Have you ever used a menstrual cup? Let me tell you, they are amazing! So freeing. There were so many things that I loved about menstrual cups right off the bat. I fell in love with the idea of using a product that was made for women by women, I loved using a something that collected my period, instead of absorbing it, and I also felt that I was being rebellious somehow by not participating in the “sanitary napkins” shopping experience at my local drug store anymore. I would walk past the “feminine hygiene” aisle in the store and quietly laugh to myself thinking — HA! I don’t need you anymore, or something to that effect.
One of the huge benefits that I immediately saw after I started using menstrual cups was the cost savings. Instead of spending money every single month on menstrual products I spent my money one time and had a product that was not only more comfortable to use and more effective at collecting my period blood, but since it was a reusable product I was immediately able to make a positive environmental impact by reducing the waste that I was putting out into the world.
Even though I could write a 5,000 word ode to menstrual cups because, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE menstrual cups, and I’ve been using them for going on 15 years now, there are a few things that you need to know if you’re thinking about using them and haven’t tried them yet. If you’ve been using menstrual cups for some time now you’ll be able to relate to many of the experiences that I’ve had and I’d love to hear yours!
So here goes….the 7 things no one tells you about using menstrual cups:
1. At first glance they look kind of…BIG – Um yeah. When you get your brand new menstrual cup and take it out of the package for the first time it looks pretty big. This is definitely a subjective measure, and perhaps your experience was different, but I need to call a spade a spade here. Menstrual cups are at least 2-3 times wider than tampons. Even the super duper “torpedo tampons” (as I used to lovingly call them as a teenager). I’m pretty sure you could stuff at least 3 tampons inside an average sized menstrual cup. My first thought was — where the heck is that supposed to go?
2. There is a steep learning curve – If you thought you were going to buy a menstrual cup and your first experience using it was going to be super easy and wonderful prepare to be disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll eventually have that amazing experience with the birds singing and the amazement from using such an effective and comfortable product, but it doesn’t start out that way.
You’ll likely have at least one day where you feel the cup poking out of you all day if it slips down too far, especially if you’re still figuring out just how far up it really has to go. Once you’ve gotten the hang of how to insert it properly, you’ll get to that wonderful stage where you don’t feel it at all.
Using a menstrual cup is nothing like using a tampon. Most tampons come with applicators, and those applicators allow you to get away with not ever really having to touch yourself. You can use tampons and never have to put your fingers inside your vagina. You can disconnect from the whole experience altogether, but with a menstrual cup there’s no way around it. You’re hands are going in. Possibly further in than they’ve ever been. You’re charting new territory here, and any ideas you had about how long, wide or big your vagina actually is will likely be proven wrong within the first few hours of using your cup!
3. They leak…sometimes – I don’t believe for a second that I’m a unicorn. I can’t be the only one. With that being said, my periods have always been heavy, and that definitely plays a role in the leakage. I fill an entire cup on at least 2 separate occasions during my period, and FYI, when your flow reaches the top of the cup it starts leaking. With that said, I’ve also experienced some degree of leaking even when the cup isn’t 100% full. I’ve experimented with different cups, but even so I’ve found there always to be some degree of leaking involved in the process. Although this is a drawback, I found the leakage situation to be much worse with tampons, and I only experience leakage on my heavy days. As for a solution? I use my cup along with my handy dandy Lunapads washable panty liners, and voila! Problem solved.
4. The first time you use it it will probably feel horrible – I hinted at this above, but I’m giving it it’s own bullet point here. The first time I ever used a menstrual cup I couldn’t figure out how to get it in far enough, and it kind of stuck out all day long. It was rubbing against my vaginal opening all day, and let’s just say it wasn’t a particularly comfortable or enjoyable experience. BUT — and this is really important– it was totally worth it!
Don’t get discouraged if your very first period with the cup isn’t super smooth and easy. Trust me when I say that it’s part of the process. Push through. Expect the first period or two to be a bit dicey. Figure out how to insert the thing correctly. Remember that you can’t feel it at all when it’s in the right place. And to take one step further, if you really do find it uncomfortable there are a plethora of different brands that come in different shapes and sizes. Don’t give up! You’ll find the cup that’s right for you. It’s out there. And you never know, maybe you’ll surprise yourself and get it “right” on your first try.
5. Menstrual cups are way more comfortable to use….once you get the hang of it – If you are or were a tampon or pad user, I believe you’ll love menstrual cups. If you’ve used tampons before then correct me if I’m wrong, but you’ve probably experienced the lovely feeling of inserting (or removing) a dry scratchy tampon on one of your light days? When the tampon isn’t soaked, and it just feels wrong when you pull it out? Or worse, you try to pull it out and it doesn’t move…because it’s so dry. Since menstrual cups are designed to collect rather than absorb, this is an issue you’ll never have to face again. Simply rinse your cup and insert – and you’ll never experience that uncomfortable dry scratchy feeling you get with tampons. When it comes to pads, I’ve never been a huge fan of that slippery slimy feeling I get when I use them. You might say that perhaps I’m not using the “right ones”, but either way it’s just not my favorite experience. Again, menstrual cups for the win!
6. Your period is really red, bloody and not completely liquid – If you’re wondering “geez Lisa…tell me what you really think”…fair enough, I’m not exactly known for dancing around the point. When you use a menstrual cup you actually see your period. This may be the first time you’ve ever had the opportunity to see how much you really bleed, what your blood really looks like, and really get the point that your period is what happens when your endometrial lining is shed.
Your period is made up of blood, tissue, and endometrial secretions. It really gets at the point that your period is absolutely not that “blue colored liquid” we see in those creepy menstrual product commercials. You may also come to appreciate how ineffective tampons really are at collecting your menstrual fluid. Once you see what’s really coming out of you, you’ll discover what all the “fuss” is about when it comes to menstrual cups. They are designed to collect your period, and that makes way more sense when you see what’s actually coming out of you!
7. You’ll feel a strange sense of satisfaction every time you walk past the “feminine hygiene aisle” – It’s probably silly to some degree, but using menstrual cups makes me feel kind of like a rebel of sorts. Like I’m rejecting the system and challenging the status quo. Menstrual products are expensive, uncomfortable and bad for the environment.
You can just google “menstrual products landfill” or “how many pads will I use in my lifetime?” to find out how much subscribing to this consumerist model of period management negatively impact’s the world. Just take a moment to think about how much waste menstrual products generate on a global scale. And to make matters worse, these are products that don’t necessarily biodegrade. That means they just sit there for thousands of years and clutter up our beautiful world…but I digress. Environmental rant over.
In addition to the environmental impact, what about the impact on your wallet? How does it feel to know that someone (probably male) is profiting from your natural bodily functions? I’ve often wondered why menstrual products aren’t free and available in every public washroom like toilet paper? Menstrual cups are reusable and sustainable. You pay for this amazing product once, and you are able to rely on it for years. Like 10 or more if you choose. The cost savings over even a 5 year period are formidable, and the experience as a user is much more positive.
