I was given the opportunity as a featured Twister, to write a blogpost and below are my honest opinions:
I don’t why it took me so long to get hooked on menstrual cups, then again my mom never talked to me about it and I didn’t know anybody who used them so it took me awhile to build up curiosity.
To tell you the truth I always thought that they were kind of gross. I started doing my research online and one of my close friends actually sent me a message one day out of the blue telling me I needed to get a menstrual cup because its gonna change my life! I mentioned to her that I was doing some research and the next thing you know BOOM! she sends me one in the mail to try.
Changed my life.
So lets talk about periods, I know a lot of women feel embarrassed I'm not sure why, that's your period. Blood comes out. Lets not sugar coat it, every woman has it, it happens once a month. No big deal. By this time I just embrace it- I go get my candy, popcorn and whatever else I’m craving, because for me the first two days are hell! For the longest time I used mostly tampons because they were affordable for me, it's what’s out there in the stores, everybody uses them and basically it's what I was taught to use.
So why did I make the permanent switch to my Twistie Cup?
The number one reason is because I was getting tired of having to buy tampons and pads. It was just too much money. Imagine the length of time between your first period until today and then think about all the pads and tampons that you've used. That is a lot of years of buying and wasting. I just wanted all of that to stop and I like the concept of just buying a menstrual cup that is gonna last me for years. My thoughts were that it only costs US$30.00 and this will last me 5 years or more. That, to me, was pretty damn impressive.
The second most appealing thing about the Twistie Cup is that you're just re-using the same silicone cup so there's less waste. I felt as though I was contributing too much to the waste in the environment over the years by using pads and tampons. With my Twistie Cup, I wasn't throwing 3-4 pads or wrappers in the trash daily, all I had to do was empty the contents in the toilet, cleanse the cup and re-use. I know the thought of a menstrual cup might scare some women, especially if they're not familiar with their vaginal area. This reminds me of that episode on sex and the city where Samantha told Charlotte to just take a little mirror to the bathroom and take a look at her vagina, which is something that we should all do because menstrual cups are a little more personal than tampons or pads. With a tampon, you have an applicator to help you insert however, in this case you will have to insert using your fingers.
Inserting a menstrual cup can be a little tricky on your first try but its fairly easy with practice, so don’t get discouraged. The first thing you would need to do is wet your cup or if necessary, apply some type of natural lubricant. That way it's a lot easier to insert. There are a few different ways you can fold your cup to insert it. I use the “Punch Down Fold”. I basically fold one side of the cup while pinching the other and insert it. It pops open in your vagina and that's going to create a suction. Sometimes it can be positioned a bit crookedly depending on the position of your cervix. When that happens, the cup has a stem along with a grip at the base for you to pull when taking it out. Just pull on the stem and try to turn it until you feel it placed comfortably. Once you have a good suction, nothing is going to spill.
With a menstrual cup you can go swimming, do sports, exercise etc. You can basically do whatever you want on your period AND you can sleep through the night without having to worry about leakage or changing your pad/tampon.
It's also really comfortable. I clean my cup about 3 times per day after emptying it, then I sterilize it after each period cycle. I use a gentle liquid soap and water to clean it and make sure that I clean the holes very well.
My first insertion actually went really well. I was in the shower so I wet my cup, folded it then inserted it and I could literally feel it pop open. It was so comfortable that I almost forgot that I had it in. Later that day, I went to visit a friend and finally remembered “I'm having my period and it's been a few hours with my cup inserted. Maybe I should empty it.” I went into the bathroom to relieve myself and when I reached for the stem, I could not feel it. I immediately started to panic and thought to myself “leave it to my vagina to eat the damn cup". I called my friend panicking and after she was done laughing, she calmly told me there was nothing to worry about and that I should sit on the toilet and gently push like I’m having a baby so I did just that. After pushing, I felt for the stem and there it was! I pulled down on the stem and as soon as I could feel the base of the cup, I squeezed it to release the suction and pulled it out easily. I then emptied it, washed it and popped it back in. This is why I don’t think there is a very big learning curve. The first two days may be a bit awkward but after that, it's pretty easy.
Personally, the entire experience has been extremely pleasant. I can go anywhere without having to worry in the back of my head that I need to go to the bathroom to change my pad or tampon. I can go through hours on end without having to worry and wait until I’m in a private restroom or at home to empty the blood and clean my cup. For me, that's incredible. I also love that I’m saving money, I’m not throwing all these things in the trash. Its just a better option all around. I feel like my PH has been regulated. I also legitimately feel like it cut my period down by two days! I know, very strange!
I encourage everyone to be open-minded and do their research. Maybe Twistie Cups can drastically improve your quality of life, like it has improved mine.