PersonalReview

Menstrual Cup Adventures Uncensored

posted by motherhoodrising@gmail.com July 27, 2016 2 Comments

My bathroom cabinet has held this ominous silk bag with an oddly shaped rubbery cup that is said to have magical blood holding powers- the Menstrual cup. Twenty months after giving birth to my fourth child, my cycle returned with a vengeance. I’m talking full on cramps, flashbacks of my high school years strike whenever I look at the gleaming village of zits that have gathered on my chin, and moody much? I’m on an emotional rollercoaster as it is without the added hormonal shifts that plague me once a month.

UGH I HATE MY PERIOD.

Wanting to not hate it so much and learn to accept and maybe even appreciate it, I decided this cycle was the right time to check this whole menstrual cup thing out. I opened the bag and inspected what would soon be locked and loaded in my vagina. This cup would come face to face with my awesome cervix that has held in four babies, We needed this moment to connect. I couldn’t help myself, I had to squish it. It is so squishy! I remember watching a Youtube video a while back that showed the fold and let go method – which was the option I was planning to take.

I am using the Lunette cup (This was a gift from a friend- This post is not sponsored in any way) and after checking out their website, There are quite a few ways to fold your menstrual cup before insertion and I’m totally trying all of them. You can find the video here.

Illustration by Lunette

Illustration by Lunette

Ok, so I’ve had this cup in my vagina for about 9 hours now (with a quick change during my post spin shower) and it’s been pretty awesome.

I went to spin and had a super intense workout with a lot of transitioning in and out of saddle. This would usually cause my tampon to move lower and lower forcing me to readjust in the bathroom or just wait it out in annoyance. I felt completely protected and secure: I wore a pad just to know that this cup is a good fit and whether or not it has a proper seal with no leaks. When I got home, the pad was white!

I can’t lie, I’ve been super impatient to try to remove it because I was so worried I would panic if it wouldn’t come right out. I also had a really illogical fear of losing it in my black hole vagina even though it’s pretty impossible since that can’t happen. But when I squeezed the bottom of the cup gently and pulled downward, she came right on out – to my relief. Period blood neatly contained by this magical menstrual cup, which was pretty cool since I got to see just how much my first day produces.

It’s funny how I always thought I bled so much especially the first two days but I think your perception can be skewed when looking at a pad or tampon. It’s absorbed and spreads which can make it seem much heavier.

Morning has come (at 5AM because my children have no soul) and I’m feeling kind of leaky down that way. I feel around a bit and yep- The blood has made its way past the menstrual cup and into my panties. Such a bummer. But I’m giving myself a pass since this is my first day using it. Upon removing the cup I see that it is completely filled to the top. Since night time is really heavy for me I think to avoid this happening again, I’ll re-insert the cup just before I lay down for bed.

Day 2 has been going bloody well and I think the cup has found a permanent home here. I’m going to be donating my boxes of tampons and i’m going all in on my Lunette. I’ve had to readjust or push up my cup once today while grocery shopping but I think it was placed a little shallow to start.

Hopefully with time it’ll be just like tying my shoe only with blood and labia.

A few fast facts that helped me decide to finally take the plunge:

  • Lower costs and less landfill waste. Some cups are designed for long-term use – even years – providing a significant cost savings over tampons and pads. Since you can reuse them, there’s less waste to clog up our landfills and fewer trees sacrificed to make the paper-based alternatives. Keep in mind that some cups are designed to be disposable. Make sure you read the box label carefully before buying if you want a reusable one.
  • Less embarrassing odor. You won’t have to worry about embarrassing menstrual odor wafting out at the most inopportune times, since the fluid doesn’t get exposed to air as it does with pads and tampons.
  • Vaginal pH and beneficial bacteria stay in place. Tampons absorb all your vaginal fluid along with the blood, which may disturb the delicate pH and bacterial balance in your vagina.
  • Fewer visits to the pharmacy. Even if you replace your cup once a year, you’ll still make 11 fewer trips to the pharmacy than you would if you used the disposable paper-based methods.
    More time between changes. You need to change tampons every four to eight hours, depending on flow. You can go up to 12 hours with a menstrual cup before emptying.
  • Intercourse is possible with the cup in place. It’s possible to have intercourse while the cup is in your vagina. It’s really a personal choice whether you want to remove it first or not.
  • Easy to use. Anyone who has used tampons, especially the kind without applicators, should have little trouble learning how to insert a menstrual cup. If you’ve ever used a diaphragm for birth control, you’ll have even less trouble learning how to use your new cup. Simply fold it so it looks like a tampon, aim it toward the back of the vagina and give a little push. It should actually draw itself up. When inserted properly, you shouldn’t feel its presence at all.

There are a few inconvenient aspects to using the cup:

  • More mess. The main disadvantage that my patients note is that cup emptying can be messy. With practice, most women will work out a suitable technique and quickly get over the “ick factor.” Also, cleaning it in a public bathroom may cause embarrassment to some
  • Difficulty of insertion for some. Younger girls and those who’ve never had intercourse may find it difficult to insert the cups. And, if you have an IUD in place, using a menstrual cup could pull the IUD strings and dislodge it. Ask your OB/GYN or primary care physician about his or her preferences in these instances.
    Possible fit problems. Sometimes individual anatomy can make proper use of the cup difficult. For instance, if you have fibroids or a dropped uterus, it may not fit in place properly.
  • Cup removal issues. Removing the cup can sometimes present more of a learning curve. You shouldn’t pull on the stem. Instead, pinch the base and pull. The collected fluid then empties into the toilet. Rinse under tap water and reinsert.
  • Maintenance. After each cycle, sterilize the cup using boiling water or a sterilizing solution used for baby bottles.

I recommend the cup to women that want something different, something that will force you to get to know your body better and give you the unique opportunity to learn more about your cycle and overall feminine health.

There are so many brands to choose from, so take your time and find the perfect fit for you. I am using the Lunette cup but I have heard so many great things about The DivaCup, The Lena Cup (great as a starter cup for teens), and the Moon Cup to name a few.

For a great visual example of what’s going on inside those walls, I recommend watching the video below!

Have you used a menstrual cup? If so, which brand do you prefer?

Please leave any tips or tricks in the comments below! Share that knowledge babes. 

XOXO Kat

{Fast facts/Inconveniences found on Clevelandclinic.org}

 

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