All this is to say that I feel a lovely sense of satisfaction whenever I walk past the “feminine hygiene” aisle. Like I’m giving the metaphorical finger to the for profit menstrual product industry. Frankly the phrase feminine hygiene pisses me off a little. It’s a normal bodily function. Why don’t they just label the aisle “pads/tampons/panty liners”? Why is there all this unnecessary secrecy and shame around menstruation? Having periods doesn’t make me “unhygienic” thank you very much, but I’ll leave that discussion for a future post.
If you loved this blog post, I recently released an entire podcast episode on menstrual cups! Click here to tune in.
Now I want to hear from you! Have you used menstrual cups before? Did you like them? What was your experience like? Were you able to find one that works for you? Are you “converted”? Or do you prefer regular tampons and pads? Please share your experiences in the comments below!
I love this! I started using the menstrual cup after learning to chart. I’m converted 100% and couldn’t agree with you more on all of the above. I found it intimidating at first, but now it’s very easy to use. I never would have tried them if I didn’t learn to chart my periods. Learning to chart connected me to my body and made me open to trying them out.
Fertility Friday says
So glad you liked the article Courtney 🙂 I share your experience with it, so glad I kept going because I love using cups now! I won’t use anything else!
I am thirteen and started using my Lena cup a month ago. I don’t actually know how to use a tampon…cause I figured, there’s a learning curve to both of them, why not go with the better choice? Anyways, there was, of course, the initial learning curve (most of which I learned in the shower;)). I probably won’t ever learn to use a tampon….
Hi! Mine comes waaaaay down, almost out when I pee. This is my first month trying to use it. I googled but didn’t see anything like my experience. Any ideas for what I need to do?
Maybe you should try getting a bigger or different firmness cup
I started using a cup (I have a Diva with the stem cut off, and a Luna which I use inside out) after I googled how to have less painful periods. Tampons were making my day 1-2 cramps even more horrible and the dryness at the end was also awful. I pair my cups with pads/ liners from Charlie Banana and Party in my Pants – which are totally different but I love them both.
Also, after I started seeing an accupuncturist for fertility, I learned that being able to see your period is helpful in a Chinese Medicine diagnosis.
Thank you so much for this article. I was trying a menstrual cup for the first time and REALLY struggling and could find nothing to support my first time difficulties. This article (and the comments) have made me feel a lot better about persevering, as I know it has such major benefits.
Anna Churchill says
I used a Keeper for many years and I liked it ok. One issue was that I had trouble with bowel movements with it in. I haven’t heard of anyone else having that issue, am I the only one? Eventually it was leaking a lot and when I looked into it I learned that they are only intended to be used for a year or so before being replaced. My local coop sells the Diva Cup so I bought that and tried it out but I had SUCH a hard time removing it. I had to squat WAY down close to the floor and doing that in a public bathroom was not an option! I have a long story about taking it camping and that was the last straw. Now I use cloth pads mostly, which I’m really liking. Maybe I’ll try the menstrual cup again someday, we’ll see.
Fertility Friday says
I haven’t had an issue with having bowel movements, but I usually have to put it back in place afterwards. Cloth pads are awesome…I used them postpartum after having my boys and loved how comfortable they were ?
I’m on my second cycle using a cup. I didn’t really have problems (like the article says you might). Matter of fact, I had no leakage the first cycle, but now I’m having problems with it not popping open. Still a better experience than full flow with pads, and I’m trying different folds for insertion.
Anyway, my first cycle I did have a bowel movement where I could feel uncomfortable pressure against the cup. I figured I had it placed wrong and it hasn’t been an issue any other time.
Getting my technique down for removing it is my main objective now. I’m pretty sure I’m a cup girl from now on.
I tried Diva Cup for the first time (the #2 cup) and although it wasn’t exactly the easiest going in, I was able to insert it correctly because I immediately didn’t feel it up there at all. Maybe feeling too good because I noticed the stem was way up there and I was concerned I’d have trouble getting it out. I went to bed and woke up two hours later with blood flowing out onto the panty liner I had on for back-up. I tried to pull the cup out but it seemed to had gone to deep inside me. After 10 mins of trying to get a good enough grip on the stem to pull it out, I decided to squat really low to floor and push really hard to get the stem down as much as possible. Finally I got and pulled it out. I thought for a minute there I’d have to call the doctor to get this thing out. As soon as pull it out, all the blood from inside the cup falls all over my floor. Sighs. It was such a mess. I really did want it to work for me. I think my cervix is really high up or something; looks like I’d need an even bigger cup with a longer stem. For now I think I may just stick to my organic cotton pads/tampons until I find something better. Eeek! Any suggestions?
I had the same issue at first but did a bit of research and using your opposite hand to pinch the cup itself to break the suction instead of pulling the stem is best for removal. Plus with gravity, the more full it gets, the further down it gets.. so it will always come out eventually. ☺️ Don’t give up, it’s well worth it once you develop your own routine.
It gets easier with time to get them out. You kind of have to use your “poop” muscles and you don’t have to squat too much. I’ve been using one for multiple years and I just “push” the cup down with my muscles and I can pull the stem. In the beginning I definitely had some panic moments when I couldn’t reach it, but now I make sure it’s way up there so it doesn’t leak (knowing I can just push it down to get it out!) Just remain calm and with practice it becomes natural.
I have same issue. It’s like it disappears up there. But now I just bind a cotton string on the stem so I can pull it down to normal level where I can reach it.
An Australian brand called JuJu has cups for people specifically with high cervixs (and also options for those with really low cervixs). I’m not sure about other brands offering this but I use a JuJu cup and they’re fantastic. They come in 4 different sizes
Eunice Cuevas says
I know what you mean, even with Tampons I get the feeling I am pushing them out when passing a bowel, so a cup is scarier especially in a public restroom with no access to a stove to sanitize it. It’s been a while since I’ve used my cup, I mostly use organic cotton pads and tampons with Thinx period panties for backup, but will try again next cycle since I AM trying to save money.
I wouldn’t use boiling water, no need to sanitize, the directions are clear just warm soap and water is efficient. It’s been inside of you, there should be no reason for you to sanitize by boiling it, you may break down and cause it to need replacement sooner 💕
Fertility Friday says
Silicone cups can be boiled without degrading 🙂
Warm water and soap are not efficient. You need to remove bio film, plus you hear horror stories about cups developing a horrid smell.
Fertility Friday says
Hi Joanne, that really depends. Some women are fine with washing with soap and water. If you have any concerns, then simply boil your cup for 5 minutes once your period is over.
