As this post is about menstrual cups I’m going to be talking openly and honestly about periods. If that’s not your kind of thing then this definitely isn’t the post for you! If it is and you’re interested in finding out how I got on with the Mooncup, then keep reading…
My periods have never been light, but since having kids they became heavier and heavier. I think this seems to be the case for most people, and it’s a pain (literally) isn’t it? I’ve never really used pads and have always prefered tampons. Each to their own, but I just really don’t like how they feel.
Since having Evie, like I said, my periods are heavier and super plus sized tampons don’t even cut it anymore. I find that day one of my period is my heaviest day, closely followed by day two. On both of these days I will leak if I don’t change my tampon every hour. It’s no fun at all. So I needed a solution.
I had seen lots of talk about menstrual cups but had always thought that they weren’t for me. I’m not entirely sure why but I guess they scared me a little bit. I couldn’t work out how you got them in, how you got them out and surely it would be awfully messy? I become more and more curious though and after asking about them on Instagram and receiving so many positive messages, I went for it.
There are lots of different brands out there but the Mooncup seems to be the most popular. I decided to try it and if it didn’t work for me, I figured I would just try a different brand later. A few people suggested taking this quiz, which helps you to pick the right cup for you. Definitely worth checking out.
What is a menstrual cup and how do I use one?
If you are unfamiliar with a menstrual cup, it’s essentially a flexible cup which sits inside the vagina to collect menstrual blood. Generally there’s two sizes – A and B. A is for those over 30, or who have given birth vaginally whatever your age (this is size that I have). B is for people under 30 who haven’t given birth vaginally.
You’re probably wondering how you insert it, I know I was! But I found that it’s actually much easier than you think. You start by folding the cup like this…
Next you need to find a comfortable position to help you insert the cup. Everyone is different so find what works best for you. It might be squatting, or simply sitting on the toilet. But the key is to relax, otherwise the muscles in your vagina will tense up.
The cup only needs to sit just inside the vagina, so don’t worry about trying to push it really far up like you would a tampon. The rim of the cup will then form a seal, stopping blood from leaking out.
So why would you want to use a menstrual cup?
- Prevent leakage
- Less waste – The Mooncup is made to last for years, so helps to dramatically reduce the waste you produce
- Save money on pads and tampons
- Reduce cramping – Many people report that their periods are less painful when using a menstrual cup. It’s likely that this is due to the chemical used on sanitary products.
- Lighter, shorter periods – A lot of people say that their periods are shorter and lighter when using a cup. I’m not sure how true this is but gotta be worth a try, right?
- Time – Although it was easier to insert than I had expected, it still takes longer than a pad or tampon would.
- Mess – There’s no getting away from the fact that it’s a bit messy. You have to empty it in the toilet, wipe it out and then rinse it. It’s fine, but it’s definitely messy.
- Emptying your cup in public – I’m yet to do this but I can’t imagine it’s much fun trying to clean a menstrual cup in a public toilet… But having said that, when using a menstrual cup you shouldn’t need to empty it very often at all as you can wear it for up to 8 hours. You should, for example, be able to go for a day out or a shift at work without needing to do anything with your menstrual cup. Of course that does all depend on you and how heavy your periods are though.
I’ve only used the Mooncup for one period so far so I am still figuring it out but so far, I love it! And I don’t see me ever going back to tampons. The first time I used it I did still leak but I think this was because I hadn’t quite got the seal right. I needed to run my finger around the rim to ensure the cup had fully opened and created a seal. If you don’t do this properly you will experience leaking and the cup can rise up inside the vagina. It can’t get ‘lost’ as some people think, but it could go quite high up and become a little tricky to remove. If you panic and think it’s stuck, you will tense up and make it even harder to remove. The key is to just relax, it can’t get stuck and it will come out. To remove the cup, it’s actually really easy. You just need to break the seal by pinching the cup as close to the rim as you can.
Honestly I can’t say that my period was any less painful than normal. And it’s hard to say whether it was lighter than usual because I’m not used to seeing blood in a cup like that, so I can’t really compare. But I’d love to know your experience with this? Do you think there’s any truth in menstrual cups making periods lighter and easing cramps?
Yes, it all takes time to figuring out how to make it work for you and your body but once you’ve cracked it, it gets much quicker and easy. Trust me.
Have you tried a menstrual cup?
Thank you for reading.