Let’s talk menstrual cups! Moon cups, diva cups, Luna, juju, Lunette….there’s loads. Everyone will recommend a personal fave but they all do the same job and that job is to sit comfortably inside your vagina collecting your menstrual blood rather than absorbing it like a pad or tampon. It can be left in place up to 12 hours or emptied more frequently on heavy days. You simply rinse and reinsert. Easy.
Using a menstrual cup means that every month I will not have to think about purchasing towels or tampons. It means I will save money by not having to purchase sanitary products monthly!
It’s better for the environment! Our sanitary products have to go somewhere. Gross!
It’s better for me! (This really was my main reason for making the change) This is a little insert about the nasties in our sanitary products. The full article makes a very interesting read and can be found HERE
“A recent test carried out in 2014 out by Naturally Savvy and Women’s Voices For The Earth, found the following in a pad by the brand, Always:
• Styrene – Carginogen
• Chloromethane – Reproductive Toxicant
• Chloroethane – Carcinogen
• Chloroform – Neurotoxin, Carcinogen, Reproductive Toxicant
• Acetone – Irritant
Tampons and pads are bleached to make them look super white and ‘sanitary’ using Chlorine Dioxide, which leaves behind a dioxin. How much is left behind, we do not know. The FDA ‘claims’ the trace amounts are barely detectable. But the fact that they are detectable, a tampon or pad containing any amount of dioxin is alarming.
During 2015, a new study carried out by University of La Plata in Argentina ,discovered that most cotton balls, tampons (approx 85%) and sanitary products contain the herbicide, glyphosphate (aka roundup). An ingredient that the World Health Organization (WHO) ruled as ‘probably carcinogenic‘.”
Oh my god! I know!? It was something I literally never thought about and then I started feeling massively guilty about using disposable nappies but there’s nothing I can do about that now. Know better, do better!
So yesterday was the first day of my period which would also me the first day of using my new device!
I open the cliche pink satin bag and hold this little pale pink silicone cup in my hand. Like a little wine glass without a base. This little thing wasn’t actually so little at all! I couldn’t help but think it was massive. But hey, I’ve had 3 kids and I’m over 26. Did you know your vagina enlarges in your late 20’s?! Anyway, I took a SIMPLE QUIZ which told me I was a large 😬 so that’s what I ordered. So that’s the first step.
What the actual?
Diagram and instructions seem simple but it seems my vagina isn’t as well behaved as the one in the pictures. I’m folding, I’m inserting, I’m twisting and yet the bleeding (no pun intended) thing will not unfold.
Leaked all day after several attempts to get it right. I had to wear a pantyliner with it as that’s all I had. I had to change the liner frequently which defeats the purpose.
It’s the middle of the night, my eyes aren’t even fully open. I sit on the toilet, take out my cup which had failed to collect anything. I give it a rinse and set about reinserting the bugger. I fold, I twist, I pull and out then a feeling and a sound similar to that of a sock being sucked up the hoover hose. It was in. I had a slight cramping in my tummy for a few seconds but it was in HURRAH! It successfully done its job until morning.
One hit wonder!
Once! That’s how many times I got it to work today. Lucky I got it in place before we went for a picnic and long family walk. Heard the suction noise again, slight tummy cramp. It deffo work as I had minimal leakage but that cup was almost full. Day 2 is always my heavy day.
Could I get it working again though. No I bloody couldn’t! I cut my nails today. Really short. Getting sick of the unintentional nipping while trying to get this damn cup to sit right.
The thing just won’t twist and unfold when inserted. I’ve tried pinching the bottom. I’ve tried rimming it with my fingers. I can feel its folded.
Call the cleaner it’s like a crime scene in here!
I’m usually quite a savvy girl. I get things very quickly. I’m a quick learner and usually very efficient but THIS! I’m kind of getting fed up of the feel of my own vagina. I’m not massively keen on having to dig around there while the river runs red. The stuff gets everywhere. It’s messy and it’s not pleasant.
I sneezed earlier. I felt a pop and a warm oozing as I birthed my menstrual cup.
I give up.
I gather my thoughts while thinking what I could used since I don’t have any towels or tampons in. FLANNELS! makes sense.
I’m ordering reusable towels today. Sure I could buy some pads from the shop round the corner but it defeats the purpose.
This afternoon my son had a two hour dance rehearsal in another town. I don’t drive so we got dropped off earlier than needed then collect again later on. I couldn’t just use a flannel so had another go at the cup. I popped it in the best I could. I spent 3 hours wandering around the town and my god it was painful. There were no toilets plus I had two kids with me. The stem was running so much that it was causing me real pain. The cup had came down after a sneeze. At a desperate attempt for some relief I got a wet wipe out of my bag and stuffed it around the stem just inside. That was a real low point for me.
Given up trying!
Screw it. I’m in a mood with my mooncup. I can’t look at it. It’s stressing me out.
Today I wore a flannel in my underwear all day. Naturally my flow has slowed anyway making this possible. It was folded so thick though. I’m sure if anyone decided to check out my bum then they’d have seen it no doubt. I also looked as though I had a decent man package in my drawers.
I feel so defeated. I blame the cup!
I blame myself!
I’m starting to feel anger towards myself for giving up so I’m giving it another go. I wore the cup all day today but it was not comfortable at all! I could feel it all day, could feel the stem. It definitely wasn’t placed properly. I just don’t understand.
I attempt to reinsert after my empty and rinse but it’s not happening. I fail again and again and again and I just can’t get it to sit right. I can feel it there and it’s not comfortable. I take it out rinse and hide it behind the plant pot on my bathroom windowsill, place a new flannel in my pants and give up again.
Final chance Fiona!
Technically its 11pm on Day 5 but because of the next part I’m titling this as Day 6!
10 is the number of hours that I wore my cup last night/this morning (see; was Day 5 now Day 6)
I decided to give it another shot before I went to bed last night. I didn’t even think I’d put it in properly but apparently I had.
My little cup collected 15ml of blood with no spillage whatsoever and I think I know where I was going wrong. My cervix is tilted and in a strange position but the position seemed to change from Day 1 to now. So basically I have to get to know the position before inserting. When I fold the cup the fold should be facing outwards upon insertion. I pinched and wiggled the bottom of the cup before fully inserting at an angle pushing the cup towards the back of my vagina. I’m feeling optimistic!
Finally I’ve got it! My technique seems fail proof now. I’m almost looking forward to the next time 😂 yeah right.
I’m really pleased it’s worked although took me far longer than I’d hoped for. The reason I’ve chosen to do this is because I’m becoming more and more aware that our addiction to conveniences is causing us major health issues and people are just not willing to make that link. We’ve become so far detached from natural ways and choose potentially harmless options for an easy life. This is one step of many that I have made to take better care of my body and the environment. The menstrual cup should become the norm and if I’d had one from the beginning, when I started my period at 14, I’d be an expert by now. I will definitely be purchasing a smaller version with reusable pads for my daughter for when Mother Nature visits her for the first time. If it becomes a regular sight, if it’s more advertised, if it’s taught or spoken about then it should become the norm.