I was one of the super lucky users. After three years of amenorrhea since first getting my period, I decided to buy a cup when I finally got it again. I think I’m the first one in the entire town to take that step (#bragging). The second I got home after receiving my rosacup order, I sterilized it and ten minutes later I was on the toilet. Five very exciting and scary minutes later, it was in. I had leaks the first three days (almost like diluted blood), and then just when I thought I needed a firmer cup perhaps, I got it right. No leaks. Twelve hours and change. No leaks. 12hrs. No leaks for the remainder of my period! The labia fold, with the folded part facing left, works best for me. Never knew it could be THIS GREAT. I’m actually *gasp* looking forward to when I can use it again next month! It’s basically the anti period, lol. How lucky am I to be able to use a cup! Fear holds you back from so many things. Some people won’t even use tampons. But since I despise the steamy pad or leaky tampon, this cup is period bliss.
I’ve been using a cup for almost a year, and would never go back. Absolutely pleased with the whole menstrual cup experience. I was previously a pad-user, and always hated those days where I thought my period would start, would put a pad in, only to have the period start a day or so later, leaving me with wasted pads. Same thing would happen at the end of the period, with wasted pads.
I do have a heavy period. I bought the Super Jennie cup, one of the largest cups out there, and on my first two days I have to change it every two hours or it does leak. But, it’s significantly more efficient than using pads which are smelly and very wasteful when you have to change a million times throughout the day. Now, with the cup in, I wear reusable pantyliners for backup, and change the cup when I can manage. And after two days, I can go the full twelve hours without changing the cup. Everybody’s period is different, I think, and so part of making the cup work is learning how to make it work for you personally.
Another perk of using a menstrual cup – no more “period” smell! The learning curve has been worth it 🙂
Débora Rodrigues says
Hi! Really liked your post and you nailed it in all the 7 points.
I always cared about ecological issues (maybe because I am a bioloigst…) but in Portugal (where I live) nobody ever presented an ecological alternative for tampons and pads, or talked about it. Some years ago, a company called Ecological Kids started to sell reusable dippers and cloths, and included mesntrual pads. I bought some and used for quite some time. The big problem: to wash the pads… One have to leave them soaking in water before putting them on the washing machine and the smell of water and blood… it was awful!
I went back to disposable pads and tampons.
Some years ago (4 or 5, I can´t remember) a OB/GYN from the hospital where I work started a study about the use of mestrual cups; I was invited to participate in the study and I was offered a Lunnette mestrual cup. I had never heard of such thing but I saw a window of opportunity to finally give up on disposable pads. I used the Lunnette cup for some months, but is was uncomfortable; the stem was too big, I felt it all day long and, after a few months, I gave up.
Recently, I decided to give it another try. In Portugal, nowadays, we can find more menstrual cup brands so I tried another brand. I am in love with it! It´s true when you say that there is a steep learning curve, and I am still learning, but I can already see all the “pros”: it´s much more hygienic, less expensive than disposable pads, it makes me forget I am having my period!
I even thought that I was not meant to use a menstrual cup but I was wrong! Best invention ever! 🙂
Amanda L says
Thank you so much for this! I’m ordering my first cup and highly nervous about it. This article definitely makes me feel better!!
Fertility Friday says
So glad you found it helpful Amanda 🙂
So many brands, so little time… Actually, there’s plenty of time! I started about 4 years ago with a Diva Cup, which I LOVED! The whole “not putting money into some man’s pocket because I have a period” was my main reason for even trying. I hate spending money on things that I just shouldn’t have to! I get the same high when I pass by the pads in the store – ha ha suckers! When my Diva started leaking like I wasn’t even using it, I bought a new one. I understand that the silicone weakens over time (okay, I don’t understand that, but that’s what they tell me, so I went with it) and I bought a new Diva. It didn’t work! I was so frustrated, emailed the company (the customer service rep told me I was inserting it wrong – ummm, I’ve been using this same product for 3 years, I think I know what I’m doing!), and after several unhelpful replies I bought a different brand. Now I love my Super Jennie! I have converted several of my friends, though a few think it’s just too gross to actually have to touch it and insert it and rinse it off. As a matter of fact, a friend asked me about it once because her daughter is a gymnast and was nearing puberty. I told her that if I had daughters, I would teach them no other way to care for their menstrual bleeding. She took it to heart and her now 13 yo uses a Super Jennie exclusively! My sons (there are 4 of them) aren’t going to know what to do when they get married and their wives use pads or tampons – they’ll probably buy their woman a menstrual cup!
Thanks for this article. I relate on so many levels!
Fertility Friday says
Thanks so much Dawn! Glad you enjoyed the article. 🙂
I started with an off brand one from China, it was fine but too stiff for comfort and put pressure on my already sensitive bladder. I switched to a softer Si-bell and the squishyness made it hard to open the first time but I found a fold and method of opening that works for me. (Now on first cycle with Si-bell) Next is to get some reusable pads for possible leaks. (Haven’t had one yet but tomorrow will be the real test) so far I like this period option. Not sure if I’m a convert yet but it’s looking positive.
Ania Sz. says
How does it work with running and excises?
Fertility Friday says
It’s generally awesome. I’ve found it to be more comfortable, and it holds more, so it lasts longer.
So do you like have to rinse it off every time you change it??? What if you’re in a public bathroom, you’re not gonna go to the sink, wash it in front of people and go back into the stall?
Fertility Friday says
Some women bring a water bottle with them into the stall. I’ve never rinsed mine in a public bathroom sink 😊
I use some toilet paper and wipe mine clean. Then I give it a good wash when I’m at home or at my next chance.
You can use a small squirt bottle and paper towels into the stall. Also Lunnette makes wipes.
Some cup companies also make a washing cup or “shaker cup” that you can collapse for taking with you. I have a Pixie Cup Cup that I use for steaming after each cycle. In the stall or before you go in, you add some water. When you remove your menstrual cup, empty it, wipe it with a special wipe – or just toilet paper, close it in the cup, and shake a bit. Then you just rinse the washing cup in the sink, or pack it back into your purse or backpack and wash it later.
Hi! I loved your article and was very familiar with most of the things you said.
This is my first cycle trying out menstrual cups (I love the concept and the idea of using reusable menstrual products); I bought a Diva Cup size 2 and am still trying to get the hang of it. However, I find that my cup leaks sometimes and I have had some rough times trying to remove it (TMI: It goes waaaaaay up and almost too far for me to reach), which has scared the crap out of me.
I don’t want to get discouraged and give up on trying to make the switch for good.
Do you think I am doing it wrong? How can I keep my cup from going to far inside? Would truly love to get some tips and advice on this… thank you! 🙂
Fertility Friday says
I have found that the Diva cup does leak sometimes. I use cloth panty liners as a back up. Also it does take a few cycles of using it before you really feel confident inserting and removing it. Don’t give up!
I can’t even get the small size in. These cups are not for tight vaginas.
If you are a 15 year old who has never, obviously, had a child, sex, or anything that would stretch out your vagina, then what size should you start with?
I mean I have a REALLY heavy flow. Like when I use pads I go through 6 or more of the “overnight” heavy flow intended ones. It gets frustrating sometimes.
