How much do you know about the menstrual cup? Are you using one? Have you thought about it, but just not had the time to look more deeply into what’s involved? Well I’ve done some investigating and I’m here to educate, elucidate and recommend.
I no longer bleed and have never used one, and now wonder why I didn’t. From what I can see the menstrual cup is a re-useable and cost effective option that allows the wearer to easily collect the menses and return it to the earth. As a priestess I am well aware of the sacred nature of our monthly cycle and flow. For many years I collected my blood and honoured its return to the earth via a few choice plants which were the recipient of my moon blood. If the thought of this makes you go ewww, then I refer you to a previous blog I have written called the Sacred Power of Menstrual Blood https://goddessofsacredsex.com/2013/03/17/the-sacred-power-of-menstrual-blood/.
The menstrual cup is the easiest and most cost effective method I can think of to directly capture your flow and avoids soaking cloth pads in buckets or any other method you may currently use. I am very conscious of the importance of supporting our bodies at this time of release in our monthly cycle and there truly is some great benefits to be had by using the cup.
- Cups can be worn 2-3 times longer than any pad or tampon lasting up to 12 hours and even overnight
- Properly inserted, the cup does not leak and if you have an active lifestyle, allows for swimming and yoga as well as all other sports
- The cup is odour-free
- You buy one product that lasts approximately ten years. No more disposable pads and tampon expense.Cups doesn’t make your vagina dry like tampons so it can be worn before you even start your period
Healthier For Your body
- Cups are safe – there are no harmful substances such as chlorine, fragrances, dyes or BPA
- There is zero risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS) with menstrual cups
- Most sanitary products have been bleached so your body is able to absorb these chemicals while inside you. Cotton products have also can leave fibres on the cervix
- Cups are hypoallergenic – suitable for women with sensitive skin, dermatitis and latex allergies
- Because there are no absorption agents there is no vaginal dryness
Easily cleaned and disinfected
For an average period you may use five disposable products a day for five days, this equates to 300 disposable pads or tampons a year and over 10,000 in an average lifetime. In one year you will spend an average of AU$90, or AU$3,300 in a lifetime. A regular menstrual cup only needs to be replaced every ten years, equating to a saving even in the first year. Healthier for you and even more healthy for the planet in terms of saved waste product.
Tips on how to use a Menstrual Cup
A recent study found that menstrual cups leak half as often than tampons for women as a whole, so don’t let this dissuade you from trying a cup. However, if your cup is leaking, here are some troubleshooting ideas:
- The cup is overflowing. This is probably the easiest problem to fix. If the cup is leaking and when you remove it, it is nearly full, that just means your cup is filling with fluid and hath runneth over. Simply change your cup more often. You may want to purchase a cup with a higher capacity if you’re changing your cup too frequently for your tastes. See How to buy a menstrual cup.’
- The cup isn’t opening fully. You’ll probably have a lot of leakage with this problem. It’s caused by the cup not opening fully, so make sure to check that it is fully open after every insertion. Reach up and feel around the base of the cup. It should be round or at least oval. (The cup may not ever open up all the way depending on your body shape.) If it’s not open, you can open it manually with a hand. Also try doing a few Kegel exercises or rotating the cup in a full circle by twirling the base. You can also reach up with a finger and press part of the vaginal wall out of the way, so air can travel up and fill the cup. It’s also important to try different folds.
- Your cervix is taking up room in the cup. This occurs if the cup is leaking and when you remove it, it is only half full. This means your cervix is dangling inside the cup and taking up room, so it only fills halfway. To solve this problem, try placing the cup as low as you comfortably can. If this doesn’t fix it, the cup may be too long, and you will probably need to purchase a short, squat cup to get a better capacity.
- Residual flow: This occurs if you’re getting a very small amount of light leakage. There might still be some blood on the walls of your vagina after you change your cup, and this will slide down and end up in your underwear. You can try wiping thoroughly after changing the cup, but that may not help too much. Since it is a light amount of leakage, a disposable or cloth liner will keep you feeling dry.
- You’re placing the cup past your cervix. If you experience a twinge of pain while inserting the cup and then a lot of leakage, it’s probable that you’ve inserted the cup past your cervix. The cervix is very tender, and if the cup is actually pressing against your cervix it will hurt. To solve this problem, you will need to place the cup lower. Also feel around for your cervix before you insert the cup to get a general idea of its location; keep in mind that your cervix may move around on different days of your period, so it’s a good idea to check every time if this is a recurring problem.
- You’re angling the cup away from your cervix. You also need to know the general location of your cervix for this problem. If this occurs, you’re probably aiming the cup into the vaginal wall instead your cervix. Pay careful attention to your cervix’s location and the angle the cup needs to be at during insertion.
- Some women experience difficulty in inserting or removing the menstrual cup depending on certain physical factors. Remedies for this include selecting a different size, shape, or material cup, using a water-based lubricant to ease insertion, changing the folding method for insertion, and practice.
- Some women find menstrual cups uncomfortable initially. This may lessen with practice inserting the cup, selecting a more appropriately sized or shaped cup, and/or trimming the stem of the cup, if present.
- There have been rare cases in which women using IUDs for birth control inadvertently dislodged the IUDs when removing their menstrual cups – although this has also been reported by tampon users. Women with IUDs who are considering using cups should consult with their gynacologists.
- Use of a menstrual cup can stretch or break the hymen, arguably even more than tampon use. Since some cultures value preservation of the hymen as evidence of virginity this can discourage young women in those cultures from using cups.
I hope I have offered you some information to help you think about making the switch to a menstrual cup. The cups I am offering on my page are Starr Menstrual Cups which are medical-grade silicone, latex free and contain no dyes, BPA, toxins or bleaches and come in two different sizes.
These cups are available for purchase on my page. The link is: https://goddessofsacredsex.com/store/
“I was introduced to the Starr Menstrual Cup by a dear friend of mine who recommended it highly. At first I was a little cautious, but after moving to India and having very limited sanitary options (not to mention the distinct lack of disposal systems), I decided to give it a try. Well I must say, I am IN LOVE with my Starr Menstrual Cup. Living in a country where hygiene is always an issue – and sanitary toilets are pretty rare, I love the fact that I can leave it in for up to 12 hours without any hassles or leaks!! This is truly a practical god send for my job and lifestyle. Not only that, but as I am always trying to be Eco-conscious – I LOVE that it is reusable and there is no nasty and unhygienic waste byproducts. It is super comfortable (much more than tampons) and doesn’t leak, so I always feel secure and comfortable. I highly recommend it to all my friends, and would now even love to introduce it to some of the local Indian women I work with. Thanks to the menstrual cup I feel totally empowered all through the month!.” — Rachel, India
“I am always consciously looking for products that are more natural and healthy for the body and environment, so when my step-sister introduced me to the Starr Menstrual Cup I was excited – but honestly a bit nervous. There is always a balance between being healthy and it being easy and effective. Nevertheless I decided to give it a go. Like any first time at something, it took a couple of go’s to get used to it, but now I am just sooo excited! I can’t believe I never have to buy tampons again – I am stoked! Another weird bonus for me was that awkward time when you don’t know where to throw out your tampon when staying at a friends place… Now it’s just empty and return! Yay! – life is simple, my body is healthy and this beautiful world can continue being green xx .” — Hayley, Brisbane, Australia
Please comment and let me know of your experiences, any tips you might have and how you honour your menses at this time of your month.