About 3 months ago, whilst scrolling through the comments section of an article about the cost of sanitary products, I came across menstrual cups.
I had never seen or heard about menstrual cups and my first reaction was Gross! There is NO WAY I would use one of those! Despite this, I decided to find out a bit more information and see what they were all about, and I'm glad I did because I'm fully converted now!
A menstrual cup is exactly what it sounds like- a bell-shaped flexible cup, made of medical grade silicone. It is worn inside the vagina during menstruation to catch menstrual fluid (blood). They can be worn for up to 12 hours (depending on your flow) and can last for 5-10 years depending on how well you look after them.
The most common questions I get asked are 'does it leak' and 'how do you get that up there!?'
There are lots of different methods of folding your cup, the most common being the 'C-Fold' or the ‘Punch Down or Shell Fold’. It's all about finding what works for you though- a quick google search brings up many different options to try. Keep an eye out for my next blog, where I will go into more detail about the different folding methods you can try.
As for leaking, so long as they are fitted and inserted correctly, they shouldn’t leak. Remember it can take a few attempts to get the insertion and placement correct, so don’t give up if you are having trouble. In all honesty, it took me quite a few attempts at inserting to find what worked for me.
I empty mine in the shower as this is what I found worked best for me. Because you can wear them for up to 12 hours, and because I have a very light/ medium flow, I jump in the shower in the morning, empty and rinse, then re-insert and I’m good to go - It takes less than a minute and I don't need to think about it again until later that night - then I get in the shower and repeat!
The things I like most about using a cup is how much kinder on my body they are – and also the fact that they are kinder on the environment. I’m trying hard to reduce the footprint I leave on the planet, and although it’s only something small, it’s still something. Not only that, they are seriously economical. You only have to buy one- so no more running to the shops to get a pack of tampons on those days where your period surprises you!
Something I learnt recently is the amount of toxic chemicals that are in tampons and pads. Artificial colours, polyester, adhesives, polyethylene, polypropylene and propylene glycol - all contaminants that are linked to hormone disruption, cancer, birth defects, dryness and infertility, are just some of the nasties that they put into pads and tampons. Menstrual cups on the other hand, are made of medical grade silicone and instead of absorbing the fluid like tampons (remembering that tampons are going to absorb EVERYTHING, not just your period) they catch the fluid and they don't leave any pesky fibres behind either.
Another thing to note, is that since using a cup, I have noticed that my cycle doesn't last as long. Instead of having my period for 6/7 days, I only get it for 3/5 days - something I don't think any women would ever complain about!
While most people cringe when I tell them about what I do, the best way to look at it (that I’ve heard so far) is to liken it to when tampons came out when our mothers were younger. Most people had the same reactions – and just look at us now! They are completely normalised and used every day by millions of women around the world. Hopefully in the future, people will look at menstrual cups in the same way.
If you haven’t already tried one, I strongly recommend that you do… I promise, It will change your life!
You can click on the link below to check out the Lumii Cup.