OK, here’s the deal, I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a couple of years but the topic feels jarring. I mean, who fills a blog with DIY chore charts for their kids and my favorite historical romance novels and also writes an entire post dedicated to periods? Well, me I guess. I’m going to be very candid here, so if this topic makes you squeamish or you’re not the kind of gal to discuss things like this (I’m looking at you Mema!) then stop reading now. You’ve been warned.
For as long as I’ve been a blogger I’ve endeavored to fill these pages with content that I’m loving or things that are helping me, and getting a handle on my period was incredibly helpful for me. I’d like to share on significant change that had a massive impact on me in the hopes that it might help you too. Now, maybe you’re reading this and you’re thinking, dude, Rach, you’re 36, how did you not already have a handle on things?
Well, for a couple of reasons. One, my period has changed over the course of my life. My teenage period was nothing like my newly married and on birth control period. My post-baby and off birth control period was nothing like either of those. And two, I think most women tend to be pretty set in their ways when it comes to what to use, myself included. I was still using the same tampons I figured out how to use in eighth grade, only they weren’t working like they once had. For one thing, my flow is much heavier than it was when I was younger or when I was on birth control. For another, I’m obsessive about hydration now which means I basically have to pee every 49 seconds– that meant I was changing a tampon all day long, which I hated. Also, just so there’s no confusion here, I am not currently on birth-control because Dave has had a vasectomy. We made this choice because birth control killed my sex drive and because I don’t want to take any medication I don’t absolutely have to take. I do miss the days of light periods but the trade-off is totally worth it. OK, all that preamble is done, now onto the product that changed everything for me.
A Feminine Cup – For the longest time I thought feminine cups were for hippies– now I think it’s one of the greatest inventions for women today! Seriously, if you don’t take anything else away from this post I hope you’ll consider this option for your life. Years ago I was complaining to a girlfriend of mine (who’s a nurse) about how I hated changing my tampons every time I went to the restroom and she told me about the feminine cup. She swore by it! She told me she could wear hers for an entire 12-hour shift without trouble. I knew I had to try! I LOVED it, you guys. I have told every friend I know that she needs to get one. Here are the questions they’ve asked me most:
- What is it exactly? A feminine cup is a little silicone cup that you insert inside of yourself instead of a tampon. It collects the blood and you change it whenever you need to. On my heaviest days I will change it 3-4 times. On my lightest day I will only change it once.
- Do you feel it inside of yourself? No, if you’ve inserted it correctly you won’t feel it.
- How do you get it in? Each brand I’ve tried comes with directions but the gist is, your roll your cup into a little U shape, then you insert it like a tampon and it unfurls inside of you fitting tightly.
- How do you get it out? Each brand I’ve tried has a little handle (for lack of a better word) at the base of the U and you pull on that (like you would a tampon)
- Is it messy to change out? Yes, but it’s not crazy. I pull mine out, dump the contents directly into the toilet and then rinse the cup out in the sink before reinserting.
- What if you’re not in a public restroom that doesn’t have a sink in the stall? I wipe it out with toilet paper and reinsert. Then I wash my hands thoroughly once I’m out.
- Does it leak? NO! This is my favorite part! Tampons would leak on me all the time but because this fits so snuggly I don’t get leaks. The only time you may encounter them is if your cup is full and needs to be changed.
- How do you know when it’s full? It’s something you learn after using it for a couple of period cycles. I don’t know exactly how to explain it, I just know when it’s time.
- Can you reuse your cup each month? Totally. After I finish my period I wash the cup thoroughly with soap and warm water than I boil it before storing. When it’s time for my period again, I’ll boil it again before using.
- Which one do I like? I feel a bit like a menstrual cup expert because I’ve tried them ALL at this point but the winner for me is the Skoon. I like that it’s medical grade silicone. I feel like the others that I’ve tried (that weren’t this sort of soft silicone) made me feel crampy. You can check out this brand on Amazon and NO this is not an ad, just me telling you which one I like the most but feel free to try out whichever.