WARNING BOYS (& maybe some girls): This post may contain TMI and forever scar your brain (at least that is what my husband told me when I tried explaining how AWESOME these menstrual cups are :) If you choose to read on you do so at your own risk.
My sister was mortified when I told her I was doing a post about these, but I just can’t keep it to myself anymore, they are that amazing. I’m not sure if she thinks I’m including detailed pictures & videos, but don’t worry, I keep it PG ;)
I first heard about these from a friend who tried to convert me over to using them, but it just sounded way too out of the norm. Plus, I already had my year supply of pads and tampons and I wasn’t about to change anything up.
Then there was this day at work where my period was out of control! I’m not talking about a little either – I’m talking about finally needing to check to see if I had a gun shot wound I didn’t know about or something!
I see patients every hour (dental hygienist) and I wasn’t even able to make it between patients before I filled 2 tampons and a pad that felt more like a diaper. I decided then, it was time to order a menstrual cup and see if it really could handle Aunt Flo.
It did, and I said good-bye to my pads and tampons forever!
What is a Menstrual Cup?
Some call it Period Cups, Reusable Menstrual Cup, Diva Cups, etc.
Menstrual cups are reusable, soft, silicon cups that you insert into the vagina that collects the blood, rather than absorbing it like typical tampons and pads. They can be worn for up to 12 hours and I’ve been told, can be reused for up to 10 years!!!
The best part about menstrual cups is they have a much higher capacity than regular (or even supersize) tampons! Here is a great chart from MenstrualCup.co that shows you the difference between tampons and the menstrual cups.
Which menstrual cup?
|Light||6 to 9 ml||All cups even the smaller ones can contain more than 9ml|
|Regular||9 to 12ml||All cups even the smaller ones can contain more than 12ml|
|Super||12 to 15ml||Femmecup (U), Meluna (S), NaturCup (0)|
|Super +||12 to 15ml||Femmecup (U), Meluna (S), NaturCup (0)|
|Ultra +||15 to 18ml||Yuuki (1)|
|DOESN’T EXIST…||more than 18ml||Divacup (1, 2), Fleurcup (S, L), Juju (1, 2), Meluna (M), Meluna (L, XL), Natu (1, 2), NaturCup (I, II), NaturalMamma (U), Rubycup (U), Si-Bell (S, L), Yuuki (2)|
You can use one of these for 10 years! Yep, you heard right – 10 years or for about 120 periods!
This is probably one of the biggest benefits I found, because I was running out of room for my stock-pile of pads and tampons. Personally, I would rather run out of food before I ran out of what I needed for that time of the month!
With the menstrual cup you only need to buy 1 to have your year supply! If you’re on top of it, you’ll have an extra for back-up. Besides that, you’re set!
I didn’t realize how liberating it was to no longer have to dig through my purse to get a tampon every time I went to the bathroom.
I usually forgot to grab one in the first place, I would have to come back out, and then go back into the bathroom which made it more obvious I was on my period. I absolutely love the freedom of starting and ending my period without having to open a single wrapper or hope my purse has what I need!
I NEVER thought this was possible, but I actually forget that I’m on my period, because I rarely have to think or do much about it.
NOT EMBARASSING (For the Most Part)
It seems whenever I’m on my period I have tampons falling out everywhere (purse, pockets, bra, or wherever I put them that day). One time I was on a plane and one fell out and rolled all the way down the aisle. Everyone was so sweet and made sure to pass it back up to me – I just kept passing it forward ;)
With menstrual cups you never have to worry about all those embarrassing moments – like when the kids see the string hanging out of your bathing suit and decide to pull it, or waking up in the morning to what looks like a crime scene, or my favorite was when a friend’s little brother tattled to their mom that she was hiding candy bars in her butt ;)
I really can’t think of anyway these could embarrass you.
Never mind, I just found this from Dirty Diaper Laundry (she also shares some great tidbits about the Diva Cup in her post!)…
You don’t have to lift another one of those disgusting lids that say “dispose of napkins here” EVER AGAIN (another huge selling point)! You can also ignore those super-annoying signs threatening your life if you stick a napkin down the toilet. Which, can someone explain why pads are called napkins anyways?
