Fair warning, this post is entirely TMI.
But, so was this and you liked it. So in the name of helping womankind everywhere, we’re doin’ it. 😉
Fair warning, we’re talking about periods. We talk about blood. If any of that makes ya feel a little squeamish, feel free to go put on your big girl panties before coming back to dive into this, OK? Cool cool.
Oh and also, Dad and Jamie, today is not the day to read the blog. HA. 😉
It all started like this…
I got my period.
I thought I was “prepared.” It was still light, so I was just wearing a light pad until it was tampon-worthy. I couldn’t “feel” flow yet, so I thought all was well. Until I’m in the kitchen prepping breakfast for O and J kindly points out, “There’s blood on your pants.”
Because the sexiest thing about waking up on a Friday in your college sweats and looking like a troll is definitely having your partner call out blood that came out of your vagina and ended up ON YOUR CLOTHES.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m the first person to think that your person needs to be A-OK with you in any shape/form because Lord knows the forms come. So feminists of the world, don’t come at me because I’m all about our girl power, too. 😉
But maybe blood from your hoohah is, like, too much?
Really, it’s just unnecessary. Probably the #1 thing I’d loathe every month was the fear of leaks. I still too-distinctly remember the days in high school of running around to your besties for a “check me” moment to make sure you didn’t have anything on your Hollister jean skirt.
So like really, enough was enough.
I’d heard a few brave souls talk about a menstrual cup before, so I figured the CURowd may benefit from some #RealTalk here, too, to chat the thing said to eliminate leaking once and for all. Not to mention, the cost of feminine products every month, which can seriously add up – also why the heck are they taxed? Can someone forward this post to Congress, please, so that some common sense can be spoken and basic toilietries for female function are tax-free as a necessity? Stepping off soap box…
First thing’s first…what even IS a menstrual cup?!?!
A menstrual cup is this bell-shaped device typically made from medical-grade silicone, that you put up there to collect blood during your time of the month. They’re said to be pretty effective at preventing leaks, since the silicone bell forms essentially a suctioned seal in there so that nothing can drip out. And when you’re all done with the day, you just tug the little stem to remove (which I *strongly* recommend doing while still over the toilet). It’s something notable + hypeworthy, because a good menstrual cup can mean less leaks AND less dollars spent on feminine products, among a whole slue of other pros I’ve got outlined below.
So. I marched upstairs, hopped in the shower, and thought, TODAY IS THE DAY.
I got out the menstrual cup I had stashed away “just in case” (I had already boiled it, which you have to do first and foremost for sanitation purposes).
I pulled out the directions.
“Fold in C-shape and insert into vagina.”
That’s hilarious, isn’t it? Maybe I’m the only crazy lady on the planet who doesn’t think this is easy as pie? It’s like when they tell you how to insert a tampon and they’re like “just put it in!”
And you’re like BUT HOW. What if it hurts? What if it doesn’t go? WHAT DO I DO. SIRI, WALK ME THROUGH IT.
So. I did as directed, folded into a C, and went for it.
Maybe I just missed? Because that sucker did not go in first try and my first reaction was literally just “What the F*$% am I doing?!”
But I did as we do around here and I just tried tried again.
And lo and behold, it worked.
I checked, I kid you not, 12 times throughout the day to make sure the rubber line was still there so that the plastic cup didn’t get lost up in the cavern somehow. But it remained! My goal was to just be able to wear a light-day pad all day, not change the cup – since it says it’s good for 12 hours there without changing – and just see what happened.
So, here’s what happened.
TBH, I DID at one point think it got lost. But, I found it. No worries, friends. 😉
If you momentarily lose your marbles like I did and worry it’ll “get lost,” the accompanying pamphlet reassures you that that is, in fact, impossible. 😉 I didn’t have to change it OR the light-day literally all day long. I could just take the cup out at the end of the night and VOILA.
Now I will say, taking it out can be a bit ~interesting~, so you have to brace yo’self ahead of time since there is, well, blood. You have to pull the rubber stick at its base, then start to fold it in on itself similarly to how you inserted in a sortof C-shape. Then, just dump it out right in the toilet before moving.
And when that’s done, you’ll want to thoroughly clean it with a very mild soap that won’t irritate you (and be sure to clean it in between EVERY use). I picked up this one from Amazon since it says it’s perfume-free, mild, and organic.
