Two periods ago I started using a menstrual cup and doing so has changed my whole world. I don’t know about you, but pregnancy completely destroyed any semblance of order that once existed during my periods. My postpartum periods can only be described as massacres. Cramps, insanely heavy bleeding, bloating to infinity and beyond – they are the worst.
I find tampons really uncomfortable and I hate pads, so I decided to give cups a chance. I’ll admit I was a little grossed out when I first heard about them. I mean, a cup of period sounds like the ultimate in disgusting. It actually is kind of awesome, though. You only have to empty a menstrual cup every 12 hours, so you don’t have the hassle of dealing with it when you’re out and about. You can even empty it in the shower if you want. Once you get the process down, there really is no mess or grossness to deal with. At least not more than you’d deal with using tampons or pads. Also, cups are super comfortable. I find myself forgetting I’m even on my period, which is insane considering how heavy and awful my periods are. The only downside to cups is a bit of a learning curve, but one cycle should be enough for you to get your method down. If you’re curious about trying one out, here are answers to five of the most pressing questions you might have:
1. How in the hell do I insert this thing?
There are actually a few ways to insert a cup, depending on what you’re comfortable with. I use a classic “U Fold” where you fold the cup in half and pinch the sides together, but you can find more options in the instruction booklet and on Google. Try a few different ways and see what works for you. Don’t get discouraged if it’s really confusing at first. It gets easier.
2. How far up there do I put it?
Insert until the tip of the stem is about a 1/2 inch into your vagina. If it’s too low, them stem will poke you. If it’s too high, you’ll leak. I have to wear mine a bit higher. I also had to trim the stem on my cup. As long as you are comfortable and can still reach it to pull it out, you’re good.
3. Can I pee with this thing in?
Yes! In fact, not being able to go pee is a sign you have it inserted incorrectly. This happened to me the first few times I used the cup, and I had to take it out and try again.
4. What if it gets, um, lost? In my vag? Forever?
It won’t. If you have trouble getting it out, leave it in a bit longer and let gravity do it’s thang. If a few hours go by and you seriously cannot get it out, seek medical attention.
5. It’s leaking. Now what?
Some cups come in different sizes. If your cup is leaking, you may need a larger or smaller size. Your cup can also leak if you’ve inserted it too high or, depending on which cup you use, if you didn’t rotate it to ensure proper suction. Basically, leaking is a sign something isn’t working correctly. It’s not just a product flaw. Stick with it and try to figure out what’s going on.
(Image via Shutterstock)