Menstrual Cup: The Pro's, The Con's and Tips: Honest Review
Even though a great portion of the world's population are women with vaginas, period talk is still taboo, even in 2019. Luckily I don't have those kind of people around me. Period talk is not off limits in conversation with my friends and I, since we often exchange tips and share knowledge on how to live better lives. We go there in our conversations.
I was having lunch with my girlfriend from college who is notorious for being a graceful and informed woman. We were catching up over a mediocre meal at Sage in Culver City about our endeavors, goals, and life happenings.
I was telling her about my excitement with getting over my body consciousness with becoming a figure model. She posed a very valid question "what do you do when you're on your period" and I of course answered the way many strippers would "cut the string off the tampon".
Then my friend put me up on game, and told me that I needed to invest in a Diva cup. My initial reaction was I'm not sticking another foreign object in my vagina because I just got on the tampon wave about a year ago. Pads were always my go to since adolescence because again, I did not like the idea of putting things into my body. I thought tampons clogged you up, whereas pads allowed your period to flow freely.
But my girlfriend being as bomb as she is basically explained to me that pads contain harmful chemicals that not only alter our PH balance, but effect our hormones. She also told me that she's used menstrual cups since high school, and I'll say this, it shows in her skin. Literally she has the most radiant glow, and because of that I didn't need much convincing. After our date, I did some further research and decided it was about that time to boss up on my self-care.
Let me tell you, I'm never going back.
Usually my periods are heaviest on the first day, and also the most painful. My uterine contractions are ungodly and render me motionless, so I was looking forward to not experiencing that with my cup. Now, my first cycle I still experienced some cramping on the first day, but the following few days were moderate.
Note: On the second to last day of my period, I was scheduled to fly out of LA to the east coast, so I decided to use a pad instead of the period cup on my flight because I didn't want to accidentally bleed on through my clothes and on the seat.
I stuck the pad to my panties, and within thirty minutes I developed a terrible headache, that I didn't have for the previous three days of having my period. I knew at that moment I was really done with pads for good. I removed it, and decided to thug it out with my cup.
Yes, it's very comfortable. It's soft, and doesn't apply any pressure on my bladder. There have been one or two nights where I forgot that I was wearing it. Guess it's a good thing to know it can be worn for up to 12 hours.
I'd say getting your fold right is the hardest part about using a menstrual cup. Until you master the fold, you may experience a little leakage, as the cup won't be able to catch the blood. But generally, with secure placement, you won't experience much leaks. It's recommended to wear a liner until you've got it together.
How to remove it?
You have to pinch the bottom of the cup and slowly pull it out of your vagina. Whatever you do, don't pull from the stem, because you'll be all but suctioning yourself, which might be a little painful.
Peeing with it?
Yes, you can pee without having to remove the menstrual cup.
Menstrual cups are made from medical grade silicone which means they don't contain loads of bacteria and chemicals you'll find in tampons and pads. Period cups also decrease your chances of developing toxic shock syndrome.
2. Cost effective
The average woman spends anywhere between $40-$60 a month on period paraphernalia. Any menstrual cup will cost you anywhere between $10-$20 dollars, and can be washed and reused for at least a year. Many others can feature
3. Know your body
You get really up close and personal with yourself using a menstrual cup, which in most cases should build your confidence in self awareness. It's not always pretty, and if you have a heavier clotty flow, then it can be a little gruesome. There isn't really anything sexy about endometrium, or period blood getting on your hands, but seeing the blood in a cup will destigmatize the negative thoughts about your period. You never really know how much blood your body releases from using pads and tampons. Getting to know your period will be the best thing that happened to your femininity.
4. Challenge the status quo
You were told that pads and tampons were the way of life, but you weren't informed of how harmful they can be. Finding out new ways to control your flow will be empowering to you, but also challenging to defy the norm.
5. Wear up to 12 hours
You couldn't do this with a pad or a tampon.
6. No odor
Blood and endometrium has a natural faint smell, but shouldn't be considered as an odor because it doesn't stink. Period scents become fishy when they come into contact with the chemicals and pesticides that are found in pads and tampons, and after sitting on them for hours at a time.
1. Trial and error
You might experience a little leakage while learning how to insert properly. Which can also be a little bit messier.
Research: There are hundreds of menstrual companies to choose from. I recommend you doing plenty of research to determine which cup is best for you. Menstrual cups are sold in various shapes and sizes, and vary from company to company.
Plan: Clear your calendar and be ready to spend some time at home. This isn't one of those things you can just up and do. You need to plan around your period when you're experimenting with a menstrual cup because still being new at it you're bound to experience leakage from not knowing how to use it.
Be be afraid of blood: It's your blood and coming from your body! There's just no two ways I can put it.
Have conversations with other open minded women
Don't talk to women who'll put the idea down, and only swear by tampons. They're no good for your expansion I can tell you that now. In the beginning stages of your exploration and learning about this sensitive topic, you're bound to experience a lot of backlash from women who hate their periods. But you don't have to subject yourself to that. There are plenty of women who would love to share their knowledge and experiences with period cups.
I hope this has given you insight on what to expect from elevating your self-care.