So I wonder if this would be an alternative. But since I have only heard of grown women wearing them I don’t know if anything will fit me.
I also worry about leakage, since I am such a HEAVY flow. I get so many large gushes throughout the day, what if I need a large one, but it doesn’t fit?
Should I just suffer through pads and tampons?
Try lena large. Life changer. My periods are so heavy when i wake up after sleeping. I have to run not walk to the bathroom. I also slept with a towel on my bed.
I got the lena because its done by flow not by your vagina having had kids or not. Life changer. It never leaks. I dont even wear a pad with it. It gets me 4 hours on my heavy days. 6-8 on the rest.
You wont regret it.
Take the quiz put a cup in it.
Don’t worry about a pressure to use a cup… just think to yourself, if the tampon experience is decently comfortable, then perhaps a cup experience might be too. I’ll admit it seems intimidating, but believe me, your body is much more capable of doing amazing things than you think… start with a small size (size 1 in most products). Give it a go for a couple cycles. While it is an ideal for everyone to be waste free, have more money, and environmentally conscious etc. Etc. The beautiful part about the whole experience is that this cup thing is an option out there. This is your body, this is you, you get to decide how and what works best for it. Take it as an experience. Can’t knock it till you try it kinda deal. I suggest giving it a go or two. Or three! And if it isn’t for you, no worries! I will say this though… Like using pads or tampons or any other part about the experience in general you learn as you go and as you try different things…the learning process is part of the experience of getting to know your body better. Good luck! Enjoy the journey!
Hi Lisa! Just tried my first Lena Cup and loved it. However I might be having some silicone sensitivity (I can’t wear silicone contact lenses!).
Are other materials like gum rubber (The Keeper) and TPE (the Meluna cup) safe/non toxic???
Thanks for such helpful information!
Hello 😊 I loved your article. Menstrual cups are heavenly. It’s a shame they aren’t advertised and more popular in India. For a long time I thought disposable pads were the only option (they are heavily advertised) and they are the worst and always gave me rashes. Thanks to the internet I found about tampons and menstrual cups. Tampons are alright but nothing beats the cup (except like not having periods at all haha)
Not going to lie I am an extremely heavy person for the first 2 days! Alright so I started out 2 years ago with a Lunette size 1 and I didn’t realize what a cervix was…or that your cervix is supposed to sit inside the cup so I would leak like no other and almost gave up…then I looked up the Anatomy of a women and it clicked so I started inserting it correctly and pulling it down slightly to ensure a seal…then came the next problem…since my cervix was sitting inside that means the cup was being taken up by my cervix meant a fuller cup and more leaks… So I was using a pad and a cup. Not very convenient…so my hunt continued and I came across Meluna cups and bought a Large Sport blue cup! Too firm for my liking so regular firmness was the way to go! I also discovered Thinx underwear and pair it with my cups so I never EVER worry about leaking or overnight mishaps because even if I overfill my cup my panties take care of the rest of it. I use my size large for the first 2 days and small for my light 3 days!
😁 let’s just say I never worry about my period anymore and just pop a midol on the first day and I’m good to go for the rest of the week!
Sarah mama2ME says
YES! Thanks for tips on the size changes during the period day needs. I have only had my first day of Diva cup 2 (2 kids here), and while it worked wonderfully, I had leaking overnight where I don’t want to wake up fully to empty and rinse it. I have a heavy flow the first 2.5 days. During this first overnight, I went to nurse baby and felt the cup overflowing and I panicked thinking I would have a huge mess to clean off the upholstered chair ;(! Luckily I had just heard about Thinx underwear and had my first pair on that very night. 3 nurse sessions for sick baby later and no change of overflowing cup that started leaking at 12am and changed by 6:30am, NO leaks from the underwear. If you use a cup, and/or are just learning how to adapt to the cup needs, please save your sheets and chairs with Thinx underwear. Ah-MAZE-ing!!!
Now…after my first day, I woke up day 2 with vomit inducing cramps and pain. I had changed my cup 3 times in previous 24 hours. Since I have same pain about 12 hours later and it feels like it is actually my cervix, could I have bruised it with a suction tug? Or, did it get stretched upon trying to remove and damage some tissue, again, along those lines of bruising? This is crampy feeling but x10, not shooting pain, but so achy up there too. Maybe Diva cup is too firm? Size is not an issue to insert, lots of room in there 🙁
Any thoughts would be great! I had to not use cup on day 2 for fear it would worsen the pain. I need to make sure it is not user error because let’s be clear, damaging this area would be very tragic 😉
I’ve used a cup since 1997 so 20 years. That’s a huge savings! My first was the Keeper that I ordered by mail after seeing an ad in the back of a health food magazine. The internet was barely a thing back then! Since then I’ve switched to the Diva cup and have had 2. 6 years ago a group of us went on a week long wilderness hike. A day in, another girl asked if I had extra pads. The others in our group were guys or postmenopausal. I hesitated a minute and then offered her my Diva cup. I don’t know how she would have managed without it!
I’m close to menopause (54) and am experiencing very heavy periods. My OBGYN suggested the super Jennie with just arrived in the mail. It’s boiling in a pot of water while I do research on how woman like menstrual cups. This site has been very helpful! Thank you Lisa. My main concern is trying to insert it properly with some pretty serious cramps at the moment. Can you “feel” when its in the right spot? If it doesn’t feel right/open, do you have to remove it and start again or just preposition it? Thank you!
I Love your article! I am on my second cycle using my very first cup. I have a diva cup which I purchased online. I haven’t had ANY problems with learning to use it (lucky me) and so far no leaks as yet. I do feel some moisture though & have a quick check, but definitely no leakage. I wish I knew about menstrual cups 20 years ago! If I had daughters I’d be getting them into using cups right from their first period. (I have 2 sons though). I wish menstrual cups were advertised, I want the whole world to know how great they are to use. I HATE HATE HATE tampons & pads, not to mention the trying to be discreet walk to the bathroom at work to change them. Absolute game changer. What can we do to spread the word!
I’ve been using a menstrual cup for about 5 years now. To be honest, I had a problem with it leaking for a big portion of that time. It took until I had an 8-day trip rafting the Grand Canyon which coincided with my flow to make me figure out how the hell to get it to stop leaking (could you imagine getting soaked through rapids with a leaky menstrual device?? NO WAY was that going to happen to me). So I did some research and came across an article that discussed ways to fold the cup. I started using the C-fold and voila! no more leakage. Side note: There were a few other women in the group on their flow and they all had to deal with tampons and pads which looked like a royal pain in the butt. There is nothing holier than walking out into the shallows of the mighty Colorado and pouring your blood into the river by moonlight.
Another point that you kinda addressed, but not really, is that your tampon also absorbs normal vaginal moisture. After over a decade of using tampons (I hate pads), switching to the cup really boosted the health of my vagina. Imagine shoving your mouth full of cotton balls and how dry the tissues would be. Same goes for down there, and with the moisture being pulled into the tampons and the microabrasions the tampons often gave me upon insertion or removal it left my sensations down there pretty deadened compared to how it has been since switching to the cup.
