“Comfortable, efficient, earth friendly, inexpensive. Is there any reason not to use a menstrual cup?” says every seasoned cup user out there. But what about newbies?
I remember the first time I ever heard of menstrual cups. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t alone in my initial “That’s just…Too far…” reaction. Putting a literal cup in my vagina? And it’s supposed to be easy and comfortable.
But being the hopeful eco-friendly chick I am, I decided to throw caution to the wind and added a menstrual cup to my Christmas wishlist last year, banking on the fact that no one in their right mind would buy it. Lo and behold, my mother in law, free spirited red head that she is, purchased it and wrapped it up very nicely to present to me on Christmas day.
Since the initial expense was no longer a
n excuse worry, I was ready to try it! After a few insertion fumbles and some trial and error, I can honestly say I will never ever ever go back to disposable menstruation products. You really, really need to try it!
Instead of spending a week changing, carrying, and disposing of hygiene products, I now only have to address my period twice a day. After the first day’s cramping, I honestly forget I’m even on my period. I forget. About my period. That is absolutely amazing. AMAZING.
So here are my tips for the cup curious and beginner users.
You need to be familiar and comfortable with your anatomy and physiology. You need to know what your cervix does and how to find it. You need to be able to come into fairly close contact with normal bodily happenings without flipping your lid. The good news here is that cups don’t have any of the ew-y side effects of disposable products. There’s no smell, the stuff is fully contained inside your body until you’re ready to handle it. Disposable products allow for oxidation and bacterial growth (aka stank) that cups bypass entirely. Your insides don’t smell bad. It’s the environment on the outside that makes things get weird.
Find the cup FOR YOU. There are so many different cup sizes and shapes out there! Diva Cups are one of the most easily accessible brands, readily found at most drug stores. But everyone’s anatomy and personal preferences are unique. A cervix that sits lower may require a shorter cup. A mom might require a wider cup than a virgin. It all depends! Luckily, some cup savvy people have made it easy to figure out which cups are best suited for you. Put A Cup In It not only has excellent information, products for purchase, and a super helpful YouTube Channel, but also a short quiz to help match you with your perfect cup.
Don’t give up if you experience a hot mess the first few times. It can take a bit of practice to figure out insertion and placement, and your body also needs time to become comfortable with such a foreign idea. After a few cycles of practicing, you’ll notice a definite difference in your body’s tension and receptiveness to cups.
Use a water based lubricant. Practice in the shower. Search out and try multiple folds. Be patient and kind with your vagina.
You will not regret leaving disposables behind!