I figured I’d be transparent in the title of this post. That way, the people that are uncomfortable with a naturally occuring function of the female body can choose not to read it. Yes, that is shade toward those people.
So…back to the point. I’ve been wondering about menstrual cups for months. I had heard amazing things from one friend, but beyond that, not many women were talking openly about the experience. I did research and read reviews, but I was still too nervous to try. Would I be able to insert it? How about removing it? Would it be a total mess? Would I be leaking everywhere? So many questions.
Then, the stars aligned. First, I received a complimentary menstrual cup in a package from The InfluenceHer Collective. It was the Lily Cup Compact by Intimina—a surprisingly cute, pink silicone doodad that’s collapsible and comes with a carrying case.
Next came quarantine. Is there a better possible time to try out a new form of period protection than when you’re alone in your apartment for weeks on end? There sure isn’t. I didn’t have to worry about any embarrassing moments at the office or a workout studio. It was a no brainer.
Here’s where I’ll interrupt myself to explain that Intimina does not know I’m writing this blog post. I wasn’t paid, sponsored, or even encouraged to actually use the product. This is from the bottom of my uteru—uh, heart.
I’m not going to lie to you guys. It took me, like, six tries to insert the cup the first time. I thought about giving up. But even when it comes to period products, I’m no quitter. I was determined to make it work. Once it popped into place (sixth time’s the charm, right?) I held my breath for disaster. I kept going to the bathroom just so I could make sure I didn’t see a spec of blood. And I didn’t.
I did, however, have quite a hard time removing the cup. If insertion took six tries, removal took about nine. I will add that I do not recommend putting fake nails on during your first day with a menstrual cup.
When I took it out, there was such little blood that I was shocked. Well, my period is light on day one, I reasoned. We’ll see if this thing stands up to the heavier days.
The next day, I woke up and did that lie-flat-and-shimmy-out-of-bed-in-case-of-leakage move that us females know all too well. I was sure my white sheets (playing with fire here, I know) would be spotted with red. Not a drop.
While you would think day two would be easier, I actually had even more trouble with insertion and removal this time. I honestly think a huge part of it is mental. I am a very tense person by nature, and my body is always sort of seized up because of it. My therapist will tell you all about it. So, during this time of uncertainty, the tension was increased. Not kidding, I sat there doing some breathing exercises and it finally worked.
Once the Lily Cup was in on day two, I was determined not to remove it to check it until the full 12 hours had passed. If I was going to give this thing a go, I had to give it my all.
So, that night came. And there was just as little blood in the cup as the first day.
I’ll fast forward here—this remained the same through the entire week. A tiny amount of blood, easily rinsed away. According to the pamphlet that came with it, we don’t actually lose that much blood during our periods. It just feels that way thanks to tampons and pads.
And in seven days…
There. Was. Not. One. Leak.
I know I’m not alone when I say that even at 28, I rarely have a period without a leak here or there. Duh, that’s why we have “period underwear” devoted to our time of the month. Sorry if any men are reading. (JK, I’m not sorry because this is how we are able to birth your babies!)
But with the menstrual cup, I had no leaks whatsoever even though I left it in for AT LEAST 12 hours each time. Better yet, it felt like NOTHING! I walked miles, I did hours of yoga poses, I splayed out on my tiny couch in every which way. And I never felt a thing. It was so much more comfortable than a tampon. I was in disbelief!
So, long, graphic story short, I am a menstrual cup believer now. I only wish I had trusted the magic of these things earlier.
Have you tried one yet? Are you thinking about it? Please feel free to submit a private question to the right in the “Get in Touch” section or DM me on Instagram with questions if you’re afraid to post them in public! I’ve got you, ladies.