Sustainability

Menstrual Cups: How It Works & My Experience

September 16, 2020

HI! I’m Molly.

Here to encourage you on your own bold pursuit of intentional living as I live out my own. I’m passionate about running, spending time doing what I love and cheering others on to approach running with joy.

I am probably way too excited to talk to you all about menstrual cups today! I'm including my experience and how a menstrual cup works.

I've been focusing on the small shifts I can make consistently to live more sustainably since beginning of this year. A lot of those shifts have been with single use items, especially in my bathroom! Andddd it’s no secret to any woman how many dang tampons we use each month (an estimated 20 billion tampons, plastic wrapping, pads, etc. end up in a landfill PER YEAR), which is why I wanted to switch to something more sustainable! The amount of waste I created each month during this ~time of the month~ started to bother me and I swear I've only heard people who use the cup rave about it. Menstrual cups have been on my radar for awhile, but I was always really intimidated by them and quite frankly, did not understand them. I could not see how that little cup gets up there and stays there??? Seemed VERY uncomfortable, too. Now having made the switch I WILL NEVER GO BACK. OMG. It is a GAME CHANGER and honestly, I’m fired up to write all about menstrual cups because I am v passionate about this. I’m going to walk you through my experience with the cup, why I think everyone should use menstrual cups and what you need to know to seamlessly make the switch, too!

MY EXPERIENCE

I wanted to switch this summer because my box of tampons was running low and I didn’t want to have to purchase more. So, I bought a menstrual cup I saw at Target after my period ended in July, fully ready to use the cup when my period started in August. Fast forward to my period in August and I could not get it up. I was strugglinggg and getting discouraged, so I used the last of my tampons and aimed for September. Fast forward to now! This is going to sound weird, but I felt beyond empowered when I got in. Not only was I proud of myself, but there’s something about using a menstrual cup that requires us to get more comfortable with our bodies and that is what I think is empowering. A few quick things to note before I dive into the nitty gritty. You don’t feel it once it’s in - not that you feel a tampon much, but it is a million times more comfortable. LEGIT do not even notice it. I wore it all night, no leaks whatsoever. Same with working out. It’s way more convenient than tampons, too, because you don’t have to remove until after 12 hours!! Think how many tampons you would have to use in that time! AH it is the best thing ever. Ok! Here are a few things to know:

SIZING

I didn’t do much research on sizing to be honest. I just saw this one at target and went for it. Luckily, it is the perfect fit. They had two sizes for cups from this brand at Target and since I have a heavier flow, I went with the regular size. However, there are actually a ton of different sizes of cups and charts to help you out. Here’s a guide from the brand I got mine from, but there are so many guides out there, so just look around if you need more help.

GETTING IT IN

ALRIGHTY here we go!! Again, I had no idea how these things worked. Legit was thinking there's no way that thing can go up there?! But, now it all makes perfect sense!

  • Fold it in half, so it is like a taco
  • This is obvious, but same spot as your tampon would go hahaha I feel like I freaked out and basically forgot where it belongs
  • Keep it folded and same as you’d insert a tampon, insert your cup. Grab it at the base and insert; it will unfold and expand as it gets in the right spot.
  • If it’s uncomfortable, I’d say you either have the wrong size or it’s not inserted properly. You should not feel it at all once it’s in!

GETTING IT OUT

I FREAKED OUT. I literally thought, “OMG I am going to have to go to the hospital to have my menstrual cup surgically removed. This is so embarrassing.” I’m laughing now because that is NOT possible. It cannot get lost or get stuck. When inserted correctly, it’s airtight, which is why your first thought may be that it’s never gonna come out. And you WANT that because that’s how there are no leaks or spills. Bear with me as I try to describe this. What helped me was contracting my pelvic muscles and pushing (as if I’m having a baby I’d imagine???). This pushes the cup down enough so it becomes WAY easier to grip. Now, grab the bottom of it - not the tab - and squeeze. You need the suction to release or else it won’t be comfy to get out. The better your grip on the cup, the easier it is to get it out!And no, it did not spill anywhere. Lol

CLEANING

If you care for your cup, it should last you 5-10 years. This means cleaning it properly! It doesn’t require a lot of upkeep, but I’ve read what’s best is boiling it for about 10 minutes and then rinsing with soap. Simple!

TIPS

  • RELAX, RELAX, RELAX. I could not get it in when I was tense. Once I relaxed this time around, it seemed to go right up and I knew I had it right
  • You will know it’s inserted correctly (and that you have the right size) because you will not feel it once it’s up. It should not be uncomfortable in any way.
  • Try different angles if you can’t get it in (squat, prop one leg up, etc.)
  • Try wetting the cup a bit if you can’t get it in
  • JUST RELAX. Had to say it twice because this was most important for me

https://youtu.be/ULcdsd0OVuAI will never shut up about how amazing the switch to the cup has been. It is freeing and empowering. Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it!! I am shocked at how elated I felt, but truly, it's worth the shot you guys.

What are your thoughts and feels on the menstrual cup?

Save for later!

Heard all about #menstrualcups but not sure what to think? That's how I was too and I finally gave it a try!! Read all about my experience and everything you need to know. #femininecare #periods #howtouseamenstrualcup #sustainability #gogreen
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