That time of month means at least 2 days of discomfort throughout the day and sleepless nights worrying that I’m going to leak or just have terrible cramps. On top of that, for how heavy my flow is, tampons just don’t cut it for me and pads make me feel like I am wearing a soggy diaper. Sexy right?
My friend from university had raved about menstrual cups several years back, but the thought of a cup full of blood was just beyond me. I just couldn’t imagine it being anymore comfortable or easy to deal with than my routine back then.
A little while back, a friend mentioned it to me and it peaked my interest this time. Why? I was tired of having to buy pads and tampons that were uncomfortable and just weren’t cutting it and maybe this would solve some of my issues with the normal feminine hygiene products.
My top reasons for switching:
- Hygiene – menstrual cups are supposedly more hygienic because they are typically made from silicone and bacteria does not build up. Plus, at the end of the cycle you can soak the cup in boiling water for 3 minutes and it’s ready to store away.
- Comfort – pads and tampons always just felt uncomfortable to me. Tampons especially were uncomfortable to remove and didn’t feel secure to me. Pads would just have a build-up in moisture when the temperature was warmer
- $$$$ – Having to spend $10-20 every month to buy feminine care products isn’t much, but it does add up. Add to that the clothing I have ruined over the years
- Less to carry – No more faffing with pads or tampons!
- Save the planet – switching to menstrual cups means less waste. All you need to do is pour out the contents into the toilet and wash it with hand soap
1. Do your Research
If you’re new to menstrual cups, it’s worth it to do some research before randomly buying one. To be honest there are so many brands and styles out there, it can be very overwhelming. Read reviews and understand how the different products are different and what your needs are.
I ended up going with Me-Luna, which is a German made product because based on my research, it offered a combo pack with 2 sizes and seemed to fit my needs. Now that I have gotten used to using a cup, I may try out some other brands to see if there is one that fits even better.
2. Practice using your cup first
The first time I tried my cup was a few days before my period actually came. I was a bit nervous about using it and read in a few places that I should practice using it first, so I followed the instructions and tried it putting it in. It seems the most common way to fold the cup is in a C shape, with the little hole toward the top of the cup at the centre of the C.
As soon as I got it in, I started panicking because I couldn’t get it out and for a good 20 minutes I relentlessly tried. Figuring out how to relax those muscles down there while freaking out is not that easy! Eventually I got it out and all was good with the world and the each time I practised it got easier.
3. Don’t give up! Try the cup for a few cycles
Kind of following the last tip, but this is one of things that gets easier and better over time. There is definitely a learning curve on how to use it and what works for you. You might need to continue wearing pads to act as training wheels and prevent any embarrassing leaks, but it’s worth it!
4. Make sure you wash your cup!
Even though silicon doesn’t buildup bacteria, it’s still a good idea to give it a wash everyday and thoroughly at the end of the cycle. It’s the easiest thing in the world, just boil some water, and let them soak for about 3 minutes before letting them dry to store.
What’s your experience with menstrual cups?