My journey with the menstrual cup

Premature Discovery: I had heard about the menstrual cup at age 16 (before the year 2000!) when an older north american friend had told me about it. I remember thinking something along the lines of “Uff, Yukk and not for me!” and I quickly forgot all about it.

Consideration to decision: A couple of years ago, around 2018, I started to become aware of the menstrual cup as a mainstream option: I could see Ads on pharmacies, also my period tracking APP, Clue, had mentioned. And so the cup entered my mind once again.

Moving from awareness to becoming convinced to try the cup was a very small step for me. I was fed-up with sanitary pads & tampons already. I was always running out of them, causing me stress and having to run to the shops which was not at all suited to my packed agenda!

Even so, at least six months went by before I took action one Saturday morning when I run into the closest pharmacy available, determined to make the purchase. The first micro-challenge: choosing my size. I had two options: S or M for the brand available. According to the packaging, in my case with two vaginal births and high sports practice, M was for me. The guaranteed free exchange if I got the size wrong clinched the deal and I made up my mind in 30 seconds.

Baptism of fire: I was sooo happy with my purchase! No more bins full of used pads..finally! I could not wait to get my next period.

When the day arrived, I read and re-read the instructions. I sterilised the cup. Then briefly debated which of the three possible folding options to try, finally settling on the fold which seemed best. I inserted the cup. Only seconds later it went flying out: Splatt! Small blood droplets decorated the bathroom floor…

Undeterred, I washed the cup and tried again. It was second-time lucky as it worked this time! I went straight-out shopping, delighted with myself and the cup. Contrary to my previous experience with tampons there was cero to no sensation caused by the inserted cup. Mission accomplished!

With more experience: and more use, I continued to discover and relish at the many advantages of the cup: allowing better sleep on my heavy period days (now no towel in bed needed), for swimming (a thousand times more comfortable than a tampon), for exercising (goodbye to irritation & itching caused by pads) for endless day of meetings (finally a product which collected my heaviest flow without fear of staining my trousers or my chair!?!..)

Weighing it up, the inconvenience of sometimes emptying the cup in a public toilet is more than offset by all the cup's benefits.

In all truth I did and still do sometimes do leak some menstrual blood with the cup. I used to wear a pantyliner for this situation. Overtime, I realised that the leaking could be totally avoided if only I placed the cup absolutely right each time. This is perfectly possible only if it has taken me a good while to learn.

As a "pro" with the cup, my laziness grew when it came to using the cup for light period days. And so my relationship with pantyliners came to a critical point ...