My menstrual cup experience has been exhilarating so far. My intent in sharing my experience with you is to encourage you to give this sanitary measure a try if you’ve ever been inclined to.
I have used pads for close to a decade before I decided to make the switch. After making a switch from sanitary pads, I realised how sanitary pads were never meant for me in the first place. Sure, they are the easiest sanitary measure to use. You just have to stick it on your panty and sit back to let the pad do its job.
Insertable sanitary measures on the other hand like tampons and cups seem daunting to someone who’s never tried it.
I had initially made the switch to tampons from pads. My vagina welcomed the breathing space that came with it. I find it the easiest insertable sanitary measure to use to date.
However, the toxic shock syndrome (TSS) I’d been forewarned of did not let me sleep with tampons on. Wearing tampons for longer than 8-10 hours might cause TSS. Therefore, I’d grudgingly change into pads at night.
One day I watched some of my favourite YouTubers try out menstrual cups. I was inspired by their experiences and decided to place an order for a menstrual cup.
Suggested Read: What Menstrual Cups Taught Me About Privilege
My Menstrual Cup Experience The First Time I Used It and Now
When I held the menstrual cup for the first time in my hands I remember feeling intimidated. I kept thinking about how I was going to insert it into my vagina. The YouTubers did not share any of their struggles during insertion.
Despite having gone through an instruction manual on the internet on menstrual cup folds, it took me 20 mins to finally insert it inside myself.
The first couple of times it kept slipping out with the pinch-down fold. I was apprehensive of hurting myself with any other folds like the C fold/U fold. My vaginal muscles were taut and my nervousness did no good to ease the process of insertion.
After 20 minutes of struggling, I finally managed to insert my cup. Since it was my very first time, I was also foreign to the process of twisting and sealing the cup inside myself. It leaked after a few hours. I re-inserted it, inserting it a little better the next time.
It has been three years since I’ve been using a menstrual cup for my periods. I have gladly said goodbye to rashes that I ended up with as a result of wearing pads. I also do not deal with the ugly odour on pads anymore. Menstrual cups have no odour.
I still find inserting intimidating even after 3 years of using it. However, I learned that the trick is to relax the vaginal muscles. My menstrual cup still leaks sometimes on the first two days of my periods.
I do not leak heavily, just a few drops. I wear a panty liner to counter it. On the days I’m skeptical about using my cup, I use tampons. I never leak when I wear tampons.
Working out has been so much easier after making the switch to menstrual cups. It also allows me to swim without any worry. I do not need to worry about changing it at night because cups hold longer than tampons. Menstrual cups are made of medical-grade silicone so no adverse effects of long wear have been reported so far. The ideal wear time of a cup is 12 hours after which it’s advised to re-insert it.
I never have to worry about disposal anymore when I’m outside. Public washrooms in India hardly come with bins. Using a menstrual cup is also a sustainable option, now I also do not have to purchase sanitary pads every month, my last menstrual cup lasted me for a few years.
The views expressed are the author’s own.