Collage of 4 landscape images. The top right image is of a see-through menstrual cup held by a hand against a white background. The top right image is of a fabric draw-string bag with a green drawstring against a white background. The bottom right is of a hand holding a see-through menstrual cup on it's side. The bottom left image is of a hand holding a see-through menstrual cup from above.

Using a Menstrual Cup – Featuring Trips with a Tot

Using a Menstrual Cup Featuring Trips with a Tot

This week we have our first ever guest post! It’s the lovely Naomi from Trips with a Tot talking all about her experiences of using a menstrual cup.

Meet Naomi

Hi! I’m Naomi and I live in Sheffield. I’m 26 years old and addicted to going on days out and travels with my family. I love going on adventures and exploring locally and afar with my little boy, Eric, and partner, Ollie. We do everything by public transport! I love to discover the best stuff what’s on for families in the area, find hidden gems, and recommend all the best stuff for kids in South Yorkshire. Trips with a Tot is all about finding out where to go to enjoy local days out, things to do, and inspiring you to get out with your family. Please join us on Facebook – we are a community of over 6K followers and I use my Facebook as a micro-blog! Aside from blogging, I love babywearing, the outdoors, taking photos, vegan food, sunny days, and scandi baby clothes.

What I assumed before ever using a menstrual cup

It’s gross.

It’s something I’m not sure about.

Why would I change tampons when they’re all I’ve ever used and work for me?

They’re expensive.
They don’t work for heavy periods.
The truth? I was wrong about ALL of them.

What using a menstrual cup is actually like

It eased period pains.

I have shorter periods.

They are environmentally friendly.

Cups have no toxic shock risk.

There are no leaks when using a cup.

There are no bad smells with reusable cup products.

No waste – they’re reusable!

They save you a ton of money.

Mess? Hardly.

So let’s look into it a bit further…

Before ever using a menstrual cup, I thought, “But… why?! I don’t want to see my blood and i definitely don’t want to have to deal with it multiple times a day! Just, gross!”

Much Less Mess

Using a menstral cup is less messy than a pad or tampon. It doesn’t leak. You don’t have deal with pulling a messy string out, blood stained knickers, panty liners and extra pads. I am actually “down there” when I’m on my period much less than I ever was when I used tampons and pads. In fact, most of the time, I forget I’m even on my period.

A reusable cups gets inserted into the vagina and hours later (up to 12 hours, actually) the cup comes out, the blood goes down the toilet, the cup is rinsed, and reused! It really is as easy as that. You don’t have to touch, or even see the blood inside the cup. Simply remove it, and between your legs, tip it and empty the blood down the toilet. Yes, you have to rinse the cup and yes, there is blood residue to be seen but all you have to do is rinse this under a running tap. This takes maybe, a few seconds, and it becomes second nature once you have used the cup a few times. I would take this any day over a smelly tampon which has leaked all over my underwear, or a full pad which is heavy, smells horrible and that is very close to your fingers when changing it. I feel soooo much cleaner using my cup than I ever did with using tampon and pads. No mess in the bins or in your knickers.

And… no smelly period pads and liners in the bathroom bin. You know the smell of a dirty pad or a tampon? That’s because the blood has mixed chemicals. The actual menstrual blood does not smell bad… it has come straight out of the body and is not rotten. It’s fresh blood. That’s why, with a moon cup, there are no bad smells.

Pain

I’ve always had painful periods. Since they started when I was 11 my periods have been excruciating needing strong pain killers, rest and hot water bottles. When I was a teenager, they were so heavy and painful I went to the doctors who put me on a hormonal contraceptive pill.

Flash forward 10 years later, I came off the pill to have a baby. My periods were still painful. They were no different without pill and no different after having a baby. The only difference I have ever felt was when I started using a menstrual cup. I am no longer in much pain at all. My cramps have reduced massively, so much so that for the majority of my period I forget I am on it. I don’t cramp half as much as I did before, and not at all towards the end of my period. I usually don’t even need to take pain relief.

