Now if you want to know what we think of OrganiCups and why they will change your period experience for the better then you’re in for a treat. Three of our Her Campus Leeds Girls, Ellie, Alice M and Alice C are here to give you the low down:
What made you want to try menstrual cups? Was OrganiCup your first?
Ellie: OrganiCup was my first menstrual cup and I wanted to try them due to friend’s recommendations of menstrual cups in general, saying how easy they are to use and how convenient they are.
Alice C: Two reasons:
1). They are so much more sustainable than disposable menstrual products; one menstrual cup can last up to ten years, but just one tampon will outlive the woman who used before it’s fully decomposed, and that’s just one tampon out of the 11,000 disposable menstrual products that the average woman uses in her lifetime.
2). They are cost-effective. I am not ashamed to admit that sometimes I struggle to afford menstrual products as a student, and there are of course so many girls in period poverty here in the UK; a menstrual cup is a great solution since you only need one and as I said they last up to ten years!
OrganiCup was my first menstrual cup and I don’t see any reason to try any others, they are a great brand who are clearly passionate about sustainability and ending period poverty, and I am proud to use their products.
Alice M: I wanted to try the OrganiCup as a way of being more eco-friendly. I try to do my bit for the environment and sanitary products was a good way for me to do that. The OrganiCup was my first menstrual cup and I’m glad it was such a positive experience for me.
What are the main advantages?
Ellie: The benefits to me are that the cup can be left in all day without attendance making it favourable for use in public and meaning you don’t have to think about bringing a supply of tampons everywhere you go. Also, it’s kind to my bank account because it is reusable, which is always welcome as a student! The most important benefit though has to be the environmental friendliness, with OrganiCup stating that packaging and wastage from sanitary products generate ‘more than 2000,000 tonnes of waste per year’, which takes 500 years to completely degrade. With a cup, there is ‘99.9% less waste’.
Alice C: Honestly, the sustainability aspect that we have already mentioned. I know that just from just making this tiny adjustment I am reducing my carbon footprint massively, and that feels great.
Alice M: The biggest advantage is that it’s very eco-friendly, and this was my main motivation for trying it. I hate the amount of waste that comes from sanitary products so this is a great alternative that helps you do your bit for the environment.
Are there any disadvantages?
Ellie: Once the menstrual cup is inserted it’s great, but insertion and removal caused some anxiety for me. In particular, the removal was the most traumatic part as you have to be able to grip the cup to make a fold (whilst it is still inside you) and at the same time push your stomach muscles to release the vacuum seal created. This has to be done whilst ensuring the blood goes into the toilet and not on the floor and the high-level multitasking initially meant a good few minutes in the toilet.
Alice C: The only disadvantage that I can think of is that like Ellie mentioned, it was a tiny bit uncomfortable to insert and remove at the end of my period when my flow is lighter. It’s nothing crazy, just like how tampons can be less fun at the end of the flow. To combat this I am planning on purchasing some reusable pads or panty liners (and I will, of course, tell you all about that adventure too).
Alice M: I found it difficult to get my head round and, this was made way more difficult as I was so nervous. But, once you get it right, you’ll know what to do and it kind of just becomes a routine.
Would you say the menstrual cup worked better or worse than some other sanitary methods you’ve tried?
Ellie: The menstrual cup was better than tampons that I usually use as it only needs to be dealt with twice a day. However, as I’m an inexperienced cup user, getting the position correct was a struggle for me resulting in some leakage (although this was to be expected). You have to be prepared for the fact that it may take a few periods to get it correct.
Alice C: The cup was way better than disposable pads and tampons. I have always disliked pads, I never really feel fresh and clean with one on, and I have never worked out what you’re supposed to do with a tampon string when you pee. One thing that got me excited about menstrual cups was with Anna Duffell described using one as feeling like you’re not on your period at all, and let me tell you, Anna was so right. I actually didn’t have any problems with leakage and didn’t have to use a panty liner at any time like the other girls did. However, I think the odd panty liner here and there would still be miles better than using disposable products 24/7.
