What to Expect When Switching to Menstrual Cups

What to expect when switching to menstrual cups

The topic of the moment in social media has been menstrual cups- how they can impact the lives of women in third world countries, how they could be the answer to the prayers of homeless women without regular access to restrooms, and how women in the US are making the switch too.  Not only are menstrual cups a wise choice for your health but there are longer term benefits that can make your period week no different than any other day of the month.  If you are looking to make the switch you can expect to go through these phases, just be sure to hang in long enough to experience #periodnirvana.

whattoexpectwithmenstrualcups

 

You almost talk yourself out of it.

There are some great videos out there about using cups and there are some that can turn you right back off from it.  I can’t tell you how many times a particular “horror story” video has been referenced in the comments of my videos about cups as evidence to why they would “never put that thang up there.”  Well, what if I told you that there are way more good stories than bad?  It can be frightening to try something new (I was scared too!) but when you consider the future advantages there is nothing to lose and lots to gain.  Lesson?  Avoid the bad videos.  Don’t let other people’s ignorance and fear of new experiences hold you back from a switch that will change your life for the better.  You can do this.

 

You stare at the cup and wonder “will that really fit?”

Menstrual cups looks intimidating, but when folded they can be about the size of tampons or slightly larger.  If you also think about the amazingness that is your vagina you will remember that it can accomodate a baby being born through it and can also make room for other activities.  You work up the nerve to try it after folding and re-folding for practice after watching those good videos I told you about.  You’ve already made the small investment, there is no turning back now.  Have a glass of wine and get to it.

 

You’re locked in the bathroom for 10-15 minutes.

It can take time when you first begin using a cup to go through the process of inserting (you might go through a few tries at first before you find the perfect folding technique and angle for your body) and you might find yourself going through and washing your hands a few times more than usual.  This is ALL NORMAL.  You can’t expect to get it perfect the first time and that is OK, but maybe to prevent your significant other or housemate from worrying run the shower or take a bath so they don’t think you are having a medical emergency.  You’re ok and this is working, it just takes a little practice, relax!

 

You leak… at first.

Just like when you learned to ride a bike, learning how to use your new menstrual cup can have some bumps along the way.  Instead of wearing a protective helmet and knee pads you should wear disposable or cloth liners to protect your underwear and leave you feeling confident for the first cycle or two.  Even if you *think* you aced it on the first go it’s better to be safe than sorry!  Don’t worry though, it will get better!

 

You magically use all of your toilet paper a week early.

Sh*t!  You just bought toilet paper but you’re already out, where did it go?  Well, when you use menstrual cups there is a higher amount of toilet paper used.  You use it to wipe out the cup before washing in the sink.  You use a bit to sit it on while you do what you need to do.  Plus when you’re on your period you tend to use more TP because you tend to use the bathroom more- this is a proven side effect of menstruation.  They don’t call it shark week for nothing… still… an extra roll of TP is a small price to pay for the positives of using menstrual cups.

 

You forget about it.

The first time you forget you are on your period and that you’re wearing a cup you have made it to #periodnirvana.  Go to a theme park with just a small bag (without 15 tampons as back-up that the guy at Disney has to pretend not to see when rifling through your bag) and live in the moment the entire trip.  Your mind won’t be on finding the bathrooms at each section of the park or wondering if you brought enough products and if not what the hell will you do?  Sun up to sun down you can ride rides and be carefree… just like those tampon ads but WAY F*CKING BETTER because tampons can’t last for 8-12 hours can they?!

 

You stop going to the “pink aisle” at Target.

There is a lonely half a box of tampons under your sink that you haven’t looked at in months.  You can’t remember the last time you had to make that stroll to quickly grab a box of tampons and you’re hoping to never do it again.  You’re there, you are free from disposable feminine products!  Treat yourself to a venti at Starbucks with the money you’ve saved this month.

 

You start recruiting.

Cup users almost always begin converting their friends and family once they have made it past the early adoption phase and into #periodnirvana.  They share links about cups on Facebook, tag their friends in the comments of stories about them, BUY them for friends because they HAVE to try one because “IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.”  Now go forth, #vagangelists, and convert your friends!  Drag them to a MommyCon near you for my menstrual products sessions in 2016!

[hr]

Menstrual cup usage is increasing rapidly thanks to these women who are courageous enough to speak up about the unspoken taboo of menstruation.  Women are learning there is more to periods than wasteful and uncomfortable disposable products.  There is a life outside of the tampon box that goes camping for a week even though it’s that time of the month.  There is swimming without checking for tampon strings, there are 10 hour days at work without easy access to a restroom and no worries about leaks. There is true freedom, comfort and peace of mind.  Without even adding the health, environmental, and financial benefits cups already beat the pants off of tampons when it comes to comfort.

Ready to make the switch?  Find past articles and videos on how to use menstrual cups in the Reusable Menstrual Care section of DDL or my new menstrual cup website Put a Cup In It..  Then buy one and find out for yourself.  

 

 

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  • Ashley

    I want my menstrual cup to work so much. I have two that I’ve tried and post-baby, I can’t get either to work. My body seems to have lost the ability to “hold it in” if that makes sense. (TMI I know.) I keep trying each month and in between cycles, thinking if I can just get it in correctly maybe it’ll stop slipping, but every time after about half an hour it has slipped back down/out. Do I need a different cup? Do I need to do kegels to get my muscles back into shape? I am so disappointed that I can get it to work for me. Anyone have advice?

