I used a period cup and here's what happened

I used a period cup and here's what happened

Today’s post is about to get really personal and filled with sentences that should be prefaced with “TMI WARNING” but won’t be. 

ashley manley, lena period cup

Consider this your warning to proceed with caution and not to spit liquid onto your screen.

For those people that know me well, there are two topics of conversation I never shy away from no matter how uncomfortable they make the people around me: periods and poop.  I find both of them to be disgustingly satisfying events to talk about in a creepy amount of detail.  We all have our things.  Today’s post?  Well, it’s about the period.  Princess Menses.  The way of the woman.  Aunt Flow.  If you know someone that has a vagina, you know what I’m talking about.  But it’s not really as much about my red badge of courage itself as how I, ahem, caught it. 

For most of my friends, I’m the crunchiest person they know.  I prefer going barefoot to the restrictions of shoes, I’d have dreadlocks if my husband wouldn’t divorce me, and if I ever have to drive a van SO HELP ME GOD it better double as a something that can roll up into a 70s music festival looking like it was made for that place.  There are, however, a lot of non-crunchy things that I live by as well. Like bleach. And shaving my armpits. And slim jims. 

Over the last 6-ish months, I’ve been getting texts and messages from my favorite friends with links to articles or screenshots of alternative period products with a funny question of “have you gone this far yet?!”  My answer always is something along the lines of a barf emoji, no effing way, these people are so gross.  With, of course, 87 explanation points to drive my disgusted point home. Seriously…a cup? to catch my period blood?  I couldn’t even handle what that must be like.  And don’t even get me started on my thoughts on period underwear! <insert barf emoji here>  Have I mentioned lately how judgy I am?

It was after one of these ridiculous text exchanges that it occurred to me, ”Why the hell haven’t I tried one of these?!?”  Of course I think they are weird, but I thought guacamole was weird for a while and now I want to bathe in it.  Maybe these products were the guacamole of the period world that I’ve been missing out on?!  So, without thinking too long about anything, I took to amazon and did my research (research = looking at highest star rating) and clicked my little order button.  2 days later, my period chalice showed up (I got THIS ONE, by Lena, size small).  All that was left to do was wait for the blood to start flowing.  It was the most excited I’d been for my period to start since I was 12 and convinced that starting my period would make my boobs grow.  Turned out that was a lie, but that’s another post.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

ashley manley lena period cup

First of all, when I opened it I was surprised how big it was.   Probably double the size I was expecting! That was a slightly terrifying realization, but alas I persevered.  The instructions were  super easy to understand and reassuring that this thing wasn’t going to kill me or my bits.  You have to boil it to sterilize it before use, which grossed out my husband that something that holds my period blood was going to get cooked in the spaghetti pot, but it made me feel better knowing I was killing everything off…what “everything” really means, I have no idea.

First Use

ashley manley lena period cup

“Insertion” of the thing actually was a lot easier/faster than I expected, I just kinda shoved it up there (using the taco fold per the instructions) and it stayed.  The stem (the long bottom part that serves as a sort of string of a traditional tampon) didn’t hang out of my bits like I was expecting it to, so that significantly brought the weird factor down a few levels.  I read some reviews that said it’s “more comfortable than a tampon!” but I didn’t find that to be the case at first.  After 30-minutes to an hour, however, I didn’t notice it and it was basically nonexistent feeling for the rest of the cycle.

Removing it was where things got a little scary.  Mostly because I couldn’t find the stem to help retrieve it and I had about 30-seconds of shear terror where I convinced myself I was going to have to go to the emergency room to have my bits cut open to get this thing out of me.  Shockingly that didn’t happen and I found it.  There was some discomfort during this part.  I wouldn’t say pain, just pressure maybe? Or weird suction? Regardless, I got it out, and low and behold, there was blood in it..the thing worked!

I used the cup for the rest of my period and everything got significantly easier and more comfortable. Rather than giving the blow by blow of each use making this post even longer, I figured I’d just give you the highlights…

PROS

  • Reusable. I like the fact that it can be used over and over cutting back on the cost and waste of buying tampons.

  • Comfortable. Other than the first use, I didn’t notice I was wearing it, even when doing yoga and housework and drinking wine. And we all know being uncomfortable while drinking wine is no fun.

  • Easy to insert. Though different than a tampon, of course, it wasn’t difficult.

  • Last longer. On my heaviest day, I can change my tampon every 1-2 hours for a full day, this lasted hours, maybe even longer if I wouldn’t have been so anxious to change it and check things out.

  • It worked! Other than my first day of trying to get it all figured out, I didn’t have any leaks or issues.

ashley manley lena period cup

CONS

  • Messy. This is actually my only complaint. Compared to a tampon or pad, I felt like there was a lot more…mess.  Removal was kind of like a crime scene on my heavy day, the cup had to be rinsed and washed constantly, etc… I’m sure you can use your imagination here to paint a red-filled picture.

Now the million dollar question, will I use it again?

ashley manley lena period cup

Absolutely!  The cons were definitely not great enough for me to never use it again but I don’t know if I will use it in a situation where I would need to empty it outside of the house because of the mess and inconvenience of it all. I was really happy with it, felt comfortable, and enjoyed the extra bonus of how gross my husband and mom thought it was.

Most importantly, I’m just happy next time I get a random text about a period cup I can respond to the question of “have you gone this far?” with “duh!”

What about you…are you on the cup train or is it way too weird for you?