Hey everyone! Today, we have a blogpost that’s on something that I don’t usually talk about, but was requested by people on Twitter, so blame them if it’s not up your alley, or if you didn’t come to the internet to talk about periods XD. Today, I’m telling y’all about menstrual cups! We’re going to start with talking about my experience, then going to the tips that I have since starting to use it, a list of pros and cons, and then finally, about my specific cup!
My journey with a menstrual cup started when I watched this video by a small YouTuber called Kristina Hailey about a year ago. I didn’t actually get around to purchasing and using one until around 3 months ago, but I was interested in it for a while before I actually started using it! I’m not really a squeamish person, and I don’t mind talking about period things, so I essentially live-tweeted my first period while using a cup (which you can find here if you want). At the end of it, I put out a poll asking if people wanted to see a blogpost about my experience, and the answer was yes, so here we are!
So to start off, if you don’t know what a cup even is, it’s a small silicone cup you shove “up there” during that time of the month, and it collects . . . what comes out! There’s one in the thumbnail, in the upper middle). You can use it in place of pads, tampons, and anything other “supplies” and it’s a lot better in a lot of ways (which I’ll get into later).
I’ve been using one for three months now, and while that doesn’t count as /a lot/ of experience, I wanted to share my tips that I’ve gotten from it so far!
- Find the right fold that fits for you. The instructions that I got from the box said to use a “C-fold”, and (TMI) that was WAY too big for me! I poked around the internet, and found the “7-fold”, which made it WAY easier for me!! (and by that, I literally just mean, it went in)
- Plan to stay at home the first day, or at least the first few hours. Even though a cup can hold more than a pad or tampon, and doesn’t need to be changed as often, the first few times I put it in, I didn’t do it quite right, so being at home with a change of clothes and within arm’s reach of a private bathroom helped a lot! Once you get the hang of it, it allows for so much more freedom, but for the first few hours, being able to drop everything and fix it is crucial.
- Feel around “up there” first. The cup essentially goes around the base of your cervix, and it’s hard to get it there if you don’t know where it is!! Before your first insert, put a finger up there and make sure you know what you’re aiming for. (The cervix is up higher when you’re not on your period, which is why I’m recommending you do it ON your period: I can’t feel mine when I’m not on my period, so don’t freak out if you just can’t find it).
- Wear a liner! Since I’m still pretty new to the cup, I’m still not able to tell stuff like when it’s getting full or when it’s not suctioned properly, so I’d recommend wearing a liner in case it overflows or if you didn’t put it in right!
- It tilts back further than you think! I don’t wear tampons often, but it’s similar to how you put in a tampon at an angle pointing towards your tailbone, except more! Keeping that in mind is REALLY important to make sure you’re putting it in correctly!
These are just some tips I’ve found to be extra important to remember, and if you want to find more information, there’s plENTY elsewhere on the Internet!
Pros and Cons-
If you’re still debating whether to use a cup, or if you’re interested in one but aren’t sure if you should make the switch, here’s a list of pros and cons to . . . convince you 😉
- It’s cheaper! A cup is about a $20 investment–about the same amount as a month’s worth of supplies–and lasts for up to 10 years!!
- It’s better for the environment! Pads, tampons, and the like are creating SO MUCH plastic/biohazardous waste, and with cups, there’s literally like 99% less!
- There’s no chance for TSS! Unlike tampons, the blood isn’t actually touching any of the walls inside of you, so there is no chance for TSS-causing bacteria to get to you! Because of that, you CAN sleep with it in!
- It’s better for you! A cup is made up of silicone, so there’s no scents, dyes, bleaches, etc! In addition, it doesn’t interfere with your body’s natural processes, unlike a tampon would.
- It doesn’t smell! Since the blood stays inside of you until you take it out, it doesn’t smell, unlike a pad!
- It’s cleaner! Unlike pads and tampons, the blood from your period is being collected, rather than absorbed, so it’s cleaner! It also FEELS a lot cleaner, especially since I usually only use pads, and YOU’RE NOT SITTING IN YOUR OWN BLOOD, and you can do everything that you normally do (except squats at the gym. don’t do those. those get bloody. trust me), and it’s so much cleaner!
- You get to know your “down there” and your cycle better! Since I’ve started using a cup, I get to ACTUALLY SEE how much blood I’m producing, and it’s helped me get to know my cycle a lot better! Also, I’m a lot more comfortable with the anatomy “down there” since I have to stick my fingers up it often!
- It’s easier! I’ve found that a cup lasts longer for me than a maxi-pad or tampon, AND it doesn’t show through pants (like a pad would), AND you don’t need to remember to keep bringing supplies with you, AND, unless your flow is exceptionally heavy, you don’t have to change it during the day if you’re out for less than 8, or even 12 hours!
- You WILL get blood on your hands
- You need to boil the cup before you use it for the first time, and after each period
- It takes a little practice to get right
Call me biased bUUUUT, a cup looks pretty nice to me 😉
Here are the videos that I watched when I was learning about, and learning to insert, my cup:
- Menstrual Cups?? ♡ EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ♡ by Kristina Hailey
- Trying a Menstrual Cup for the First Time! by Hannah Witton
- HOW TO INSERT THE CUP | I Mastered the Menstrual Cup! by Sarah Tran
- Menstrual Cup Folds by Precious Stars Pads