I thought I’d write an update post for how I’m getting on with my new form of sanitary protection, as my post about using a menstrual cup for the first time proved popular! I had lots of messages on social media to say that others of you would be giving it a go after reading my post.
Given that so many of you seemed to find it helpful, when I hadn’t even really got to grips (in some cases, quite literally!) with using my menstrual cup*, I thought you might find it useful to hear about how I’m getting on, after another three or four cycles using the menstrual cup.
As with my first post, this one will contain references to menstrual cups, periods, the female anatomy, other sanitary products and my personal experiences regarding all of the above. So if you’re averse to an overshare, click away now!
Still with me? Great! Read on for some top tips that I have found helpful when it comes to getting to grips with a menstrual cup.
I’ve read an awful lot about menstrual cups before and since buying mine, and seen a lot of mention about trimming the stem. I was worried about doing this for the first couple of cycles, as I was concerned that I’d then find it impossible to remove the cup.
I was finding the stem really irritating when the cup was in situ, though. By the afternoon, the discomfort was unbearable and I had to remove the cup and use a pad instead.
By the time I got to my third cycle using the cup, I thought I may as well try trimming the stem, as there was no point in having the cup if I wasn’t going to use it even for a whole day.
Let me tell you, trimming that stem was a revelation! I didn’t cut it off completely, as I felt that I needed to keep a little of it there to grab hold of, but it has honestly made such a huge difference. So if you’re in any doubt about your cup stem; trim it!
When I first started using the cup, I think I was a little too British about it; I was under the mistaken impression that raising one foot onto tiptoe and bending at the knee would be sufficient to insert the cup seamlessly. I’ll be blunt; it’s not! At least not in my case.
Now, I squat down low, almost like a svelte sumo wrestler partaking in pre-bout rituals. I don’t know if it’s the angle, the depth of squat, or the fact that both legs are doing the same thing, but I’ve found it SO much easier to insert the cup using this method. Along with relaxing completely, of course. Which is easier said than done when you’ve got two miniature humans banging on the bathroom door, demanding a snack/cuddle/general undivided attention!
Not only has it made it easier to insert the cup in the first place, it’s also felt considerably more comfortable once it’s in there. Combined with trimming the stem, this has revolutionised how I feel about my menstrual cup, and during my last period, I was able to use my cup all day long, on every day of my period.
That may not sound like much, but it’s incredibly freeing, especially when you can leave your cup inserted and undisturbed for up to 12 hours at a time without concern. This was particularly fabulous on my lighter days, as it meant that once the cup was inserted in the morning, I then didn’t need to give it a second thought all day, and could run around after my two small girls all day without needing to worry about changing my tampon/pad/whatever else, every few hours.
My next mission is to find a more sustainable alternative for disposable sanitary pads, which I’m still using at night time. It is possible to use a menstrual cup overnight, but it’s not something that I currently feel comfortable enough with, so I think I’d quite like to try some ‘period pants’ or cloth pads. I’ll keep you posted once I’ve taken the plunge and tried some!
Do you use a menstrual cup? Do you have any top tips that have made cup use a little easier for you? Tell me them in the comments!
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