I Used a Menstrual Cup For the First Time... This Is What Happened
I'm never going back to pads and tampons.
Periods are a weird topic. Some people get too into it and some people get too grossed out by it. Honestly, it's a normal part of the female reproductive system, so get over it. If you get skeeved out by blood and feminine product talk, then this article is not for you.
Moving on. I have been an adamant pad-user for years, mainly because they were the most comfortable option. I only used tampons when I went swimming, mostly. Otherwise, I would avoid them at all costs, because they were SO uncomfortable. However, I had been searching for so long for a decent option, not just for swimming times, but for all times. Because, truthfully, pads were beginning to feel like a diaper with my heavy period.
I discovered the menstrual cup. I heard about it a while ago, but first heard actual details about it in a period tracking app I have called 'Flo.' They have a secret chat forum where you can post anonymously about issues regarding your period. It was in those forums when I discovered that menstrual cups were the 'in' thing. Everyone was endorsing them and I became curious.
At first, I was extremely apprehensive about ordering one. I had heard horror stories about women not being able to pull it out all the way and struggling with it for, like, an hour before actually being able to pull it out! So, I started doing more research into it, and eventually found out about the Flex Cup.
The great thing about the Flex Cup is they have a unique pull tab, so when you're ready to empty the cup, you can literally just pull the tab and it'll slide out like a tampon, only a lot more comfortably. The menstrual cup also holds up to 2-3 super tampons of blood, depending on which size you use. This means you can leave the cup in for up to 12 years, meaning you can also sleep with it! A huge game-changer for women with PCOS, Endometriosis, or women with just generally heavy periods, like me.
I decided to try it out because I was feeling adventurous and was SO over the pads and tampons. When I got the Flex Cup, I have to admit, I was incredibly intimidated. It's a literal cup, so you might be thinking, "How the hell is that going to fit inside of me?" Trust me, it's going to.
It comes with an instruction manual on how to insert it and different positions you can try to ensure a smooth insertion process. I get really nervous, so I decided to insert it for the first time while in the shower. I did all positions before trying the 'squat' position, and it went in perfectly. I also put a pad on just to ensure it caught any leaks that might occur. I went about 7-8 hours with the cup in and it did not leak what so ever. I was truly amazed!
After those 7-8 hours, I went in the bathroom, squatted down again, pushed my pelvic muscles slightly, and grabbed for the pull tab. I immediately felt it and pulled, feeling some pressure as a result, but no pain. It came out easily and without mess because the pull tab also suctioned in the top of the cup, preventing it from having any spillage. The blood was definitely stocked up in the cup perfectly, and I was able to flush it all and rinse out the cup before re-inserting it for the evening. This was a huge deal because I usually bleed through a super-sized tampon in 2-3 hours.
After using this cup for just a day, I can 100% confidently endorse this cup. As I said earlier, it is intimidating because it's a legit cup you're shoving up your hoo-ha. But, don't let it frighten you. You may struggle with it at first, and I know I did for a bit before it eventually went in. And that is completely normal. You'll figure out a routine that feels good for you and there is no right or wrong way to do it. There is so much research out there to help you discover the right cup and so much scientifically-backed research to ensure that you will have a much more comfortable and safe period. I 100% endorse the Flex Cup.