[discussion of blood, periods and all things vagina ahead]
Periods are still taboo to discuss [goodness knows why], but today I’m here to talk to you about using a menstrual cup, my first experience and answer the questions that you had!
My First Experience
After reading about the many benefits of switching to a menstrual cup and after a little google search on all of the brands available, I decided to pick up a MoonCup.
When it arrived I opened it up and thought ‘no way, nuh-uh, no how’. I was instantly terrified of the thought of putting this contraption inside my vagina.
Will it get stuck? How do I get it out? Surely I’m gonna be covered with blood? Oh lord, nope no no no. Not today.
& granted, I took it away with me and never used it. It sat in it’s little cloth bag for around 3 months before I plucked up the courage to, well, pop it in.
First off, a little bit about my situation. I am on the contraceptive pill, have regular but not-particularly heavy periods and suffer from cramps and boob ache when it’s my time.
I had read the instructions back-to-front several times and even YouTube’d about the cups before giving it a go. I’m glad I did it in the comfort of my own home at first and would definitely recommend that you are too.
It took some time as there are many different types of ‘folds’ to insert the cup but I managed to get it in and started walking around like I’d pooped my pants.
There is a little ‘stem’ on most cups, which you cut so that it’s not outside the vagina and I don’t think I did this right. However, I persevered and after 30 minutes I felt nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada.
Had it disappeared into my body forever?
No. I left it in for a few hours and then thought I’d better ‘check on it’ with it being my first time. I went in the shower [recommend for newbies] and tried to get it out and I nearly FAINTED.
My Mam thought she was going to have to take me to A&E. I was stressed, tensing and it just wouldn’t come out. So after a mild [READ: massive] panic, I grabbed the instructions and sat on the toilet.
Using my pelvic floor muscles and fingers [I warned you about this post] I managed to release the suction and pull the cup out, expecting it to look like a murder scene.
Nope, just a silicone cup with a tiny bit of blood that washed away and was ready to pop back in. Is it really going to be this easy?!
The first few days I wore thin panty liners as I did experience small leakage but remember that stem I was talking about? After getting used to taking the bloody thing out [haha, punny] I cut more of that off and found it sat better inside and didn’t leak.
I’D CRACKED IT.
I had the best period I’d had in a long time and will definitely not be going back to using tampons/pads. I thoroughly understand that some people cannot, for their reasons, make the switch to a menstrual cup but if you feel as if you can and are thinking about it, I’d definitely consider trying one out!
Questions & Answers
- Are they comfortable? Once you get the hang of the insertion, yes! I forgot that it was there around 15/20 minutes after popping it in and was able to go about my day as normal.
- Are they safe? There’s always dangers of anything you put in your body, but as long as you follow the correct procedures you should be ok. They also reduce the risk of toxic shock syndrome.
- Will it save you money? Yes! They are around £15-20 to purchase at first, but once you make a switch you will no longer need to use tampons/pads. MoonCups can last up to 10 years!
- What about emptying it at work/in public? The beauty of it is that you won’t [or rather, shouldn’t] have to! Menstrual cups hold up to 4 times as much as your regular tampon, with most users only have to change twice a day [morning and night]. & I can back this up! But if you do, they recommend using a bottle of water and some tissue.
- Isn’t it messy? Once you get used to it, nope! You only ever hold on to the end which doesn’t get blood on it, rinse it under the sink and voila! But obviously, expect to be in close contact with blood.
- How do you know if it’s full? You don’t, really. It would just be a case of checking on your first cycle as everyone is different. I have left mine in all day and it’s not even been close to a 1/4 full.
- Will it leak? Like I said in the above, I did at first experience some very small leaking. This could be incorrect insertion or not sitting in the right place, it’s all about experimenting and troubleshooting it on your first cycle to get it right. & if you persevere – you will!
- Are they hygienic? Won’t they smell? The menstrual cup is made of medical grade silicone which means they don’t smell/stain if you look after them following the care instructions given in the booklet.
- What if it’s too big/too small? Most brands have 2 sizes of cup; One for it you are over 30 and/or have had children vaginally and another if you’re the opposite. All brands also differ in size slightly, it’s just finding the right one to suit your nunny!
There we have it ladies, and gents [if you’re interested!]. My first cycle went well and I’m not scared about my next, almost excited that I don’t have the expense of other products and knowing I’m helping save the environment a teeny bit!
Send me a Instagram DM if you’ve got anymore questions, I have a whole Instagram highlight dedicated to my menstrual cup experience!