.
- They are so good for the environment. There is literally no waste produce from them other than the packaging they come in.
- For travelling they are perfect, you don’t have to worry about finding somewhere to dispose your tampons/sanitary towels. All you need is a toilet or some water to rinse it.
- They don’t have to be changed for 12 hours.
- No TSS. You aren’t putting weird foreign bodies into your body, it is just silicon which means your body isn’t absorbing anything it shouldn’t.
What are the cons to a menstrual cup?
- Public bathrooms. If you ever have to change it in a public bathroom (which I haven’t) it could be difficult as you are unable to rinse it. Although, if I ever found myself in this situation I think I would grab a bottle of water and rinse if over the toilet.
- Getting used to them. The first few times I went out using the menstrual cup I was always worried I was leaking and found it hard to relax. But once you get used to is you feel a lot less anxious.
What does it feel like?
Nothing. Once you pop it in you shouldn’t be able to feel it. And if you can you should take it out and readjust. They normally come with little stems on the bottom (pictured above) and the stem on mine was too long and caused me a lot of pain. I cut mine a lot shorter which you should do if it causes any pain as this is not okay. The stem is to give you something to hold to take it out but you also may find you don’t need the stem to take it out so you can cut it all the way down to the bottom.
How do you clean the cup?
The way I clean mine is to put it into boiled water before the beginning of cycle/before I put it in for the first time. Then during my cycle I will rinse it with water as and when I change it. Then put it into boiled water again at the end of your cycle. I find this the best way to keep it clean without needing too much maintenance.
How often should you change it?
The rule is every 12 hours, although I found I could wear it for much longer as my periods were light. There is a little measuring line (picture above) so you can see how much blood you are losing. This is not only interesting but can help as a guide as to how often you need to change yours. The best way is to trial the cup when you are at home so don’t have to worry about any leaks and see how often you need to change it.
How the frick does it work?
Before I purchased the menstrual cup I literally had no idea how it would work and I couldn’t make sense of it. It works with the use of suction. You fold the cup in half to put it inside of you and then when you release it has little holes in the side, which are suction holes and keep the cup in firm. You definitely do not have to worry about the cup falling out. Science is on your side here.
How do you put it in?
There are three ways to do this and I will link videos for each technique as it is easier to show than tell. The way that works for me is to put my finger on top and push the cup down on top of itself and then fold it in half. This halves its size and is nice and easy to pop in. I’ll link a video for that technique here and the other two here and here. What it comes down to is practice. Have a few goes when you aren’t on your period and find the easiest way for you in do it.
I think that pretty much covers everything I know and have learnt about menstrual cups. If you have ever tried one, let me know how you found it. I love them and don’t see myself going back to ‘normal’ sanitary items. I also hope the answered all your questions. I watched a lot of YouTube videos by this channel which was really useful and I would recommend watching them also. This is my third post in my TMI talk series, the previous two were on sexuality and the implant. Let me know of any other topics you would like to see in TMI talk in the comments 🙂