I'm obsessed with Lee From America, she has an amazing food, music, travel & informative blog. The other day I was browsing through her site for a new recipe & found this article about "period cups". First thought: what's a period cup?!?!?
Below Lee breaks down what a period cup it, her experience & favorite brand :) Enjoy!
Period cups! They've been around for 20 years...but only this year have I started using one and I am so obsessed. Today I'm sharing my experience with the thing, since I know they is still not a lot of mainstream information about them.
A period cup is a non toxic, eco-friendly, affordable, hassle-free and sustainable alternative to messy tampons and pads. Periods cups are usually made from silicone. You fold the cup up a certain way and insert the cup inside of your vagina (as you would a tampon), and it collects your uterus lining. You rinse it out every 12 hours and re-insert it, making it extremely sustainable and stress-free.
I first used a period cup in April, about 3 months into getting my period back due to PCOS (read the story here) I put on some Beyonce, dances around my apartment, lit some candles and got ready for insertion (lol). Not gonna lie, the first time was strange. It kind of felt like putting in a tampon for the first time (frightening). I had to tell myself to relax and let my muscles relax in order for it to work. Every time I tensed up, I reminded myself to loosen up. Once you relax, so do your muscles. Also, using non toxic lubrication helped tons. My favorite brand for non toxic lube is below in the Q+A section of this post. I also ended up cutting the removal piece a bit to make it more comfortable. Squatting over the toilet also helps with insertion the first few times.
My first period using a cup took some getting used to. My friend who has been using a cup for 8 years told me it takes 3 periods to get used to it, and she was so right. By July, I was completely used to the cup, had no issues inserting or removing, and felt so comfortable using it I couldn't stop talking about it. In fact, I kind of began loving getting my period so I could use the cup. It sounds weird, but it totally changed my relationship with my body and how I view my period. I think tampons and pads remove us from our periods. They keep us at a distance from really getting to know our bodies. Cups force us to be intimate with our bodies and our cycles, which I think is really cool. When you use a cup, you get to really know your flow, the color of your lining, etc. It's honestly very intimate and special.
So let's chat about the cups. Why aren't more people using them? Well, I think it's because we've been trained to think tampons are convenient, when really they aren't. You have to continuously buy them and always carry one around with you. They are a temporary solution.
Tampons are extremely toxic for the earth and that's not something we really think about. Environment usually comes second to 'personal hygiene' and convenience.
Secondly, I think lots of people are worried about using period cups in public bathrooms and at work since you have to empty it out and rinse it off with water before re-insertion.
To avoid this issue, my advice for you is when the cup is full and you remove it, simply pour the contents of the cup in the toilet, flush, pull your pants up and approach the sink to clean it it out with water.
So let's get to the good stuff.
We must remove the stigma of periods being “dirty” and “unsanitary”, and it starts with us.
Of course, common sense and general hygiene is encouraged. Wash your hands before and after using the cup, for your own sake and for the consideration of others.
But there is truly nothing gross about getting your period, or using a menstrual cup. We must not use these words when describing something that happens to every woman naturally, something that has to do with creating life. The fact that period products are called sanitary products are in itself an issue. Every woman gets her period, and it's about time we normalize it! A period is a magical thing and should be treated as so.
Once you start using a cup, you will become so much more in tune with your body and your cycles.
Since using the cup I have felt a stronger connection to my period. It’s honestly so cool. Call me crazy but I think a period is f#cking magic.
PERIODS ARE NOT GROSS. THEY ARE MAGIC.
So next time someone says “gross” in response to anything that has to do with a natural female cycle, gently remind them “without a period you would not be born. None of us would.” Mic drop.
Q:Which brand do you like?
Q: Does it hurt?
A: The first time I inserted a cup, it hurt. It turns out I was using the wrong size (oops), once I switched to a smaller size that fit my unique shape better, it was no issue. Now, it does not hurt AT ALL. Insertion is a breeze.
Q: How often do you change it?
A: This is completely subject to the unique intensity of your flow. It is recommended that you change your cup every 12 hours. Once you begin using the cup regularly, you will figure out how often you need to change yours.
Q: Can you sleep with it in?
A: Absolutely, I sleep with mine in every night during my period.
Q: Can you workout with it in?
A: Hell yes! I’ve gone spinning and done yoga in my cup, though it is recommended not to invert or go upside down at ALL during your period, as this would cause the contents of the cup to spill back into your uterus.
Q: Inserting it hurts! How can I make it more comfortable?
A: Using all natural lubrication like Good helps tons! I also find that simply wetting my hands with water helps removal as well.
Posted by Jessie Andrews
Man I Love Lee <3