I am a traditionalist. I am a rule follower. I am monotonous and I do all of those things we are told we should do.
Which is why even I was amazed when I decided to spend money on a menstrual cup a few months ago.
I literally sat in the aisle thinking to myself, “What on earth am I doing? I don’t switch up the ‘rule book’!” But I was also curious and sick and tired of spending $30 a month on Midol, and the most appealing-looking box of tampons and pads that spoke to my period-wrath-filled soul that day. I also hated starting my period and doing the mad dash to my cabinet to find one or two sad little tampons leftover; or, heaven forbid, no tampons left at all. Not to mention, I was really grossed out by the fact that I had used menstrual products just sitting in a garbage can in my bathroom, and even more grossed out when it came time to take out the trash. I had also read horror stories of Toxic Shock Syndrome (which is 100% real) and those menstrual products such as tampons and Midol actually contain chemicals in them that make you cramp worse so that you will buy more of their product (not sure if that is entirely real, but the conspiracy theorist in me is chalking that up to heaven-sent truth).
Either way, I decided I would give that little silicone cup a try.
And as a traditionalist/rule follower, who doesn’t often switch up the playbook of her life, I am 100% impressed.
I found that I am less aware of the cup when I am wearing it than I am with a tampon. As someone who goes to the gym regularly, there is a vast difference in awareness while I am running on the treadmill or cycling on the bike. I don’t know where the line of TMI is when it comes to singing praises about menstrual cups, but I worried that there would be… “sloshing” while I was running, or that feeling of discomfort that comes from something foreign. Those feelings and sloshings have not happened.
I also worried about what I would do if I were in a public place when my menstrual cup needed to be emptied. My cup says that I can wear it for up to 12 hours, meaning that I should have access to a bathroom where the toilet and sink are easily accessible with privacy in that time frame. I’ve found that there have been exactly zero times where I have had to deal with my cup in a public place because of the long wear time, but I am absolutely positive it would be just fine, seeing as three feet to the right of that very sink is literally a table where we clean poop off of tantruming two-year-old babies.
My other fear was that it would leak during daily activities. I found that even with a jumbo pad, I still leaked at night and had the wonderful walk of shame to spritz my sheets and my undies in the laundry room. With my cup, there have been no leaks, as long as it has been properly inserted. The first night I wore one, I woke up several times just to make sure that the ‘ever-present sloshing fear’ hadn’t turned on my sheets. It never did. My husband was even impressed.
What I did find out was that I experienced little to no cramping, leaks, or discomfort. There was a learning curve when it came to inserting the product, but my cup came with a little booklet giving step-by-step instructions that my rule-follower-heart followed to a T. I was much less aware of the cup during the day and woke up clean in the mornings. I found comfort in knowing that the cup was clean and sanitary and that I knew exactly where it had been and how it had been kept clean. The best part: the cup does not need to be replaced and many people claim that theirs has lasted for up to four years. Best $30 I ever spent.