A couple years ago I ordered a free (minus shipping and handling) set of two menstrual cups (different sizes) from rebelkate.com. I had been hearing about menstrual cups for a while by then and was interested in trying them, considering the touted benefits. Namely, they can be used up to twelve hours (and I have even used them closer to 24 hours at the end of my cycle, when my period is light), they eliminate the risk of TSS, and they are reusable (so better for both the environment and the wallet). Many women also claim they ease cramps. For many months after first trying them, I found it took a lot of time and effort to insert them correctly (they need to sit right up against the cervix to guard against leaks) and also to take them out (a tight seal keeps leaks from happening but also can make it difficult to pull the cup out). At this point, after lots of practice, I have far fewer issues and feel I can offer some points of advice on the topic.
I find it is convenient to empty them in the morning in the shower because there is no mess and the blood simply washes down the drain. When inserting, there are many different folds you can try, and there are many different diagrams of these folds available on the internet. I have found the C-fold or punch-down fold works for me. After inserting, run your finger around the cup to ensure it popped completely open. If not, take it out and try again. I have had the experience of feeling a pinching feeling sometime after having inserted it and realizing I hadn’t ensured my cup popped open completely. While you’re still getting used to using your cup, you can wear a pad or panty liner for extra protection. Taking out the cup requires pinching it slightly at the base so that the seal breaks.
Adept use of this cup took me some time. There were points I wondered if it weren’t for me and I should just give up. However, I’m glad I stuck with it, as it turns out to have been well worth it. I hope this post helps someone out there who might be struggling with theirs or who is on the fence about trying one. Do you currently use a menstrual cup? What have been your experiences with it? For those who haven’t, what are your questions or concerns?