Why I Use a Menstrual Cup
Updated: Nov 26, 2020
All your questions about menstrual cups answered - give this a read ladies! It's life changing.
I'll start by telling you I was a late bloomer. I didn't officially get my period until I was 19 so you could say I was a little late to the party.
But being a late bloomer came with perks. It gave me a chance to get to know my body and understand my values before my body started going through all it's changes.
By the time I got my first period, I had developed into a full-on environmentalist. I had started eating plant-based, composting, and obsessively limiting my environmental footprint. So you know that when my period came, it wasn't going to be an exception.
I had never even heard of a menstrual cup until I saw them being talked about on social media- they just weren't ever a common option. All I had ever heard of were tampons and pads- this is such an issue! Not only are menstrual cups environmentally friendly, they're healthier than using tampons and much much cheaper than either tampons or pads in the long run. So why aren't we talking about them more??
The biggest push-back I get from other girls when I talk about the menstrual cup is the size.
"They just look so big! How does it even work?"
Well first let me tell you - they're silicone. They bend. You don't have to go shoving the whole thing up there and making it sound as painful as it looks in your head. There are plenty of ways you can fold them and countless youtube tutorials on how to do so. But I'll tell you how I fold mine- I basically just push one of the sides down into the cup and it turns the whole thing into a sort of triangle with a much smaller pointed end at the top. That narrow end is smaller than the tip of a tampon so from that point you just apply it as you normally would.
"I don't think that would work for me. I've had too many kids."
Rest assured, menstrual cups have it covered. They come in different sizes specific to whatever life events (or lack thereof) your lady parts have been through.
"What if I'm a virgin? Wouldn't it be better to start with tampons first?"
You can, but you certainly don't have to. I was a virgin when I first used my menstrual cup and while it wasn't the easiest feat trying to insert it for the first time- I eventually got it and I don't honestly think tampons would have made things it any easier. If anything, using a menstrual cup was better because it held more and was less likely to leak while I adjusted to my new-acquired cycle.
"How many times a day do you have to change it?"
This depends on how heavy your flow is. I only usually have to change mine once a day. The average menstrual cup holds about 3 tampons worth of liquid so you won't likely be changing your cup more than twice a day (wahoo!!).
"Is it messy? How do I clean it in a public restroom?"
Depending on how full your cup is when you try to change it, it can get a little bit messy. This is usually fine at home with a sink nearby but it can get a little tricky in public restrooms. I usually like to avoid taking a trip to the sink with my bloody cup so I simply dump the contents in to the toilet and wipe the outside as best as I can with toilet paper before re-inserting. It's not ideal but it will do in a pinch until you can get to a more private restroom.
"How much does it cost?"
Menstrual cups can cost anywhere from $20-$40 which seems like a lot but given that the average female spends around $200 a year on tampons and pads- I'd say it's a pretty good deal! And theoretically menstrual cups can last forever- although every couple years it's probably a good idea to get a fresh one.
"Does it need to be sanitized?"
Yes you will need to sanitize your menstrual cup between cycles to make sure you aren't inserting any foreign bacteria into your lady parts. You can choose to boil your cup in water or simply wash it with unscented soap and warm water. I typically go for the latter.
"Will it leak?"
Just like anything else, using a cup will be a learning curve. Learning to insert it properly so that it won't leak may take a few tries but once you get the hang of it, you should be leak free (unless of course the cup gets too full). The only issues I seem to have now are at night time- every once in a while if I have a heavy flow I'll wake up in the middle of the night and notice my cup has leaked a little. But this isn't cup-specific, this would happen with any other menstrual product if you exceed the liquid limit in the middle of the night.
"What brand do you use?"
I am currently using a Diva cup but there are so many incredible brands out there including Lunette! I've even seen now that they sell menstrual cups with pull-string designs so the cup seals itself before you even remove it. Click to shop some my favorite brands:
Femallay Cups (use code wildflowerdiaries for 10% off!)
"I'm still unsure how it works, I'm nervous..."
Youtube, youtube, youtube! Bless all the vloggers who decided to provide us with tutorials on how to fold, insert, and remove menstrual cups. I can't tell you how many videos I watched when I was using my cup for the first time. And you should too! You aren't alone, there's a whole community of cup users out there to support you :')
"Why not just use tampons?"
Tampons are full of chemicals and toxins that your body would be better off without. Not to mention, they're expensive and they add to landfill waste. This makes menstrual cups the eco-friendly, budget-friendly, and health-friendly option.
So there you have it! All (or at least most) of your menstrual cup questions answered. And now you know why I use one. I use it for the same reason I eat plants and choose to avoid single-use plastics: I recognize that my decisions have a further reaching impact than just my own life. I choose to be mindful of my purchases and the products that I use because I care for and love the environment and I want it to stay healthy!
*Not to mention, menstrual cups save a ton of money and make periods feel so hassle-free!
If you have any more questions about menstrual cups, please leave a comment or send me a message! You can contact me by email or instagram DM :)
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