    • kimrosas

      Kegels are always good because it would help that and other issues that could be happening. There is a cup called Meluna XL that could work too.
      Please excuse typos and brevity. Sent from my iPhone

    • EmiRey

      I think you should definitely work on kegels, not only for the cup but it is really important for the bladder and the core of the body!

  • Idigia

    15 minutes? First time I tried to remove my Mooncup it took a whole hour!!! (silicone is different than latex, they both have their pros and cons).
    Another thing that happens, when somebody else is having her period and takes the tampons out, you stare at them and it takes a couple of seconds to remember what those things are, and then look at the poor thing and wonder why she has not made the switch.

  • Sarah

    LOLOL at the last one. I’m definitely at that stage when anything my friends say can be turned into a period conversation followed by me trying to convince them to make the switch.

  • Niharika

    This blog post was really helpful in convincing me to switch to reusables. I have a really low cervix so I was afraid I wouldn’t find a cup that would fit length wise but after reading this post and looking up videos on YouTube I came to a conclusion that I was done with disposables and had to switch ASAP. My periods have always been a headache for me when I’m travelling and tampons managed to save me from the fuss of Sanitary napkins but I still have to change them every 4-6 hours and that gets difficult at unhygienic rest stops. Diva cup was the only cup I had heard of at the time but I did some research and settled for the Meluna S, M & M Shorty (just in case) and they just arrived in the mail. I’m looking forward to trying them this cycle & I’m going to try one on a dry run. I thought I’d start with the smallest and move on to the next size since I’m almost 20. Sadly, menstrual cups are unheard of in India so it took a lot of research to find a brand that delivers here and most of my friends are too frightened to even try out tampons. Hopefully I will be able to convert a few girls after using them myself & raving about the positives. Thanks for the post! πŸ™‚

  • Spunkynipper

    What about heavy flows? And blood clots? TMI I know but myself and friends have this problem. I’m pretty much stuck with a pad and love the idea of using a cup.

    • kimrosas

      I have 1-2 pretty heavy days and I pass some larger clots that time and still use a cup. People with heavier flows tend to need to change more frequently but you can still use a cup.

      • Sara

        Yes, every ten minutes or else Vesuvius? No, thanks.

    • Katie J

      Of cups don’t work for your, you can always try organic cotton reusable pads. This way, you can still cut down on exposure to toxic chemicals found in disposables.

  • Sara

    It’s important to mention in articles like this that menstrual cups are not appropriate for heavy bleeders and clotters. If articles had mentioned this when I first researched and then invested in my Diva cup and then a second larger cup brand, to no avail, then I could have saved myself a significant expenditure.

    • Katie J

      I’ve heard many success stories with cups for heavy bleeders and clotters. Many whose flow even decreased after switching to cups.

    • Lauren

      I disagree Sara. I have both and the cup works BETTER for me. I used to have to change a super plus tampon every 2-4 hours and I can go 6 with a cup. Cups STILL hold more than tampons and pads. I’m sorry that cups didn’t work for you, but I don’t think it’s because you’re a heavy bleeder.

  • EmiRey

    Why doesn’t anyone say anything about the fact that it just disappears inside when you put it in? Is that supposed to happen? How can we take it out after? I tried it and it started going deeper until the stem was no longer at the opening and I started to panic so took it out before it went any deeper. Wish people spoke about that, but I guess it’s only me?

    • kimrosas

      It sounds like you have a VERY high cervix- a problem most women don’t seem to have. It anything a lower cervix is usually the reason people have issues with the cup. You would benefit from a longer cup like the Lily Cup. There’s a great chart on putacupinit.com that also gives the length measurements with and without stems.

      If that continues to be an issue the important things are- a. don’t panic. It has nowhere to go past the cervix. b. it has to come out. You can try pushing (bearing down) to get it low enough to feel and then coax it with the stem down until you can break the seal and remove it.

      • EmiRey

        Thank you Kimrosas! I figured it out, just trying to get the hang of it now πŸ™‚ I don’t hear any suction sound so I guess I’m doing it wrong because it still leaks, Lol.

      • Katie J

        I had the same thought when I first tried my super Jennie. I inserted it and it was like my body just sucked it right in lol. I panicked a little but ended up figuring it was better then my body pushing it out haha. When I went to retrieve it, it was a little tricky, but I had prepped with a lot of reading of others’ stories and tips, and just relaxed and pushed like I was having a bm. Was able to get my finger in enough to push the side/rim and tilt it a bit to break suction.
        A tip if you’re having trouble getting it to open and form suction (ie, you’re leaking) give it a little twist after inserting.

      • EmiRey

        It’s difficult to twist it, but I did and it still does :/ maybe I haven’t twisted it enough. What’s a bm?

      • Katie J

        bm = bowel movement

      • EmiRey

        Oh…haha! thank you πŸ™‚

      • EmiRey

        Thank you for the advice Katie! But. what is a bm?

      • EmiRey

        I realized it is pretty high XD but I did it while standing which just took it up the highest I guess? I took your advice about sitting low and it works that way! Thank you πŸ™‚