Me & My Mooncup (pros and cons of using a menstrual cup)
Why hello! April here with a pre blog warning for ya’ll.. Today I am talking about periods and my experiences using a menstrual cup. This blog obviously isn’t for everyone and if you’re not interested in reading about this then that’s okay, Cole wrote a great blog post last week which you can check out here. 2018 Cole Style
I’m writing this for all the women who are apprehensive about using a menstrual cup or who are just interested to see if they’re any good. Hopefully by sharing all my embarrassing experiences using my Mooncup it can help others from falling into the same traps.. or just make you feel less alone when you’re panicking in a bathroom stall because you can’t get it out.. Fasten your seatbelt this is gonna be a fun one!
Why I started using a menstrual cup
I actually really wanted one for a super long time. A lot of my friends use menstrual cups and would tell me it was ‘a revelation, a new way of life.. A lot better than tampons.’ To be honest I was sick of wasting so much cash on sanitary products, (it’s so expensive being a girl) each month I was spending roughly just under a fiver on tampons and pads and when you’re low on money that adds up! The annoyance of having to take regular toilet trips during long shifts at work to change tampons and wearing pads thick as nappies at night to avoid bleeding on the bedsheets (fat lot of good they are) was getting to me. I was determined I was going to make the switch I just had to scrounge together 20 quid to buy one.
It was half way through December while complaining that my period had snuck up out of nowhere and I was tamponless that Cole let me open a Christmas present early. Hell yes he had bought me a mooncup! I was filled with happiness and the sudden realisation that this was it.. no going back, I had to learn how to make this little cup part of my monthly routine and that was pretty scary.
So what even is a menstrual cup?
According to Wikipedia ..
A menstrual cup is a feminine hygiene product that is inserted into the vagina during menstruation. Its purpose is to prevent menstrual fluid from leaking onto clothes.
Weird way of putting it.. But yeah, pretty much!
It’s an eco friendly reusable alternative to pads and tampons. Usually made of flexible medical grade silicone. It’s shaped like a bell with a stem on the end, which you use to pull it out (Kinda like the string on a tampon.)
Moon cups come in two sizes, A and B.
A is for ladies who have given birth vaginally or are over the age of 30 and size B is for ladies who haven’t given birth vaginally and are under the age of 30.
They sit around the cervix creating a seal against the vaginal wall.. basically meaning all blood goes straight into the cup. Unlike tampons you can keep most menstrual cups in for up to 12 hours with no risk of toxic shock! Which means… Here’s the thing I got most excited about.. YOU CAN SLEEP WITH IT IN!
I know.. revolutionary!
Problems I Faced..
Okay, so when I opened my mooncup the first wave of stress hit me… there were a lot of instructions which I found quite overwhelming. My advice would be to take your time reading the instructions or find a tutorial/guide on Youtube before using the cup.
The first step is to cut part of the stem from your mooncup so it sits comfortably inside you. I found this mega difficult to judge as I was scared I would cut too much off and end up needing a new cup! Because I was too scared to cut it as short as it need to be, I spent the first few hours sitting uncomfortably wishing the stem would stop jabbing me..
It wasn’t long before I was back in the bathroom, scissors in hand. Once I had cut it down properly it was way more comfortable! So don’t be scared to cut a lot off the stem if you need to!
The next issue I faced was getting it out.. In the mooncup instructions it tells you to pinch the bottom of the cup and tilt it slightly to get it out. It sounds easier said than done as this was the biggest thing I struggled with. I couldn’t get my head around the process of pinching, pulling and tilting and found it hurt to take it out like this.
It was a couple days into my period where I actually thought about giving up because I couldn’t face the thought of removing it again.
For one, I watched a video about owning a menstrual cup and found out new tips and tricks to make using it easier.
I had been taking it out more often than I need to. You literally only need to do it in the morning and in the evening (obviously when you’re heavier you might need to add a couple more empties in so it doesn’t over flow).