Fertility Friday says
Yes! Tampons can be very drying since they absorb your vaginal moisture. Menstrual cups for the win! 🙂
Kaitlin Tolkkinen says
Obsessed, obsessed, OBSESSED with cups!🙌
I am too. I thought for awhile that maybe I had a problem and needed to join some sort of cups anonymous meeting 🙂 I first found out about them about two years ago, and just bought them up one right after another. I had a very difficult time finding the ones that would work for me. I started out with about twenty, and sold one right after another, and bought a few new ones along the way. Now, two years later, I have about 12 cups that work out perfectly. I use two cups during my period. The first two days are heavy, so I use a high capacity, followed by the last four days with a smaller capacity cup.
My main reason for getting cups wasn’t environmental, but a combination of finances, and my special needs daughter. My husband lost his job, and even though we had a little bit of money for a while, I KNEW there would come a time when we just wouldn’t have the option of running to the store for pads. My intuition was correct because on more then occasion, it really did get that bad. So I invested early, while we still had a nest egg.
Finally, I knew I had to do something to reduce the disgusting trash in our bathroom when I saw my daughter playing in the garbage, and chewing on things. I won’t go further into that one.
Scared but hopeful says
So I recently tried a diva cup right before my period to get the hang of it before I actually needed it, getting it in was ok and it opened up and I felt it suction…. But that was the peoblem. I couldnt break the seal no matter how hard I tried, pinching the bottom of the cup, wiggling it and eventually I had to reach up to bend the rim to break the seal, I was terrified and I know it says the seal isnt strong enough to pull anything out or do damage but I FELT the suction and I was so scared, I struggled with it for 10 min trying to be as gentle as I could. I thought I was going to have to call my husband in to help lol Im scared to try it again now once my period does come. Has anyone had a similar experience or have any suggestions? Was I doing something wrong? It felt really uncomfortable taking it out too, like it was too big or something. Im in my 20s and married and I havent had any kids (yet).
Sarah mama2ME says
So, I feel I inclined to comment even though I do not know the answer. Peeling back the rim seems like a perfectly good solution. I also did a dry run 2 weeks before period and had good results, but I did have to rotate/turn the cup 1-2 full turns before it felt easy to pull down. I am not sure this would have made a difference for you?
But, upon using during first day of heavy period (first period using cup), I think I was so careful to keep the cup upright, I don’t remember rotating it at all, only pinching, and my insides are SUPER crampy. I am tempted to have my gynecologist look around up there ASAP to give me feedback if any swelling is happening. I hope this isn’t a dramatic response, but I can’t continue like this.
I want to say that if you attempt full rotations alongside pinching the cup, you should have better luck, but no promises, right? Good luck!
If you feel like your cup gets waaaaaay up there — you are not alone. The first time I tried to remove my Lena cup, i could barely touch it — even with a full stem! Don’t panic. Just bear down with your abdominal muscles (This works really well for me) and the cup will move down until you can reach the stem. Then use the stem to wiggle the cup from side to side until you can pinch the bottom of the cup. Don’t pull with the stem.
I expected to be able to easily remove the cup once I could reach it, but the suction was a surprise. It didn’t hurt, but it definitely resists my efforts. That first time, I just took a deep breath, stayed calm, and kept at it until it broke free. PHEW!
I did a lot of research on how to remove it more easily, and found a great bit of advice: use your index finger to fold the cup a bit before you pull it out (like the way you fold it when you insert it) and it will break the seal and come out more easily. I hope this helps you too!
It also gets easier each time. Some days it takes a few attempts to get it in, but once it’s in, I can’t feel a thing. I had more success with the punch down method than the C-fold. Maybe I’m just new still, but I can’t rotate my cup once its inside, but it doesn’t leak, so maybe that doesn’t matter?. Getting the cup out is a little challenging, but thankfully I only need to do it twice a day at home. I’ve never had to remove it in a public bathroom. It *is* worth the learning curve. Just be patient and calm and you will figure it out. Honestly, I had a harder time learning to use contact lenses than to use the cup! If I can do it, you can do it!
I just got a diva cup and never had sex and it feels like it’s falling out. When I pull on it I don’t feel the suction and I can feel the end and it’s so uncomfortable. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.
Fertility Friday says
Perhaps it’s the wrong size? Do a google search for “MeLuna” (no affiliation) as they have a variety of sizes and shapes!
This article is amazing! And extremely helpful. I’m was in process of buying my first cup when i noticed something a little different called a menstrual disk. It’s the same object of the cup but still disposable. It’s day 3 and I’m already st loving it! I for sure will switch to the cup when I’m in my own place and can clean it properly rather than boiling it on a friends stove. If you’re not sure About the cup I highly recommend trying these out first. The box I bought has 14 disks for 13$ that way if it doesn’t work you aren’t throwing away $40.
I loved reading this post! #7 was so spot on, you’ve definitely got me seriously considering the switch to a menstrual cup.
I tried this cup but still its leak so I also wear pad as well ..i tried may timesss…please help what to do
Kateline Dinant says
I love my period cup, I have two, for my flows. What I’ve found is so many women are uncomfortable with their period that, when I try to talk to them about it they call it gross and unsanitary. I don’t understand why and how society has caused such an impact in how women see their own bodies.
First time user here. Got it, tried the different folds/inserts a few days prior to period starting.
Day one of actual use – “I can totally see how this will be amazing.”
Day two – “okay seriously, this rubbing down there is hurting and I think I’m bruising my self. Why am I leaking. I hate this. But … it’s better than a tampon and pad. I think. Day two and three are the heavy days. Ride the learning curve. Keep Trying”
Day three – started out better … starting to repeat day two. WHY won’t it stay up there?! Gonna keep trying to figure this thing out.
I’m a believer and since having a kid a year and a half ago, tampons and pads are a huge mess and big pain (as opposed to a mess and a pain) and my period is so much heavier. … I’m all about the cup’s promise … I just gotta keep plugging (bad pun) along!
I’ve read all the sites, all the tricks and tips. And by “all” I mean dozens. Thoroughly appreciated this blog and it came at the right time to keep the outlook positive! (And lordy have my fingers gone where my fingers have never gone before! LOL)
Masego Sello says
I’ve been using a MINA CUP for almost a year now. The first time I used it I just couldn’t stop thinking about wether it would come out or not and was so scared.
I also used to think I have a heavy flow but since I started using Mina I can go to bed with an empty cup and would still not be full in the morning, which was a totally different story when I used pads.
The other issue I had with pads though I used them for a very long time was the rash I would get every month. I had I known about menstrual cups before I would’ve switched a long time ago because the rash would last for about 3 days after my periods.
