I’m always so late to the game. I know that there are tons of options out there now as far as collecting bodily fluids other than pads and tampons but I never really thought about it until friends started talking about Thinx underwear and menstrual cups. Of course, whatever you choose depends on your preference. If you don’t like sticking things up your hoo-ha, then there are reusable pads or menstrual underwear. I personally don’t like the feeling of fluids coming out of my body so I opted for the cup.
I’ve been reading the benefits of using cups/thinx underwear. It’s more environmentally friendly and apparently healthier for you since pads and tampons are made of bleached rayon which could potentially be harmful for you. They also contain other chemicals but demands for more transparency from manufacturers regarding what they use to make sanitary napkins and tampons have not been met. In addition, the cups and the underwear can be re-used over and over so technically, they can save you tons of money.
So I went ahead and bought a menstrual cup. How did I decide which one to get? I literally just went on amazon and looked at the reviews and whichever one was cheap and had great reviews, I chose! I ended up buying the “Dutchess Cup,” no doubt probably some type of knock off from the popular “Diva Cup.”
It seems that for most of these cups, there are 2 sizes. Large – meant from women who have given birth vaginally, or small – meant for women who have had C-sections or haven’t had kids yet. Pretty simple.
Make sure to sterilize the cups first. Put in boiling water for 3 minutes, let cool and you’re good to go. Make sure your hands are washed before you do anything else with the cup. The directions seem pretty simple but harder to execute. There’s definitely some trial and error involved. First step is to fold – apparently there are a couple of ways that you can fold the cup. I used the “C-fold” – pinch the top of the cup and then bend in half to create a tight C shape.
Next step is the slightly more complicated – inserting the cup. I recommend actually inserting your index or middle finger in your vagina first. There are a variety of ways your cervix could be positioned so you just want to see where yours is. Once you kind of feel which way yours is, that’s the direction you will insert your folded cup. Once you insert it, you will have to feel around the cup to make sure that it is fully unfolded to ensure that the cup has essentially “sealed” the opening for you cervix.
Once it’s in, you’re good to go! You shouldn’t feel like you have anything on like when you’re wearing a tampon. If you do, the cup is probably too low so try to push it up a little. I do wear a liner just in case there is some leakage but i found that if I put the cup in correctly, there’s little to no leakage. Win =). I’ve even worn it over night on my heaviest day and it did not leak. Win win!
I’ve read that depending the size of the cup, you can don’t have to change it for 6-12 hours. For me, the longest I’ve gone throughout the day is 8 hours and at night, 10 hours. When it’s time to take it out, wash your hands, sit or squat over the toilet and feel for the tip of the cup. If you can’t feel it, it helps to bear down (kinda like pooping) so that the cup will come down slightly, once you feel the tip, go ahead and grab on to it and gently pull, once the end of the cup comes out slightly, pinch the middle of the cup to break the seal and then gently pull and the cup will come out.
What’s a little cool and gross about the cup is that it actually has measuring lines on the sides of the cup so you know how much fluid your expelling. So it’s kinda cool to see, but also gross. Pour the contents of the cup into the toilet and wash cup with anti bacterial soap (or they do have a menstrual cup soap) and water and it’s ready for use again.
So all in all my experiences with the cup has been positive. The negative aspects of this experience is that is it takes time to learn how to use it, and I don’t think I would want to change it in public restrooms. But if you don’t care about those things, then hey, more power to yah! Definitely worth a try if you are looking for using something else other than pads or tampons.
Thanks for reading and hope you have an awesome rest of the day!