We participate in Amazon’s Affiliate Program
I know very few women who look forward to getting their period every month. Let’s face it, it’s just not a highlight of being female! The bloating, the cramping, the inconvenience, the mess. In fact, for many women, a huge perk of being pregnant and/or breastfeeding is the reprieve from this monthly visitor.
And, well, don’t get me started on my period after kids. I had always been (unwittingly) lucky to have relatively uneventful periods. Cramps were brief and tolerable; bleeding was never too heavy; and I escaped the mood swings, bad skin, distended abdomen, and cravings that seemed to plague so many of my friends. Well, I was in for a charming discovery once my period returned post-breastfeeding! Every month, I turned into a crazed moody beast for no discernable reason… and sure enough, 24 hours later my period would begin. And by “period” I mean a torrential release of blood, the likes of which I had never before imagined except in my worst nightmares. I was destroying several super-absorbent pads in the first day or two, and – for the first time in my life – bleeding through maximum absorbency tampons way before I expected to, such that I actually had a couple embarrassing moments of bleeding through pants in public. I thought this torture was reserved for middle school!?!? My periods only lasted 3-4 days, thank goodness, but those first couple of days were a real pain.
Just another exciting body change to adjust to after having kids, I told myself. Nothing to be done about it… just deal with it, like you deal with the pancake boobs, extra “padding” around the midsection, and feet a half size bigger than they were five years ago.
BUT NO! I just hadn’t yet tried the inexplicably under-utilized menstrual cup! Why aren’t these used by everyone, everywhere?
One day, whilst perusing Amazon, I somehow stumbled upon an ad for menstrual cups. “Why not?” I asked myself. Couldn’t hurt to try. So I bought a pair of Dutchess Cups, on sale on Amazon for $16.
Ladies… Life. Changed.
I love my menstrual cup. Gone are the days of pads and tampons. I honestly can’t believe I dealt with those for 25 years. The leaks, the wetness, the smell, the mess. Ugh. These days, I use one simple menstrual cup, and maybe just a couple small panty-liners in the first two days of my period (just in case). Sure, a menstrual cup means getting a little more “intimate” with yourself than you need to do with the more conventional menstrual products, but, oh man, is it ever worth it. Here are just a couple amazing things I’ve found during my first several months of using a menstrual cup, in no particular order:
- No more toting around pads or tampons, and – best of all – no more disposing of them (or their packaging)!
- If you’re not sure exactly when your period will start, it’s no problem! You can insert your menstrual cup before you suspect things might begin, and it’s totally safe to just leave there for hours on end. Same goes for the end of your period. Just keep using it until you’re no longer bleeding!
- You only need to remove and empty your cup every 8-12 hours.
- No weird smells, no smears of blood in your trash can.
- You can’t feel it at all.
- I swear it’s made my cramps and bloating go away.
- It’s interesting to learn about yourself, and see how heavy your flow is, day-to-day or hour-to-hour.
- It’s so easy and totally discreet.
- Save! Save money; silicone and rubber menstrual cups can last for years. Save space; my bathroom cupboards are no longer stacked with boxes of Tampax and Always. Save the environment; I don’t know any statistics on this, but the average menstruating woman who uses pads and tampons probably contributes several garbage bags of products and packaging to the landfills each year.
- Menstrual cups are so easy to pack if you know you’ll need it on a trip, while camping, while out for a day trip, etc.
- You can do anything while using your menstrual cup… cartwheels, long swims, yoga in white spandex, bike riding, and even sex (so I hear).
Of course, it may feel a little strange the first couple times you insert your new menstrual cup. You may need to try a couple different brands to find one that feels right. And you should definitely give things a “dry run” to figure out how to insert and position the cup before your period actually starts. The key is to make sure it’s pushed up around your cervix, and that it doesn’t budge if you give it a gentle tug. There are so many great reviews and educational websites that are full of information and instructional tips. (Google is your friend!)
Just take your time, and get ready for the strangest feeling of all: actually not caring about your period each month!