Since becoming a mum, I have learnt many things. Quite a few of those things are about how I as a person, have changed, mostly for the good I’d say. I’m more compassionate, I love deeper, I am more aware of the impact of my actions and I share more. A lot more.
Maybe too much.
“TMI” seems to be my middle name these days, and this post I’m afraid is going to be no exception.
If you don’t like talking about your period, vaginas, or things that go inside of your vagina, then I’m just letting you know upfront that this blog post is not for you.
Close the page now.
Okay, still with me? Let’s get to the gross stuff.
I hate having a period. I was a late bloomer – 15 or 16 from memory. Have never been regular and am horrible at predicting when I’m about to start my next cycle. Being on the pill for the best part of 15 years helped these issues and life was pretty peachy keen until I decided to start trying for a baby.
Goodbye pill, hello unpredictability!
Fast forward two pregnancies and over a year of breastfeeding each time resulting in about three glorious period-free years in my life and here we were, just a couple of months ago. My period was back and I was not happy.
Not so much with the actual period itself – I didn’t mind the blood, I just hated the inconvenience of it all. The pads – gross. The tampons – gross. The constant trips to the toilet, kids in tow, weapon of choice carefully concealed somewhere discreet – I was always a fan of a tampon in my bra…
But I digress. I had had enough!
I had seen a few posts and things on the internet about menstrual cups and while a super foreign concept, I figured I had nothing to lose and made my purchase online.
Once again my period has managed to sneak up on me and take me by surprise.
“Not this time”, I think to myself as I get my little pack out of the vanity. Thankfully, it’s a Friday afternoon and I’m not due back at work until Wednesday so the timing is perfect to give this thing a go with little fear of public embarrassment, unlike that one time at a school concert where there wasn’t a toilet close by…
I follow the instructions and fold my cup into a “C” shape and pop it into place. It’s easy enough, but takes a bit of fiddling to get it right. The internet tells me it’s going to take several cycles to nail it, so I’m not too worried.
I’m pleasantly surprised by how comfortable it is, and head off to sleep for the night.
Overnight is a success! No leaks, and no urge to run from the bed to the loo as soon as I get upright as is the case sometimes when using tampons.
I remove the cup as instructed in the shower and pop it back into place with a bit of difficulty. I can now relax for 12 hours until I need to change it again.
Yes. 12 HOURS.
Another night with no dramas and a trip out of the house, wearing a liner just to be safe. Still, there are no incidents and I start to get cocky. I feel like I’ve cracked the period code.
Cue 14 hours later when I’ve forgotten to change my cup and find myself with a dirty big stain on my undies. I take the cup out thinking it’s full, but it’s not. I think it’s moved a little during the course of the day and the seal has broken, creating a leak.
Lesson learnt – a little readjusting throughout the day doesn’t go astray.
I’ve been having a bit of trouble getting the cup to fall into place properly when inserted, so I consult the internet and find a useful video on different folding methods. I try the “Punch Down” fold and immediately find it better. I’ve also decided to trim the stem which also helps with not noticing it’s there at all.
Things are wrapping up for me this cycle and I’ve made it. five days with no tampons, no pads. A couple of liners which I consider my safety net for now.
It sounds silly, but I am proud of myself for taking a chance and trying something new and definitely not mainstream. For saving a couple of dollars a month on items I can’t stand buying. For switching to something more environmentally friendly.
So for those of you curious about menstrual cups – my advice is just give it a go. If you don’t like it, go back to what you were doing before. I’m sure they’re not everyone’s cup of tea (okay, that’s kinda gross), but I’m sure there are a lot of you out there who assume, like I used to, that there are no other options besides the sanitary items in your local supermarket.
So where do you find your perfect cup? Start here.
Edit* I’ll be grabbing a pair or two of Modibodi’s undies to use as my back up instead of liners to make my cycle zero waste. Go me! See the range here.