Just typing it makes me shudder a little bit.
I was hesitant to use a menstrual cup for around 4 years. When I first heard of them, they were attached to the name "diva Cup." Diva cup? I'm no diva! That does not sound like something I would ever be interested in. I'll stick with my tampons, thanks.
Then one day, in preparation for my first postpartum period with my second baby, I was hanging out at Tiny Feet BOutique and talking to some friends. They began discussing the menstrual cup that the store sold and I was totally grossed out. Then someone said "you only have to empty and clean it once or twice a day!" I went from grossed out to intrigued in seconds!
If you've ever had to change your tampon on a hot day in the middle of nowhere gas station that hasn't been cleaned in months, then you know what i'm talking about when I say that the idea of only having to empty and clean my cup once or twice a day sounded like a miracle! Of course I was still skeptical as... EW but I was quickly talked down from my ew factor.
Emptying and cleaning a cup is not very different gross wise than changing a tampon or pad. It's inevitable, theres blood involved. If you did't already know, your period is literally about vagina blood. There's not much else to it. Blood is going to happen and antibacterial soap is your friend. I can tell you that the amount of ew factor (once I really figured out the cup) has been no different than the ew factor of a tampon or a pad. Actually it's quite a bit better than a pad and since you change it less than a tampon, It's technically less ew than a tampon as well.
The next thing I was worried about was leaking. In the very limited research I had done, the main thing I had heard was that leaking was a big problem. I'm here to tell you that this is true. It took me 4 cycles to figure out how to position the menstrual cup and turn it to make sure there were no holes in the seal of the cup. This video explains how to use the cup perfectly and after a few tries and views of the video, I was able to figure how to get rid of leaking. I would highly suggest using a panty liner or pad for the first few cycles until you get very comfortable with the use of the cup. Once you figure it out however and get comfortable with how your body works with the menstrual cup, you will be home free!
The use of a menstrual cup before and after baby can be slightly different so there's a few things to look out for. There may be an increase in blood after you've had a child and you may need to move up to a larger size cup. You also need to be aware of the position of your cervix. Lunette has a great blog about this that I suggest reading for everyone who wants to use a menstrual cup!
Other than these two things, it's important to note that menstrual cups are NOT to be used for postpartum bleeding. Putting any foreign object into your vagina after having a baby can cause infection and is not safe. Please talk to a doctor before starting the use of a menstrual cup.
Menstrual cups don't have to be gross. They don't have to be weird and they don't have to be "crunchy". Menstrual cups have given women the opportunity to have freedom during their periods. I'm a convert and I hope that this blog helps those of you on the fence become converts too!