Hello humans of the universe.
I’ll warn you now, this will include the words period, blood, vagina and contractions. If they freak you out (get over yourself) and/or this will have no impact on your life, see you on the next one, no worries – I appreciate I am an over-sharer. It’s one of my fabulous personality traits that make me unbearable after a few hours.
Anyone who knows me will know I’m getting more open and blunt as the years go by. But hopefully this will help some gals out there!
Now as a young woman in her early twenties. Okay, I say woman and cringe, I’m a somewhat semi-organised, worrying warrior, being-thing with a vagina.
Either way, every single month, my dear friend Mother Nature gifts me the dearest package:- the world falling out of me, tickled with potential contractions. It’s SO beautiful. Not to mention the mood swings and acne that accompany my soul. Truly a marvel and sight to behold. I know I’m not alone in this.
I used to absolutely dread my period coming. Mainly because it’s a bloody faff. Literally?!
As a worrier, I used to pre-rip the outer seal on pads so that when I changed them in public toilets you wouldn’t hear and massive RIIIIIP (from the paper, just to clarify) in the toilets. I mean it was petty, but hey, what do you expect from a petty person?
I used to worry about leaking through, I wore 2 pairs of pants, like that would stop anything but it made me feel better? If I really worried, I’d wear a pad AND shove neatly folded toilet paper on top to hide any mishaps I may have.
You name it, I did it. You’re probably thinking ‘use a tampon Kara, it’s really not that dramatic?’
I tried one once and never again, I pulled it out, lobbed it in the bin and walked out the toilet like it never happened, they are all sorts of wrong.
SO WHATS THE STORY HEEEEY?!
After that, you probably won’t be expecting what I’m going to preach about. I’m sat here on the sofa now loving life, and I just have to overshare with you; so what better way to do it then on a blog post? THIS IS FAB.
Menstrual cups. Yep.. 100% that’s what I’m preaching. A full on period holder that you shove up your vagina. I know. I’m just as shocked as you are. Hear me out.
I’m an open gal when it comes to periods, I tell everyone around me when I’m on, even if they don’t want to hear it. I don’t know why it just comes out.
One day I said it at uni and one of my friends mentioned to me – the menstrual cup. We didn’t get far into the conversation before she mentioned eco-friendly and my ears pricked up. To be honest, even if I didn’t get on with the cup, I’d probably use it just for that reason alone.
When I got home I immediately hopped online and took to Google to do some.. googling?
Instantly you are swamped with brands and stories popping up about menstrual cups – BUY ME BUY ME BUY ME. I’m pink buy me! Ooh, the list was endless.
There are a few big brands that are popular in the game, Moon-cup, Luna cup, Organicup etc..
I decided to go with Organicup – it comes in 2 sizes, A and B – each size correlates to vaginal shape and age, you know, whether you’ve had kids and stuff. I’ll leave the website down below so you can check it out for yourself. I also didn’t order from the site I ordered from eBay, that’s where I order everything else in my life so why would I branch off into foreign territory. eBay is fine for me, thank you! It was about £15 FYI. You can get them on Amazon too.
I was due a period when it was expected to arrive and for the first time ever I was actually looking forward to having a period. I mean all of the benefits and a new lady gizmo? Yeah.
It arrived (with a little pouch, I was buzzing, love a pouch). At first glance, this thing looked big. If I struggled with a tampon, how on Earth is this thing going to happen for me? But I persevered because it’s the most expensive bit of menstruating kit I’ve bought, and I’m petty and stubborn as previously mentioned.
I took it downstairs and tried my hardest not to show it off to the family so I had to keep my excitement to myself, I know isn’t that sad. I survived don’t worry.
Through to the kitchen, boil the kettle, mug on the counter, plop the cup inside the mug and pour boiling water on it. This is to kill bacteria and make sure it’s all clean ready to sit inside your body. Deadly serious.
