Is A Menstrual Cup Right for You?
We’re talking about periods here, so things might get a little TMI, but if you can look past all that, and you want to know if a menstrual cup would be better for you, keep reading.
Short answer to the question, I don’t know.
Now let me break it down so you can decide for yourself.
If you’re a girl in college reading this, I’m going to go ahead and assume you have experience with periods.
We all know about pads and tampons, I kind of know about those little menstrual discs, I’ve heard about period underwear but that’s going beyond my level of knowledge. There’s also a good chance you’ve heard of a menstrual cup. Let me tell you all about it, it’s really not as scary as you think.
A menstrual cup is a reusable silicone cup that’s kind of shaped like a bell, that you wear during your period to stop blood from leaking, like a pad or a tampon would.
Does it hurt to put in/take out? No, unless you like accidentally pinch yourself or something (which I’ve admittedly done once). Is it uncomfortable? Kind of, but it isn’t unbearable.
There’s a little stem at the end to take it out, in my experience sitting on the toilet pushes the cup out a little bit and makes it easier to grab the stem so it’s easier to take out than just bending over or putting a leg up to take it out.
Is it hard to put in? To tell you the truth, it’s not easy to put in. A tampon is much easier to put in. To put it in you try to fold the cup, just press it together. After folding it you can actually put it in because it’s small enough. It’s especially difficult when you first try. There have been times when I put it like half in and my fingers slipped, and it came unfolded so I had to start over, there are also times where it just seemed like it didn’t want to go in. Now I usually get it on the first or second try. A little tip, I find it easier to put in if it’s wet, so I usually run it under some water or put it in while I’m in the shower.
Can you feel it? At first, but no more than you feel a tampon. I wear it to the gym all the time, wear it to sleep, I’ll wear it all day long, but never does it feel like it’s going to fall out, and it doesn’t hurt once it’s in.
Now I’ll tell you why I got it and why I like it personally.
I’ve been taking birth control pills for about two and a half years; the pills caused my period to get lighter overtime and sometimes I don’t get one. So, I couldn’t wear tampons, because no one wants to put in a dry tampon. I felt like I had to wear pads and when I wanted to wear leggings or something to the gym, you could super see it.
Also, sometimes I’d wear pads and not bleed at all, so I just wasted a pad. Then when I was like ok it looks like no period for me and not wear anything, then I would get a little something on my underwear.
I was in a weird position because I still got a period sometimes, but I didn’t bleed enough to wear a pad, definitely not a tampon, and I couldn’t just not wear anything.
So, I didn’t know what to do, then I read about menstrual cups, and I’ve been using mine ever since.
I bought a cup from the brand Pixie Cup for $15, and even better every time someone buys one they donate one. Another great thing is that they’re better for the environment because they’re reusable.
I love it because it’s reusable, so I spent $15 and now I don’t have to keep buying and throwing away pads and being in college I’m open to any chance to save money. I haven’t spent money on a box of tampons or pads in 8 months, I just wash my cup when I’m done and then I’m good to reuse it or put it away.
It comes with a little silk drawstring bag and wipes (for if you’re out and need to wipe it down in a stall or something), I just keep it in my wristlet and so I always have it on me that way if something unexpected happens I don’t have to worry about going to get more of anything. I mean you can keep a tampon or two on you all the time in case you’re out and your period pops in, but you probably still at some point will need to go rush get more if you’re out and about.
It says you can wear them for up to 12 hours, and the chances of getting Toxic Shock Syndrome are much lower than your chances of getting it from a tampon, which you aren’t supposed to keep in for more than 8 hours.
And my favorite reason I love my cup is, I don’t even have to be on my period to use it. I can’t put in a dry tampon, I don’t have to waste and throw away pads that I basically used for no reason. I can still put it in for peace of mind just in case my period decides to show up and if it doesn’t, then I just take out my cup and wash it off anyway until next time.
If you have a heavier period, they have different sizes (which the bigger sizes could be harder to put in, but I don’t think the rim of the bigger cup is that much wider, bigger sizes are just longer cups that hold more). I don’t have experience using the cup with heavy periods, but you’ll probably just have to take it out and put it back in more often, which I’m guessing you already do with a tampon or pad. What I have heard though is, once it’s full you can feel it, sort of just like a weight, which you can just take as a sign to change it.
Also, if you have a heavy period, I’m sure that unlike me who could buy a box of pads and they last for like two or three months, you spend a lot of money on tampons, so this could really help you save.
This could be intimidating for you because obviously you don’t want a cup of period blood to come out and spill all over, but the chances of your tampon leaking is about the same if you don’t change it at the right time.
It might seem gross cause pads and tampons absorb, and a cup collects, so it feels weird just seeing a cup of blood, but you have to touch blood either way. This is also why I recommend taking it off on the toilet, that way you could just dump the blood in the toilet and then clean the cup, so you don’t really have anywhere to spill it.
You also don’t have to worry about disposing of it or wrapping it up and throwing it out.
Hopefully all that information will help you out, and if you decide to stick with tampons or pads, that’s cool too. Everyone is different. I prefer my cup to any other period product, but it may seem like not your cup of tea.
If you want to save money on period products, choose a product that is better for the environment, and in my opinion more convenient (if you don’t mind doing acrobatics the first time you try to put it in) then I think it’s worth a try.