I can now say I’ve tried the popular menstruation aids that are available in the market. There’s the sanitary pad, which is the most popular in the Philippines, the tampon, more popular in the Western part of the world, and the menstruation cup, which is just taking off in the global market.
If you are queasy about blood and menstruation and you think it’s gross or whatever, don’t read on. And I am silently judging you.
The Menstrual Cup Experience
I’ve been using the sanitary pad since I’ve had my period because it’s the most common you can find in the local market. But I had a few chafing problems with it in the past so I tried using tampons. I would alternate between the tampon during the day, and a sanitary pad at night or on heavier flows. I’m super afraid of TSS so I try not to wear tampons to bed because I’m really prone to oversleeping. There were also times that I exceed the maximum 8 hours of usage of tampons and I sort of panic.
Ever since I’ve heard of the menstrual cup, I’ve always wanted to try it, but I don’t know where to buy one locally. There’s also the issue of how the hell do I put this on? And Oh god, what if it’s gross af? But I was really, really curious. As they say “Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back” so I needed to sate this wondering once and for all. It was an opportune moment when Anytime Menstrual cup got in touch with me. They were offering to let me try the menstrual cup and I was all like: Oh yes, I’d love to try your product!
I received my cup a week before my cycle could reach that point, so for a few days, I spent it trying not to be nervous about it and failing. But my contact from Anytime was very sweet and helpful. She gave me tips and details on what I should know about using the cup. This made the experience so much more pleasant. To know that you aren’t alone and you have someone to answer your questions is really heaven sent.
The first day of my period started. By this time, I was also excited (and still so nervous) to try. I read the different ways on how you can use it (it’s included in the package) and I was ready. I tried the petal fold. This was my favorite because the tip becomes really small and it’s easier to insert rather than a two-fold one.
It took me a couple of tries for it to get in at first, but I finally had success!
The thing is, when you get it in, it opens and creates this vacuum so it catches the blood. I was expecting it to be hella intrusive and that I wouldn’t be able to take it and try to take it out asap. Surprisingly, it wasn’t. Frankly, tampons feel much more intrusive. My hypothesis is that since it takes on the shape of your insides, it feels natural. Add to the fact that it’s made of silicon and kind of have the same texture as your vaginal walls, you feel more comfortable with it. Oh, it feels intrusive when you’re putting it in, but after, you don’t feel it anymore.
There were a few times I had put it on incorrectly and resulted in a really small leak. But it’s not as bad as when you’re using sanitary pads and THAT leaks so it was a minor issue. BUT if you do put it in properly, there are absolutely no leaks.
The most difficult part for me is taking it out. Since the cup is fully opened, it stretches you out as its going out and can be painful. The tips I’ve received was to break the vacuum by semi-folding the cup while pulling it out so the vacuum disappears. I tried but it only helped a little.
Every time I take it out, I just dump the contents in the bowl, then wash it with water and mild soap (such as Cetaphil or feminine wash). It isn’t a big deal for me since its on hand readily at home. However, there’s also the issue of needing to take it out off in a public bathroom with no sink available. I needed to have a spray bottle of water and tissue on hand to clean it. It’s almost the same with needing to bring multiple pads or tampons to use, plus a bit more work.
It’s easy to clean, though. The silicone material lets the blood and other discharge slide off quickly with water. Then it’s ready to use again!
- You only need one in a year. Although some companies claim that you can use it up to 10 years. Either way, you save A LOT of money with this product.
- It’s environmentally friendly because you’re producing a lot less waste.
- No more leaks ever!
- It’s not as intrusive as a tampon.
- No harmful chemicals come in contact with your vagina. Tampons and sanitary pads have chemicals to absorb more of your discharge. Also bleach (apparently, its harmful to your more sensitive parts.
- No more chafing!
- The risk of TSS is a lot smaller compared to tampons because you can use it up to maximum of 12 hours instead of 8.
- Easy to clean
- You can swim without worry because no more hassle of pads or leaking.
- It takes practice to put on and to take off.
- Kind of a hassle when you need to clean it especially in public bathrooms
- People might still feel it intrusive, especially when they’re used to using only sanitary pads
- I’m sometimes unsure if I put it on correctly
- Painful (personally) when taking out.
I used it on the whole period of my menstruation and only had 1 leak (because I put it in incorrectly. Unlike tampons and sanitary pads, I still get leaks every so often. I’d recommend this to the women who want to be more environmentally conscious. Also shout out to those who doesn’t want to spend BIG bucks on menstruation aids. And girls, seriously, no more leaks.
You can order your own menstrual cup from Anytime Menstrual cup here.
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