Let me tell you about the wonderful tool I use about one week out of every month — a menstrual cup! I have never felt freer.
For some, this topic may be taboo or TMI, but let’s face it, a woman’s menstrual cycle is and should be freely discussed. It’s the way of life and there should be nothing shameful or hidden about it.
So there. I said it. We will be talking about menstruation and the tool that I use that has set me free from public restroom tampon and/or pad changes, embarrassing leaks, middle-of-the-night changes, and carefully scheduled outings.
I have been using a menstrual cup for about two years now. In the beginning, I used pads as most young women do. I graduated very quickly to tampons where the only way to stay active without the mess was if you changed them often, mostly more often than the recommended time. Although they saved you from the mess, they always seemed (to me anyway) to be uncomfortable… but hey we are not here to discuss the things that made me uncomfortable, we are here to talk about the menstrual cup and why it is so awesome. Using a cup is my #1 sanity tip during that time of the month.
How a Menstrual Cup Works
Some are reusable, and some are disposable. The reusable ones are usually made of medical grade silicone, like the one I currently use. There are many brands to choose from and many positive reviews. These reusable cups are equipped to hold way more than any tampon could ever hold and do not disrupt the natural chemistry of your body. (I use the DivaCup. It’s the only one I have tried so far.)
The cup is be inserted into the vagina and around your cervix. This is what creates the leak-proof barrier that allows you to live your life without having to worry about where the nearest clean restroom will be. The cup is good for half your day — that’s right, up to 12 hours of worry-free time!
Patience Is Key
Now don’t get me wrong. There is a learning curve. And, of course, all things come with a cost. But this one isn’t soo bad… I mean on the literal side, these cups range from $6-$60 — mine was around $40.
When I talk about cost here, I am referring to the time it takes to get it right. For some, you may get the placement right rather quickly; for others, if you are like me, it took a while to understand my anatomy (my cervix is tilted), so I had to be sure the cup opened just right. It’s truly about the way it sets in your anatomy.
If you can feel it or it’s uncomfortable, it’s because it’s not in right. It’s more trial and error, so don’t give up until you find the comfortable spot. Also, don’t forget, there are a few places to cut the tip to make it more comfortable if you need to. I had to cut mine.
It may not be perfect the first few times and you may need to look at a few brands, but relax, take a deep breath, and try again. It is all worth it in the end.
Please feel free to ask me any questions about my experience using the menstrual cup in the comments. I would love for more women to take a chance at using one. They are freeing physically, financially, and environmentally.