Yes, that’s right. This post is called Menstrual Cups. And it talks all about periods and blood and if you don’t want to read about that you should just close this web page now. Go ahead, we will wait.
Now that we have the audience who doesn’t flinch when we talk about periods, let’s get down to business! Have you ever heard of a menstrual cup? We never had until this summer when we were getting ready to go to a conference and one of the sponsors was The Diva Cup. Having never heard of this company with their pink and white logo with pretty daises on it, we were intrigued and started reading their website. The Diva Cup is a menstrual cup – a rubbery cup you put in your vagina during your monthly cycle to catch all the blood. Yup. You read that right. And you can only imagine the comments and questions we had about this contraption – probably the very same things floating around in your head right now. But here are the basics – you have a cup and you shove it up your hoo-ha at the start of your period. You can keep the cup in there for up to 12 hours, but during heavy flow, should empty it more often. And when you empty it, you pull it out, dump the blood in the toilet, wash it out, then reinsert it. And did you know that menstrual cups come in a variety of colors ? Yup – including gold glitter – because it matters that your menstrual cup is pretty and who wouldn’t want to shove sparkles up their cave of wonders every month?
We sure had fun judging it and decided that it was just too disgusting (dumping and reinserting?!) to actually go out and purchase one to try.
Then when we attended our conference, there was a giveaway and guess who won the Diva Cup?! Yup. We did. Three girls and one Diva Cup. We decided we would just have to hope our cycles didn’t overlap and share the thing.
But we did decide that whoever got their cycle first, had to give it a go and give the other two the entire play-by-play of the experience. After a few days, this didn’t seem exactly fair – one person had to actually try this thing and the other two escaped the experiment. So, to make it fair, we decided the other two would get different brands of menstrual cups and try them out so we could compare experiences and brands. We also decided we would each try the cup for 2 cycles to make sure we gave the cup a fair shake. What resulted was two months of completely hysterical texts back and forth about the various errors each of us made in attempting to correctly position the cup, dump the cup without having the bathroom look like a crime scene, and clean and insert the cup without gagging.
We learned a lot from our little experiment and we are here to pass on all of our new-found knowledge to you!
All three of us tried it with three different results. One of us couldn’t stand it and went right back to tampons. One of us, despite all desperate attempts, couldn’t get the right fit and therefore had to go back to tampons (and is really pretty upset about it). And the third has tossed all the tampons out the window and is a menstrual cup convert.
Here is what we learned along the way:
- Periods are gross. Seriously. They are disgusting.
- Keep the thumb and index fingernails short or you risk scraping your vaginal wall with sharp nails when you rotate the cup after you insert it. No one likes scraping the inside the vajayjay.
- The act of emptying the menstrual cup every 10 hours isn’t enjoyable.
- You only have to think about the cup and deal with it 2-3 times in 24 hours!
- No leakage (if you have the right fit) despite how heavy or light the flow is!
- Most women will only lose 1 ounce (30ml) of blood during each cycle – isn’t that crazy?! One little ounce!
- When you are dumping the cup, throw some toilet paper in the toilet first so all the blood doesn’t stick to the toilet and look like someone hemorrhaged in the toilet after you flush.
- If your cup comes with a really long stem (like the Lunette) you can trim it – who wants to walk around with a thorn sticking out of their girlie bits?
- You have to break the seal when you empty the cup (are you having flashbacks to breastfeeding?) and it is LOUD! So unless you are actually alone in your bathroom (hahahahaha) you may need to cough while breaking the seal to distract from the huge sucking and smacking sound.
- When you insert and remove tampons – especially toward the end of your cycle, does it feel really dry? Like you are ripping the walls of your delicate flower? The menstrual cup only collects menstrual fluid – it doesn’t absorb all the normal vaginal secretions so it doesn’t mess with your normal pH and no vaginal dryness!
- There are many options on how to fold the cup for insertion – check out our Pinterest boards – we have a Menstrual Cup board with a bunch of pins showing different folds – check it out and try different folds until you find the one that works best for you.
In the end, will using a menstrual cup work for you? You will never know until you try. If you think it is totally nasty, bring a few friends in on your experiment – we all have more courage when our friends are doing it too. So try it and report back to us how things went! We would love to hear the good, the bad and the ugly of your experience.