Menstruation is that lovely part of every women’s life that usually creates a large burden. Most of the time you head to the bathroom to crap your typical menstrual products but what if there was something better.
You could be like me who had a range of tampons going from light-super heavy.
Gauging my flow was probably the most annoying aspect of using regular products.Not to mention you just always knew you were on your period and endured however many days miserable.
After my 4th baby and when I got my period back I got totally fed up. Eventually purchased the Diva cup in size 2 (women above age 30 and/or have given birth)
Fell in love with it instantly but the Diva Cup did have a few drawbacks I’ll mention later on.
What is a Menstrual Cup?
A reusable and flexible silicone cup that fits inside your vaginal canal below your cervix. The cup doesn’t absorb your flow like tampons or pads. The Benefits of a reusable menstrual cup are superior to standard period products. The benefits include,
- Ability to wear it for a max of 12 hours!
- Reusable (Say goodbye to spending money on period products)
- Been known to shorten cycles (I can vouch to that)
- Better for your body- Doesn’t dry out your vagina, no toxic chemicals and you no longer contribute to the mass amount of disposable products in landfills.
- Milder or nonexistent cramps (why couldn’t I have experimented with these back when that was a massive problem?)
Insertion of Menstrual cup:
This part is where most become completely turned off. I can promise you stick with it and you’ll be a pro in no time!
- Wash your hands before insertion of the cup. Make sure your cup has been boiled on the stove for 10-20 minutes depending on the brand of the cup (your cup of choice will come with directions)
- Your cup being wet will help tremendously with insertion v.s. a dry cup that could be uncomfortable.
- Pick a folding style- The instructions that come with your cup will give you a couple of the most popular folds. I prefer the “U” fold personally.
- Once inside your vagina twist the cup counterclockwise. You may hear or feel a pop when it expands. That’s how you know you have a perfect fit.
Most cups have a stem on the end. Your directions will have a recommendation on how much to cut off. There is also cups that have a ring for removal that you cannot remove! Mine is cut to the shortest it can be cut.
When first using a cup it may take you a few cycles before you become comfortable.
Some cups are designed more for beginners and some are for more for experienced users. The Sallt soft which is my current one is softer than the Diva.
The Diva cup is universally known and from reading up on it usually, the first cup most experiments with.
The issues I found I had with the Diva was feeling like it was slipping down. It never “fell” out but I could feel the bottom sometimes when I would go to the bathroom. Just felt too long especially towards the end of my period because of where my cervix is.
I stuck with the Diva though for over a year and loved it but find my current cup much better.
Don’t know the height of your cervix? No sweat. This is a very easy and helpful guide to finding the height of your cervix. This will help with finding the perfect fitting cup.
I found I was able to easily get it to open and seal properly the first time. Many mention a learning curve and I’m sure it depends on how comfortable you are with your body or the type of cup you use. The wrong size cup can make it difficult as well as the firmness.
Put A Cup In It has a comparison chart for all the cups that are currently available on the market.
Length of Time Wearing
The max is 12 hours if your lucky but that just isn’t always the case.
The first two days I might remove it 3-4 times through out the day. I swear it’s like having a 6th sense. I just get a vibe that I need to check it out.
With the Diva I was removing it pretty often because it was just too long for my vagina.
Toward the end of my period it’s 12 hours and at night there has never been any issues. No leaks!!
If you are leaking it could be because your seal isn’t correct.
Sometimes this part of the process can be a little messy but Do.Not.Panic. This is all about learning and the first few times can be a bit messier than others.
- Wash your hands before removal
- Do not pull the cup. Pinch to release suction before easing it out of your vagina. Bearing down will make it easier to release especially if your cup is sitting high.
- As soon as it’s about to come out tip to the side slightly which can allow the blood to go into the toilet and lessen the amount that will get onto your fingers.
- Rinse the cup out in the sink or menstrual wipes to wipe/clean out the cup if in a public place.
It can get slippery and there is a chance you could drop it in the toilet. I’m speaking from experience. Oops. Don’t worry though because it happens.
When washing the cup use a soap that’s designed for your menstrual cup. I personally use Lunettes cup wash and it works great. I boil at the end of every cycle to sterilize before putting it away.
When putting it away make sure it’s completely dry before storing.
What about TSS?
TSS has always been a concern with tampons. There are studies that say you can and studies that say you can’t with menstrual cups.
I have a friend let’s call her Jill. Jill went to the gynecologist to learn that there was a tampon still inside her vagina. True story. As she was telling me this I was surprised. I have heard of women losing or forgetting about their tampons.
Her gynecologist says he sees this more in mothers than other woman.
One of the questions I asked her was “what about TSS?”
According to her gyno, only certain woman carry the bacteria that causes TSS. She is the exception. So although her old tampon was hanging out in her for a few weeks she never developed the bacteria that would cause TSS.
Make sure you use proper hygiene when using the menstrual cup. Don’t exceed 12 hours without removing it to clean.
TSS is rare and the only time it becomes a life-threatening emergency is when the bacteria enters the bloodstream by a cut within the vaginal cavity for example.
According to the writer at clarkscondensed.com there has been one reported case of TSS that was a result of her scratching the inside of her vagina allowing bacteria to enter her bloodstream.
If only I had discovered this product greatness sooner. My mother wasn’t super big on tampons for me growing up. Resulted in pads which I HATED!
Now I’m happily in a monthly relationship with my menstrual cup. Its worth trying to be able to have a freedom that most typical products don’t offer.
Standard period products just sucked for me. Now my periods are a breeze with no agrivation.
What is your thoughts on menstrual cups?