The whole sticking-a-silicon-cup-up-your-vagina thing made me feel a bit uncomfortable. I thought menstrual cups were for hippies and couldn’t understand why I would ever want to change from tampons, which I had used since my second ever period when I was thirteen.
This post might be a little bit TMI, so if you don’t want to read my in-depth, 100% honest, fully-detailed review of my Organicup, click here to head to my homepage and browse some other posts instead.
I had so many doubts before trying a menstrual cup.
What if it gets lost inside me? What if I insert it wrong and it leaks everywhere and I don’t notice? What if I accidentally pull my IUD out when I take my cup out?
I had seen a post online about them and scrolled past it without much thought, but, when my following period arrived, I decided, for whatever reason, to calculate how many tampons I had used in my lifetime. Based on using a box of 24 tampons per period, and starting my period aged thirteen, now, at 27, my tampon tally is at around…
If I add to that the sanitary towels and pantyliners I’ve used, that makes an awful lot of waste.
Then I thought about how much money I’ve spent over a total purchase of 4,032 tampons. A box of 24 is between £1 and £2, depending on the brand.
Have I really spent over £300 on tampons in my fourteen years of menstruating? That’s a HOLIDAY! And don’t even get me started on the fact that men don’t have to buy them…
Perhaps I should have a proper look into this menstrual cup lark…
I knew by switching to a menstrual cup I would be saving money and lowering my waste every month. But how would I choose a cup? There are heaps of different brands of menstrual cup on the market. I did some research into many brands, and settled on OrganiCup because of four main reasons:
The first month was the weirdest. It was weird because I had to get over the unfamiliarity of using something very different to tampons, and I had to get VERY familiar with my own private parts.
But stuffing something up there wasn’t the problem – I had been doing that with tampons for fourteen years. Making sure it was in the right place was. I tried both the C fold and the pinch down fold, both worked for me and I alternated between them.
I found it helped to get to grips with “down there” before using my cup, simply so I could understand what I was trying to look for when it came to putting it in the correct place. Inserting a cup took a little more thought than blindly shoving a tampon up there.
The key thing to remember was that I had to make sure the suction was correct, i.e. the cup is an actual cup shape inside of you and not indented in any way. Once it is in place, you can feel around the base of it to check that it is a cup shape. If there’s no suction, you’ll leak.
I decided to wear a pantyliner throughout my first period using my OrganiCup so I could understand when I hadn’t inserted it correctly by seeing any leaks without ruining my underwear.
On a few occasions it felt uncomfortable as soon as I inserted it, so I took it out and tried again.
I wore it up to 12 hours a day and had no issues, apart from on my particularly heavy second day where I could feel that it needed emptying as, it sounds peculiar, but it felt heavy inside of me.
Because of the underlying horror I had inflicted on myself by imagining I would somehow manage to pull out my IUD while removing my OrganiCup, I was pretty terrified by the time it came to take out my new period-protection.
The key to this is removing the suction before pulling it out. I realised that if I hadn’t got rid of the suction before pulling my cup, it would be really uncomfortable down there – a little bit like something was sucking my ovaries out. So, I just made sure all the suction was gone before removing it – simple.
I was also worried I’d be covered in blood. The first few times I removed my cup I got a little on my finger but I soon perfected the knack of removing it mess-free. Now I tip it down the toilet as I remove it – it’s like second-nature.
I must admit I did feel a bit strange stood next to a mug of boiling water which contained my dirty OrganiCup. However, the process in its entirety it much less gross than you think.
At the start and end of my period I sterilised it in boiling water and popped it in its storage bag when I came off.
During my period, I used a private bathroom where possible so I could rinse my cup out under the tap when I removed it, before reinserting it. Simple!
Because the OrganiCup can be worn for up to 12 hours a day, I found I often didn’t need to remove it while I was at work.
If there was no sink in my cubicle, I simply wiped my cup with some toilet paper.
It’s perfectly safe to do this if you need to, and rinse it out when you get home.
My first period using the OrganiCup saw a few leaks and on a few occasions it felt uncomfortable. I had decided [somewhat stupidly] to start using my cup while I was on holiday, so I wasn’t always beside a toilet (and used public restrooms for many of my changes whilst out and about). On some occasions my cup was positioned too high or too low and I could see evidence in my knickers that it wasn’t in place correctly. Toward the end of the week I began to get a little more confident with it.
Despite my confidence at the end of period one, period two was much the same. There were ups and downs, but I found trying a different fold method helped when, for whatever reason, it just wouldn’t go in correctly. On the night of day 2 of my period I got incredibly frustrated at the stupid thing for not doing what it was meant to, so slept wearing a sanitary towel. I questioned everything: was my vagina weirdly shaped? Was I pushing it up too far? Was I not pushing it far enough? WHY WASN’T IT WORKING?
Period three with the OrganiCup was, to my surprise, hassle free. Something had clicked. I had got it! I trimmed the stem because I found that it was slightly uncomfortable when it was in the correct place. Insertion took me only a fraction longer than it would using a tampon. I knew how to fold it, I knew how far to insert it, and I knew how to ensure the suction was there.
I couldn’t love my new period buddy more. I admit it took me some time to get used to – that second period I was about ready to give up – but practice makes perfect so they say!
I’m so pleased that I don’t have to buy tampons again. If I use a cup until I have the menopause, I’ll save almost £500!
I can keep it in for up to 12 hours, which means it’s perfect for travelling. I go to the gym regularly and no amount of squats, yoga or handstands makes it budge.
Plus, my bathroom bin is never full after just a week anymore! [Sidenote: Please don’t flush tampons. They get stuck in our sewerage treatment plants. I’ve seen them. Please bin them!]
However, the first cup you try might not be right for you. There are size guides online which can help, for example there are different sizes for women who have and haven’t had children, but the only way you’ll truly understand if it’s going to work, is if you try it.
Some girls don’t get on with the first cup they try and that’s fine. Some need to trim the stem, others don’t. Some insert it in the shower, others choose to do it on the toilet. Some use a C-fold, some use a pinch down fold. Eventually you figure out what works for you, and it’s such a good feeling when it clicks!
I bought mine on Amazon for about £15. (I’ll have made the money back in tampon use after about 6 months using the cup – I’m already halfway there!)
Thanks for reading
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