We’re friends now, aren’t we, imaginary reader? I mean, we can talk openly with each other about the kind of things that you wouldn’t discuss with casual acquaintances, right? Well, really, by “you” I mean YOU because I will tell anybody, anything, anytime. Which is why I’m about to let you in on some really intimate details of my self-care routine. THERE IS NO TMI UP IN MY HOUSE. *Ahem*
Let’s time travel back to two summers ago. For about the umpteenth time, I was feeling vaguely flu-ish during my period. This feeling would always leave me when I removed my tampon. I’d just read It Happened to Me: I Got Toxic Shock Syndrome on xojane.com, and I was feeling mighty paranoid, so I decided to look into menstrual cups.
The concept is pretty simple. It’s a medical grade silicone cup, (well, most of them are), that you fold up and insert into your vagina. It opens up and sits either below or on your cervix and catches your menstrual flow. Every so often, you take it out and empty it, then pop it back in. One of these little marvels can last you around 10 years. Mine cost approximately $20, so, you know, SCORE! Yes, you do have to stick your fingers into your vagina to insert and remove it. Personally, I quite like my vagina, so this is not a problem for me. They quite obviously cut down on waste, so if green living is your bag, you’re all good there. One little cup or ten years worth of tampons/pads sitting in a landfill?
I spent ages on this really informative Live Journal group learning everything I could about these things before I took the plunge and bought one. I bought some pads (I HATE pads) for back up during my first period using the cup. I won’t lie, it was a bit fiddley at first. I had no problems getting it in and open, but getting it out was a bit of a fishing expedition. The first thing that I noticed was NO CRAMPS. I always get cramps. They usually come on pretty suddenly and last for 3-4 days. I didn’t trust it at all that first month. I checked it every 4 hours, but it was never more than a quarter full and it never leaked. By the end of that first period, I felt pretty comfortable getting it in and out without too much hassle.
These days, I pop it in when my period starts (or sometimes when I think it is going to start), and empty it at intervals that suit me. Usually first thing in the morning, late afternoon and then just before bed. That’s it. I find myself randomly remembering that I have my period, because I actually forget for hours at a time. No cramps. No feeling ill or paranoid, and NO icky bits of cotton sticking when I take it out too soon. Is there a stronger endorsement than that? I’m not saying it’s for everybody, but if you’re not feeling your tampons, don’t be afraid to come on over and try the cup, Love.
Read all of Shannon’s posts here!