I am afraid I must warn you, dear reader; if you are squeamish or modest when it comes to bodily fluids or period talk, look away – if there’s one thing that people in my personal life will tell you; it’s that I am way too open and honest about everything. This will be no exception. However, if you are interested in trying out the cup, I encourage you to keep reading.
Now listen, I knew that menstrual cups were a surefire way to bring you to a more intimate place with your menstruation, yet I somehow was not prepared for the literal bloodbath that ensued as I tried to adapt in the first few days of my period. I got blood all over the hands, all over the toilet, all over the sink, even on the floor. As I cleaned up my murder scene, I hoped that this was just me being clumsy and new to this. Spoiler: It was just me being clumsy and new to this. In fact, by the end of that single period I had basically mastered it and formed my opinion.
PROS AND CONS:
– Hella affordable. It only takes a few months for you to save money, and the cup goes on to save hundreds or perhaps for some women, even thousands, over its lifetime.
– Hella environmentally friendly. Gone are the 10,000-12,000 menstrual products that you alone would put in landfill over your period-having lifetime. And you no longer have to worry about where that cotton was being sourced.
– Hella healthy. While I’m not a believer in the horrible chemicals and toxins in tampons, I can confirm that I do feel uncomfortable by the end of my period when my vagina is raw and sore from having ALL moisture SUCKED from it. But, just like tampons, you don’t have to deal with your underwear feeling wet like with the Thinx panties.
– Hella reliable. Once you learn how to use them, you can rest easy knowing that leakages are not going to happen.
– Higher up-front cost. Depending on your brand choice, you could be throwing out anywhere from $15 to $60, although most reputable brands fall in the $20-$30 range.
– Very intimate and perhaps gross. Look, you’re going to get blood on your hands, and it will probably be more than you do with a tampon. You’re going to have to face your bodily functions head-on and it may be confronting to those who are squeamish or conservative.
– Learning curve. Although I adjusted in just a few days, it’s not uncommon for it to take people several months to figure it out. This can be frustrating and result in you needing to wear liners as well as the cup for a while until you work it out.
– Do your research. There are many different kinds of cups because there are many different kinds of vaginas. A cup that works fantastically for your friend may be horrible for you. This may be a good opportunity to get to know your body; it helps to know the natural width of your vagina, its sensitivity, how high the cervix is etc. Prioritise finding the right fit for you over finding the cheapest option.
– Watch a lot of videos on how to use your cup. I attribute my quick success to doing A LOT of research on tips, tricks, common mistakes and basic methods. Learn the different folds and see which is right for you.
– Flip the cup inside out. This is a random one but it’s actually what I had to do. If the stem is bothering you and you’re afraid to cut it too short and damage the cup, try reversing it. I had no idea that this was an option, but it works perfectly after doing so and completely erased the stem rubbing on the opening of my vagina.
– Listen to your body. If you’re noticing pain or discomfort or something just seems wrong, try reinserting the cup using a different method, look for tricks to fix the issue you’re having, or if nothing else works – stop using the cup entirely. The cup is meant to make your period easier, not painful.