I am a pad wearer. Not a tampon user.
A PAD WEARER.
I’d tried tampons in the past but it freaked me out too much, so I just stuck with good ol’ pads.
However, pads come with their own issues – anytime you laugh, sneeze, or move a cm in your chair, blood feels like it’s pouring out into your underwear.
It’s freaking disgusting, and something I personally didn’t like; but I just put up with.
Then my friend Lisa (from Hanging With The Hays) was RAVING about her own menstrual cup. She said “it’s so much better than pads and tampons – once you use it you’ll never go back”.
So I bought one – from The Hello Cup. I got two sizes – a medium and a large. They recommend a large for women who have had babies, but I honestly wasn’t sure. So I got both.
I’ve given birth through the vajayjay AND through the sunroof; so I ended up trying the both sizes and have stuck with the large for now.
Here are some things I didn’t realise when I bought a menstrual cup:
1. IT LOOKS BIG, WAY TOO BIG
I thought “how the f’k is that gonna fit up my vagina?!” … but it does. I honestly was super skeptical when I opened the box because looking at it opened, my mind seriously couldn’t fathom how it was gonna fit up there. I know that seems weird considering penis’s go in, and babies come out (LOL); but when you look at that gaping hole, you’ll think “REALLY!?”.
2. PUTTING IT IN WAS EASIER THAN I THOUGHT
When I realised my uterus tilted backwards (towards my butt), it was way easier for me to insert the cup. I have heard horror stories about how hard it was to insert, but I personally didn’t have any issues. Which was surprising to me considering I’m not even a tampon person haha
3. YOU HAVE TO BREAK THE SEAL
You can’t just pull the menstrual cup out. Well you can, but it might hurt. If you’ve inserted it properly, then the cup will be open, and pulling down on it is like when you stick a plunger in your toilet – you’ll suck the inside of your uterus out … well it’s not QUITE like that but it does feel like that.
So before you yank that bad boy out, you gotta “break the seal”. This involves putting your fingers up alongside the cup and pushing on it to let some air in/out (however you look at it).
This was not easy for me, in fact I still struggle with it. Putting my fingers inside my vagina alongside something else that’s already in there, is a bit too much for me. I can do it, but not easily. Some people say “squeeze the bottom and it’ll break the seal” but that doesn’t work for me.
I’m sure with time this will get easier, but I do struggle a bit.
4. THERE IS SO MUCH BLOOD
After you leave the cup in for a generous amount of time, it fills up. So when you eventually take it out, there’s a lot of blood in it (well blood mixed with all of the other gooey stuff). I was genuinely surprised each time how much was in the cup.
5. SOMETIMES THE BLOOD GOES EVERYWHERE
The first time I successfully broke the seal on the cup, the cup came out so easily it kind of threw the blood all over the toilet bowl and it looked like a murder scene from Dexter. The blood can sometimes go everywhere – in the bowl, ON the bowl, ON YOUR HANDS.
6. YOU CAN WEAR THE CUP AT NIGHT
Before menstrual cups, waking up in the morning was like opening the flood gates. It wasn’t pretty. With the menstrual cup, you can actually wear it to bed, so when you wake up in the morning it catches all of the bloody goodness (LOL grosse I know).
7. YOUR PERIOD WILL HURT LESS
My friend did say her periods hurt less with the menstrual cup, but I’m a huge skeptic so I didn’t believe her. SHE IS TELLING THE TRUTH. My period pain is practically non-existent when using the menstrual cup. I don’t have extremely painful periods by any means, but they weren’t pleasant.
Now with the menstrual cup, the pain is pretty much gone.
8. YOU WILL KNOW YOUR VAGINA A WHOLE LOT BETTER
I feel like I know myself a little better. It’s only been a few months so I’ve got a lot more to learn. But I’ve shoved my fingers up my bloody vagina a whole lot more than I ever thought I’d do.
9. IT MIGHT TAKE A WHILE TO GET USED TO
Although I had no issue inserting the menstrual cup, I know loads of people do. All good things take time and in this instance, it is no different. Give yourself a break and remember that it might take longer than you thing to get the hang of it. Like I said above, I’ve only been using it for a few months and I’ve still got things to learn – but I’m not giving up!
10. YOU CAN’T LOSE IT IN YOURSELF
Total myth. If you know how the vagina works, you’ll know it has literally got nowhere to go. You can push it up “as far as it goes” and it still won’t “get lost”. That’s not a thing.
If you feel like “holy shit I can’t find it”, just squat and bear down (push as if you’re pooping) and that thing will show itself. Trust me.
11. YOU MAY JUST NEVER GO BACK
Every now and then I take the cup out, and go back to pads and it’s just not the same. I hate moving and blood flows out – I hate that feeling. Now that I’ve experienced what it’s like with the menstrual cup, I’ll never go back to just pads.
I know not everyone’s experience is the same, and I’ve seen some people say that it just wasn’t for them – and that’s honestly the truth.
Nothing is perfect for everyone, and if you’re interested then you really need to give it a go. It might not work the first month, so try again the next. Don’t give up.
I can honestly say, that I am sold on the menstrual cup.
Have you tried a menstrual cup? What did you think?
Do you want to try one????
Edited to add: the folks at The Hello Cup reached out and gave me a discount code if anyone wants to use it. Use the code happymum15 and you’ll get a wee discount on your order.