As it happens, majority of Cheeky readers reach for tampons to soak up all that menstrual goodness, but there is a corner loyal to and passionate about cups. I've never tried those little bbs, but am definitely curious.
Main selling point: I would be able to see my period in its true form, not soaked up. How wild.
cheeky readers weigh in:
More comfortable than tampons (which make me dry) or pads (which feel like diapers). I can leave it in for a while. I NEVER RUN OUT--major plus. Also money, and environmentalism. PS I have used two cups in ten years, just ordered a third (new brand).
Three Es: Ease, economics, environmentalism! When I put the cup in correctly, it NEVER leaks and never causes discomfort. I only need to empty it twice a day, so I can pretty much forget about it. I have been using the same cup for four years and I hope to never buy tampons again. I love that I don't create any paper waste when I'm on my period.
I spend way less $ on tampons; smug superiority that I'm single-handedly saving the environment; I don't flip out that I'm going to get TSS when I sleep for 10+ hours; some weird sense I get that I'm more ~in touch~ with my period; also really good for the end of your period when it's kind of too light for a tampon and you end up having a wad of dry cotton up there for 9 hours. Con: having to find a single stall to change it. When you're traveling, you don't have to pack lots of tampons. If you have a cup in your body, then you're set to keep getting your period and don't have to pack anything!
i have questions
Ok, I am officially intrigued and may just jump on this bandwagon. But first, I have many questions
How full do they get, can they leak, what does it feel like, can it get sucked up and lost in there, are they messy?
Thankfully, I've got two great ladies to clear up some of the mystery.
cup wisdom from b&t:
*important to note that T emailed me her answers amidst an "ibs flare up, from the toilet of a public restroom". sending gut-healing love.
C: When you remove the cup, is there any ever spillage? In my mind, I imagine the cup springing back open once I get it out, blood flying everywhere
B: I've never had a situation where it like, leaks out of the toilet or anything! Tbh on a really heavy day I have occasionally wound up with a little blood on my fingers/hand, but like, It's not really anything to be fazed about. Sometimes it can be a little messy when you're putting it back in, too, but like, again, I've just decided not to be fazed about it.
T: No but it is an art. You gently take it out and let the blood slip backwards into the toilet. Sometimes it springs open if you aren’t careful and usually your hands look like you’ve just conducted a murder. The murder vibe also tends to happen when you go to wash the cup out in the sink before putting it back in. More to come on that.
C: Is there ever a way to tell when the cup is full? Have you ever overflowed/is that even possible?
B: There have been a few times where I haven't put it in well -- generally just not high up enough -- and that has led to a little leakage. On like, the first night of my period I might sleep with the cup + a light pad or something. And like a tampon, there isn't a greatttt way to tell when the cup is full, but I usually just try to change it every 4-6 hours on a heavy day, and 8-12 on a light day. And usually I'm more conservative than I need to be. Also, there's zero harm in changing it more frequently than you need to -- not like a tampon that has gone to waste or is uncomfortable to pull out bc it's so dry still. Usually, though, I check it regularly enough.
T: You sort of get a 6th sense about it based on how heavy your flow is. You can feel when it’s about to or has overflowed and it is NOT pretty (see above re: murder scene).
side note: anyone else terrified/convinced that there is a ton of cotton laying around in your vagina, left over from premature tampon removal?!
C: Can you sleep with it?
B: Definitely -- and better yet, a menstrual cup, though, can be left in for more like 12, so sleep away. (There was one time where I inadvertently left it in for 14 hours but nothing happened. Also a good indication of how non-bothersome it can feel!)
T: Yes - this is the best part! You never have to worry about leaking in your sleep.
C: How often do you wash out the cup?
B: I give it a rinse in the sink every time I empty it out -- so like, every 4-6 hours on a heavy day, and then legit only every 8-12 hours on a lighter day. I use boiling water to give it a good clean once a month.
T: Wash it out every time you empty it in the sink with hot water (you’re supposed to use this special rinse but I’ve convinced myself scalding hot water is ok). Getting it from the toilet to sink is always risky - especially if you have a white bath mat like me. And making sure the sink is cleaned out so no one thinks you’re a murder suspect is also critical. You’re also supposed to boil it once a month (I never do that, whoops).
^I feel that, T. Just as I should technically be washing my duvet cover once a month, won't happen 4me.
C: How far up do you put it/how deep into yourself do you have to get to retrieve it?
B: High up -- the higher the better. If you feel it a lot, it probably means it's not high up enough. I think that's the trick.
T: It’s definitely very personal and all about the angles. Learning to diva requires getting to know yourself and is sometimes awkward in the way that losing your virginity can be because you don’t quite know how to get it in. Your fingers probably go up about 3/4 of an inch to put it in and then it moves up on its own. There’s some trouble shooting involved if it doesn’t set comfortably. But to get it out you have to go a bit deeper to release the suction it makes on your cervix.
The hardest time getting it in is a toss up for me between having just had an appendectomy and needing to get it in at a friend’s engagement party without dirtying my Ted Baker dress vs. successfully putting it in on the Japanese bullet train.
BIG thank you to these lovely friends for this info. Will report back on my cup use along with a third and final installment of reader-recommended period products!
anyone else notice the CBT above? cognitive behavioral therapy is a passion of mine ~spooky~