GIRL TALK - Menstrual Cup Review
Art by Marleigh Culver
Firstly, let me answer the big question ...
Why a Menstrual Cup?
1. A Menstrual cup will save you money.
Menstrual cups are made from a range of materials however the one that I will be reviewing 'the Hello Cup' is made from a type of plastic commonly referred to as TPE. They are reusable, so you simply wash your cup between uses with a mild liquid soap and boiling water, and you're good to go again! This means you can keep one menstrual cup for years, rather than spending lots of money on constantly buying tampons and pads.
2. A Menstrual Cup can hold more than tampons
The Menstrual cup can hold 3 times more than a tampon. So on a light day you can keep a menstrual cup for up to 12 hours without worry of leak.
3. Menstrual Cups are safe
Most tampons and pads are chemically treated which is bad for your vajayjay, and quite often will dry your lady areas out. As with any period care product, the most important thing is to keep it clean and not leave it in too long. Menstrual cups are safer than tampons when it comes to the risk of toxic shock. This is because they're more sanitary , can be left in longer, and unlike tampons, are near impossible to lose.
4. Menstrual Cups don't smell
Tampon strings will smell if you wee on them, meaning you really need to change them each time you go to the loo which can be an absolute pain if you drink as much water as I do! This isn't the case with the menstrual cup, and as long as you wash it properly between uses there is not reason why it should ever smell.
5. There's less chance of leak with a Menstrual Cup
If the cup is inserted properly, there's absolutely no leaking unless you leave it in too long with a heavy period! This means you can wear your best undies even at that time of month, result!
6. Menstrual Cups are better for the Environment
According to Harvard, around 20 billion sanitary napkins, tampons and applicators are dumped into US landfills every year and over 5 billion feminine hygiene products are disposed of worldwide. Of course, when wrapped in plastic bags, feminine hygiene waste can take centuries to biodegrade. Considering that an average woman can use 11,000 tampons over her lifetime, imagine the impact that has on our earth, during her lifetime and beyond! Sanitary waste, like every other type of trash, is either incinerated which released harmful gasses and toxic waste in the air, or is sent to landfill As with any reusable product, this creates less environmental waste than tampons and pads and therefore helps eliminate the huge feminine hygiene waste from landfills which we ladies are the sole culprits of.
So, the lovely people at Hello Cup, sent me the cutest parcel of both multiple sized and different coloured cups ( Thanks guys!!). Firstly, the packaging is so lovely and the cups themselves are actually really cute, so nice that this alone will set your time of the month off well!
"Hello Cups contain no rubber, latex, PBAs, heavy metals or other nasties. Colours used are certified food grade and comply with EU and FDA standards.If you look after your Hello Cup it will last you 5 years"
Excited as I was, I was also kind of nervous to try this product out, as personally I've always hated tampons. I was thinking...
" how the hell am I going to get this thing in?!? "
On my first attempt, I couldn't get it in. We've all been there, and once you begin stressing and tensing, it's near impossible. I had to walk away for a breather a couple of times, and on my third attempt I approached the mighty task relaxed and confident! Although it took a few attempts, I eventually (while pulling some crazy yoga squat positions) managed to insert it comfortably. I settle with the half fold technique, which means caving in one side of the cup to make it into more of a cone, rather than folding it in a spiral. It gives the cup a point, which I found easier to get in. You also have to really relax as it's bigger than a tampon so can be a little uncomfortable to insert. I eventually learnt that wetting the cup is a very good idea, especially if your period is light.
[caption id="attachment_1107" align="alignnone" width="1087"] Via www.thehellocup.com[/caption]
Once you've overcome the challenge of inserting it , the fight is still not over. But as we know, all good things take time and practice! Once its in you have to make it 'pop'. If the cup doesn't pop it means it has opened up, which means it hasn't sealed and will defiantly leak! I couldn't make it pop to begin with, but eventually mastered the technique which goes something like this:
Find the stem and twist the cup 360
Do 10 sumo squats/ hula hoop hips/ pelvic thrusts
I can assure you that somewhere in this sequence you'll feel the cup pop. If you don't, it's still likely that it would have with all that pelvic floor movement!
To begin with, the cup inside of me felt absolutely alien! However, as the day went on I completely forgot about it. It was so comfortable, more so than a tampon. I worked out and there was no feeling it was going to be squeezed out. I sat at a desk for hours and never once even thought about it. I had no leakage all day, and kept the cup in comfortably for 10 hours. It was AMAZING! I couldn't feel the cup, and I never once had that uncomfortable feeling of panic that I was leaking.
The time eventually came where I need to remove the cup. I had a heavy period and I did feel it getting heavy by the 7/8 hour mark. Taking the cup out was the bit I was most concerned about. I had visions of the bathroom looking like a crime scene and me sitting in the midst of it all traumatised after I had finished trying to pull it out. Well, it's safe to say it's not as bad as this, but it definitely proved a challenge. The way to do it, is to feel for the base of the cup, don't just pull on the stem. Give the base a gentle squeeze to break the seal and try to then fold the base before pulling down slowly. There shouldn't be any splashing or mess in this process. Its a little uncomfortable to take out but the more you do it and master the technique the easier it becomes. Once it’s out, simply tip the contents down the loo, rinse ( or wipe ) and reinsert.
Once your period is finished, you can properly sanitise the cup in boiling water with a light soap. Then simply keep safe until next month!