I Started My Period And Inserted A Menstrual Cup. 6 Days Later, Here’s How I Felt

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Every young woman awaits the day they’ll finally get their period and “become a woman.”

As a young teen, I knew I probably wouldn’t get my period until I was 13 or 14, and I definitely wasn’t looking forward to it.

Even without having ever had a period, I knew that bleeding every month would be a hassle. When I first noticed a drop of blood in my underwear, I was 14.

My mom walked me through the process of having a period, and I felt completely and utterly embarrassed. I didn’t want to think about my period, and there was no way I wanted to talk about it.

After a while, I got used to my monthly visits from Aunt Flo, but it took me a long time to feel comfortable dealing with all the menstrual-hygiene products out there.

Six months after I started my period, I finally made the switch from pads to tampons, and I’ve used both ever since then.

Last year, I started seeing things online about menstrual cups.

At first, I had no interest in them at all. However, they then started popping up everywhere. Most of the reviews I saw were positive, so I became intrigued.

I recently decided it would be worth it to learn how to use a menstrual cup — and when I did, I couldn’t wait to try one out.

Here’s what happened when I used a menstrual cup for the first time.

What Is A Menstrual Cup?

what is a menstrual cup

Courtesy of Ileana Paules-Bronet

A menstrual cup, which is a feminine hygiene product, is a replacement for pads and tampons.

The Cleveland Clinic explains that a menstrual cup is a flexible cup that is placed inside the vagina during your period to catch menstrual blood.

Instead of absorbing blood like pads and tampons, menstrual cups collect the blood, which is then released into a toilet when a woman removes the cup from her vagina.

How Does A Menstrual Cup Work?

how does a menstrual cup work?

Courtesy of Ileana Paules-Bronet

Most menstrual cups are made of rubber or silicone. Because they’re made of flexible materials, they are meant to fit comfortably inside the vagina.

Typically, a woman will fold a menstrual cup with their fingers before inserting it into their vagina.

Once it is in place, the menstrual cup should be leak-free.

Menstrual cups, unlike pads and tampons, can stay in the body for up to 12 hours at a time without being changed.

Benefits Of Using A Menstrual Cup

benefits and dangers of menstrual cup

Courtesy of Ileana Paules-Bronet

There are a lot of benefits to using a menstrual cup, including environmental and hygiene benefits.

Because many menstrual cups are reusable, they cost less and create less waste than tampons and pads.

According to the brand I used, Diva Cup, it’s only necessary to replace a menstrual cup if it starts to deteriorate or causes you irritation. The general guideline is to replace your menstrual cup once a year, though each brand is different.

Menstrual cups also keep any period odor inside, so you never have to worry about the smell.

Other benefits of menstrual cups include how easy they are to use, and that they can be safely worn for up to 12 hours.

WebMD explains that although most reusable menstrual cups must be removed before intercourse, many of the disposable ones are designed to be safe, comfortable, and mess-free during sex.

Disadvantages Of Using A Menstrual Cup

holding menstrual cup

Courtesy of Ileana Paules-Bronet

Unfortunately, there are some disadvantages to using a menstrual cup as well.

For one thing, they’re messier than pads and tampons, since they require you emptying and cleaning the menstrual cup by hand.

Some people experience problems with inserting and removing the cup, but it usually just requires a little bit of time to get used to the process.

Depending on your anatomy and vaginal comfort level, you may experience more discomfort using a menstrual cup than a pad or tampon.

According to WebMD, some menstrual cups may interfere with an IUD, so talk to your gynecologist before using a menstrual cup if you have an IUD.

Similarly to using tampons, it is still possible to get toxic shock syndrome (TSS) from menstrual cups. If you use them properly and according to instructions, they should be safe.

Menstrual Cup Brands

menstrual cup brands

Courtesy of Ileana Paules-Bronet

If you’re intrigued by this alternative menstrual hygiene method, you might be wondering which menstrual cup is best.

There are a lot of different menstrual cup brands, including disposable and reusable cups.

Some of these brands include the Lily Cup, the Lunette, the Juju Cup, the Moon Cup, the Pixie Cup, and the Diva Cup.

For this experiment, I used a Diva Cup because it had good reviews and was easy to buy online.

Before purchasing your own, you should definitely do a menstrual cup comparison to decide what’s right for you.

How To Use A Menstrual Cup

menstrual cup day 1

Courtesy of Ileana Paules-Bronet

When I got my menstrual cup in the mail, I was really excited.

Even though I’d been thinking about trying one for a while, I wasn’t ready to take the plunge until I decided to do it for LittleThings.

My period is pretty regular and usually starts on the same day of my cycle, but the time of day changes, so I used a pantyliner until my period actually started.

Once I was ready to use the cup, I took it out of the box and read the instructions to learn how to use the menstrual cup.

First, it was time to wash the cup.

Although Diva Cup also sells a Diva Wash that’s meant specifically for cleansing Diva Cups, I opted to use a mild, water-based, unscented soap and warm water (which was also listed as an option on the instructions sheet).

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