Menstrual flow only begins to develop an odor when it is exposed to air. Since the menstrual cups are worn internally, you don’t have to worry about odor again!
The first month it took a little getting used to, but I can honestly say I forget it’s even there now. When I’m not being lazy I’ve run with it in, worked-out, gone swimming, and I don’t feel a thing.
Menstrual cups also keep you dry, do I need to say more? Since menstrual cups collect menstrual fluid inside the vagina and do not leak (if emptied often enough) the way tampons do, there is less break through bleeding and wetness during use.
I’m still not sure what Toxic Shock Syndrome is, all I know is the thought of dying from using a tampon always seemed like a horrible way to go. I could just imagine how that story would be passed down from generation to generation.
I’ve yet to hear of anyone that has died from the toxins in tampons (or at least admitted to it), but in any case, menstrual cups are not associated with Toxic Shock Syndrome in any way. So if that warning did ever worry you, you don’t have to be concerned with menstrual cups.
- After Being Intimate – If you know what I mean ;) Who said it just had to catch blood?
- Monitor Blood Flow – You can know exactly how much your bleeding and begin to recognize what’s normal for you and what’s not!
- Extra Discharge – Even when you’re not on your period, you can use these if you’re experiencing extra discharge.
How Do You Use a Menstrual Cup?
Now for the fun part, putting it in.
Let me just warn you, there can be a learning curve, especially if you haven’t had any
bowling balls babies roll on through. I’ve had 4, and I was still wondering if it was physically possible to stick that massive thing in me.
I felt like I was 12 all over again starting my period for the very first time. I spent forever in the bathroom and started asking all the same questions – “That goes where? Will it get lost? What if I can’t get it out?”
The first month it took some getting used to, but now you would have to pay me to go back to using pads and tampons.
Inserting the Menstrual Cup:
- PINCH – the menstrual cup
- FOLD – the menstrual cup
- INSERT – into the vagina.
- LET GO – and it will unfold and create a light seal. Sometimes you might need to twist the cup slightly so it will fully open.
- If correctly inserted, the cup shouldn’t leak or cause any discomfort!
- REMOVE – by pinching the base of the cup to release the seal.
- EMPTY – into the toilet and rinse or wipe out, then start all over ;)
Here are some PG pics I did to hopefully help you out:
And don’t worry if you feel like a total failure at getting this thing in (or out) for the first time, you’re not the only one. If I haven’t scarred your brain enough already, this Review of the menstrual cup should do it for you ;)
- CLEAN – your menstrual cup. Last but not least, give your menstrual cup a nice boiling bath for about 5-10 minutes when your menstrual cycle is through!
- STORE – away for next time! Make sure to place it in something that will allow for air flow.
Which Menstrual Cup Should You Get?
There are soooo many menstrual cups to choose from. This post is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Diva Cup, but that is the one I use and love! I’m sure there are other great ones, so find one that works for you! Some other favorites that my friends use include: Lunette, Keeper, and Moon Cup.
Some Considerations When Choosing:
- Shape can be important since every woman can vary so much.
- Length also needs to be considered, for example if a woman’s cervix sits particularly low, they may need to consider a shorter length cup.
- Capacity is important to women who have a heavier flow (or bleed like they’ve been shot ;). However, all of the menstrual cups currently hold more than tampons!
Check out this chart for more info on sizes, shapes, colors, costs, etc!
What Size Should You Get?
There’s no great way of measuring your va-jay-jay that I’m aware of (unless maybe you’re an OB), so the menstrual cups are usually sized like this:
- Smaller (Size 1 or B) – Before Kids (under 30 who have not given birth vaginally, or for a lighter flow)
- Larger (Size 2 or A) – After Kids have
destroyed your bodyblessed your life :) (or women over 30, who have given birth vaginally, or who have a heavier flow)
So hopefully I didn’t totally gross you out, but someone had to share the nitty-gritty details about these! I love these so much I even sent my 5 year old to school with one when he needed to bring a favorite invention.
I’m totally kidding, but I do plan on giving these as gifts this year ;)
The only problem I have now is what to do with my year supply of pads and tampons I have stored. Any good ideas?
Feel free to Shoot me an email if you have any other questions, or better yet, leave a comment. And if you’ve used a menstrual cup, share your experience in the comments!