After that I was ready to attempt the most invasive operation I’ve ever gone in for. Now there’s a video guide that shows all of this, it’s not a one way street. There’s girls that squat to put this in, some do it in the shower with one leg over their head (not quite, I do love to exaggerate), OR you can just do it sitting on the toilet which is what I opted for, classic. There’s also different folding techniques for the cup itself to make the process easier. The ‘C’ fold and the punch down. I went for punch down because it’s smaller that way.
I won’t go into too much detail about how it went for obvious reasons, I could really go to town but people who read my blog know me and tbh I cba with the eye contact afterwards you know?
All I’ll say is.. I was pleasantly surprised. BUT the little stick at the bottom was uncomfortable for me so that needed to go. (Very common, you can cut them completely off which is actually what I ended up doing, they help you locate it when it’s time to come out). If your cup sits further up into your canal then you won’t need to cut as much stem off.
This is where it got a bit disturbing. Taking it out. Ooo mama. I’m saying this after I’ve been a user for about a year. A word of advice should you opt to go for this (highly recommend – despite me not painting the best picture – I’ll get to it in a minute)
DO NOT YANK IT OUT. I copy and paste. DO NOT YANK IT OUT.
The cup forms a suction inside you, it sits near the opening of the vagina but the suction creates the seal that stops any leaking and keeps air and bacteria from getting in and forming. (You’ll know because the blood is bright red instead of the brown nastiness we’re used to – if you don’t like the sight of fresh blood then it might not be for you). It’s a good thing, it also holds it in place all day. Trust me, this little cup is a game changer.
However, little old me, panicked. My muscles therefore obviously tensed and I decided ‘oh my, holy moly, it’s stuck’. Instead of applying a squeeze and gentle twist. I just dragged slowly and heavily on the cup and it felt like I had honestly pulled the world out of me. Any cramp you were feeling just got pulled out along with your kidneys and ovaries.
Soon learned my lesson and even that didn’t put me off using it.
Girls, I cannot preach enough about how this cup has changed the game for me.
You can leave it in for 12 hours. That’s a whole day at work, a whole nights sleep. It’s like it’s not even there. If you insert it correctly you can’t feel a thing, luckily I mastered this straight away, you’ll know when it’s not in right. I end up doing a funky chicken leg dance to check it’s in place – whatever works, right?
There’s little risk of toxic shock syndrome providing you don’t leave it in for over 12 hours because the seal keeps the blood fresh, on a tampon the air gets to it and the bacteria begins to grow and manifest. The cup is made of medical grade silicone so it’s soft and pliable and there is nowhere for bacteria to grow unless you don’t clean it properly. Honestly it’s genius.
There is no need for pads, the first 3 months I wore a pantyliner just in case but there really wasn’t anything there unless I put it in slightly wonky. The 4th month in I could walk about naked doing cartwheels and wouldn’t have to worry at all. If I do worry I have a washable liner I purchased separately to catch any mishaps – also highly recommend it’s so much comfier than a pad, reusable and eco-friendly!!
My cramps have gotten so much better. Admittedly I think my birth control helps with this but there’s no chemicals trying to draw liquid from me, it’s the most natural process there can be in terms of bleeding.
So what are the pros and cons?
Eco friendly, cost effective, reusable and lasts for up to 10 years, natural process of bleeding, reduced cramps, leave in for up to 12 hours.
1st time cost, not convenient if changing in public toilets (but you can clean it with a bottle of water).
Just boil or wash with soap before your new cycle or at the end of your last cycle and you’ll be good to go. If you need to change during the day you just pop it out, empty down the toilet, rinse in the sink and pop back in again! I’m medium to heavy flow the first 2 days and I only have to change it twice, I could leave it longer but I get paranoid.
Pads and tampons take years to break down, not to mention the amount of money we spend on sanitary wear over our lifetime. I’m really invested in these little cups becoming our future way for periods and upcoming generations. I wish I discovered it sooner! With the topic of period poverty becoming more common, this could be a way forward to help those in need.
What do you think about the menstrual cup? Would you give it a go?
Thanks for letting me overshare as always, perhaps maybe convince you to try something new too?