Getting it in can be hard, but adding a little bit of waterbased lube helped me out and using the punch down fold rather than the C fold to reduce the size of the cup going in.
During my first period my cup leaked quite a lot.. turns out I was pushing it in too much so there was too bigger gap around the cup, letting blood leak past it. unlike a tampon, the cup sits a lot lower in you so it can be weird to adjust to this. Just make sure you’re placing it as low as possible with it still being comfortable. If you find the stem is sticking out too much, then you’ll need to trim it.
Getting it out.. It took me a while to get this right and I sort of came up with my own method which works for me. I pull the cup out by pinching it high up and C folding it while it’s still inside so when it comes out the rim isn’t so big. However! folding it means there’s less room in the cup for blood and a couple times I have ended up spilling it. But as much as I’m writing this to advice others, I’m still learning myself as this is only my second cycle using it. I’ve found trial and error is the best way to learn; so accept you’re gonna mess up a few times and learn what works for you.
THE real TEST!
So last month was all about getting to grips using my cup; this month was about putting it to the test.
On the first day of my period when the bleeding is the heaviest I went trampolining. I spent about three hours bouncing around and completely forgot I even had my cup in. Afterwards I checked to see if it had leaked and was pleasantly surprised to find no blood at all! So the Mooncup passed the bounce test!
Next up.. Drunk antics.
The problem with nights out when you’re on your period is you have to remember that you’ve got a tampon in.. Wether you have to change it drunk in a bathroom stall or when you get home before you collapse into bed. It can be a real pain in the uterus!
However I didn’t think about my cup all night. It was kind of freeing to dance around not wondering if I had left a tampon in to long. Using my cup I actually feel safe forgetting about it. The ultimate test was trying to empty it before going to bed as my drunk fingers couldn’t work out how to grip properly. But that said, in my relaxed state it was super easy to pop it out then pop it in again.
So the cup passes yet another test! Next up.. Swimming.
The day after this, Cole and I went to a spa to indulge in stream rooms and jacuzzis. My moon cup was in and again I forgot almost instantly that I was on my period. However while swimming my cup must have ridden up slightly allowing some pool water to seep in and collect inside it. Unaware I left it in after swimming (mainly because I couldn’t be bothered emptying it) and went to the cinema.
Leaving it in with pool water inside was a big mistake! The next few days I was so sore because of the chlorine. However I wouldn’t say this was a fail on the cups part, this was more down to me being lazy and not emptying my cup and washing all the chlorine off.
So It’s another pass with a lesson to be learnt: if you do go to the pool with your cup in… wash it out after. Trust me, you need to.
After my first period I honestly thought I was going to write this and say I hated it, but I actually think I misjudged my little cup. It can take up to three cycles to get the hang of using it and I would say if you’ve got one and you’re not vibing with it.. give it a chance.
I love the fact you don’t have to constantly worry about emptying it or risk toxic shock when using it all day. The fact you can sleep with it in, is the thing I love the most about it. Gone are those uncomfortable nights during heavy bleeds, you can actually get a good nights kip!
I was skeptical about it not leaking while exercising but it’s passed every test I’ve throw at it.
Not only that but by using a menstrual cup you’re becoming an eco warrior. On average most women use roughly 240 tampons per year meaning during our lifetime we’re contributing almost 10,000 tampons to landfill sites… So by treating yourself to a cup you’re also treating Mother nature right too.
So my final words are…
I love it and I would recommend getting yourself one because it’s honestly a revelation, new way of life… way better than tampons!
Wether you have periods or not I hope you enjoyed reading this and if you have any questions or want advice about what I covered, comment down below or send a Dm to our Insta. Ourvibesapparel
Cole and I are launching our new apparel line on 01/02/19 (yas, yas, yas) so make sure you’re on our website so you don’t miss a thing! www.ourvibesapparel.com
Thanks for reading and I’ll see you in the next one.