Here's Why I'm So Excited For My Period

I’m super excited to be going home for Spring Break – for many reasons (including a liturgical music concert). However, one of the things I’m most excited for this Spring Break is… my period.

But why? I hear you ask. Periods aren’t fun. And they’re certainly not exciting – more like something to dread.

I’ll be honest – I thought these same exact things, once upon a time. And then I discovered menstrual cups.

 

 

About a year ago, I was poking around on YouTube and came across a video that mentioned menstrual cups (unfortunately I don’t remember which video, or even who it was by). I was intrigued… and a little disgusted. I didn’t like using tampons, so why would I be interested in some other menstrual product meant to be inserted? However, the intrigued feeling won out, and I kept poking around for more information. The more I learned, the more interested I got in actually trying one of these things out – so, true to form, I did research!

Eventually I decided to go with the Lena Cup, which is made in the US of medical-grade silicon and dyes – and the company runs a donations program that partners with several nonprofits to give menstrual cups to girls in disadvantaged populations. This is one of my absolute favorite things about Lena Cup! It’s not enough for them to just help girls and women in developed countries (who have access to running water and period supplies) have better periods, they also want to empower girls/women who don’t have that kind of access.

Once I’d decided on Lena, all I had to do was order it ($25 on Amazon)… and then wait (very) impatiently for it to arrive. (And then wait even more impatiently for my period to arrive!) I had heard and read that menstrual cups come with a learning curve, and that is 100% true. It took legit half an hour, I think, for me to actually get the cup in the first time. (And it took even longer to get the cup out.) However, patience is totally worth it, because this product CHANGED MY LIFE.

I don’t get really bad cramps (my best friend does, and it’s made me realize how lucky I am), so before I started using a menstrual cup, my period was mostly just inconvenient and embarrassing. I still hated it, though, because using pads was just a major pain, and they always, always smelled bad. The few times I’ve used tampons, they were at minimum uncomfortable and at worst actually painful to use. Menstrual cups are not like that.

I’ve learned that the reason for the bad smell of pads is that the menstrual blood has time to dry. Tampons are also drying (and way worse than pads, because they also dry out the inside of your vagina and can have all kinds of yikes-inducing effects on internal pH (which can lead to, among other things, yeast infections). Since menstrual cups are made of non-absorbent materials (like silicon), they don’t have any of that drying effect, so they also won’t have a bad smell. And (unlike tampons, at least for me) once your menstrual cup is fully inserted, you can’t feel it. At all. And I have never had a leak from a period cup (unlike when I’ve used tampons, which always leak). As long as the cup is fully opened up (you have to fold it to get it in), you should never have leaks from a menstrual cup.

Does that sound life-changing enough?

If you aren’t convinced enough to try it yet, think about the financial situation: the Lena Cup is $25 on Amazon and the Lena Cup website. If you spend an average of $6 on menstrual products per month, the Lena Cup pays for itself in about four months. And here’s the kicker: a menstrual cup can last for up to 10 years.

(It’s worth mentioning that you do need to use unscented, non-antibacterial soap to clean a menstrual cup. There are several cup washes available online – I use this one by Clean Cup, which is $13 for a 5.5 oz bottle that has barely a dent in it after a full year of use. But this still adds only another two months to the time it takes for a menstrual cup to pay for itself.)

Also: if you want to have a laugh and learn a little about using a menstrual cup at the same time, try watching this Hannah Witton video on using a menstrual cup for the first time! She doesn’t get everything right (for example, there are way more than just two ways to fold a menstrual cup – and you definitely should wait until you’re on your period to try inserting it for the first time), but it is both funny and informative.

There are so many different kinds of menstrual cup out there, and while I do adore my Lena Cup, it may not be the best choice for everyone. The website putacupinit.com has a quiz to help determine what the best options for you are (and also a comparison chart that I looked at extensively when deciding which cup to go with).

 

(I haven’t been paid by Lena Cup to make this post, and I bought my Lena Cup myself.)