I wouldn’t usually post about something like this, but I’ve been using menstrual cups for a couple of years now and I’m absolutely smitten. Now, before you scrunch up your noses in disgust or embarrassment, please stop. Yes, I am a woman and yes, I menstruate like all other women; please don’t fuel the stigma that is a woman’s vulva. I can’t believe menstrual taboo is an actual thing on Wikipedia. The vulva only remains taboo because women refuse to speak up.
What even? Anyway, back to the topic at hand! MENSTRUAL CUPS! And why they are awesome.
I first heard about menstrual cups in high school, some 12+ years ago, and had always been curious, but just put it off because I’m lazy and also, dial-up.
What is a menstrual cup?
Menstrual cups are worn like tampons— internally. However, instead of absorbing, it catches and holds your flow. They are cleaned and reused, and able to last up to ten years.
Why is it better than other menstrual products?
Let’s see, where to start with this. They’re better for the environment, your savings account, and most importantly better for your body. Pretty straight-forward why they’re better for the environment and your bank, but here’re some reasons:
- Used products to not go to landfill
- No need to purchase new disposables monthly as they last up to ten years
Now, for the reasons why they are better for your body:
- Heard of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)? Of course you have. Well, you’ll be happy to know there have been no associations of TSS with menstrual cups; not even when they have been left in for ten days, two weeks, or even two months!!
- They don’t contain harmful substances like bleaches, fragrances, chlorine, or BPA
- They are non-absorbent so they don’t cause dryness (or TSS)
Those are just a few reasons, there are plenty more!
Why I chose menstrual cups
Since I first heard of them in my early high school years I’ve been curious. It wasn’t until after uni, though, that I finally started researching them. I’d only heard of the Mooncup and Diva Cup until 2010. When I finally began reading about then I realised just how many there were on the market and how little I knew about them! I spent a good 2 months of light research before I all but gave up. It was a year later, in late 2011, that I finally buckled down to find my perfect cup. This time I read and read for about 5 months! There’s really that much to read and each time I thought I’d made up my mind on which to buy I’d click a new link or check one more thing and have to start again. In the end, I went for a MeLuna starter pack that came in two sizes and surprise…a purple. Wait, that was more my decision-making process than why. So let’s get back to the why.
- I was never comfortable wearing tampons for fear of TSS.
- When I started reading more about my psoriasis in hopes of understanding it, I briefly came across a note saying pads and tampons were possible causes of inverse psoriasis.
- I was starting work full-time, and the monthly “hide a pad up your sleeve or in your back pocket” is so very subtle. With a cup, I could simply walk to the bathroom as though it were any other day!
- I was starting to get back into swimming and not being about to hit up the pools one week out of a month was frustrating.
- MeLuna Classic Stem S in Clear
- MeLuna Classic Stem M in Purple
- Lunette Model 2 in Cynthia
- FemmyCycle Regular
Thinking of writing up some reviews for these! We’ll see. My absolute favourite and potentially my ‘goldilocks’ cup is my Medium MeLuna.
How to get started?
First, you need to do your research and Google is your friend, but I will link to some awesome pages that have helped me in the beginning and even now, in a few cases.
You’re going to need to know the height of your cervix— during your period. What does that entail? Well, I’m glad you asked! On the first day of your period, you’re going to want to insert a finger and feel for your cervix. It feels a little like the tip of your nose. When you find it, measure how long it is. That’s the max length your cup (stem included) should be! Make sure the height is correct and it’s not just a “dangly” cervix.
After that, you can pretty much start the hunt for your first cup. Bear in mind though, almost every brand will have at least a small for young users or users without children, and a large for older and those who have given birth. Just ignore those. You want to look out for the measurements, not what they are called.
Once you’ve received your cup.
1. Don’t bother doing a “dry run”. It’s notoriously difficult and can actually put you off using your cup.
2. Don’t worry about pinching yourself, that’s all part of the learning curve.
3. Don’t spin the cup after insertion, it’s not necessary— not like it’ll work 99% of the time anyway
Brands that ship directly to Australia
|Name||Price (shipping prices not included)||Origin|
|JuJu||$55 ($5 off with BETTERWITHJUJU)||Australia|
|FemmyCycle ®||$39.00||United States|
|Keeper||$55 AUD||United States|
|Mooncup UK||£19.99||United Kingdom|
|Ruby Cup||27.95 €||Denmark|
Those are some of the popular brands, but there are a lot more, and new brands coming out constantly, as well as dupes and knockoffs available. A nice list with plenty more cups is available here. Other places to purchase:
If you’re not quite ready for menstrual cups but are still interested in reusable products, I’d suggest giving cloth pads a go. There are plenty of companies that make cloth pads and plenty of information online.