Alice M: I don’t know if I can really say it works “better” as each one works well for different reasons and for different people. However, I would maybe advise doing research or watching some YouTube videos about the different cups that are available before you splash the cash.
How would you deal with it if you were out in public?
Ellie: Squatting over the toilet seemed to be a good method but of course it is difficult to rinse your cup in the sink when in public. If a sink is unavailable then wiping with tissue seems to work well as a temporary measure before reinserting.
Alice C: Due to the pandemic I haven’t run into this problem yet, however, I don’t really see it being one. Since you can leave them in for so long, I think the only time you’d have to empty and reinsert your cup in a public bathroom would be if you were travelling and then I’d probably be inclined to use a pad (another reason to purchase some reusable pads), but wiping it with a tissue as Ellie suggests would work just fine too.
Alice M: Well, the first time I used it I took it out, dropped it down the toilet and had to fish it out (I was at home though so, it could’ve been worse)! I’d say, take it slow and just stay relaxed… also, don’t be embarrassed – it’s such a natural thing – just wipe it out and pop it back in.
What piece of advice would you give to someone who’s never used a menstrual cup before and is anxious about it?
Ellie: Firstly, read all the instructions given so you know the process (and watch the helpful instructional video if using the OrganiCup). The video was helpful in reducing my anxiety as it was clear about how to use it and the visual aspect made it seem less daunting. Also, there are multiple folding methods for inserting the cup, so if one doesn’t work don’t be alarmed as there’s another one to try. I preferred the C-fold method but many of my friends who use cups prefer the punch-down fold method.
Alice C: I know it can be daunting, I’m really not squeamish about these things but even I got a little nervous before I tried my cup for the first time, as I heard stories of people getting them stuck. But honestly, you’re going to be fine. The best advice I can give is that if you’re struggling to remove it, just try to keep calm and then push a little and it will be so much easier. You’re never too young to start exercising those pelvic floor muscles anyway!
Alice M: It’s easier said than done, but try to use it for the first time when you’re not generally anxious. So, for me, I wouldn’t recommend using it for the first time if you’re stressed about deadlines or that big zoom date tomorrow evening! I also found it really helpful having someone who had already used one at hand to message and check that things were normal (big shoutout to Anna Duffell here for answering my panicked questions!)
Would you go back to your previous sanitary products or are you going to stick with the menstrual cup?
Ellie: I am going to continue to use my menstrual cup because I like its convenience given that it needs minimal attendance. I will still keep a stock of panty liners until I get used to the positioning and will probably use sanitary pads for when my flow becomes light towards the end of my period because the cup becomes more difficult to remove in my experience.
Alice C: I am sticking with the OrganiCup! It, of course, delivers on the sustainability and cost-effective front but it is also so comfortable and easy. You can keep it in for up to 12 hours, so you might only have to change it twice a day and when you are wearing it you honestly forget about it because it is so comfortable. Plus, you don’t have to worry about peeing on a tampon string.
Alice M: I wouldn’t go back now, but I am going to look at other menstrual cups as I don’t think this one is the best one for me. I found it difficult to make the cup expand so, it wasn’t always very effective. Sometimes I was still having to wear disposable sanitary pads as I was still worrying about leaks. I read some good articles after I used the OrganiCup and I’ve found loads of other cups that just seem to be highly rated, or have highlighted the same problems as me.
Have you ever thought about trying a menstrual cup? Well, if you want a more sustainable, cost-effective, vegan, and (in our opinion) a better way to manage your flow, OrganiCup is the one for you! You can order yours from OrganiCup.com with 20% off if you use our code ‘HerCampusLeeds20’. You’re welcome ;)
Words By: Alice Colton, Alice Mason and Ellie Back
Edited By: Dasha Pitts-Yushchenko