I’ve been hearing about menstrual cups for a while now and read posts and comments with intrigue and interest.
I should probably give out a warning to all the lovely guys that read my blog…unless you’re comfortable with discussing your wives/girlfriends monthly visitor and all the gory details that come with it, you may want to read another one of my posts. May I suggest this one.
Part of the reason for my interest is that over the past year or so I’ve become so much more aware and, more informed I guess, about the waste we create every single day. I’m by no means an eco warrior but if I can make a few changes that don’t hurt my wallet or my very delicate balance of life itself, I’m happy to try and do my bit.
Another reason for my interest was my abhorrence at the fact we STILL have to pay 20% VAT on our sanitary wear because apparently tampons and pads are deemed, by the government, ‘luxury items’. Which makes me want to grab a musty Minister and make him bleed for 5-7 days every single month. Vicious maybe but it might get the point across.
So, late last year, the intrigue got the better of me and I bravely posted on my amazing local mums group and found out that lots of people had already taken the step to move to using a menstrual cup. I was also surprised that there was an overwhelming positive vote for them. There were of course the “Oh my God, this sounds gross” comments but considering they’d probably pushed a baby through their vagina and dealt with the repercussions of that I didn’t really understand their squeamishness.
After doing a really helpful quiz on the site Put a Cup In It, I headed to amazon and ordered my ‘ideal’ cup. Then waited…
Period no 1.
Day 1: My menstrual cup has arrived! And as luck would have it I am still menstruating (that is the last time I will use that word I promise). Some of the (many) faqs I’ve read in readiness for trying this out have said try whilst you’re not on your period a few times but hey, in for a penny, in for a pound.
I have casually read the instructions that are on the various brands’ website and decided I got this. That shows me not to be cocky…I definitely don’t got this. A few awkward steps around my house and something is definitely not right. Think of a tampon that hasn’t gone high enough…yeah, that.
Thankfully breaking the seal was easy (if a little more ‘intimate’ than I’ve ever been with my sanitary ware before!) So pulled it out, popped it to be rinsed and tried again.
Try two felt ok, so after an hour or so I braved the outdoors for a spot of shopping. Bad plan. Something was still not quite right and yet the Sainsbury’s ladies loos wasn’t the place to try number three insertion attempt out. I did try to get home fairly sharpish, however, it was a couple of hours before I arrived home. Much to my surprise there hadn’t been any leakage though so it was definitely doing its job just not quite in the right place.
Ok, I braced myself for try number three. I’ve watched three YouTube videos showing me ten different ways to insert the cup and decided to try them numerically.
No1: the punch down. Not necessarily a name I’d want going anywhere near my vagina but it looked fairly simple so ‘punched’ it down, acquired a Egyptian hyragliphic pose with my legs and up it went. Ta da! It was in and I couldn’t feel it at all.
Third times the charm or so I thought.
Day 2: I decided I’d sleep with the cup in last night as I’m at a fairly light point of my period and there’s no risk of TSS so why not? So when waking up I decided now was the time to remove, empty and replace. However…somehow it had managed to lodge itself in sort of sideways. Therefore making extraction about as delicate as when the registrar came to see which way my baby’s head was facing during the throws of labour.
Once I had grappled at the twisted bit of plastic that was firmly wedged between my (surprisingly) tight vaginal walls, and after many deep breaths I got the little bastard out.
Luckily I don’t give up that easily so tried again and so far all seems to be ok, although my vagina hasn’t seen this much action in quite a long time!
Period no 2.
First day on next period and whoop there it was. No drama, in place first time, couldn’t feel it at all. That wasn’t always the case but I definitely felt like I was getting the hang of it. My colleagues may have thought I was up to something though as spent so long in the bathroom one day. Heavy days mean I need to empty the cup much more frequently than the recommended 12 hours. But the fact that for a 12 hours on a few days I completely forgot I was even on my period is pretty liberating!
Period no 3.
The labia fold is my friend apparently. This is the fold that works for me most times and this month I managed to avoid making my bathroom look like a murder scene at any point. Even on the heavy days.
In summary: safe to say this form of sanitary wear may take some getting used to but I am now totally sold. I quite often ‘forget’ I’m on my period as I can’t feel anything and for most days ‘Aunt Flo’ comes to town I can keep the cup in for 12 hours with no worries about leaking.
Fancy giving menstrual cups a try? Let me know how you get on!
*The cup I use is an Organicup and is now £14.57 at Amazon.com. This is not a paid ad for the product but, as I am an Amazon Associate, using this link may generate some revenue for me.