To Try Or Not To Try : A Beginner’s Journey To Menstrual Cup Use

Transitioning to menstrual cup
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Still not sure to try menstrual cups ?
Let’s set the scene; it’s early 2019, you are in a mall as a venue for an event you are organising. You’ve been there all day and have prepared well, taken everything into consideration. Everything but one: you’re on your period. That was unfortunately the situation I found myself in and just when I was about to change my pad, I realised that I have forgotten to pack one.
Having heard of the existence of a menstrual cup, all I could think about was how gosh darn useful it is to have a reusable menstrual product that I can wash the blood off and pop right back in. But the sound of my male friend’s notion on how I can “hold my blood in like pee” continues to distract me from the heavy flow I was experiencing.
I went home that night looking up menstrual cups and to nobody’ssurprise, many results came up discussing the dangers of it, sideeffects and even questions on whether or not it is safe to be usedby unmarried individuals (referring to our virginity).
Though it seems the problems people are having with the product eludes more to the latter, I was intimidated by its shape and feared that a menstrual cup may a) be very painful to put in and b) not be able to keep my pants safe from the big bad red. The numerous local articles putting a negative light on menstrual cups also did nothing to increase my confidence in the product
It is 2021 and I am currently undergoing a transition to using menstrual cups as opposed to their non-reusable counterparts.

Menstrual Cup Trial Journey Trial

I received the product (I bought from GCup) while I was still off my period as I feared ordering it later may result in me using pads for my next cycle. Receiving the cup, I quickly got it out of the box it came in and read its instructions, which directed me to sterilise the product in boiling water for 3-5 minutes and to wash my hands before insertion. 
The problem is, I have no idea how to insert the cup at all. ButI read that the cup itself is specialised for the menstrual flow, and due to this, it will be difficult to work with when you’re not on your period (trust me, I tried). Even when you are in fact on your period, insertion can be difficult and you may need to use lubeAs a side note, use water-based lubricants as oil-based lubricant can deteriorate silicone. All in all, I DO NOT recommend doing it when you are not on your period.

Day 1 – 2 

The first few days of my menstrual cycle have the heaviest flows and causes the most pain both physical and laboriously. Inserting the cup is still difficult for me and I had trouble loosening my vagina to fit it, but once I managed to do such, I felt a slight shift inIt was quite painful for me as I probably should have been a little gentler and prepare any lube to help me. Obviously got a little bit of blood on my hands, but no biggie. I can feel and even see the handle poking out so I wasn’t sure if had inserted it correctly, but after making sure it’s secure, I walked around to get used to the feel of it. Which isn’t really that hard as you won’t really feel much different anyway
Unsure of its proficiency in capturing the oncoming flow, I had puton a slim-sized menstrual pad for added protection. During these few days, I must warn you that it may not go at all smoothly, but rest assured that your underwear will remain spotless even without the added layer. I got a size S for myself, which during the first couple of days, required me to go to the bathroom every two hoursmostly due to my personal worriesto check on the cup, before feeling more comfortable with simply letting it sit for 6 – 8 hours and even to bed. I once again wore a pad, this time a thicker one to protect mybed in case of leakage during my sleep and in which I’m happy toannounce that I was all good.

Day 3 – 5 

Days 3 – 5 is where the flow has slowed down a bit and though alot are still coming out, I felt less of a need to put on a pad. I also struggled with unfolding the cup during these few days and had to pull out and put it back in several times to get it right. After looking it up online, it is suggested that you hold the cup (not the handle) gently and slowly rotate it inside, massaging the cup a bit until the base of it feels round all over. 
I should also note that a similar motion should be done to take the cup out as pulling the cup entirely from the handle can cause massive discomfort due to the vacuum its created. Instead, I would suggest sort of pinching the base of the cup itself as if folding it a bit to release some air before pulling out. 

Day 6 – 7 

The blood has all but a few left my uterus around this time and as such, didn’t cause too much of a doubt for me. Depending on your flow, you can even consider getting a smaller cup for this time, though I doubt that that would be necessary, unless the size of your initial cup felt too big to begin with. It is, however, still important for you to maintain your personal hygiene and not let the cup sit for too long.
transitioning to period

Final Remarks 

It’s important for me to say this for those of you who are looking into using menstrual cups, it definitely takes a lot of getting used to. Even after seven days of using it, I still struggle with the insertion and I still get pretty nervous when I’m not wearing a pad, even if just a slim panty liner (but this is just a personal concern of mine and not an objective disadvantage to menstrual cups in general). That being said, I highly recommend using this product if not for the sake of practicality, it’s also definitely allow me to know my own anatomy better,  sustainable, and wallet-friendly. As someone who likes to spend heir money on snacks and skin care, the last point is absolutely fantastic. All in all, I definitely wished I had one of these ages ago, as it would have made it easier for me to maintain my period hygiene in the past. 2019 version of myself would be so jealous of me right now.
Period Power. 
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