A Chronicle Of My First Time Using A Menstrual Cup

Diva Cup Photo

I got my period for the first time when I was in 5th grade. I stuck to pads for the first few months, but when I found myself in the overwhelming Texas heat the following summer, I really needed to jump in the pool and wasnt going to let a little blood stop me.

My mom picked up some tampons from the convenience store, and I sat in the bathroom for about a half hour trying to muster up the courage to put it in. From there on out, Ive had a pretty neutral relationship with tamponsthey can be uncomfortable and leaky, but they do the job without requiring me to feel like Im wearing a diaper for a week out of every month.

Ive been hearing more and more about menstrual cups via conversation and general internet browsing, so Ive decided to try it out for the first time and share what Im hoping will be an awesome new experience!

Day 1: I started bleeding a little at work and put in a tampon despite learning the actual cause of Toxic Shock Syndrome: if your tampon has a higher absorbency than your flow, small pieces of cotton can make little cuts on your vagina walls which then get infected. It made me much more excited to try another method.

Anyway, I used my homeward commute as an opportunity to stop at Whole Foods and pick up a Diva Cup. I asked a woman working in the hygiene/beauty department if she could direct me toward them and her eyes grew wide with excitement. Yes, theyre right over here! Ive been using one for a while; youre going to love it. Off to a good start.

Diva Cup Photo
Source: Divacup.com

Once I got home, I made dinner and examined the contents of the packaging with my roommate. Everything seemed simple enough, so I headed into the bathroom to give it a go.

It took a few tries, but I got the cup in without much discomfort at all. It felt kind of like I had a bubble floating around in my belly so I took it out and put it back in to be sure that Id done it right and that I was capable of getting the thing out of my body.

Once it was back in, I wiggled around a bit and decided that I was probably just a little gassy (as I often am during my menses). I went to bed pretty much feeling like I had gotten my period minus the blood.

Day 2: I woke up this morning with no leaks and gave thanks to the universe. I dont think that has ever happened before. Taking the cup out to empty and clean it is definitely more difficult and grody than switching out a tampon, but if thats the only thing Ill really have to adjust to, Ill be ecstatic.

Source: Fatgirlfoodsquad.com

Day 3:  I accidentally dropped the cup into the (luckily fresh) toilet bowl this morning when I took it out so I had to clean it extra thoroughly before I could put it back in. I also noticed that I think its pushing on my bladder a little bit, but I dont think its much more than tampons usually do. Im probably at peak flow right now and my underpants have stayed dry, so Im still a happy girl.

Day 4: I told my mom about my experiment. She thinks Im being disgusting, but I bet after I make her read this, shell be more inclined to consider it. Everybody else Ive told about it has been really interested to see what I think. Im still very surprised by the difference in noticeability. I used to think that I couldnt really feel my tampon when it was in, but I had no idea.

Day 5: Not much to report today, but I would like to convey how completely oblivious I was to the actual amount of gunk that my uterus gets rid of every month. Every time Ive emptied the cup, Ive been astounded. Its pretty gross, but I feel like Im reaching a level of intimacy with my lady parts that wouldnt be possible using a pad or tampon.

Takeaway: I think menstrual cups are definitely worth trying. I have seen a few scary reviews online, but in most cases, the problems seem to have arisen from misuse or just forgetting to take them out.  I have found mine to be more comfortable than any other type of feminine product Ive used and love that I’ll be saving money and reducing waste as I continue to use it. I think its worth trying if only to see the stuff that comes out of your body, honestly. My reproductive system is magic, as far as Im concerned, and Ive decided that menstrual cups are worthy of helping maintain it. 

Lily Cup Compact Tampon Comparison
Source: Lilly Cup Compact Kickstarter Site

Helpful links:

FAQ from the Diva Cup site

Bleeding Money: A Cost Benefit Analysis of My Vagina

Fat Girl Food Squad – Real Talk: I’m in Love With My Diva Cup

Buzzfeed List: Reasons you should switch to menstrual cups

Source: Divacup.com