Comfort and safety

The majority of the time, I found tampons very uncomfortable. I tried most brands but throughout around 10 years of using them, I was never truly happy with any brand. I found them painful to take out, I could feel them when wearing them, and I dreaded putting them in. It’s no surprise I felt uncomfortable because tampons absorb 35% of vaginal moisture, whilst a moon cup does 0.
A moon cup is made from soft, medical-grade-silicone, with no chemicals, no dyes, no risk of toxic shock, no bleach, no strings and no pain. I usually forget I am even wearing mine.

Cost

Tampons, pads and panty liners are not cheap. It’s estimated that in their lifetime women on average spend over £18,000 on tampons. Yes, a huge amount of money going straight down the toilet never to be seen again.

A menstrual cup is reusable. It doesn’t get thrown away after one use. It can be used time and time again. My moon cup cost me £20 and lasts a lifetime. Moon cup quote, “If you follow our instructions for cleaning and storage, the Mooncup menstrual cup will last for years and years” and Divacup recommend replacing after 10 years. TEN years! That’s a very long time… and in ten years you would spend a lot of money on tampons and pads. For the price of a moon cup, £20 would get me 4 boxes of Tampax Campax pearl super , which cost £5.85 a packet. It is without a doubt that the moon cup has already saved me so much money. I just wish I had started using it sooner.

Shorter Periods

My period is shorter in length since using a menstrual cup. Once the blood flow starts slowing down and I notice less and less in the cup, I know my period is coming to an end. Unlike before, with tampons and pads, I had days after my actual period of what I called “after period”- usually bloody discharge but with no actual blood flow. I was stuck between using a tampon (which never filled up so it hurt to pull a dry one out) or a panty liner (which isn’t pleasant either- I do not miss that feeling). Sound familiar?

With the cup, once the blood has stopped, my period is over. I don’t experience any discharge or “after period” at all. I find this extremely convenient! Once my period is over, the cup goes back into the bag until next time. No messing around with different tampon flows, sticky panty liners and changes of underwear.

Convenience

One of the most useful conveniences of using a menstrual cup I find is the fact that it is ONE product. I don’t have to buy different types of pads, liners and tampons. I don’t have to think about what I need to pack before I leave the house or worry what disposable period essentials I may need to take on holiday. I’ve been caught out many times before when I used pads/tampons and came on my period in public only to have to fork out £4 on a box of super duper flow tampons from the nearest newagents, and usually not the brand I liked or felt comfortable with but I didn’t have any other choice.

But with using the moon cup, it conveniently fits in my bag without taking much space up at all, I can throw it into a suitcase to take away with me on holiday knowing I’m covered if I come on, and I can relax because I am reassured that with every period, the product I use is always my number one choice. That it’s convenient to me.

Confidence

Using a menstrual cup gives me confidence because I know my period isn’t going to be something I dread. I’m not going to worry about leaks, dirty underwear, wearing pads and tampons I don’t like because I forgot to pack my usuals in my bag, and I feel healthy. I don’t worry about toxic shock, infections, smelly pads, leaks and chemicals.

My moon cup makes me have a happy period and gives me the confidence I need to enjoy my menstrual cycle instead of dreading aunt flow.

I do not miss anything about pads or tampons. They’re uncomfortable, expensive and come with a risk of toxic shock. A moon cup is comfortable, reusable and safe. And that’s why I love using a menstrual cup!

Thanks for Sharing

I’d like to say a big thanks to Naomi for writing this post. Do pop over to Trips with a Tot and check out Naomi’s posts. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

As always leave a comment and tell us what you think.

Two stacked landscape-orientated images of a hand holding a menstrual cup against a white background. In the top image the cup is being held upright and the bottom image the menstrual cup is being held sideways. A mentrual cup is a rounded-funnel shaped and made from see-through silicon. Below the images are the words 'Using a Menstrual Cup' in teal, below that the text 'Featuring Trips with a Tot' in red, all text is against a dark purple background.

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