Today’s post is a little on the TMI side, but I think it’s something that should be talked about more. Ladies, I know you all know how hard it can be to be on your period. Not only do we experience cramps, mood swings, bloating, and other different physical and emotional symptoms, we also have the added hassle of bleeding everywhere. Luckily, we have a lot of different options on how to take care of this bleeding, from pads to tampons and even to period panties. For this post, I’ll be talking about one option we have whenever it’s that time of the month: the menstrual cup.
So, what is a menstrual cup? Essentially, it is a medical grade silicone cup that you insert into your vagina when you have your period. The bottom has a short stem to help you pull it out whenever you need to change and clean it. The cup collects the blood and stops it from leaking out. I know, it sounds extremely intimidating, and it’s hard to imagine a cup in there.
I got mine from Sinaya Cup, and I’ve been using it for over a year. This was the only cup I found that was readily available in the Philippines. I love supporting local brands, so I was happy to purchase it. Plus, it came with a cute little abaca pouch! I have to say, it completely changed the way I experience my period. The menstrual cup can be left in the vagina for 12 hours at most, so I don’t have to change as often as I would if I were using a pad or tampon. It also doesn’t hurt to have it on. If it’s inserted correctly, you shouldn’t be able to feel anything at all, except maybe for the stem since that part is supposed to stick out. It’s also cost-effective and environment-friendly. Yes, I paid around Php1200 for it, but it can last for 2-5 years. Compare that to the number of pads and tampons you need to buy every month, only for them to end up in a dump. Like a tampon, you can use it while you swim, practice yoga, or do any other kind of exercise, and unlike a tampon, it won’t cause Toxic Shock Syndrome.
To clean it, you can place the cup in boiling water before and after every period. I like to remove and insert the cup when I shower since I shower twice a day. After I remove it, I wash it with Betadine Feminine Wash. You’re not supposed to wash the menstrual cup with soaps that contain glycerin and oil or else it will weaken the silicone.
The menstrual cup can be tricky to insert, especially if it’s the first day of your period. To make it a little bit easier for me to insert it, I soak the cup in hot water while I shower. This causes the silicone to become softer, making it easier to fold and insert. I fold it in such a way that the mouth ends up looking like a letter U, and I squat while I insert it inside. There’s a lot of trial and error when it comes to inserting the cup correctly. It’s supposed to unfold inside the vagina, but sometimes (and especially on the first day), the vagina isn’t used to the shape of the cup, so it may not feel like it’s inserted properly when it actually is. I suggest that you wear a panty liner on the first day, especially if it’s your first time using it. Once you get used to it, you’ll know exactly how it’s supposed to feel when it’s inserted correctly. It just takes time and practice.
And that’s it for this post! More than anything, I hope this post made you curious about menstrual cups; curious enough to try them out for yourselves. Not only are they super convenient, especially if you’re a sporty, active girl, they’re also so good for the environment. It’s important to be mindful about the effects of things as mundane as feminine hygiene products on the environment, and I think switching to a menstrual cup would be a great way to be more eco-friendly.
This post is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to menstrual cups. Sinaya Cup has an FAQ page that covers anything and everything you might be curious about.