This post mentions blood and vaginal insertion. Might consider it TMI.
The common menstrual pads that we use are made up of plastic and won't decompose for a hundred years. By the time that we're dead, those menstrual pads will still be alive and kicking. Crazy, right? That's just one of the downside of it.
Menstrual pads are very uncomfortable to wear as well. Sure, they can be soft and fluffy when it's dry. But they get too uncomfortable when they're wet. Not to mention they get smelly because of the combination of chemicals, bacteria, sweat, and blood.
All my life, I've never tried using a tampon. First of all, because they aren't that popular in my country. Second, having it inside me with no pads at all will make me worry all day for leaks and stains. Not because of pants with blood on it should be humiliated (because it shouldn't!), but it's uncomfortable AF when your pants are wet.
So, when I found out about menstrual cups a year ago, I had an interest in buying one but wasn't able to find the good timing to do so.
It was until I found out my friend was selling menstrual cups during this pop up show. I bought this in November but wanted to use it for two cycles before having a detailed review.
This is a menstrual cup. Basically, we insert it in our vaginas and it collects the blood and other tissues that come out during our periods. Yes, we leave it there for hours. Yes, we insert it inside, literally. Yes, it fits.
Pros and Cons
- Reusable, can be used for years
- Collects more blood than pads and tampons
- Less waste
- Less odor
- Can be messy with removing if you're not careful enough
- Sterilizing can be troublesome if you're lazy lol
- Difficulty with looking for the cup that fits you
- Difficulty with insertion for some
The first decision that you're going to make when buying one is the size. Cups have different sizes, ranging from small to large. Since our human anatomy is different with each person, we have to properly determine the best size for each one of us.
As far as I've researched, it depends on your cervical placement, and your blood flow. Some girls have a naturally low cervix and some have low ones only during their periods. It really is a different case for different women.
Before I chose my size, I inserted a finger inside my vagina to check if I can reach my cervix or not. If I can reach it with the tip of my finger, that means it's low and I have to choose the small size cos it might be uncomfortable when using the large ones. I've also read that when you have high cervix and you use a small size, the cup might get too far up and you'll have a hard time pulling it out.
My friend provided some sample cups so we could touch it, squeeze it, etc. before choosing a size. I got intimidated by the medium and the large ones because they were firmer than the small ones. I didn't expect it to be that firm/hard(?). lol.
I don't usually have a heavy flow, and considering all the things mentioned above, I chose the small one.
Before using it, you need to sterilize it, because, of course, you're gonna put it inside and leave it for hours... you don't want bacteria and shit to have a coachella party there or something.
You can sterilize it the way you sterilize baby bottles and shit. There are different methods on the internet.
Because I was lazy, I just boiled water and soaked the cup inside a container for 4 minutes. Think it was okay lol.
Before touching the cup, I made sure my hands were clean. I made sure my nails were at a comfortable length.
I did research on how to insert it and found the punch-down fold works best for me. You can find how to do it here.
So, okay, punch-down fold... my period has already started and I need to insert it now.
I was quite nervous while inserting it lol. I wouldn't say it was hard, but it was quite annoying. Because just imagine sticking something inside your vagina when you're not turned on. I did not use any lubricants (although I can) so it was kinda rough lol.
I inserted my finger there as well so I could check if the cup was placed properly. After thinking I placed it well, I went on with my life and did some Steem and art stuff.
I was really surprised that I never felt anything while the cup was inside. Deym. It felt like nothing. Like even when I sat on weird positions, I just didn't feel it. I even forgot it was there. :p
I felt nothing during the first 30 minutes of wearing it. After maybe an hour, I felt a small drop from my vagina and I went on to check why it leaked and adjusted the cup again.
It was maybe 10 pm when I inserted it and went to bed at 4 am. I didn't take it out to check because for sure there's just a small drop of blood there cos it was still the first day of my period.
I woke up at around 11 am and to my surprise, there was no leakage. YEEEEEEEEEE.
I got up but didn't check it right away because I was too lazy. I sat in a weird position... then there it was. It leaked like a waterfall. I immediately ran to the toilet and removed it.
The cup can move up and down while inside, depends on the placement of your cervix. I had to insert two fingers to reach for the stem of the cup since it was kinda way up already.
There are several tips on how to remove it as well and I recommend you do the research to avoid a mess.
When I did it, I slowly pulled it until I can comfortably touch the base of the cup. Since it creates a vacuum inside, you have to pinch it to release the vacuum it causes so you'll have no mess.
I think what I did was I pulled it out without pinching it properly, thus creating the POP sound and of course, it exploded. Lol. Blood was on the floor and I can see the cup still had 75% blood in it. Which means the cup was already full when I took it out, probably why it leaked.
I had to go out during the day to attend some meetings but since there were issues of leakage, I had to put a menstrual pad, just in case. I made sure it was perfectly inserted but I still had medium leakage at that time.
Since it was my first time, I was having a hard time figuring out what causes the leakage. It shouldn't leak with whatever sitting position that you are in and I made sure I empty it before it got full. So I don't know what causes them.
On the second month of using it, I was more confident since I learned a lot during the first month. Insertion and removal were easier and it was less annoying.
Leakage! Yeah, there was still leakage but it was way way less than the first month. There were only a few drops of leakage but there was a day when I didn't have leakage at all.
It felt like I wasn't on my period at all!
Which was pretty amazing!
I mean, for sure there were some cramps but those were the only reminder that I was on my period. Most of the time it felt dry. :D
I really liked the experience that I had with it. Especially the part where I felt like I wasn't on my period at all. I have mentioned having wet panties is very annoying and I will always think it is.
Like most new users, I have yet to figure out the cause of the leakage to prevent it next time. If it still leaks, I have to move on to a bigger size but I think it's not necessary so far.
I really love using menstrual cups and I look forward to not using a menstrual pad at all.