Judging by the painfully capitalised and rather edgy title, you’re probably slightly concerned by my excitement. Chances are, there’s a bunch of people confused as to what a menstrual cup is. To be quite fair, this time last year, I was clueless.
Although considering you have its name, it shouldn’t be too difficult to guess. Menstrual is obviously period related (ooo she said period) and a cup… Well it’s a cup!
Branded as DivaCups, Mooncups, Lunettes, FemmeCups and a variety of many other vaguely imaginative names, a menstrual cup is basically a little cup that goes right up there in your hoohaa during your lady time.
Instead of absorbing blood, like a pad or tampon would, it collects it, and can be dumped out into a toilet, sink, wherever you feel like. Preferably not in the middle of a public space, though; you might get a few odd looks. It’s made of medical grade silicone (please do not buy any that aren’t) and (I think) has no risk of TSS, which I’m pretty sure every girl has frantically googled at one point in her life.
They all look a little something like this:
So, how exactly does one go about getting it in? Let me enlighten you. Menstrual cup insertion is an art that takes great practice to master (just wait until you get onto removal). I would say that after a full cycle and the first two days of another cycle, I am pretty confident.
There are various folds and whatnot to get it inside of you as smooth as possible, but the one I found to be most useful is the punch down fold. Basically, push down on the rim with a finger and fold it.
So it ends up like that. At this point, it’s pretty much the same size as a tampon, although possibly a tad bigger. I will warn you, getting it in was so difficult the first time, and if you’re a teenage virgin like myself, you’ll more than likely find it just as hard. BUT DON’T GIVE UP!
Once the whole cup is inside (yes you’ll have to get a little up close and personal) it might take a bit of fiddling to pop open the fold, but you’ll know when it happens – trust me. If you hold the stem, and try to pull the cup up and down, you’ll be able to tell if it’s suctioned in there or not.
Now welcome to period bliss.
Depending on your flow at the time, you can keep it in for up to 12 hours (I’m not sure if I went over once on one of my super light days?). On my heaviest days, I can keep them in for round about 6 hours if I’m up and moving around, but I can go a whole 8/9 hour sleep without having to wake up and change. And you don’t have to deal with feeling your uterus slide out everytime you stand up.
Once those hours have passed, you’ll be tasked with a slightly messy and possibly scary task – removing the cup. As you’ll probably find, it’ll have moved up slightly. Don’t panic, it’s still inside of you, it won’t get lost, and you’ll be able to reach it. For virgins especially, this part is a little difficult. I spent a good 10 minutes trying to get it out the first time I used it.
I’ve found the best way for me to do it, is to sit wide legged over a toilet, and just push one finger up until I reach where the rim of the cup is making contact with, well, the vagina (oh snap, she said vagina). Push there until you break the seal, and slowly bring the cup down. I don’t suggest yanking the stem, at least not while it exits, because you won’t have control and you’ll probably spill it everywhere. Yack.
Be careful not to drop the cup into the toilet, which I have done twice actually… Once you’ve took it out, rinse it, and stick it back in!
TO SUMMARISE, here are some of my favourite thing about my MoonCup:
- It was only £20, which covers around 5 years :O
- I can sleep a whole night without period hassle
- I don’t have to sit through lessons worried about leaking onto wooden lab stools
- It’s eco friendly (who doesn’t love to support the world)
- I won’t die of TSS
- I literally forget that I’m on my period sometimes
- I’ve become more familiar with my body in the process
- IT JUST FEELS EMPOWERING
So… If you are currently using pads or tampons, I literally couldn’t recommend this any more. TRY IT. It’s a huge game changer, and I’ll definitely never go back to pads and tampons.
SEE YOU AROUND KIDDOS ❤