I heard about menstrual cups a couple years ago when Diva Cup started to get popular. At the time, I had no interest in trying one. I was completely content with my tampons and pads. Then, a couple months ago, I got tired of paying the $8-$10 for a box of pads or tampons. Around the same time I saw Kayla was trying out a menstrual cup and so I was pushed over the edge and bought one myself.
After taking the quiz, I decided on the Lena Sensitive Large out of the three I was recommended. I was recommended this cup because I have a heavy flow and a high cervix.
Inserting the menstrual cup
Putting it in isn’t hard. Getting it to open is hard. However, this is just my opinion and not all girls agree.
I personally like to put it in while sitting on the toilet. However, I know of girls who like to do it in the shower or while standing with a leg up on a bathtub.
I’ve tried the three most popular folds: seven fold, c-fold, and punch-down fold. I can use the seven fold, but it will never open. I can’t even get the c-fold to work at all. But I love the punch down fold! I think it’s the easiest! I can get the cup inserted no problem with the punch-down fold. My only problem was I could never tell if it was open.
How do I know the cup is open?
After a lot of Googling, YouTubing, and experimentation I haven’t really found a solid way to always know when it’s open. Everywhere I looked, people say to run your finger around the outside of the cup. If it felt like there were no indents, then it was open all the way. However, I had a really hard time doing this (until I started not inserting it all the way first).
It was recommended by a couple girls to not insert it fully, let it open, then push it up. After experimenting with this during my second cycle, it worked a lot more than trying to get it open way up inside me. Now I almost always feel/hear it pop open, too!
How do I know if I have a good seal?
This is an easy answer. If you pull down on the cup a tad (with the stem if yours has a stem) and it slides down easily then that means the seal isn’t strong. The cup should not move easily when tugged, and you may even feel a bit of suction, if you have it in right.
Another, kinda crude, way I know it has a good seal is I hear the suction forming. Basically, after inserting it and opening it, I’ll stick my finger up and push back on my vaginal wall to give the cup more room. If I hear the air whoosh out of the way for the rim to stick to the wall I know I have a good seal. Very descriptive, I know. I did say crude, okay?
It’s all trial and error and practice. When I get frustrated I just remind myself that it took me almost a year to be able to not only put a tampon in, but to be able to do it correctly. And the first time I tried to use one I think I wasted about five of them, so I already have a better, if not similar, track record with my cup.
Signs the cup is in wrong
- You can feel it. You should not be able to feel it at all when you have it in right! When I have it I right, I legit forget I was on my period. One night I actually almost forgot to take it out.
- You have to pee every 30 minutes. This means you put it up too close to the urethra or to the point that it’s pressing on your bladder. And let me tell you, it’s not fun racing to the bathroom every 30 minutes at work.
- There’s blood in your underwear. If blood is still leaking then it obvi isn’t in right. UNLESS it’s the first day or you used a different method before using the cup because then blood will already be on your vaginal walls and will drip down.
Removing the menstrual cup
Taking it out was difficult at first but then I watched this video. I can’t do the “hotdog” fold she described, but pinching the bottom of the cup and moving it down a bit and repeating that a couple times, and then removing it works so well. You cannot just pull on the stem as it will be very difficult to move with a proper seal and cup will be more likely to spill over your hands if you are able to remove it all the way.
I only struggled with taking it out because my cervix is so high and so in turn my cup can sit up really high. This makes it very difficult to reach, and I may eventually buy a longer cup.
I learned so much about my body
When using a menstrual cup you have to get real familiar real quick with all your anatomy down there. I’m ashamed to say that before using one I had no idea what a cervix was, that your vagina goes in between your pubic bones (duh Caitlyn! Science is obviously not my forte), and the bladder is super close to the uterus.
Little sidenote: the pubic bones act a “hammock” to hold your cup, aka your cup should be above them!!
I also learned that everyone has a different height cervix and that your cervix’s position changes depending on where you are in your cycle. Which is very important, because if you have a high cervix you need a longer cup so you can actually reach your cup when it’s up inside you.
Did the cup change my life?
Yes. Yes. Yes.
If you would have asked me this after just my first cycle using my Lena cup I would have said maybe. But halfway through my second cycle when I had everything 98% figured out I felt this switch. Period life was so much easier!
Using the cup, all I have to is insert in the morning, dump and reinsert at night, dump and reinsert in the morning. Repeat. That’s it. I even got so excited about it that I texted my mom to tell her. Her response was “ew,” but maybe it won’t be one day.
Using the cup really does save you so much money, too. In just my first cycle of using it, when I only had it in right two days out of seven, and decided to ditch it my last two days, I used less than HALF of the amount of period products I normally would have. So even if I just use the cup on and off from now on, I’ll save half the money I would every year. Sounds legit to me.
I also really just love how in tune it made me with my body. I’m very much a “let’s do this naturally” person, and while I guess free-bleeding would be the most natural, I’m totally not doing that. Sorry. So using a cup seemed second best since it saves the environment and doesn’t produce any waste. There are a lot of ways you reuse the cup, and you can even safely burn it! Cool right?
Would you ever try a menstrual cup?
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