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2.03.2019

I Finally Tried A Menstrual Cup And It's A Major Game-Changer

[Credit: Pinterest]
I've always been a late bloomer.

I only made the switch to tampons when I was living in Japan in my mid-20s, and fast forward a decade later I finally decided to give the menstrual cup a try, out of both curiosity and necessity.

After the vaginal birth of my son, tampons no longer stayed in place and simply became too uncomfortable for me. I had known about the menstrual cup for a few years but considered it too 'crunchy' for me, and the thought of having to rinse my own menstrual blood was completely unappealing. But I wasn't going to revert to sanitary pads like it was still the 90s, so I went online and began doing my research. 


[Credit: Lunette]
What is a menstrual cup? A reusable cup designed to collect your menstrual fluid, it is usually made from latex or medical-grade silicone and can be worn for up to 12 hours. Sterilizing is recommended after every period and each cup should last you between 2-10 years, which translates to 120 periods worth of disposable hygiene products (and packaging) you don't have to send to the landfill.

The cup may seem like a recent invention, but did you know that the first prototype was patented way back in 1867? The modern iteration was invented by American actress Leona Chalmers in 1937, but it never quite took off because of the stigma attached to talking about Aunt Flo and your lady parts. It wasn't until the turn of the century that the cup finally began to gain attention via word-of-mouth and the Internet.

With the dozens upon dozens of options on the market today, I assumed most people would have to try a few before finding their perfect cup. Priced between $15-$40 each, however, it's not a cheap experiment but I discovered the wonderful resource Put A Cup In it (PACII) which has a simple online quiz to help you find your Goldilocks cup. It is not an exact science, but the ladies behind the site are committed to giving you all the information you need.

[Credit: Lunette]
I decided to order the Lunette Cup (Model 2) based on the stellar reviews online, and it literally arrived at my doorstep the next day (thank you Amazon Prime!). I remember taking the cup out of the box and feeling mildly terrified at the thought of having to fit the entire thing into my vagina. It was a lot sturdier than I expected, but it also folded very easily in my hand into a size just slightly bigger than a tampon and sprung into position inside me against the walls of my cervix.

It took a few tries, but I quickly figured out the angle of insertion and the firmness of my grasp to put it in comfortably. I made the mistake of not going deep enough the first time so the cup sat at the entrance somewhat awkwardly, but after I started moving around the cup adjusted itself and went deeper into the canal until I no longer felt like I was wearing anything... how liberating! I had to get over the slight ick factor of sticking my fingers inside me to remove the cup, but nothing that a wipe or a hand wash couldn't solve. It was also surprisingly easy to empty, rinse and reinsert the cup between wears.

Each cup is designed to hold the equivalent of three tampons, so I figured I could wear the cup for about 6-8 hours. The fascinating part was seeing how much menstrual blood I was releasing- I have always known that I was a heavy bleeder but on my heaviest day I had to empty the cup every 4 hours. Still, I'd happily do that knowing that I'm no longer at the mercy of having to carry a dozen tampons on me, plus I wore a liner for backup. Once you figure out how much you're bleeding and how often you have to empty the cup, it gets much easier. (You can visit here for some troubleshooting tips.)

[Credit: Lunette]
The transition was so uncomplicated that I'm kicking myself a little for not trying it earlier, but better late than never right? Since I've been on the cup I haven't been able to stop singing its praises to anyone who would listen... my girlfriends, my mom friends, my husband and strangers on the Internet. And now that I've just written an entire treaty on how life-changing it is, won't you join me in the menstrual cup life too?

Have you tried a menstrual cup? Here are some FAQs from PACII for the cup-curious (and they offer a whole bunch of coupon codes)!

2 comments

  1. Barefoot Doctor3:24 PM EST

    Thanks for sharing. I've tried one many years ago and hated it, but maybe I'll try it again soon. Maybe...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are so many options available on the market now, I hope you find something you love because it has been so liberating for me!

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