By Jasmine from livinglifeyellow.com
This year I swapped from using tampons/pads to using a menstrual cup. The Hello Cup, to be even more specific. I’ve been thinking about making this switch for a while now for a few reasons;
1) Menstrual cups are more environmentally friendly – less waste being chucked in the landfills/oceans.
2) I spend a tonne of money on pads and tampons each month and as a broke student, that doesn’t fly well with me.
3) Menstrual cups are friendlier to your vag. No nasty toxins or parabens to be soaked up.
All of these have been really good and valid reasons to make the switch, but I’m not going to lie, I was pretty apprehensive. Cups can be pretty intimidating and my period is a bitch as is, so let’s just say I wasn’t going in with high hopes.
Looking at the cup in real life for the first time, my initial thought was “How the f*ck am I going to fit that inside me.” For those of you new here, endo makes inserting things into my vag pretty uncomfortable at times. Luckily The Hello Cup team has lots of information about how to insert your cup comfortably with the “punch down” method. This method is genius. It makes inserting the cup basically the same as inserting a tampon and it was so much easier than I expected it to be.
Once it’s in, you can’t really feel it which is great. However, I found it was kinda hard to gauge how quickly it would fill up when I first started using it.
I’m going to be honest with you. Emptying your cup is a little daunting and kinda fiddly to begin with. I found it took me a while to master getting my cup back out of me, and emptying it without out spilling blood. It’s also a little confronting if you’re not great with blood so be prepared for that.
I have some super heavy flow (thanks endo) so the cup was filling up pretty fast. I was emptying my full cup every hour or so, which seems like a lot, but once I had a think about it, I probably would be going through a tampon each hour anyway. On the lighter days of my period I could leave my cup in for like 8 hours (no more than 12 though ladies) so it was great being able to leave it in overnight! Emptying your cup is super easy, just tip the blood into the toilet, give it a good rinse in the sink (cold water to prevent staining) or if you’re not near a sink, it’s totally ok to give it a good wipe out with some toilet paper.
At the end of your period, once you’re done using your cup to sterilise it you just boil it for 3 minutes. This is something that could be a potentially awkward kitchen encounter with your flatties but just own it. If they ask what you’re boiling, tell them it’s your menstrual cup and tell them how amazing it is. Just make sure you’re not using a communal pot….
One of the initial things that put me off cups was the price. The Hello Cup sells their cups for $49 each or 2 for $69. This seems pretty pricey for a period product, but they last you up to 5 years. So if they work for you, it’s a pretty good investment. I also calculated that I was spending around $25 a month on pads/tampons alone every period, so in the long run the cup has been saving me a lot of money.
The cups also come in many sizes (and colours,) which seems kinda weird that your vag has a “size” but it’s actually really useful. I jumped on the 2 for $69 deal and got two cups in 2 different sizes; 1 in small/medium, and 1 large. I use the small/medium the most but use the large for those days when my flow is super heavy. The Hello Cup is also pretty cool because they make a “teen” cup which is an extra small size and not as scary looking.
I’m really loving using my cup but it wasn’t an easy start. It’s one of those things that you have to get used to, especially if you have been an avid tampon user for many years. It will be tempting to switch back, but once you have it sussed, I bet you won’t turn back.
If you have any menstrual cup related questions, feel free to flick them my way!