Menstrual cups are something that has been on my radar for some time. I loathe the expense of sanitary products every month – it’s a necessity but it can be a rather costly one – and of course, the environmental impact has also been weighing in on me. Someone recently told me that all the products you use will not degrade in your lifetime – and that’s quite a sobering thought.
So when I got a chance to speak to a brand one-to-one at the recent Indie Beauty Expo, I jumped at the chance. The brand that I got to meet was ‘Organicup’, which an award-winning menstrual cup, which is also certified hypoallergenic, certified vegan (no animal testing) and complies to all relevant legislation.
- It’s great for the environment – one cup can be reused for YEARS.
- Once you get the hang of it, it’s quick and easy to use.
- As long as your flow isn’t too heavy, you can leave this in for 12 hours… this means 12 hours without having to worry about changing anything.
- Perfect for night-time: pads don’t always cut it and you shouldn’t really leave tampons in for that long because of the risk of TSS. There have been a very small number of cases of this happening with a cup, but from what I’ve found these are when people leave them in for days…
- Some people aren’t that comfortable being that up close and personal with their period. It can get a bit messy. So you have to deal with that.
- It can be fiddly to insert and remove. So if you’re pushed for time, don’t risk trying to do it in a rush, it probably won’t go too well.
- Although you shouldn’t be able to feel it (like tampons) as it’s near your bladder it can make it more difficult/take longer to pee as it presses on it a little. But this depends on the person and also the cup. If you try this cup and find you have this issue, you might want to try a softer cup – something to keep in mind.
- It’s a little more difficult if you need to change and clean it in public – but you can use wipes, which aren’t the most environmentally friendly so not recommended for use too often. But you should be able to leave this in for 12 hours, which should give you enough time to do what you need to do out of the house and get home again – even go to work and back, time-dependent.
- I have found that on my heavier days, I can’t keep it in for 12 hours. One tip: if it feels something like an air bubble is escaping – it’s time to change it.
My thoughts and some tips
I will admit (and perhaps some people might think this is a little TMI but I think in order to normalise it, we should talk more openly) that on the first day I properly tried it… I couldn’t get it out. I tried over a series of a few hours, stopping when I started to get too stressed because I knew that would do no good (even went out and did some errands) but I did of course eventually get it out and when I did, it came out easily and relatively smoothly. And I’ve gotten the hang of ‘breaking the seal’ so now it’ll take me minutes, sometimes even moments if I’m lucky. So it definitely takes some getting used to, but I think once you get over that barrier and that initial struggle it, gets a lot easier.
My tip if you’re struggling to break the seal and remove: I found that just trying to twist, scrunch it enough so you can move it a little and then pinch, it can really help get it moving.
Organicup also have a fab video about how to use their cup, you can watch it here:
This is just my personal opinion and of course is up for debate as menstrual cups can be a somewhat polarising debate for some people as it still has that stigma attached to it, which we’re hoping that this will become a thing of the past as more people discuss it and normalise it. But in the long run, menstrual cups can be real money savers – the investment coming at the start at purchase and then they last for years – removing the monthly expenses that comes along with buying disposable tampons and pads. If someone who was struggling to buy products each month were given one of these and were comfortable using it, it would eliminate any need to buy anything else for years, giving people a long-term solution to the issue rather than a temporary one through providing pads and tampons. It wouldn’t be the solution to everyone who is experiencing period poverty, but it could be one option.
What are your thoughts on menstrual cups? Are they something you’d be interested in trying out?