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THE FIX

A Personal Review of the Menstrual Cup


A Personal Review of the Menstrual Cup


Good Morning World!

Katherine here, Founder of BN. A very happy Monday to you all! Is it just me, or is spring definitely in the air, with things feeling much, much lighter? 

Today Ayesha and I are going to be sharing a review of the menstrual cup, including our own experiences and highlighting any watch outs for newbies!

The menstrual cup was first recommended to me via a girlfriend on the standard lockdown bikeride! I had heard of the menstrual cup before, but never really considered switching from tampons. To be honest, I had just never given the menstrual cup much thought. 

After telling me about the effects on the environment, how much less time is spent changing and how you basically insert and are done for the day, I was pretty much sold - well to try anyway.

I first tried the menstrual cup during my last cycle.  After doing some online browsing, the cup that I went for was Boots Menstrual Cup Pre Birth . Not an ad, but with full transparency, my friend works at Boots and recommended this as the cup that she used.

  • My first thoughts: The Size!!! "How even".
  • I liked the colour - thought red would also be a good colour.
  • The cotton bag was really cute.

Before use

Before use, instructions state to boil the cup.  This both steralises, and I believe softens the cup.

Insertion

Oh the insertion! There are two folds of the cup that can be made pre-insertion. I really struggled inserting the cup for the first time. This is all about technique.  If I hadn't have had the pre warning from my friend that it takes afew goes to get used to it, I would likely have given up. By the time the end of my cycle had arrived, I had become much, much better (not perfect), at insertion. 

During the Day

Once inserted, this was easily the best period I have ever had.  After the initial days of cramps, it was like not having a period at all.  The cups can be warn up to 12 hours - perfect for night and removes the need to change throughout the day as with the tampon. I really loved this experience once in and out.

Removal

Suction is your friend!

I am going to start by saying, when it comes to removal do not panic.  Removal is simply about learning the right technique. Again, if I hadn't have had the heads up about removal before hand, I would have panicked.  The cup has a small stem at the base and logic would say, pull this to remove.  This will not work, no matter how much you try.  The cup works and stays in place via a seal, there is suction and to remove the cup successfully, the seal must release.

After some very interesting moves and positions over my bath and bed, and a couple of SOS calls to my GF's, I successfully removed the cup for the first time. 

The technique that I was taught, was to push, like a pretend birth, when the cup reaches the base of the vagina, squeeze the bottom of the cup to release suction.  I have pasted below some You Tube links for visuals.

Things no one tells you about the Menstrual Cup

5 Menstrual Cup hacks Every Girl should Know

Menstrual Cup Removal

Ayesha, what are your thoughts? 

As many people are trying to show concern towards environmental wellbeing, one of the most important is the waste we are sending to landfill. According to reports, each year, tampons, pads and panty liners amount to 200,000 tonnes of un-recycled waste. When the female monthly periods arrive, the significant concerns are cramps, oily skin and mood swings. But it's appreciable that women are becoming more concerned about the environment and want to play a part to reduce this massive share in environmental pollution. Here's an easy swap we can make to cut off waste and save money: A menstrual cup.

Sanitary pads are usually the first choice, and most girls didn't mind them. However, another pretty standard option later were the tampons. Many of the young girls seemed to be pretty comfortable with tampons. The significant wonder of tampons is that it does not even feel like you are wearing anything.

Although in my times, most girls didn't get on with tampons straight away. Few were scared to insert them in and would sometimes panic by the thoughts like, what if I couldn't get them out quickly. These days, tampons are frequently used by women as a replacement for sanitary pads, and they seem to be pretty comfortable and confident with them. Many of our readers and women we have talked to have said that once they gave tampons a chance and got used to them, they never went back to wearing pads. Even talking about myself, now I could insert a tampon with my eyes closed without any struggle.

But what comes next is a menstrual cup.

A menstrual cup is all the things a woman can love about tampons except the throw-away aspect. While wearing a menstrual cup, You can freely go swimming, go to the gym and wear your favourite pants you're feeling that day without any concerns. But it did take some time while getting used to it.

INITIAL CONCERNS

– What if it can't get in properly?

– What if I can't get it out?

– What if it becomes a mess when I take it out, won't it be blood all over my hands and on the bathroom floor?

PUTTING IT IN

This was way easier than I thought it would be. To insert the cup, it needs to be squeezed into a slight 'C' shape and insert the same way we insert the tampon. After it's in, feel it and make sure it has opened fully and move it around until you find it comfortable. If some of the plastic stem sticking out when the cup is fully inserted, take it out and use clean scissors to cut the correct amount off the end.

TAKING IT OUT

I'm not going to hide it from you; it is usually not easy on the first go. But, like my experience with tampons, I committed to giving it a try again. Try to gently squeeze the bottom of the cup to release a bit of the suction created by the blood and then pull it out by taking by gently holding the bottom of the cup. Don't panic; try to relax. It helps, and practice makes it more manageable over time.

One can keep the cup in for up to 12 hours, so on days where you have to be at work or out for longer than that, took some wipes in the bag to get any blood off the hands before leaving the private room.

Overall, the things which are a bit stressing about menstrual cups didn't matter.

There were even a few things that we can notice about our periods only when using a menstrual cup; We can see how much blood comes out each day. Not only does a one-buy cup save money, it is also convenient to store as we are not frustrated about how many tampons or pads are left at home or running out of the shops to buy more when it's the last thing you want to do.

The Verdict: Recommended 4*

Ayesha: Well, using menstrual cups instead of pads and tampons is a transition that takes some time. But you will be proud of yourself when considering that the benefits are enormous – not only for you but for the planet.

Katherine: I will be trying this again on my next cycle.  If it wasn't for the faff of learning to insert and exert, this would be a 5* solution for me!  I have no doubt, that as practice occurs throughout my next cycles, this routine will become as familiar as tampons.

We hope that this helps shed some light around the menstrual cup and that you found today's Health Fix helpful. 

With love, Beautifully Nourished x 
 
Dr Ayesha Gulzar, PharmD, Doctor of Pharmacy, Research and Medicine
Editor and Founder: Katherine Elyse Blake, BSC Nutrition, ANutr

 

 

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