Let’s talk periods. We all have them, we all dread them and we all wish there was a way to make those horrendous days a bit easier. But what if I told you there was? I know. This sounds like the intro to a cheesy advert. But hear me out.
I’ve been hearing about menstrual cups for years now. I seriously considered getting one a couple times but I was SCARED. and always chickened out. The thought of putting a cup up my vag terrified me. And rightfully so. What if it hurt? What if it gets stuck? Maybe you’re in the same boat that I was in. So let me put your mind at ease.
It’s not that bad.
I promise you, once you get over that initial first time, it’s smooth sailing from then on. I’ve only used it for two cycles so far but let me tell you. This menstrual cup is my new best friend and I’m never going back to pads and tampons.
What is a menstrual cup?
It’s essentially a small, reusable, silicone cup that you insert just like you would a tampon. It folds to make insertion easier and it collects all of the blood. Once put in correctly, menstrual cups claim to be leak free and last up to 12 hours. Once you take it out, you clean it and put it back in.
The benefits of a menstrual cup:
There are so many benefits to using a menstrual cup so I’ll just list a few here today. I strongly recommend you do a bit more research if you’re thinking about making the switch.
- Zero waste: menstrual cups are reusable and one lasts up to ten years. Isn’t that just incredible? No more plastic riddled tampons and pads. This also means that you can save money by just buying one $10-$20 cup every 10 years. This was the main reason behind me making the switch. It was the next step in my zero waste journey.
- Less frequent changes: if you have a lighter flow then you may be able to leave this cup in for up to 12 hours without having to empty it. That’s amazing! Now this does vary from person to person and is based on the size of your cup but I’ll talk more about this later on in this post.
- Reduce the possibility of toxic shock syndrome: this is caused by a bacterial infection due to the prolonged wear of tampons. We’ve all been scared by this at one point or another but menstrual cups can significantly reduce the risk of this occurring.
My thoughts & experience
So I’ve been going on and on about the benefits and I think it’s obvious how much I love my menstrual cup. I honestly wish it didn’t take me so long to get on board with the idea.
I purchased one from Pixie Cup in the size small and so far so good.
My first experience with the cup went much smoother than anticipated. I was expecting my first time putting it in to be really difficult as I’d heard so many bad stories but I got it in pretty quickly and easily with minimal discomfort. I will say that I was EXTREMELY paranoid though. I kept on reaching up to feel for it, just to make sure it was still there. Even though there isn’t really anywhere for it to go. But scared was an understatement. Anyways, after about seven (7) hours I decided to empty it (before bed). I went ahead and took it out which was a bit more difficult than putting it in. It did hurt that time and a couple times after that until I figured out a technique that helped to make the removal process easier and a bit more comfortable.
I did wake up to a leak the next morning and I must say I was shocked because most of the reviews I read and looked at before purchasing the cup, talked about keeping it in all day and overnight, without having to empty it. But that just wasn’t the case for me.
Tampons vs the menstrual cup
I ended up emptying the cup every 4-5 hours during the first few days of my period. I leaked any time I left it in longer than that. At first, it seemed like a hassle to have to take it out and empty it every couple of hours. I mean that’s one of the reasons I didn’t like tampons. So when I heard that I could leave the cup in for 12 hours I was over the moon.
Once I got the hang of it, however, I was in and out of the washroom in just a couple minutes which isn’t bad at all considering I was almost guaranteed no leaks, something tampons never did for me.
Later on in my period, when my flow was lighter, I was able to leave it in for the full 12 hours which was AMAZING. I especially loved using it at the very end of my period when I’m not necessarily bleeding but get that sneaky, unpredictable spotting. Bye bye pantyliners.
Menstrual cups have opened my eyes
I must say that using my Pixie cup has made me even more comfortable with my body and I’ve learnt so much. I didn’t even realize how heavy my flow actually is until I was changing that cup every 5 hours. It’s so difficult to track your bleeding when using pads and tampons but the Pixie cup actually has measurements engraved in the cup, allowing you to know exactly how heavy or light your flow is.
My favorite part about using a menstrual cup is being able to forget that I’m even on my period. Because the cup collects the blood and doesn’t leak unless full, I’m able to live my best life, even when on my period.
Believe it or not, I’m actually excited for my next period so I could use my menstrual cup and track ALL the details. That’s crazy right?
Have you ever used a menstrual cup? Do you love it as much as I love mine?
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Until next time,