Menstrual Cups – Thoughts, feelings and FAQ’s

In this post I’ll be talking about menstrual cups!

I had been sitting on the idea of buying a menstrual cup for quite some time but was extremely apprehensive, that’s until I finally bit the bullet and ordered one and I can honestly say menstrual cups have changed my periods completely.

Why did I order a menstrual cup?

Let me give you some background information – my periods are very regular, and I know my body well but I dreaded my periods. I am not a huge fan of sanitary towels and avoid wearing them. I wore tampons for years but the problem was… I also hated tampons! I found them to be so uncomfortable and I could always feel it when I walked. Even just sitting down I could feel it!

What tipped me over the edge to finally buy a menstrual cup was when I went on a caravan holiday with my boyfriend’s family, where we shared a bathroom. I was on my period and I had filled the bin with sanitary products and tampon applicators. When we were leaving we had to clean up after ourselves; dust around, wipe the surfaces down and.. empty the bins! I was so embarrassed that someone else had emptied the bin, with the clear bin bag full of my sanitary waste (although I shouldn’t have been embarrassed, as periods are the most natural thing in the world.) Also, the amount of times I’ve been to a public toilet whilst I’ve been on my period and the toilet wouldn’t flush!

I finally bit the bullet and decided to order a menstrual cup. What would I have to lose.. apart from £15!

Benefits

Menstrual cups have completely changed my period experience and I would highly recommend them. I can’t even tell when I’m on my period anymore, apart from a slight back ache and having to change the cup every so often. I even wore my menstrual cup when I was on holiday, in a white bikini! That’s how much I trust my menstrual cup. I could still go in the hotel pool and the sea. It was an absolute dream and it was so much more convenient than packing tampons and having to change them constantly in Greek toilets!

So what are the benefits of a menstrual cup?

  • They’re better for the environment – which is one of most important benefits. No plastic applications or sanitary waste building up
  • You can wear menstrual cups for up to 12 hours – this is an absolute dream to me. I hate changing tampons and towels especially in public places. I empty my cup first thing in the morning and then before bed. So you barely have to think about it.
  • You can wear it through the night – unlike tampons, menstrual cups are safe to wear throughout the night with no leaking at all and without the risk of toxic shock syndrome
  • I find them to be safer – It’s not a proven fact that tampons and sanitary towels are not safe and you know what.. there’s nothing out there to suggest they’re not! I don’t want to spread false information so please do your own research but I personally feel a lot safer using a menstrual cup, just incase there are any chemicals or ingredients used on tampons / sanitary towels.
  • They feel cleaner – for me menstrual cups feel a lot cleaner. No blood actually passes down through your area, it’s all caught in the cup before it makes its way down to ruin your favourite pair of underwear!
  • They’re cheaper – you don’t have the added cost of buying sanitary items all the time. My cup lasts for 10 years and I have 2 of them. If you were to add up the money you would spend on tampons over 20 years you would realise how much money you could save with a menstrual cup!

So what are the cons?

Let me say.. not many.

The only con I can think of is that it can take some getting used to putting in and removing, but I got the hang of this after one period.

FAQ’s

I get a lot of questions from friends about menstrual cups, and most of the time it’s the same question so I thought I would answer some of these questions on this post.

Can it get lost?

This question always makes me chuckle a little. Nothing that big will get lost! I can assure you. It may get stuck or lodged up depending on the depth of your cervix, but it won’t disappear completely. You just need to relax and have confidence in your body. Once you get the hang of putting the menstrual cup in and removing it, you will be fine.

How do you put it in?

When you buy your menstrual cup it will come with instructions. You will have to fold your cup and push it up there, until it pops open and creates a suction.

How do you take it out?

Again – when you buy your cup it will come with instructions. You usually remove them by pulling the little ‘nub’ at the bottom and then squeezing the actual cup gently so it loses suction. You will then continue to pull until it comes out completely.

Isn’t it messy?

Rarely. The blood is caught in the cup, I personally rarely never fill a cup so it never ends up over spilling when I’m taking it out. 90% of the time, it’s a very clean process. If you get any blood on you, just wash your hands!

How do you clean it?

When I’m on my period I tip the blood into the toilet and wash the cup under hot water in the sink. When I’ve finished my cycle I leave my cup to sit in boiling water, and then keep it in the drawstring bag it came with until the next use. Before I use it again, I wash it in boiling water again.

How do you change it in public?

Simple answer – I don’t! Menstrual cups last up to 12 hours. Most of the time within a 12 hour period (no pun intended) you will be in a place you’d feel comfortable emptying your menstrual cup. If not, just empty your cup, wipe down with some tissue if you can’t reach a sink and then wash your hands after. I think changing a towel / tampon is much more hassle personally.

Can’t you feel it?

Not at all! They’re much more comfortable than towels and tampons.

I’ve had children, can I still wear one?

Of course – menstrual cups come in different sizes. I personally have a small, as I’m under 25 and have never given birth but if you’re over 25 or have given birth, I would highly recommend the large size. If you have quite a heavy period it may be worth getting a large too. I’m usually really heavy on one day and then lighter for the rest so small is perfect for me.

Summary

Those were my thoughts and answers on menstrual cups.

My top tip for menstrual cups is to give them a chance! Don’t put it in once and expect to love it straight away. I know people who have purchased a menstrual cup from the back of my recommendation, used it once and haven’t used it since because they’re intimidated by the whole removal process and wearing it out in public. My tip is to give them a chance, they’re not going to work for everybody but at least give it two periods before you make your decision. The first time I used a menstrual cup, I had to change it after the first hour because it felt uncomfortable and I had leaked – this was because I didn’t put it in properly as it was my first time using it. I pursued through and now I wouldn’t turn back.

If you’re interested in purchasing a menstrual cup, I would highly recommend the cups I purchased. I paid £15 for 2 cups and it came with a cute little drawstring bag which I keep in my handbag. If you would like to view this product click here.

I hope you enjoyed this post!

See you on the next,

Calluna X