Menstrual Cup - Q&A
I am writing this on the train down to London, let’s all just hope no one is reading what I'm writing over my shoulder!! I mean, I would rather write this in the comfort of my own home but at the moment I don’t seem to have any spare time to write so I am grabbing it while I can. Why am I even writing about this topic? Because I think it is something every women can benefit from knowing and I think the more word spreads about these little cups the more impact it will have on the environment. I have had three friends who have started using them after I mentioned I already did and all it took was for me to give them a little bit of info and say… just try it.. So here I am giving you a little bit of info and telling you to just try it too! and just incase you weren’t convinced by this information.. just look at the pictures of me wearing white while on my monthly cycle ( although admittedly nearer the end of the week) …. haha What a cliché !
The menstrual cup…
In the words of my mum … “YUK” but its not yuk… It has changed my life for the better ! Days of faffing around with tampons and pads, having to go to the bathroom every two hours, constantly being paranoid that its leaking, praying the pile of spare ones I’ve brought with me for the day don’t fall out my bag as I pull my keys out (I’m sure we have all been there before when out of all the junk you carry in your bag, it is your spare tampon which decides to make a run for it! Whyyy Tampon whyyy???) are over.
Why did you start to use it?
I’m not sure what made me change the way I usually handle my monthly cycle. I think it is my mission to make small changes to my lifestyle to help the environment. The thought of a poor whale choking on whatever we throw down the toilet or in our bins put me off using them really..
I went on an online adventure to find out more and came across a multitude of youtube videos of people explaining how they use them, which brand they use and their personal experiences with them. I took the plunge and popped on amazon in search of a little plastic cup. This is the one I went for… Lunette Cup
Now I have successfully used it for 4 cycles and two of those I was on holiday, without any trouble I would say I am becoming a bit of a pro…
Since using it I have mentioned it to a few friends and also found out they use it too! Some of them have been using it for years! I was like “how have I only just heard of it?”
Isn’t it messy?
Not at all… I actually find it alot cleaner than other methods as I only change it when I’m in the shower. The first time I used it.. I accidentally dropped it.. I was wearing a huge flouncy dress which I was trying to keep away from the toilet and then I accidentally kind of just dropped the cup… THAT was messy but it has only happened once and it was through my own stupidity really.
How many times do you change it?
Twice a day is plenty for me.. I usually do it around 8 am and 8 pm keeping it in for 12 hours at time which makes going about my days when I’m on sooo much easier. When I first got it I thought I would need to change it more often as I’ve always been convinced that I have a “heavy flow” but turns out its not as much as I thought. I think Tampons and pads can be really miss leading as to how much you actually bleed during a period.
What are the benefits?
It is a lot cheeper as you pay a one off (around £20) and then you can use it for quite a while.. A couple of years I believe but I havn’t found that out yet as I have only had mine for 4 months.
It dulls down period pains! Yep I know… that is a big benefit. Since I’ve been using it I’ve noticed my period pains are a lot less intense, I might get the odd twinge every now and then but apart from that it is a breeze.
You don’t have to change it for 12 hours. One thing I hated about other forms was having to change in a public toilet if I was out. If I needed the bathroom during the day, I couldn’t just leave the tampon in - I always changed it so this is now a lot better as I can go to the bathroom without faffing around with anything down there after.
I don’t think it will fit, it looks too big?
They come in different sizes, one if you havn’t had a baby and one for post baby. If you have only looked at them online and think they look big then they are smaller in real life and even friends who claim they have a super small vajay seem to be ok using them so you should be fine.
I did have to cut a small section off bottom of the “tail” / “bottom of the funnel” whatever you want to call it because I found it was sticking out too much.. If you have to do this too be careful that you don’t cut too much off… you need to still have enough to hold on to to get it out.
Where do you store it?
Mine came with a little pouch, after my cycle I sterilize it with boiling water and pop it in the pouch and keep it hidden in the bathroom cabinet until next time.
Does it hurt?
No, when I first used it, I thought it felt uncomfortable but I realised I wasn’t putting it in properly. It can feel a bit odd at first but stick with it and you’ll soon not to be able to feel it at all. Then you know you have it in right.
Can you use it with the coil?
Yes, I have the copper coil it. Just take a little more care as the cup creates a suction when it is inside so you don’t want it to disturb your coil when you are getting it out.
How do you put it in?
I do it in the shower. My method is to fold the cup in half and then when inserted it pops open. There are so many different ways of folding it or putting it in - you just have to find which way works for you best. My friend struggled with this and she found lots of different ways online to try.
Can you swim with it in?
YES! It is so good for holidays - I have been on two and have had no problems at all. Its much better than using tampons, I used to find that they became heavy or like soaked up the water.. (Sorry if that it just too much info haha ) but with the cup you can’t even tell that you are on!
Does it overflow?
Mine has never over flowed. Like I said I was really surprised at how little I bleed compared to what I thought. I used to use the green tampax and changed them every couple of hours btw for reference to my usual cycle.
I recommended to friends that for the first couple of times they used it to also use a pad until they built up their trust with it. Sometimes I feel it move or can feel what feels like air bubbles and I’m always convinced its overflowing but every time I check it is always ok.
Do you need to buy a new one every month?
No, that is also the joy of it. I think I will probably buy a new one annually.
How do you clean it?
Before using it I sterilize it by boiling it and then leaving it to cool before I actually use it obviously… whist I am on, I wash it while I am in the shower, after emptying it in the toilet before I get in.
How does it stay in place?
After you put it in it pops open. I’m not sure how to explain this but here is a link to someone that can explain better than I.
Whats the risk of TSS?
I’ve had to google this as I have never experienced it…
The general consensus has been that menstrual cups do not directly cause or contribute to the development of TSS, and PACII continues to support this statement. ... “…they do claim that menstrual cups are more likely to increase the production of Staphylococcus aureus – the bacteria that causes toxic shock syndrome.
What do you do at work? We only have one sink..
When I am on a shoot I can normally get away with my 12 hours so haven't had to change it yet. A friend of mine who works in an office said she’s changed hers in the disabled bathroom because there is a sink in there. You can also buy wipes to clean it, although maybe try and make sure you buy biodegradable ones if you go for this option.
I hope this has made you feel a bit more confident about trying it out! If you have any more questions leave a comment and I’ll be happy to answer or if you find the whole thing a bit embarrassing DM me on my instagram and I’ll be happy to answer and keep you anonymous.