A visit from Aunt Flo
When you find out you’re expecting, you not only celebrating the fact that you’re going to have a baby but that you’re also saying “goodbye” to the dreaded monthly red visitor for over a year (give or take!). Not having to worry about embarrassing leakages or forgetting to pack your pad or tampon, you can wear white pants 365 days of the year. But as we all know, the period will always return with vengeance. Pity the man in close proximity to you the day your period returns!
One of the biggest inconveniences is carrying around the necessary evils, aka pads and tampons, finding a washroom when you’re out and of course, the ever possibility of leaking. Four Sassy Ladies decided to scrap the traditional route and try something new… enter the menstrual cup. Check out their experiences and see for yourself if it’s time to ditch the cotton variety and opt for silicone!
Sassy Lady 1: Doing it for the environment!
I’ve used the Lily Cup for two cycles now. To be honest, I was just as horrified as the next person when I discovered the menstrual cup and had all the common questions. Is it hygienic? How big is it? How does it actually work? But learning to use a menstrual cup was just like learning how to use a tampon for the first time. It’s not easy! There are many ways you can fold the silicone cup to insert and it takes a few tries but once I got the hang of it, I couldn’t feel a thing.
You can wear a menstrual cup for up to 12 hours so I usually clean mine in the comfort of my own home. To disinfect, I soak in boiling water before and after my cycle for 10 minutes and air dry. It’s a convenient and waste-free solution compared to current tampons, and now that I’ve discovered it, I won’t go back!
Sassy Lady #2: The OG
At the urging of my two best friends, I skeptically decided to give the Diva Cup a try. When I made the switch over I didn’t realise what a #lifechanger it would be. But I’ll be honest… it took some serious getting used to. It was absolutely terrifying the first time using it as I sat in my bathroom poring over the instructions to figure out exactly how it was supposed to work. At first it felt uncomfortable (or maybe I was overthinking it), but after a while I forgot that it was even there!
The best part of the cup is no changing tampons, pads or worrying about those “uh-oh” moments. I simply empty it and wash it out twice a day (usually morning and night) with hot water. The trickiest part for me was taking out the cup. Natural suction definitely occurs, but I’ve found the key is relaxing your muscles, tilting the hips and giving a little “push”. Once you get the hang of it, you will be seriously #blessed by the Diva Cup. It can be intimidating at first and there are some definite “eww” moments, but I’ve found it’s well worth it… embrace it and enjoy!
Sassy Lady #3: The Convert
A couple of weeks ago my friends and I got into a conversation about our #periods and the different methods we use to contain the flow. Now I don’t know about you but pads feel like an oversized diaper and tampons don’t always do the trick, not to mention how uncomfortable both methods can be. So at the urging of my two best friends I decided to try the Diva Cup.
When my cup arrived, to say I was a little surprised at its size is an understatement. I took it out of its package and wondered how on earth I would ever squeeze it up inside? I sat in my bathroom for a good 15 minutes digesting the instructions. I read them over and over again to make sure I got all the finer details. (It’s only 3 steps, but a girl has to be sure!)
My first attempt was a little rough, but after my second attempt the cup positioned nicely and I gave it the 360 degree rotation to set the seal. I decided to test the cup out overnight and it is a #gamechanger. The cup sat comfortably all night and I didn’t have to worry about any leakage. When I woke up in the morning I attempted to take the cup out. There is natural suction to create a seal that doesn’t leak so it can be a little tricky at first to take it out. Using your muscles you “push” the cup downwards and grab the base of the cup to give it a pinch that breaks the seal. Once the seal is broken you simply pull it out and empty the contents into the toilet.
For me the Diva Cup is a life changer! I can’t imagine going back to pads or tampons. Now I won’t lie to you, there is definitely an eww factor, but it isn’t as bad as you think it will be. Once the cup is out you simply rinse it with hot water, give it a wipe and it is ready for reinsertion. The fact that you can wear it for 12 hours straight is incredible, that means only two changes! So ladies embrace the “ick factor” because the menstrual cup will revolutionise your period!
Sassy Lady #4: The New Mama
This was my first time using the Diva cup after feeling super frustrated with using pads and tampons in Hong Kong’s hot and humid weather. Since I had a vaginal delivery with my daughter a year ago, I opted to go with the Diva Cup in size 2 as it’s recommended for ladies who’ve given birth (aka a roomier upstairs). Even so, inserting the cup for the first time was difficult! What was most difficult was having to “twist” the cup after insertion to get a good seal. Sorry for the TMI, but it gets slippery! Even though the cup is a firm but soft silicone material, it was difficult for me to grip and twist as instructed. However, other than that, once inserted, it was comfortable. Don’t be discouraged if it’s difficult in the beginning, keep trying for the right fit!
For me, on my heavy days, I still leaked and emptied it more than the recommended 12 hrs. I had to empty the cup around four to five times daily, so I still wore a panty liner (organic cotton ones!) as back up on those days. Removal is also technique sensitive, especially on those heavy days! I suggest, emptying it at home, instead of a public washroom, as there may be spills the first time. Definitely carry some baby wipes to the toilet with you (which I’m sure all mamas already have on hand!). If you’re germaphobic or squeamish with these things… the cup might not be ideal for you. But for me, I will most likely continue to use it as it’s super comfortable in this climate, it’s economical, and saves the environment. A win on many fronts!