What I love most about Mina is that I don’t have a wet pad sticking on my vagina throughout the day because that’s the most uncomfortable and irritating feeling ever. Once you get using menstrual cups right there’s no going back, its a totally different experience, and menstrual cups are just comfortable because you don’t even feel it inside your vagina if it’s inserted properly.
I know most people prefer small cups but the big one works better for me when I have to remove it. So it all depends one’s preference and it’s true when they say “you will find a cup that works for you”.
Mina has changed my overall attitude towards periods. PERIOD!! 🙂
I’m 15 and finally convinced my mom that a menstrual cup would be the best choice in my opinion. So therefore an awkward walmart trip was required. She spotted the cups before i did and of course there were two sizes. I reached for the bigger one knowing I wouldn’t have a problem fitting it and my flow is terribly heavy everyday of my cycle, so there would be room for more blood. My mother told me to get the smaller one. I bought the cup on a day of shopping at the mall. So when we arrived I immediately went to the bathroom, excited to try the new product. Now I had no trouble putting it in and i put it plenty far enough. All day long I had no problems and did not feel it at all. I guess I’m o be of the “lucky ones” that never have had a problem with mine before. I have been using my cup for about 5 months now and I’ve never felt more satisfied during my period. I have less worry and far less bathroom trips. The cost savings is awesome, knowing I’ll not have to worry about buying anything period related for a long time. Thank god for menstrual cups.
adriana herron says
I love love love them, but I do have a question. I bear down to remove my cup and after I remove it I feel like my cervix comes right down too. I’ve looked and looked but can’t find much info on this topic?
Fertility Friday says
Your cervix can change position during your period (and even throughout the day). Squatting can cause your cervix to be a bit lower in your vagina, so it makes sense to me. It would go back to normal once you stand up again.
I am using cup for the first time. It’s third day, or rather night and it’s not so comforting experience so far. I was very excited when I got period to use cup first time. I boiled it for the first use and then spent an hour in bathroom trying to figure out how to use it.
At very first it pained while putting inside but in 5 minutes I got hold of it. Next task was daunting one, to get it opened inside. It just didnt. I put it inside like 20 times still didnt open up. After an hour, I was tired with sore vaginal opening. So I gave up and removed the cup. Then next night, I tried again. It took me half an hour, lot of twitching, squeezing and god knows what else to open it inside. Till the end I didnt know if cup was really opened inside. I gave this time too but just left cup inside and wore pad in case it leaks. All the night, I was feeling itching sensation, probably stem was rubbing against walls. Still kept it inside and slept through the night. In the morning, pad was all clean. It pained a little while pulling cup out and then realized it was actually open inside and had all blood in it. I didnt try to use it in morning as I really didnt have time for all that exercise.
But now trying again on night and still facing same problem even after trimming the stem partially. It’s still itching near stem. May be I need to trim it off completely. But then how will I take cup out. And secondly can grooves on cup rub against wall and cause itching. Normally my skin is very sensitive to abrasion, may be it’s sensitive inside vagina too. In that case I need cup without grooves
Katie Cary says
Wear it inside out since the cup is fully smooth akd seamless on the inside
Having a tough time getting used to a period again with various hormonal problems, but enjoying my first day with the Diva cup. I know my body and after reading your article, I feel like I really can say that confidently. I am hopeful and empowered to be able to take my life back after using the menstrual cup and I don’t know why more doctors don’t mention it to patients, because it’s a miracle for low-income women, for a solution to heavy bleeding, and to the waste problem. Coming home to realize I haven’t ruined another pair of panties, that’s awesome.
Hi. Love your article! I’m from Venezuela and I’m just trying a cup for the first time and I love it too. It was difficult to find because we don’t have many options here at the market. You have to buy it from a non register seller and I only found a chinese cup that seemed pirate and the Hesta cup that I bought. It’s expensive from us but totally worth it. The pads are more expensive and they are coming from China with pirate names and unknown materials. I’m 33 years old and i was feeling guilty for all the plastic waste because of my period. I decided to be eco friendly and also not use a unknown pad that could be risk for my health. Now I wonder if i could use my cup to go to the beach or the salted water can damage it. Have you read about that?
Fertility Friday says
Hi Sofia, I’d try to get a cup from a trustworthy supplier. The material matters, especially with something you put inside your vagina and use for years. As for swimming, you are fine to use the cup in salt water or pool water.
Hi, I am really convinced about menstrual cup and i want to use it, but I have a query, that if I use it overnight then , is our period ( blood ) get backword while sleeping position ???
Fertility Friday says
Hi Shamal. Good question! To my knowledge, no, but when you lay down your flow slows down. When you stand up, you may experience a bit of extra flow due to gravity. After nearly 20 years of using cups this has never been an issue for me, but some women do prefer to use pads at night, possibly due to similar concerns.
Today is the first time I’m using it. It feels a little bit odd and the stem slightly pokes while sitting (maybe I’ll cut it before my next insert). With all that said knowing the environmental benefits and economical benefits I am sure I’m not going to stop using. I hope I get used to this fast so that I can enjoy all the positive side you have mentioned here 😃
Just got mine and it does feel weird! not sure if I should push it further in but I’m afraid to do so! it feels like it’s pressing my bladder, is that normal?
Fertility Friday says
Hi Veronica, sometimes it does press on the bladder. It usually takes 1-3 periods to get used to!
I have been using the cup for 5 months now and it has been really awful for me. I aaalways lick, even when the cup is fully open and in the right position. I bought the hest cup at first and I used it for 4 months, then I bought the aneer cup in size M and used 1 time and it was worst. The bathroom was a crime scene. I am soo frustrating. I wanted to like the cup so so much. But I think this isn’t right for me. I’ve watch all the videos on internet, all differente ways to shape the cup, all different ways to bend myself and nothing is working. Most of the time I puted in and it doesn’t open, I pinch it, I move it and it is push down. And the few times I feel it open (3 times) I lick anyways. I don’t know what else to do. 🙁
I am from a beautiful caribbean island. I am 30 years old and just found out about menstural cups this october 2018. Ive used tampons for about 10 years now as I hate pads and seeing that blood everytime u have to pee. My first day on the cup I converted and already told 3 of my work mates whom also never heard about it. It is the best invention for periods! Its going to be a saving as tampons here cost $5 usd for a box with 8 or 10. Where ive ordered my cup for $15 on Amazon! So two months in I will already be saving money. I put it in perfectly and easily 5 seconds flat my first try. It was intresting to try to remove it but I was determined. Took about 2 minutes now I do it in about 10 seconds (day 4 of period). Ive learnt squeezing the bottom to break the suction and get a better grip helps. I mostly change in the shower. I did a public bathroom change once where I went with a glass of water as the sinks are not in the same location. Was weird but not highly inconvenient. I love it! I wont go back to tampons and I will certainly spread the word!!!
Ashley M says
I was nervous about the cup at first so i bought it with tampons in case i couldn’t figure it out. In the end i got it in perfect on my first try. Im like “huh, i can’t feel it.” Im never going back to tampons again.
