For someone who has been having periods for over half of her life, I cannot believe how long it took for me to ditch the tampons. I wore pads for the first year or so, but that feeling of dripping into a cushiony layer of sticky nappy was not one I would get used to. And so tampons entered my life and my vagina – the only other option fourteen years ago.
Some years back I became aware of the ‘Mooncup’ and I remember feeling a mixture of scornful and repulsed. A cup?! Up my fanny?!! Full of my blood?!?! Oh hell no! Dealing with sodden tampons seemed bad enough, never mind fishing out shots of clotted blood from the depths of my vagina.
Over the years I became a little more educated about the moon cup, but there was one thing that really put me off – have to change it in public bathrooms. Tampons aren’t exactly fun, but at least they don’t need to be washed and shoved back up. The idea of trying to sort out a menstrual cup seemed almost laughable! I have very long and heavy periods, and so I would no doubt need to empty it several times a day – how would that even work?
And then one day, I was chatting with a friend who told me that she loved her cup. I asked her about the frequent changes, and she said you could go way longer than tampons allow, and things weren’t as murder sceney as you might expect upon removal. I guess tampons and pads make it look like there is SO MUCH BLOOD, but I am now on the third month of blood cupping, and I must say that I am pleasantly surprised and oddly fascinated at the amount of uterus lining that comes trickling out of me.
Now, every vag is different and every person has different levels of comfort and squeamishness. And so me telling you the complete ins and outs of me and my cup will likely only help about ten people who have the same false nails, flexibility, heaviness of flow, and sink proximity as me. And so I will just give you a general run down about how me and my blood cup work together.
I have not pushed a baby out of my fanny, and so I bought the appropriate cup and it seems to fit just fine. Getting it up there just requires it to be folded and shoved, and you can feel it unfolding when you get it up far enough. My false nails are yet to be an issue – they are a lot blunter than most people might expect! And when it comes to retrieving the cup, I haven’t accidentally gouged anything out. I do find that it does sort of suction on, and it it much easier to gently squeeze the bottom of the cup and break the seal and pull rather than pull the pathetic little tail.
I have left the cup up for longer than I have left tampons, and my cup doth not overflow so far. I have experienced ever so slight leakage in the night, and so pads may have to be worn to bed. I have found that it’s easy enough to empty and just wipe with bog roll when out, and when I am home I wash it out with hot water – and actually, having it wet for re entry makes things a whole lot easier. I have heard people say that you should wash it really carefully so as to avoid getting some sort of nasty infection, but so far so good! I think I am quite lucky vag-wise as I have never had thrush or BV, so maybe I have a very resilient minge!
At the end of each period I leave it soaking in hot water for a few minutes, before drying it and storing it away – and when I go to use it again I wash it once more.
Now in terms of the blood… well, it doesn’t bother me. Us uterus owners bleed. It’s mine, it’s a monthly expectation, and it’s oddly satisfying to empty it all away. I know that some people are really not that much of a fan of their clotty monthly mess, and so maybe this isn’t for you. But it’s saving money and the environment, it’s less uncomfortable than shoving a dry, bleached wad of cotton up there and you won’t be caught short.
So why not give it a try? Shop for a Mooncup here – just in time for Halloween!
I would love to know your period cup experiences!