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I had been toying with the idea of trying out a menstrual cup for a while, but honestly, I was a little bit skeeved out by the whole idea—and it is quite a steep initial investment, usually around $35 rather than the $6-7 I was paying for a box of tampons. Of course, every month when I realized that I was out of tampons, or had forgotten to bring tampons with me and started unexpectedly at work, or the store didn't have my tampons, I was definitely intrigued with the concept of having something that would never run out and that I didn't have to purchase each month. I had watched a few videos about people's menstrual cup experiences and was definitely becoming more comfortable with the idea when, suddenly, a Facebook ad popped up, offering a free menstrual cup if I paid for shipping. I definitely am a sucker for something that is free. I was slightly scared about what kind of random mystery product I would be receiving and whether or not it was a good or safe choice, but I went through with it anyway because at least it let me play around and see what they were like.
The cups came and it was the Aneercare brand I was pleased to look up and see that they had a nice website and seemed respectable. I was also really excited that it included both the large and small cups. Due to my research, I had no idea which size cup I was supposed to use. I am a 33-year-old woman with no children and an extremely light flow. Most cups say that women over a certain age, depending on the cup 30, 35, or in the case of the Aneercare cup 25, for women who had had experienced childbirth should use the large cup. I didn't want to buy the wrong size and then need to invest in another one. I decided to try the small cup. I boiled both cups a few days before my period was due to come just so that I could be prepared.
When I started to experience that fun night before spotting have-I-or-haven't-I started, I decided it was time to test out the cup. I used the recommended C fold which requires you to push the cup flat and then fold it in half like a C shape in order to insert the cup. I was incredibly not confident about the insertion process. I felt like my body clamped down and didn't want to let the cup be inserted fully. I could definitely feel the cup, which everything I could read said you should not. I inserted, wore for a bit, reinserted, repeated, went to bed. There were no leaks, and there was definitely blood inside the cup, and none outside. Success! Rinse, reinsert ... mad discomfort. So I did some more research. I decided to cut the stem shorter since I could definitely notice that it was sitting low in my vagina. I wasn't 100 percent sure if it was located properly. If it was opening properly, the entire thing seemed overwhelming. I was pretty sure that it wasn't opening all the way. I tried the punch down fold which involves you pushing the cup into itself before folding and inserting.
But the immediate benefits of being able to go pee without having to remove the tampon or deal with a soggy string, if I didn't remember to pull it out on time or all the other reasons that tampons suck so much, totally had me sold. I really wanted to make this thing work, so I did some more research. I looked into different folding options and the benefits and drawbacks, I researched the cup itself and how to get it to open. What I had learned was that I may have a low cervix and strong pelvic floor muscles; that the cup I received is considered a softer cup and I may have wanted a harder cup, but I was going to persevere. So I decided to try the seven fold. Apparently, this fold has the benefits of not forcing the cup into itself, so it was more likely to open. Another tip was top allow the cup to open before inserting fully. So armed with this knowledge. I tried again.
I did the seven fold, which folds the cup in half and then diagonally folds the top corner towards the bottom of the cup. I inserted it partially and loosened my hold on the cup so that it would open. I essentially pulled and pushed on the cup a bit until I heard it pop, and then slid further up so that it was comfortably settled inside me. I kept waiting to find that I had leaked. I didn't feel the cup. It was settled. There were no leaks, I could wear it all day at work without needing to change. I could use the restroom without needing to change, or to grab something before running to the restroom. Yes, this was everything that had me sold on the idea. The rest of the period was successful. It was wonderful—it was the most amazing experience to have this burden of responsibility lifted. No did I bring tampons? No indescribable discomfort of pulling a dry tampon out. No trying not to pee before you remove it so you don't have to deal with the soggy string terror. No wondering why the cruel world makes you poop so much more when you have your period so that you are burning through tampons that don't need to be changed just so you can go to the bathroom. Omg! Every time I use the restroom with the cup in, I want to come out and tell every lady how life changing this stupid cup is.
I just started my second period with the cup. I take the pill so my periods are super regular. I put the cup in at night when I should start. I didn't have to wear ugly period panties cause I knew I wouldn't leak. There was no surprise start. I woke up, rinsed it, reinserted, and went to work. I didn't need to think about my period at all at work! I worked a ten hour shift, I came home, took it out in the shower, rinsed, and reinserted. I didn't have to think about what to wear because I knew it was good. It is the most amazing thing; just a rinse and a boil after you'er done for the week. For the first time in 24 years, I don't have to deal with the ridiculous burden of supplies and it's freaking amazing.
If you've thought about the cup, I strongly suggest giving it a go. It's a monumental difference in your quality of life.