I’ve come to accept that I am the friend who will talk about uncomfortable things. Alcoholism, mental health issues, having the sex talk with your kids, and even being the one who brings up that uncomfortable conversation about gift-giving over the holidays. It’s fine. We all need that friend, especially if your mom isn’t around to have these talks with, am I right?
So here we go again ladies (and I am saying “ladies” on purpose because if you are a guy, you definitely want to scroll right on outta here — we are about to get personal). This time, we’re going to chat about…
The Menstrual Cup.
I know, I know. When I first heard about the menstrual cup, I thought it was either a joke or something only super crunchy women used. I ranked it just above cloth menstrual pads and went on my merry way. But you guys, I tried it and it is LIFE CHANGING.
I started out using tampons like every other teenage girl in the ’90s. They worked fine until I had kids. I’m not entirely sure what happened to my lady bits after having children (I mean, I have a pretty good idea), but after babies, tampons just didn’t fit correctly. No matter which brand I tried — and believe me, I tried them ALL — they would slip or leak or do any number of other messy and uncomfortable things.
I’m fitness instructor, living my life in spandex leggings, so pads are not an option. Spending my days in constant fear of a leaking tampon isn’t so great an option either. Enter: The Menstrual Cup.
So many of my friends recommended the cup, but I honestly thought they were bonkers. How does it work? Isn’t it gross? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!?
One friend let me have a Flex disc to try. These are disposable, plastic discs that fit just inside the cervix, catch everything, and then are thrown away. I couldn’t really get the hang of it. Another friend told me about a quiz you can take online to find out which cup is right for you. I took the quiz. It asked me if my cervix is high, medium, or low. I guessed. After much internet research, I ordered a Flex cup. I assumed that because I have had four babies and work out regularly, I would need an “industrial grade” menstrual cup. The “large and in charge.” The Big Mama Jama (see what I did there?)
I was incorrect.
After more internet research and asking friends who are regular cup users, I found that cup size matters and how you think your lady bits are sized and shaped may not, in fact, be real life. FYI, you may have to try out several cups before you find one that fits. It hurt my feelings a little to have to spend $30 or $40 on a cup that I couldn’t use — and you dang sure can’t return it — but when I added up all I’d spent on leaky tampons over the years, I got over it. I found a winner with my second cup purchase, the Saalt Cup. It is smaller and softer than what I thought I would need, but wonders never cease.
For those of you unfamiliar with the mechanics of it all, it really is genius. Here’s a link to explain exactly how the cup works. I genuinely want to know why no one thought of it sooner.
When I say this has been life-changing, I am not being dramatic. For years, I have struggled with being able to function like a normal human during my period. I honestly thought there was something wrong with me because it seemed my flow was so heavy. I got checkups, we did blood work, and everything came back 100% normal. It turns out, I’m not bleeding all that much; it’s just that tampons were making it seem like I was hemorrhaging to death every 28 days.
With the cup, I put it in each morning and basically forget about it until I go to bed at night. There are times, like after a particularly intense workout, that I’ll need to “readjust,” but I typically don’t even think about my period now. No more lugging around tampons of different sizes or desperately asking every woman I see, “Do you have a tampon? No, a BIG tampon?” No more trying to change a tampon with a preschooler looking at me in my eyeballs in a public restroom loudly asking, “Whatcha doin’, mama? You bleeding, mama? You need a bandaid, mama?”
You guys, I even have fewer cramps.
Change is hard. As a tampon user from way back, it took quite a bit of convincing to get me to try this newfangled vajayjay contraption, but I am oh-so-glad I did! As an aside, my husband is mortified by the term “menstrual cup” and refers to it as my “tupperware.” You can come up with your own name for your new best friend, but we are happy to share this one if you like.
Another aside: if you want to try the Saalt cup, you can check it out on Amazon.