May your cup NOT runneth Over!
Last month I ventured into a new territory that I never thought I would go. For the last umpteen years of my life, I have just suffered with having a monthly visitor…my cycle. I know what your thinking, “Suck it up girl, you’re like most woman on the planet.” However, I somehow have secretly dreamed of a day when it would all just be over. I am almost close to that day now, but not quite there yet.
I remember the moment I discovered “IT” had happened. I was sitting in my Jr. High woodshop class, in a pair of white jeans. I loved those jeans…but somehow the moment I stood up in class, I discovered due to an onlooker, who till this day was gracious enough to not expose me to the entire class, that I had “SOMETHING” on my pants. I don’t need to tell you how that turns out, but needless to say, it was downhill from there. Every month since that time, it has been quite an adventure. I’ve gotten into the routine of it all, but I still despise the journey nonetheless.
I had gotten used to the dreaded thing messing with me each month, but I had no idea that when I gave birth to my first child, things would get really sticky. I wish I wasn’t being literal, but I actually am. It turned from a gentle flow, to a heavy clotting mess. It was like a dam was let loose and it would last for 4 days or more. It got to a point that it just wasn’t feasible for me to go any place in public if I could help it. Now, If I just had to go out, I would need to try and plug the dam and surround it with reinforcements, which felt like at times carrying a pillow between your legs. Truly an experience that put me in a mind set of distress and woe.
TAMPONS – I had always felt some kind of way about using Tampons because I had heard horror stories about “Toxic Shock”, and things getting stuck up there. So, I knew that wasn’t a way I wanted to go, but a couple of years ago, I gave in and decided I needed some extra protection besides just wearing the standard SUPER, DELUX, OVERNIGHT, PLUS PLUS x 2 pads. It helped a bit, but also caused some irritation and leaking was always inevitable. So, I felt like I was a slave to my cycle. Truly no other way to live life but in fear of a bloody scene at the most inopportune times, or isolating myself from the world for a few days each month. Not very appealing either way.
Now, it’s not all bad….wait, who am I kidding, yes it is, but it is necessary. Everyone woman has dreamed of a way to deal with this monthly unwelcome visitor, in the most efficient way as possible. From totally removing themselves from their family, friends, society as a whole, and vanishing into the woods someplace to sit on a porta potty tree stump for 4 to 7 days. That actually didn’t seem like a bad idea to me, accept I would prefer a more spa kind of a get away.
DISPOSABLE PADS – Disposable menstrual pad actually came from a invention created by Ben Franklin, who used the disposable pad for wounded soldiers to stop bleeding in combat. Eventually, someone pick up the idea and thought, “Hey, this would be a good idea to sell commercially”, and they did. They were called Lister’s Towels created by Johnson & Johnson created the late 1800’s.
Through the years, they got more inventive and creative and condensed the pad into a disposable material that can be changed several times a day, and give way to a bit more freedom for daily living. However, it too over the years has been discovered to have chemicals that can be harmful to the body. As someone with sensitive skin, this has always been a problem for me, as I can only use certain brands. But, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the price of pads and Tampons has SKYROCKETED. I find myself standing in the isle contemplating which ones are the cheapest or if any fall under the “monthly points” discount card I carry. Something so important to the female body, and yet, there are so many women, even here in the US who go without this vital item to live everyday life. There are so many more things in life that those funds can be used for, but this isn’t a product that we can live without….until a friend of mine instructed me to the weirdest things I had heard of in a while. “The CUP”.
While having some friends over for some girl time and kids play, we began to talk about our Aunt FLOW. Yes, women talk about their menstrual cycles and other life changing topics all the time. This time however, a friend of me mentioned an alternative that she has been using which is the menstrual cup. A reusable silicone cup that you insert into the vaginal area that creates a suction, and collects the waits, and allows you to not have to use a tampon, which leaks and runs onto your undergarments, and a pad which also sits on the skin with the waist. I wasn’t convinced at first that this would be safe because what if it gets stuck, and is it healthy to have something made of silicone in your body? I watch way to many YouTube horror stories! Then I thought, “wait, that is what you do with a tampon, and the chemicals used to produce that product are not safe at all”. So, I heard her out and thought nothing more about it, until we met up again, but with this time, it seemed to be that even more folks were doing it. I couldn’t believe it! Everyone has so many good things to say about it, and I began to think, “maybe I should give it a try”. So I Broke down and ordered two cups off line from Amazon. I watched tons of YouTube videos to really get a feel for what this was about, but I was still pretty skeptical.