Amanda Keene says
This is my first time using a menstrual cup. I did research and bought the Luna cup. I’m on my second go with them, and they feel a bit uncomfortable at first and take forever to get in, but once they’re in and placed right I feel amazing! No more bumps on my bum from pads (Skinny jeans every day!!) and no more wearing two pads at night and even leaking a ton. I will solemnly swear to never use a pad again. I’ve never used a tampon, considering they’re harmful to your body anyway, and I don’t use any kind of washable pads, I use panty liners in case I have a leak with the cups. I have to say I am quite pleased with the cups, and it helps not having to go to a local store and put a bag of pads on the register, you get a lot of awkward “feel bad” stares. 🙂
I can’t even use tampons… I’m so tight that I would need to add lube just to get something in without doubling over in pain. Not for me unfortunately.
I’m in the beginning frustration stage, and I was wondering how you figured out how to get it in deeper? I *know* I have a deep cervix (so many doctors will attest), but every time I try to put it in the whole dang bottom of the cup is poking out… which I assume is so very wrong. But between having bit of a tum, short arms, and super weak hands (limits number of attempts and overall brute force capacity), I’m left searching the internet for advice! So, how did you do it? I will try silly positions to make this work…
Fertility Friday says
Hi Thia, I have an entire podcast episode about this. Have a listen here. Also consider using a smaller cup (I recommend MeLuna — no affiliation!)
“Consumerist model of period management negatively impact’s the world”? I think that’s a tad too much….and about pads being free…okay what about the people making them or the materials to make them? Who should pay for that?
But why is this generation so entitled? Am a woman but I don’t agree with this whole “I get a free pass at everything” idea of feminism. If you can pay for them do so, if you can’t, that’s another story altogether and there may be organisations that hand out free female products in your area. I do however agree with providing free tampons and pads (or menstrual cups) to lower income households and schools.
Also, why imagine that a man is benefiting from this? Why not think there are women also high up running things?
I use pads because I have difficulty inserting anything up there, even sex is difficult. So next time before shaming people for “environmental degradation” (I care about my planet) pls check facts. #highlytriggeredindivual
Fertility Friday says
This isn’t about entitlement. Interesting perspective. The way I see it, is that if menstruation is seen as a natural bodily function, then menstrual products would be in bathrooms like toilet paper. I see no issue with that whatsoever. I’m fairly certain you feel entitled to have toilet paper provided when you use the facilities. I’m merely posing the (apparently radical) idea that menstrual products should also be provided in all public bathrooms. Your response is further evidence of how necessary this is. Somehow even though half of the population menstruates, instead of acknowledging this, we put the onus on women to figure it out themselves, instead of just putting menstrual products in public bathrooms.
So I’m new to the cup, for my first one and have tried using it….I have removed and replaced it at least 6-7 time….the cup just won’t stay up and if I push too far I feel sharp stabbing pains at my cervix…what am I doing wrong ?!?!! I have the Lena sensitive btw..
Fertility Friday says
Hi Vanessa, I have an entire podcast episode on this topic. Have a listen here.
Thanks for this read! I’ve just put in the menstrual cup for the very first time and I suddenly became curious as to how to get it out – and that’s how I wound up here, after a wee google search. I have to say I’m super excited about all of the things you’ve listed and I was surprised how easy it was to put the cup in and I don’t feel it at all! I’m thrilled to no longer have to buy pads or tampons, knowing what an environmental impact they have. I have a few friends using them who have given me various tips, but the main one being to take it out in the shower where you can squat and it’s easy to clean out! I hope more women try it out!!
This is my first period with the menstrual cup and I am having numerous problems.
1: I don’t think that the cup is opening inside of me properly. I tried placing it on the bottom part of my vagina, but it automatically gets “sucked” in. And once it is inside I am not able to rotate it!
2. I feel like it is putting pressure on my bladder, does this happen to anybody?
3. I read that many women in general do not feel it inside, but I deffinetly feel it to the point of discomfort.
I am using the lunette cup(pre-birth size). I would love to hear your thoughts because the official websites of the menstrual cups are pretty general. Thanks!
Fertility Friday says
Hi Dawn, I cover this in detail in this podcast episode, so have a listen. Also consider a different size of cup. You may benefit from having a smaller cup if it is uncomfortable. Consider MeLuna (no affiliation).
Thanks a lot for this article! I started using a menstrual cup (Selena Cup) as of this month–mainly because most pads are scented which caused my vagina to smell badly and I’ve been dealing with a yeast infection for way too long, even though I went through all sorts of available procedures.
I agree that using it for the first time feels uncomfortable and that I still don’t know how deep I can get inside with it. I might have the hang of it by my next period.
I learned about the menstrual cup at a course during our health classes. I was afraid of switching at first because it looked big, but honestly, it was worth giving it a try even if I only started out. I’d pick it over any other cotton pad over and over again. I also thought of getting those washable pantyliners and pads, just in case I don’t have the cup at hand.
It’s much more worth to have reusable things than spending hundreds of Euros/dollars/etc. on sanitary products.
Great article in overall, but the only thought I have in the end is… You must be living in some kind of paradise if you can use public toilets for free, AND you can get toilet paper there as well! I have to carry around my own roll ALWAYS, cause we not only have to pay for public toilets, we also can never be sure if there will be any paper. Well..that’s except for some huge shopping malls or national museums.
Sorry, I know that’s off topic. I’m just super jealous.
krystal couture says
Thank you for this article, I’m giving my new cup a go for this cycle and I appreciated your honesty.
I am not able to insert the menstrual cup inside. It feels almost like impossible to me how. Have tried multiple times but everytime I am failing. It seems like a lot of work to insert it and I can’t even imagine how removing would work! Is it just me or anybody else also faced this issue?
Guys let me know your thoughts on it. I really want to use it but just not able to do it.
Fertility Friday says
Are you able to insert tampons? You have to fold it and fold it again prior to insertion. You could try wetting it or using lube to make it easier. I’m sure there are Youtube tutorials that could help also!
I am on day 2 of using a cup. I got the Tulip cup set that came with the regular one and the valve one. It was fairly uncomfortable the first time I put in the valve cup but after walking around a bit it must have moved because I almost forgot I was wearing it. I am 100% sold on the valve cup. I can’t seem to get the other one to open up though. It’s quite a bit softer than the valve cup so maybe I just need to experiment with different folds.
Fertility Friday says
Google “MeLuna” (no affiliation) as they have a variety of different sizes and firmness options.
Just finished my first 24 hours using a Diva Cup. On the plus side, it works well, it’s comfortable once it’s in, and I haven’t had any cramps, which I usually do. But both putting it in and taking it out are agonizingly painful and extremely difficult. I’m stressing right now at the prospect of emptying it before bed. It’s going to take so long and hurt so much.
So there are good things. But I don’t know how much longer I can take the pain.
