A few months ago, I decided to buy a menstrual cup and give it a try. I have read a lot about the pros and cons of using a menstrual cup over pads and tampons, and the pros are waaay over the cons, as if the cons don’t exist. Firstly, it is environment-friendly, and secondly, I get to save a lot more money, and thirdly, I don’t have to change as often as I used to when I still used pads. I was so curious about it, and I couldn’t help myself.
And so far, so good! I love it!
I have been using the menstrual cup for five months now, and I can say that I am not definitely going back to using pads again.
I’m not going to be specific about the brand that I bought (I don’t want to make this post seem like a paid advertisment), but what I got was a soft silicon cup, the smallest size I could find. I must say, there’s kind of a steep curve in learning how to use it properly and finding out which fold works for every person, since we’re all different and there is not a fold that works for everyone. That’s why there are so many folds! It took me so many dry runs to experiment which fold works for me, but I only really tested and found out on the second day of my period weeks after I bought the cup. I couldn’t really tell from the dry runs if it ‘worked,’ even if it felt like it did, because there is no flow that would test it.
I have tried almost all of the folds I could find on the internet: the U-fold, the punch-down fold, the triangle fold, the diamond fold, the half-diamind fold, the 7-fold, the origami fold, the labia fold, and so on and so forth. I remember: the first fold I tried was the most popular (and also indicated on the manual), the U-fold, and it was quite painful! It’s the biggest fold, and I don’t think it should be the default fold every first timer should try, contrary to popular belief. It didn’t ‘pop’ or unfold for me as well. The next fold I tried was a lot better, and it’s also the easiest to insert: the punch-down fold. The only catch is it’s the hardest to unfold inside. It never unfolded properly for me, no matter how many times I tried.
And from there, I tried so many folds on dry runs. And then my period came. I tried the punch-down fold on my first day, but it failed, I leaked (good thing I had a pantyliner on), and on my second try, I didn’t leak, but the cup didn’t catch the blood inside, either. Instead, it got caught in the inner fold of the punch-down fold (it didn’t unfold). In the end, I just decided to use a pad again overnight.
On my second day, things got so much better. I tried the half-diamond fold — one of my favorite folds from my dry runs, only that it was a little tricky at first to get it to unfold inside. And it worked! I didn’t leak at all! You can’t imagine how happy and relieved I was when I finally found a fold that worked for me! (I was about to give up and just go back to my pads.)
Then only good things from there. 🙂
My favorite thing about the menstrual cup, apart from the pros I mentioned above, is the comfort. I’m now so comfortable on my period, and I don’t think I have ever said that before when I was still using pads. I could feel the pad and the wetness against me, and at night, I used to worry about leaks, and I had to confine myself to certain sleeping positions to prevent that. Sometimes, I even get rashes. This time, I don’t have to worry about anything. I can even wade in pools and seawater if I want! I could be in any position (except from upside down, of course), and there wouldn’t be a problem. When I’m on my period, it no longer feels like I’m actually on my period. It’s like the menstrual cup isn’t there at all. I feel so clean.
I also love that I don’t have any trash to dispose apart from the menstrual blood itself. I read that one of the most common complaints by first time users about menstrual cups online is the disposal of the blood, how icky and disgusting it is. Personally, it’s not even that bad! I actually like how the cup collects the blood instead of absorbing it. The way pads (and tampons) absorb the menstrual blood, to me, is a lot more disgusting. Once you expose the bloody pad to air, it begins to smell, too. With the cup, you see your menstrual blood in its purest form (and you can even measure it to understand the heaviness of your flow.
I guess the only con I could think of right now is that I have to be at home to change my cup. I couldn’t do that in public restrooms, because I need a cubicle that has both a toilet and a faucet, and that’s not usually the case in public places. But that’s not even a real problem, because I don’t have to change my cup that often. Most days, I only have to wash my cup in the morning before I go out, and then later again after I come home. The menstrual cup still wins.
Switching to a menstrual cup is definitely one of the best lifestyle choices I made in life. I’m recommending it if you haven’t tried using one yet!
I’m definitely a happy cupper! 😊