I first took a small test that a YouTuber suggested before ordering. It asks a few simple questions to help you you find the cup that is best for you, as there are several out there. As I searched, I just couldn’t believe that this thing wasn’t more widely advertised. I finally got matched with the cup that bear suit me, based on my answers from the online survey. Here is a link for you to try:
Menstrual Cup Quiz: https://reusablemenstrualcup.com/buy-a-menstrual-cup/menstrual-cup-quiz/
They suggested I give the Luna cup and try. I had some Amazon points so I use about $25 and ordered a set, small and large, because you just don’t know which will fit best.
They arrived, very unassuming package and in these cute little bags with instructions, showing you a couple of folds on how to insert.
I took them out and looked at them and wondered what in the world would these two little cups do for me. Yet, I was excited to give it a try. So, I waited and watched more YouTube channels to get a feel of some of the ways to use it, and prepare my self for some of the challenges ahead of time.
Well, today the time to try this thing finally came. I boiled the cups prior to use to sanitize. I followed some of the suggested and got into the shower to insert. That actually did go pretty smooth. I used the “U” fold to enter and wiggles to get a suction. The idea is a suction scared me because I thought what if it gets stuck. But, the suction is what creates the seal for it to prevent leaks, so I’m hoping it comes out just as easy.
It felt pretty ok. I didn’t really feel anything there, yet I do feel a bit of a desire to pee. But other than it was ok. My friend suggested giving it about 3 months to get use to. It appears when you first see the cup, like it will feel super uncomfortable, but nope, it is very unassuming up there. But that is just me, and everyone is different. Now, to not forget that it’s there 🤷🏽♀️.
3 MONTHS LATER:
Well, just as my friend suggested, I have given the cup a 3 month trial, and I LOVE IT! It has completely changed my life. It has saved me tons of money, it has freed me up to do way more than I normally would on the first two days of my cycle, and I love the idea of not have carry around a U-Haul full of Maxi Pads, Tampons and other crazy coping items for the dreaded visitor. Take a moment to check out my youtube channel, , for more details about how to prepare yourself for the cup, other things you need to know that will help you answer some of the questions like, “How do I manage to clean the cup in public bathrooms, without exposing my stuff?” I give some suggestions on how to handle caring for the cup in the public bathroom situations. There are also storage containers that you can purchase to keep them safe and sanitary after every use.
Click the links below to order the one you feel is right for you:
The Luna Cup: <a target=”_blank” href=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06Y5Y38QM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B06Y5Y38QM&linkCode=as2&tag=piewakie25-20&linkId=a147911b37d0b888829aeb841c570c13″><img border=”0″ src=”//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=B06Y5Y38QM&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format=_SL160_&tag=piewakie25-20″ ></a><img src=”//ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=piewakie25-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B06Y5Y38QM” width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />
The Diva Cup: <a target=”_blank” href=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FAG6XA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B000FAG6XA&linkCode=as2&tag=piewakie25-20&linkId=d88d69b1c466e88a52597c743257ba97″><img border=”0″ src=”//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=B000FAG6XA&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format=_SL160_&tag=piewakie25-20″ ></a><img src=”//ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=piewakie25-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B000FAG6XA” width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />
The Dutchess Cup: <a target=”_blank” href=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PBJFA3M/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00PBJFA3M&linkCode=as2&tag=piewakie25-20&linkId=d19f8b35fbb38833b4fbc51b9622d3cd”><img border=”0″ src=”//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=B00PBJFA3M&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format=_SL160_&tag=piewakie25-20″ ></a><img src=”//ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=piewakie25-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B00PBJFA3M” width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />
Storage Container: <a target=”_blank” href=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0782GMQPJ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B0782GMQPJ&linkCode=as2&tag=piewakie25-20&linkId=753ac8046b0ef5e499947644486f8ee1″><img border=”0″ src=”//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=B0782GMQPJ&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format=_SL160_&tag=piewakie25-20″ ></a><img src=”//ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=piewakie25-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B0782GMQPJ” width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />