I was in sixth grade math class the day I had my first period leak. For 13 year old me, this was pretty much my worst nightmare. I remember loosening the straps of my backpack so it would cover the leak on the back of my jeans, and praying that none of the boys in my class had seen it, because you know, the opinion of boys mattered a lot then. I’m not sure if anyone did in fact see anything that day; nevertheless, I was a little traumatized after.
Despite that incident in sixth grade math class, I developed a positive and healthy relationship with my period. I knew to expect it roughly every 26 to 28 days, I had a fairly regular flow, almost no cramping, and with age, confidence made even [the thought of] a leak accident seem less scary. I had little tricks up my sleeve for those days of the month – like wearing a jumper around my waist – you’re welcome. I knew what sleep positions would reduce any leaking onto the mattress. I had it figured it out.
Two pregnancies later, my body is inevitable different – and I have two beautiful babies to show for it – and though most changes have been positive, my period wasn’t one of them.
Heavier periods can be quite uncomfortable. If Red/ Menstrual tents were something all women did culturally, and allowed a time for rest and celebration during our menstrual cycles, I may feel differently about them. But in today’s society, whether on your period or not, women need to go to work, take care of their children, take care of the home, etc. and doing that while having a heavy period is uncomfortable- period, ha!
I went to see my gynaecologist, had an ultrasound to rule out if anything might be causing the heavy flows, and everything looked fine. She explained that our bodies change after having children, and like for some women that means lighter periods, for others, like myself, they become heavier. I was offered the option to go on the pill to lessen the heaviness, but I don’t react well to hormones, so it was heavy flow tampons and pads.
Until a few days ago…
Without sounding hyperbolic, finding the menstrual cup has been life changing. LIFE CHANGING.
I had heard of the menstrual cup before, but due to a little bit of procrastination and other medical concerns I had in my lady area – more on that here – the menstrual cup was something I wasn’t able to try until a few days ago. And let me tell you, my experience has been ah-mazing, and my only regret is not having gotten one sooner!
Why is the menstrual cup so awesome?
It works! What more can I say?
I did not leak even one tiny drop. I sometimes even forgot I was on my period.
I could sit or sleep in any position I wanted without having to worry about a leak. Have you thought about how even our sleep is affected when we have our periods? We either have to get up and change our pads/tampons in the middle of the night, or we are not able to sleep in certain positions. When using the menstrual cup, I could sleep on my belly, on my back, and didn’t have to worry about leaking even a little bit, and slept for 12 hours straight; bliss.
I didn’t have to change my pad/tampon every two hours. Menstrual cups can be worn for up to 12 hours. Whether you work full time or are a stay at home mom, how wonderful to know you are able to comfortably go about your day and know you can accommodate and empty/change your menstrual cup in the comfort of your home.
It’s cheaper. The investment of a menstrual cup compared to how much you spend on pads, tampons, panty liners, new underwear to replace stained ones, birth control (if you’re using it to reduce your flow)- it all adds up. An interesting Huffington Post article here on how much a period will cost a woman in her lifetime.
It’s VERY eco friendly. Think about how many pads/tampons you go through during your period. Think about the wrapping that these come in. Think about how many times you get your period in a year. Think about how many menstruating years women have. Think about how much waste could be reduced if you used a menstrual cup.
Your healthy vaginal flora stays intact. A menstrual cup doesn’t absorb anything the way a tampon would, the cup simply contains until emptied, and so the natural and healthy bacteria in your vaginal walls remains intact.
I had a wonderful peace of mind. Probably the most valuable things about the menstrual cup. The stress of potential leaks affecting your quality of life, GONE.
There are many types of menstrual cups available, but the cup I bought is the Diva Cup Size 2, the size recommended to use if you have delivered vaginally or by caeserean section. A link on the picture below if you want to purchase one. *The link in an affiliate link*
Ease of Use
You have to be comfortable with your body to use a menstrual cup. There will a little bit of little trial and error when figuring out how to insert it, and it can get a little messy. Having that said that, once I had a technique that worked for me, insertion was super easy. The fit is very comfortable and, as mentioned above, there were times I forgot I was on my period. Removal is not as messy as I thought it would be, and it’s important to remember is to pinch the bottom of the cup to break the suction seal before pulling out. I would recommend to start using the cup when you have a few days you can be at home, like the weekend, to allow yourself time to familiarize yourself with the cup while in the comfort of your own bathroom. In that time you will figure out what you may need to have with you if you were to change in a public bathroom. Wet wipes are always a good idea.
And so Goodbye I say to tampons, pads, panty liners and period leaks because seriously, the menstrual cup is the best thing….ever!
We deserve to enjoy our periods- for what they symbolize, for what they allows us to do, and for the first time in a long time, I’m excited about my period, and the feeling is WONDERFUL!
*This post contains affiliate links*