- 12+ hour wear. You can legitimately wear a menstrual cup safely for 12 hours. Not having to worry about changing a feminine product, nor worrying about coming down with a very serious illness if you forget you’ve got something in in the first place is VERY nice.
- No leaks. I wear a light day just in case, but so long as you’ve got it inserted correctly, it forms a sort of “seal” up there and isn’t supposed to leak at all.
- No string. Because I know not a single soul who enjoys the feel of a tampon string hanging out down there.
- No bulky pads. I also know not a single soul who enjoys the feel of a pad. Maybe folks prefer pads over tampons or vice versa, but I think it’s safe to say most folks would ixnay both altogether if possible.
- No toxins. I was pretty uninformed of this until I did some digging, but tampons actually have a TON of terrible chemicals inside. And the thought of said chemicals just marinating in your body is less-than-pleasant.
- No environmental damage. Tampons don’t exactly decompose well in landfills. While I’m not necessarily one to make such a hugely personal shift for that reason alone (although it’s important, don’t get me wrong), it’s definitely a point to keep in mind.
- No ruined underwear. I mean, we all have period panties, right? Those one or two grandma-ish pairs that sit in the back of your drawer for that time of the month? Don’t lie. You have them, too. 😉
- No discomfort. My biggest complaint with tampons was always if/when you could feel it there. Of course, if all goes well, ideally you wouldn’t feel anything anyways. But there was always that one time you were in a hurry or WHATEVER, and it wasn’t just right, and you could feel the dang thing in there. No more with a menstrual cup – you don’t feel A THING (or a string).
- A bit messy. I mentioned this above, but I 100% RECOMMEND removing your menstrual cup over the toilet. There will be blood. I mean, duh. 😉 But especially if you’ve had it in all day, it can be a *wee* bit alarming on your first removal.
- A bit higher maintenance. In the SOLE sense of that there IS maintenance, whereas tampons slash pads are obviously one-time-use-only. You do have to take the time to appropriately clean your menstrual cup for safety + sanitation purposes.
- A bit difficult to put in/take out. For some folks, and also depending on your fit. It’s not necessarily the easiest thing in the world, but I figure if I’m only putting it in once and taking it out once in a whole day versus a few go’s with tampons, it’s doable.
Do I wear my menstrual cup everyday of my cycle? No. I wear it on Days 1 and 2, when it’s heaviest, and maaaaaybe Day 3 if I feel like flow is still strong. If you’ve got actual flow, I recommend the menstrual cup – otherwise, just a lightday. Make sense?
I don’t have really good advice (yet) on choosing a menstrual cup brand. To be totally honest (as always), I am fairly certain I got mine in the mail randomly from some PR girl who for SOME REASON thought that was the thing to just ship someone’s way unannounced. HA. When you Google it or see articles like this, it tells you this menstrual cup is better for long vaginas or that menstrual cup is good for high cervixes. And since I have no clue how to judge this personally, nor am I about to call Dr. Karen to ask her recollection on the length of my vagina from my OBGYN appointment seven months ago, I’m going to go ahead and call it that it might just be something that takes some trial and error to find your personal best fit and/or favorite menstrual cup. 😉
Really, before writing this post, I didn’t even know there were different variations of menstrual cups to consider. I thought (maybe foolishly/naively) that they were just made the same. It makes sense that they’re not given that not all vaginas are the same (also WOW how many times will we say the word “vagina” today? Should we make it a drinking game to make this any less mortifying for all?). But in using my own, I never once thought, “Hmm, I wonder if there’s something better for me,” maybe because I had so many pros and so few (as in NO) personal cons in use.
I’ll definitely keep using a menstrual cup for ALL OF THE REASONS above. It’s just SO much better than tampons or pads, point blank period (pun intended 😉 ). But of course, with any/all things that are considered “medical” or having to do with your body, consult your doc if you’ve got questions/concerns/curiosities and to see if a menstrual cup would be best for you. I’m sure they’re not for everyone, and I for one did not think they’d be for me – I thought they looked WEIRD AF. 😉 But hey – I gave it an honest go, and I’m not going back.
Hav you ever tried a menstrual cup?
WOULD you try a menstrual cup??? I wanna know! Scale of 1/10, how awkward did today’s post make you feel??? HA!
Back to our regularly scheduled PG program tomorrow… 😉