Taboo for some but normal for others, Menstrual cups seems like the product version of marmite, you either love them, hate them or have never tried it. With the ever growing community of people learning more about being green and looking to be more environmentally friendly it seems they are rising in popularity and why wouldn’t they?
This is not news but Most women hate getting there periods (unless they fear they are pregnant and not wanting a child or they are just strange?) I hate having to deal with it on a monthly cycle, it’s so tiring, not being able to have sex, wear nice underwear, or anything that blood can’t seep through plus it’s just not needed, but alas I guess I’m stuck with it until I get old enough to just go into menopause woooo! (Sarcasm)
When I first found out about menstrual cups I was confused, a cup that ultimately you stuff up inside of yourself and it will just stay there and collect blood? I mean there are a hell of a lot of things as a woman you are expected to stuff up inside there (Tampons, Dildos, speculums etc), so why should this be any different? It took me years to master the art of tampons and I can easily say I hated them! Not only did they seem rough and abrasive but I was also incredibly scared of toxic shock syndrome and I tend to oversleep (So the allotted 3-5 hours seemed a bit short to me)
I found these facts about cups:
- They are Hygienic
- Reusable (so you don’t have to spend a ridiculous amount of money ‘approx £18.000 – £20.000 a lifetime’ on the gift you never asked for) Plus what with the fact that menstrual products are a ‘Luxury Item’ according to the government, the prices are only going to rise.
- Made from Silicon so it leaves nothing nasty behind
- Irritant Free
- No risk of Toxic shock syndrome (You can leave it in for up to 12 hours)
- No latex
- No toxins
- No Bleach
- It collects the blood rather than absorbing it
- They don’t need changing as often as any other product (wahhoooooo!!! Seriously this is the most freeing part)
- The menstrual cup doesn’t screw up your natural PH or moisture level so you wont feel dry or irritated the way that you do with a tampon.
- Good for the environment (on average 1 woman will use 11,000 disposable menstrual products!)
- One menstrual cup (if cared for appropriately can last 10 years, others claim between 1-5) We bleed collectively for almost 7 years.
- Cups can hold more blood – 30ml which on average is 5 times more than a tampon.
- There is hardly any risk of leaking (unless not inserted properly)
- You can still become sexually lubricated without risk of it being dried up.
- One cup caters for your entire flow from start to finish.
I could keep going forever but I thought I would show you the things that really pushed me to make the change.
I was intrigued, I did my research, what types were best suited to me, my age, weather I have had children, how heavy a flow etc, all that beautiful stuff (sarcasm) and was shocked at how many different companies, variations and how little people talk about these things.
I asked friends, I asked my mother, literally if I could think of a female I wanted to know if she had known of, heard of or experienced cups. Why is it that women won’t talk about these things? It’s like as soon as you mention the word vagina people shy away and act like you are speaking in tongues or are just a strange pervert. If vagina has that response then you can imagine what kind of reaction periods get (squirmy face) or inserting an object into it. I mean women do masturbate don’t they? At some point you will have put at the very least your fingers there so what’s the big deal? Why act like the very idea is shocking?
I have never been one to shy away from female health, sexuality or problems, in fact I like to think that if someone wants to find out something they would ask me and get an honest answer, we are all human after all.
The reactions I got were mostly along the lines of “Yeah dirty hippies wear them” or “Why an earth would you do that to yourself?” or “Yeah I’ve heard of them, they don’t work, you just smell.”
I needed real people’s opinions! I needed recommendations and thus started my new obsessive search, I looked at Amazon reviews, I looked at independent blogs and read and read until I seemed to know all the facts.
I decided based on the sheer amount of information on the company that I would start with a Mooncup. It’s the first result on google and on Amazon it seemed to be the highest consumer product, plus it was the one I had heard of.
The Mooncup – The first Menstrual cup company, Vegan, Environmentally friendly and has been going for 15 years as of 2017! There website is informative and they also have a rap battle between menstrual products! No seriously check it out.
I was trepidatious but I went for it, I ended up paying £18.00! Cheap! It came with it’s own little holding bag.
I am going to be honest, it was a bit of a learning curve, how to put it in, the stem length trimming (I ended up trimming it almost down to nothing), how to pull it out without ultimately covering yourself in blood (It isn’t as daunting as it sounds) . However once I snipped at that stem (which was so uncomfortable, until I got it at the right length) and learnt the best positions to put it in/take it out, I was sorted.
The first month was a learning process, there were leaks, I was unsure, there were lots of google searches but all in all I was surprised! It didn’t hurt when it was in, in fact I could even forget that I was on my period (well apart from the cramps, the bad skin, the bloating, the horrendous back pain, the craving for chocolate etc) I finally felt free!
I kept going with Mooncup for almost a year but did continue to look around, the cup was becoming discolored rather quickly and it didn’t look as visually appealing as it once did.
Plus it was very rigid so at times it felt (I wouldn’t go as far as to say it was uncomfortable but rather there felt like there was a constant pressure). Plus the holes kept getting clogged so the cup wouldn’t create a vacuum and so it leaks.
So I went looking around again.
After many youtube searches*, blogs posts etc I ended up finding out about Lunette.
https://uk.lunette.com is an informative website and not only does it tell you about the products it also tells you about body positivity, vagina health and so much more. Well worth a look if you want to get some informative and fun facts about your sexual health. However when I went to pay, the shipping was a bit out of my price range so I took to the internet for a UK stockist.
In looking online for the Lunette I ended up finding Feminine Wear a UK based business that sells all sorts of environmentally friendly things, menstrual products, deodorant, conditioner and the like. I found the Lunette cup in multiple colors! Plus they are so friendly and nice! Seriously I couldn’t recommend a website more! I even got a pack of love heart candy with my purchase!
So I splashed out a little bit and bought the Blue Lunette for £22.05.
After one month I was converted, This is the best menstrual product I have ever used!
The material is slightly more flexible than the mooncup which means it is easier to insert, but not only that it is so, so, so comfortable! I can put it in and forget about it (till i need to change it). Plus it comes in blue what’s not to like!
I have been using it for about 3 years now, it still doesn’t need changing, it holds just the right amount, it is slightly tinted in color but only as much as you would expect from 3 years use.
I am so glad I found menstrual cups it may sound sappy and stupid but they really have changed my life. I saved money, I kept the world a little cleaner, my body a little less polluted and I learnt more about my cycle and my body in the process. I also loved the fact that although I try and keep record of my cycle on Clue an app that you can keep track of where you are in your cycle, when you are due and what symptoms you are likely to feel, I am not always on time, so you can leave the cup in, in anticipation of your upcoming flow.
Sure you will always get people who think the blood is a bit of a put off, but you see it anyway when you use Pads and Tampons they’ll be covered in blood and almost always the string gets covered in pee too. So really what is the difference emptying a cup of blood? We are made up of it after all. Just imagine you are in one of those vampire romance films.
There are differences in brands and just because I found the one that fits me perfectly doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be perfect for you. You should do your research before you buy and don’t be afraid to ask questions (you can even ask me on here – Leave a comment below) Don’t give up on first try it will take a bit of getting use to.
I hope this helped you. Have you got any favorite cups? Are you thinking about taking the plunge? Or going with the flow?
(Sorry couldn’t resist the bad puns)
*One of the best videos and most honest is Stevie Boebi – It gives you all the information in a fun informative way (she also does some really good health, body positivity and lesbian videos so go and check it out!)
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