If talking about periods makes you uncomfortable… well, it shouldn’t. It is a completely natural and healthy thing. You should never, EVER feel ashamed or embarrassed about your cycle. Our bodies go through a lot of stress every month with cramps, mood swings, bloating and our hormones throwing a party that we were never invited to. You should feel empowered to be a woman.
Just so we are crystal clear, my cup was washed and sterilized before taking photos. 😛
Like most products that I mention on The Butterfly Empire, I wanted to REALLY test it. I am happy to say that I have been using my Blossom Menstrual Cup ($12) for over a year! I did a TON of research on different brands before I purchased my first cup. Blossom worked well with my lifestyle, but there are a million and one brands out there. You will have to do your own digging, and find what works best for your body. You will most likely have to choose a cup size too. If you have given birth or are over forty, they recommend the larger size. If you have never given birth or are under forty, they recommend the smaller size. Since I am child free and under forty, I went with the small.
I’m not going sugar coat anything for you, but please don’t let my bluntness scare you either. It is a little nerve racking the first several times you try to insert it, and you will get to know your body better than you ever have. However, IT DOES NOT HURT. Pulling it out can be a little uncomfortable until you figure out a rhythm that works best for you. But at no point will it hurt.
You WILL see a decent amount of blood when you take it out so if blood makes you nauseous, just be aware. You could always take it out, dump it in the toilet and quickly flush without looking. There are several women who don’t like seeing that much blood, but they still use a cup. I’m a weirdo, and it doesn’t bother me at all. I know it’s a natural thing, and it’s the same exact blood you’d find on a pad or tampon.
Let’s talk about the pros…
You will save a lot of money. I haven’t bought tampons in over a year. It’s so crazy to think about. I used to blow through them, especially on my heavier flow days. Depending on the brand you buy, and how many tampons/pads you use, the cup could save you upwards of $50 a year (that’s being extremely modest). Plus, menstrual cups allegedly last 10 years. So in 10 years, you will have saved roughly $500. Again, that is just a ballpark average, but you still get the idea.
They are safer for your body. This is still a very controversial subject so I encourage everyone to do their reading, and conjure their own opinions. Even if they are FDA approved, tampons contain chemicals, and materials that could potentially be aggravating to your feminine health. Tampons soak up blood along with other important bacteria, and even though I have never experienced it, Toxic Shock Syndrome is a very real threat. The cup removes that threat, and offers a safer alternative.
It is better for the environment. Think about how many tampons and pads you use in just one cycle. Now imagine a lifetime of that sitting in a landfill. It adds up doesn’t it? Even if you’re like me and still wear a panty liner from time to time, by getting rid of tampons, you are making a difference. Yes, you are only one person, but every little thing helps.
You can go all day without changing it. I decided to test this claim at Disneyland for ten hours, and IT’S TRUE. As long as you have it placed right, it will not leak, and will last ALL day. Even on a heavy flow day. I still wore a panty liner because I wanted to be safe, but I didn’t need it. It lasts all night too so you can sleep peacefully knowing that you won’t bleed onto your sheets.
There is no string. You no longer have to worry about getting junk on your tampon string when you go to the bathroom, and then having it stink or cause infections. Hallelujah!
Let’s talk cons…
There is a learning curve. Like I said previously, it can be frustrating at the very beginning. The cup will force you to get familiar with your body, and the only way you will learn is with practice. I was struggling with leakage, and realized that I was placing it WAY too high. Apparently, I have a lower cervix, and in order to stop the leaking, the cup needs to be pulled much further down. I still get annoyed with the placement from time to time. It has to be lower, but not so low that I feel it.
If you have acrylic nails, good luck. I usually style my nails short, but when it’s that time of month, I make sure my nails are extra short. There have been a couple times when my nails were longer, and I pinched myself. It was traumatizing to say the least. Plus, it makes it harder to get down and dirty to remove the cup. If you have acrylics, and can still manage a menstrual cup, let me know. You are a special kind of breed!
It can make using the bathroom more tedious. If you use tampons, you are more than likely already familiar with the struggle. Tampons can press up against certain areas, and create a pressure that makes it more difficult to relieve yourself (TMI, I’m sorry). The same thing happens with the cup. Some women can go #2 without removing it, but I’m not one of those women. It really doesn’t bother me because I had the same issue with tampons, and insert/removal has become second nature to me.
When you insert it, you have several folding options. I will only be showing you the two most popular.
I personally prefer the triangle fold. It’s easier to maneuver.
You can insert by squatting, sitting on the toilet, lifting your leg onto a ledge… whatever you feel like. When I was first figuring out insertion, the shower was my best friend. I didn’t have to worry about making a mess, and I had more wiggle room.
After you empty your cup, rinsing it out is more than enough. However, you will still need to wash it with a gentle soap later. I wash mine while I am in the shower, and I use my favorite unscented SweetSpot Feminine Wash. At the end of my cycle, I boil the cup for about five minutes to sterilize it. Make sure to fill the pan with enough water so the cup doesn’t burn on the bottom!
Let it air dry, and pack it away for next month! Super easy.
This was probably way more information than you were hoping for, but my menstrual cup has actually changed my life. I couldn’t keep it a secret any longer! Plus, I think it is so important to talk about feminine care, and share our successes. I remember years ago sitting in a bathroom stall terrified that someone would hear the crinkle of me opening a new pad. Now I am sharing my menstrual cup experience on the internet for all to read!
If you are considering switching to a cup, I highly recommend watching several Youtube videos about them. Hearing other women’s tips and tricks really helped me. Also, DO NOT donate or throw away your tampons immediately after you buy a cup. Wait until you are confident enough. I can guarantee that you will get frustrated once or twice, and want to use a tampon for convenience.
Have you ever tried a menstrual cup, and what’s your opinion on them?
All my love,