Fertility Friday says
Hi CJ, it shouldn’t hurt that much. Are you on the pill?
Yes, I’m on the pill. Why?
Fertility Friday says
The pill is associated with painful sex and thinning of vaginal tissue. Not sure if that could be a factor in the pain you experience with insertion of your cup? See The Fifth Vital Sign for details).
Thanks for your thoughts. I found your writing after doing a search because after 6 years of using the cup I’ve started to have a couple issues. And wondered if others related. How ever I’ve absolutely loved the cup for a long time and would never want to discourage anyone from trying it . Lately when I use it it does seem to push on my bladder and cause frequent urination. I’m also wondering if it is widening my canal it doesn’t seem to stay in place quite as well. I’m going to go a couple months with out and see how that goes.
Ok Ladies – I am from South Africa and had heard about the cup but never really paid much attention to it until today when I got up from my desk and literally had a Niagra Falls in front of my 2 male directors and IT Manager. D.E.V.A.S.T.A.T.E.D – this with a super plus tampon inserted 20 mins before and 4…I repeat 4 overnight extra absorbent pads!! I am at my wit’s end with my period and I cannot deal with pads and tampons anymore.
I literally went online immediately after some crisis management and ordered the cup. I ordered immediate delivery and got it within an hour. I have inserted and reinserted about 6 times, and whilst I cannot feel it, I do know that it didn’t “pop”, so I am not sure if it will work properly.
Any suggestions? Could it be the fold I am using – I did the C Fold option.
Fertility Friday says
Hi Kim, I hope you know that the amount of bleeding you are experiencing is well above normal. Consider asking your doctor for an ultrasound to ensure everything is alright. Grab a copy of The Fifth Vital Sign for more on what a normal period is supposed to look like (Chapter 2). I have a podcast episode about menstrual cups with my best tips, so have a listen here.
Erin Burden says
We did a give away in South Africa a few years ago!
I tried my Tulip cup (small size) for the first time yesterday. It did not go well and it hurt. I ended up crying, feeling like a complete failure. Inserting my husband’s penis is tricky too as well as pap smears – need lots of lube. However, tampons – no problem! Ugh. I really want to like using a menstrual cup but I’m worried. Maybe I need to work through some issues first and get used to my fingers being inside me more?
Hey there, also from SA where I think the menstrual cup might still be a very unknown/”feared” option. Have been reading up on them for a while now and been considering getting one. Currently on Tampons and using them is about as much fun as watching paint dry.
My question is though, do I need two or will one suffice? Reason I’m asking is when you use it during the day at the office and need to go empty it, do you simple take it out, empty it in the toilet and place it back in without rinsing? Or do you rinse under the toilet flush? I find it a little random to think about taking it out, emptying it and then having to go out of the toilet cubicle for a few seconds to rinse it under the tap and then having to go back into the cubicle to insert it again. Pretty sure I’ll send the other ladies in my office running if they had to walk into the bathrooms the minute I come walking out of the cubicle with a blood covered cup to rinse 😛
I had a very negative experience with menstrual cups. It makes me nauseous and dizzy. I was very happy at the beginning. I slept with it and I woke up feeling horrible, was about to faint alone in the bathroom, I was shaky. I had to cancel everything for the day. Such a great idea but it just doesn’t work for me, I guess.
I’m using a cup for the first time and I’ve had a couple issues but the benefits are worth it.. I bought mine at a local health store and they only had one brand in 2 sizes that are only 1.5 mils in difference. Since I have a heavy period I got the slightly larger. After reading other comments it seems mine is a very stiff silicon because I had the issue of it popping open forcefully and painfully as I tried to insert it about 4 times before I got it past my vaginal opening.. I nearly gave up but managed to get it in there. There is some pressure on my bladder when sitting but it’s not too bad. The positive is there’s no problem with it being open correctly and I’ve had no leakage except a little when I woke up after a long sleep, and it had been in for 12 hours. Soo wonderful waking up without stained underwear. It took 15 minutes of struggling and frustration to get it out, I was just pushing and pulling and it exploded out. The problem I have getting it out is I have long natural fingernails so it’s going to be a learning curve of how to remove it without hurting myself..
I just want to add ladies.. I’ve read some research that there is a chance of toxic shock syndrome with the cups due to increased aeration in the vagina. Washing only with soap and water was shown in tests to not be sufficient to remove bacteria. In the experiment the cup was washed like this 3 times and left to dry. Bacteria was still present 8 hours later. The suggestion is to definitely boil for sanitizing the cup effectively, and also the risk can be reduced using 2 cups alternately, and smaller size if possible. I’ve only got one big one, it’s price was a massive $55 but was the only option in the shop in Australia.. You guys in the US seem to have better value and more options.
Love this! Please use a different font In The future? So hard to read. Hurts my eyes before I get to the end causing me skim the rest.
But thank you for all the very informative tips!!!
I’m on my second cycle with my Peachcup, and it’s super painful! It aches all day and seems to only get worse the longer I leave it in. I think it might be because I can’t get the cup inserted all the way in. The ring stem thingy is actually visible through tight-fitting clothing. It doesn’t leak at all though,, so maybe that’s normal?? I have the smallest size as I’m 17 and a virgin.
Erin Burden says
We did a give away in South Africa a few years ago!
I agree. I don’t know anything about cups, but having a dry you-know-what is a pain in the same organ.
I’ve found that discs are great for REALLY light days but not much else. Like cups they don’t overdry you. Also like cups you hygienic conditions (handwashing after touching any feet/bodily fluids/manger/trash ) are probably vitally necessary. –then again vaginas are theoretically made to have unsanitary penises inserted into them again and again, but those too seem to occasionally cause infection.
The thing with periods is they give you cramps. When you have cramps you clench your abdominal muscles. When you do that the disc spills it’s entire contents out of your body-with a much larger leak than from a pad or tampon because it’s the entire contents, not just the excess. (Passing gas is likely to cause a spill to so make sure you’re on the toilet if you do it.)
That trick can be helpful when you’re in the bathroom because it means you can dump the disc without removing it.
Like with the cups, it takes a while to learn how to use them. I think of it kind of like getting a new sphincter. There’s the way you control your bladder, the way you control your bowel and the way you control your disc. They’re all different.
Starting to insert a compressed disc is very very comprable to inserting a regular tampon. (Finishing pushing it in requires that you push it with your finger the rest of the way into your body.) To make sure it’s comfortable when putting it in make sure your second hand or fingertips are RIGHT against your body or the disc will cure outward again making it extremely difficult and uncomfortable to insert..
For a very short time after inserting (approx 60 seconds?) it don’t flop butt-first into a chair. It feels like your insides are being suctioned out. Once the disc adjusts you can flop to your heart’s content.
I do worry that insufficient cleaning and reusable items are going to lead to increased infections and possibly lead to decreased accommodations for people who need to use disposable methods (ex taking away tampon receptacles).