My period has always been an issue — much like it has been for most people who menstruate! For the majority of my life I’ve begrudgingly gone the pads, tampons and panty liners route. With this has also come irritations, yeast infections, and overall extreme discomfort.
I am extremely thankful I am to live in a country where these options are available whenever I need them. I know it’s not this easy in lots of places in the world, so I will be categorizing this as a “first world problem”.
I had heard about the menstrual cup a couple years ago. Initially I thought it was for hippies and would be a trend that’d die out soon — LOL. We have to laugh at how small-minded we were at some point, right?
About a month and a half ago I started getting Instagram ads about menstrual cups (shout out to the FBI for planting that seed; no pun intended). So I thought, “what the hell, let’s do some research.” I put up an Instagram poll on who out of my followers loved/hated the cups if they’d tried them and why. The answers were all over the board, but a common theme was that they loved it once they got used to it.
What is a menstrual cup?
It’s a small, rubber/silicone funnel-like cup you insert into your vagina to catch your period fluids. They hold a surprisingly large amount of liquid because a lot of the time you don’t bleed as much as you think you do. They’re a more eco-friendly alternative to pads and tampons; you can go for up to 12 hours before you need to remove it!
I hate to say it but the ad did its job! I found out which cup I’d like to try first, the size that worked for me, and didn’t look back. I recorded my experience this past week — check it out below!
As mentioned, I went with The DivaCup, but feel free to try whatever works for you! With the DivaCup there are three different types:
- Model 0: For ages 19 and under.
- Model 1: For ages 19-30 and haven’t given birth vaginally.
- Model 2: For those who are either over age 30, have a heavier flow, or are at any age and have given birth vaginally.
On their website, DivaCup shared that the average person creates 300 POUNDS of waste in a lifetime from using disposable period products. Not to mention the massive amount of money you’ll save. One DivaCup is around $40 that you can use for an entire year before having to re-buy. I know for a fact I spend that at least every two months when using pads or tampons.
Thankfully, you have plenty more options to choose from in the menstrual cup world! And since I am so passionate about period health, I took it upon myself to share those with you (you’re welcome, bb):
The FLEX Cup, $32: This cup is different in that it has a pull tab which some find easier for removal. It comes in both the Slim Fit and the Full Fit. The Bonus Pack available also comes with two menstrual discs if that is more comfortable for you.
The Lumma Cup, $42: This is a flexible disc with three sizes available designed to fit into the round walls of the vagina. There is a longer string attached making it easy to remove as well.
Menstrual Cup vs. Menstrual Disc: What’s the difference?
According to putacupinit.com, menstrual cups sit at the vaginal canal below the cervix. They can be folded into a number of shapes, and have a structured form to help collect the period flow. They are said to be a little more comfortable to insert. Cups create suction when inserted and removed (in order to prevent leakage), meaning you have to *pinch* the cup inside before removing to break the seal. SOMETHING I DIDN’T FIND OUT UNTIL JUST NOW: even though they normally aren’t, menstrual cups are able to be worn during sex.
Menstrual discs sit lengthwise into the vaginal fornix behind the cervix and are tucked behind the pubic bone. They are inserted by squeezing the sides together (like a taco). Even though they can’t be folded into a multitude of shapes, they have a more flexible body to collect period flow. Discs don’t create a suction, but like the cup, they still do require dislodging with your finger and kegel muscles for removal. They’re also a little more prone to make a mess upon removal. However, the best part: they’re more recommended for wear if you’re wanting to get your freak on — just be sure to empty it before and after!
Long story short: I loved the period cup and will continue to use it until menopause lolz. I just have to get the light flow situation figured out! Cups being eco-friendly, causing less irritation, ability to sleep in them, provide up to 12-hour protection, and (discs) allowing you to have mess-free period sex?! Sign me up, luv.