WOMEN: About menstrual cups

Updated: Mar 31



This post got banned from Facebook for inappropriate information.. I LITERALLY CANNOT BELIEVE THAT!


If you don't want to hear about periods and our sacred moon time boys then get out of here!!


Now ladies, some of your may already use a menstrual / diva cup and others may be interested, but not sure of the pros / cons. This post will hopefully lay it all out!



Benefits of a menstrual cup

  • Saves money: The initial investment is more than the usual monthly pick-up. However, the savings are there in the end since the cup is reusable, plus I always find it nice that there is no hassle to pick up supplies every month, except maybe liners if you want to have some extra coverage (did you know they have reusable liners now too?). Worth noting too, clinic's give out free diva cups- so that's an even bigger saving!


  • Saves environment: The packaging of the cup is the only waste. The use of other sanitary methods use plastic and paper on every use! If we counted up all the waste per year, that would be at least a garbage bag full, and multiple that by how many women we have on this earth and that's a lot of waste!


  • Less overall: Instead of counting trips to the bathroom, we can leave the house with the confidence of the cup already in us, or in our pocket. Ideal for travellers, and people who travel light or want less to worry about.


  • Stay in-tune: Allows us to really see what is going on. For people who are shy at the sight of blood this may be an eye-opening experience. We can really determine how much blood-loss is occurring, the consistency, colour, and thickness. This can help us monitor our health, such as what types of food cause what, how stress impacts our cycle and why certain days we may feel weakest or strongest.


  • Comfort & size: The cup is extremely comfortable. The silicon bends with the body, comes in multiple sizes, allows for full range of movement and compared to another sanitary options, the cup can hold more blood.


Disadvantages to the menstrual cup:

  • More detail below, but the double trip to the sink can be cumbersome if you are in a rush or are in a public bathroom. I have never found this to be a big enough disadvantage to not use my cup however.


  • If you forget your cup and then have no supplies! Obviously this is an easy fix, either still carry emergency tampons / pads in your bags or make a trip to a store.


  • It gets stuck? This happened to my friend and I am still unsure of how she let this happen... but you just have to relax, lubricate the area with coconut oil or another oil, and pull it out. lol. I personally have never experienced this issue. Perhaps in her case she had the wrong size for her vagina....


TIPS: to keeping it sanitary

Just like all feminine hygiene products, proper procedure is important. We have to honour our body and keep things clean.


When it comes to menstrual cups- it is best to make a trip to the sink before the toilet to freshen up our hands.


At home it is pretty easy to dump the cup, and then rinse in the sink (most likely beside the toilet).


In a public rest room things can be a little different. Here are two options:

  • Head to the sink, wash hands. Head to the stall and remove the cup, dump it, clean up a bit with toilet paper, pull up pants and head to the sink to rinse the cup, then back to the stall to insert. In a small or single person bathroom, this is simple. In a large public bathroom this can be a little nerve-wracking if we make it so. Ladies, are ladies, and the reaction is far from being grossed out- most are intrigued about what is going on, what the cup is and where to get one (most people don't even notice). In my five+ years of using a menstrual cup I have never once had a person say "ew that is gross", or even bat an eye about what I was doing at the sink. Whatever we do in life ladies, do it with confidence and poise- no one will doubt you.


  • Second option and probably what I do most of the time, just because I try to carry a small thing of water with me when I am bleeding for this specific situation. Head to the sink, wash hands. Head to the stall and remove the cup, dump it, and then rinse with water from a water bottle. Use a little bit of toilet paper (dampened) to clean everything up, and re-insert. Head to the sink and wash hands.


Both of these processes become second-nature and non-invasive, troublesome or tedious. Just like anything, practice makes perfect!


Insertion fear

Looking at the cup, we might think: how does it even work? get up there? feel? and how do we get it out?


Each box comes with an instruction manual, and a diagram of how to angle during insertion- plus tips on the removal process. Also check out the diva cup website they do an awesome job!


To simply talk about it right now, the cup size is chosen based-off of heaviness of flow and physical size of our special space. We take the cup, bend it in half, and insert. Once inside, and with a finger, we can feel if it has fully opened, and whether it needs to be straightened to prevent a leak.


For first-timers or nervous gals, coat the cup in coconut oil, shea butter or cocoa butter to help lubricate the area. The lubrication from our bleed also helps with smooth insertion.

Removal

The stem is used to pull the cup out. After the first use, feel if the stem needs to be clipped shorter, because you don't want it hanging too low / causing irritation.


To remove: pull the stem to bring the cup lower to fresh air. At this point we can grasp the bottom of the cup and pull it out. Depending on the place in our cycle, and heaviness of flow, do this with care to avoid any mess.


Look at the cup, think about the rate at which it got to that particular level, dump it and rinse in the sink. Then re-insert. This will help you decide how long until your next empty. As well, you can feel when the cup has become enlarged and full.


Storage

Water is usually enough to rinse the cup. When we are eating a healthy wholesome diet the quality of our blood will be red red / bright / dark red / pour smooth.


If we stray from a balanced diet around our period, that will be reflective in the quality, smell and consistency of our blood- perhaps it will coagulate, clot, oxidize (dark, almost black red). If this is so, make sure you are hydrated, have enough fibre in your diet, green foods and hit balanced macronutrients for your particular lifestyle.


We can clean the cup and our area with castile soap (or an oil based-natural soap).


Another option is a simple saline solution mixed with a splash of apple cider vinegar as an effective toner to return enzymes and bacteria to the sensitive area. For a bonus make your saline solution with rose petals and drive all the boys wild :)


Before storing the cup for next month's use, clean with a natural soap and toothbrush or cotton cloth.


So what do you think?


-Samantha