Let’s talk period stories. I got my period when I was twelve, on my last day of sixth grade, and I was ready for it, excited even. Oh boy, how naive I was. The first few months were fine, normal even. I used pads with wings, and they worked, even though they felt like diapers, and I finally felt like a “woman.”
Disaster struck at summer camp in August. I was expecting my period, so I brought my winged pads in a little case, all prepared, because now I was a grown up. I woke up on my first morning with blood everywhere, literally everywhere on the bed. I pulled the sheets over it and threw another pad on and headed out. This led me to the worst day of my middle school years. I bled through three pairs of pants that day and had to be physically put into a shower to clean off, and the entire ordeal was mortifying. The next year, I was diagnosed with having menorrhagia, which is menstrual periods with abnormally heavy or prolonged bleeding.
I tried to deal with it on my own. I went through a Super Plus tampon every half hour, my periods lasted longer than my non-bleeding days, and I carried around a backpack with nighttime pads at all times. It was a living hell, and to make matters worse, I began to have issues with iron deficiency. I was put on birth control pills, which worked for about a year, but then they didn’t. So, I started different pills, and when I was fifteen, I had an IUD inserted. From then on, I had both an IUD and birth control pills, other than a short stint where we tried just the IUD, which led me to bleed 24/7 for months. It was all about finding that balance.
For right now, I think I’ve found my place. I have another IUD and it works, bringing my period problems to the bottom of the totem pole. I try my best not to think about what will happen when I want to have biological children when I get older. But the IUD did not stop my periods, I still have one, and it is still fairly heavy.
My cervix decided that it was going to be extremely low, so whenever I inserted a tampon, it would literally go to the side of the cervix and not catch any blood. My flow was far too heavy for just a pad. In an act of desperation, I bought a menstrual cup, and I have honestly been nothing but delighted.
Seriously, I have not had any issues with leakage other than when it is full. When I put the cup in, it opens right up and stays put and there is no discomfort whatsoever. Something actually went right for once! A game changer!
1. They save you money!
The average person spends approximately $84 or more per year on disposable tampons and pads. A menstrual cup costs around $30 and lasts around 2 to 4 years. It pays for itself almost instantly.
2. They are zero waste
In the US alone, 12 billion pads and 7 million tampons pollute landfills annually. That’s a lot of waste you won’t be contributing to if you switch to a menstrual cup.
3. You can keep them in for longer
It is recommended that you keep a tampon in for no longer than eight hours, which creates issues if you want to sleep wearing one. A menstrual cup can be kept in for 12 hours, so you can sleep with it or wear it all day long.
4. You don’t have to carry tampons and pads everywhere
I was consumed with the idea that my period would sneak up on me and I would have no means to take care of myself, so I always carried around enough pads and tampons for a small city. With a menstrual cup, you can just carry around one thing in a little pouch and you’re already prepared. Also, it eliminates that panic when you go to use the bathroom, and realize that you bled through your tampon and don’t have another one with you, so now you’re on the toilet and there’s blood everywhere. The menstrual cup stops that before the worry even hits you.
5. They hold more blood
The DivaCup holds one full ounce of blood, which is about twice as much as many high absorbency tampons. The average person only releases 1.5 ounces of blood their entire period, so a menstrual cup’s got you covered.
6. They are easy to clean
I wash mine with water during my period and wash it with soap after my period is done. A few times a year, you can sterilize it in boiling water if you would like. Pro tip: I clean mine in the shower and then re-insert once I get out.
I don’t regret switching to a menstrual cup one bit and am so glad I took the plunge when I did.
What are some other reasons why you love using a menstrual cup?