Goodbye Pads & Tampons – Hello Menstrual Cup!
So yesterday I participated in a grand celebration of a one-year anniversary of Bepreparedperiod tweet chats! It was a fantastic party, again, reminding us that the menstrual cycle is a perfectly natural bodily process and we should not be ashamed to speak about it. It’s also important that both guys and girls have equal opportunity to be educated through books and dialogue. During the tweet chat, I mentioned the excitement of introducing a menstrual cup to one of my girls which @bpreparedperiod suggested I blog on. What a wonderful idea, it totally didn’t cross my mind to write about it! It only happened less than a week ago so it’s still fresh on to my mind on how it happened!
So pretty much the highlight of this entry is that I managed to convince one of my girls to try a menstrual cup, although it was definitely an interesting method… one I would not recommend you employing unless you really know the person is comfortable with it and can take a hardy joke. Last weekend, I was over at her house and recently, I had purchased a menstrual cup from a nearby “green” store. It was in the trunk so I thought, “Hey, why not try to persuade —- to give it a shot?” As with most of my girls, the idea of reusable menstrual products do not sit well, particularly when it comes to the question of, “How do I clean it?” Unfortunately the second I have to say “dump and wash it” or “throw it in the laundry” I get that exasperated look already. I may be a person who likes to poke and prod here and there to see if they’ll change their minds, but I never force… after all, menstrual products are all personal preference and I hate the idea that one is “superior” to another – each has its own merits.
My friend just got her period the day before, so it was a perfect opportunity for me to give her a prod to try out the product. I know she’s weary of it, but she’s also one of my girls who is the type to be persuaded with a wee bit of pressure. We were about to head out to shop, so she went into her room to change. I snuck upstairs to her bathroom and took the basket where she keeps her pads and tampons. I emptied out the pads/tampons into my laptop bag temporarily because that’d be the last place she would assume I’d hide them! I brought the basket back into her bathroom and in place of the 20 some-odd products she had in it initially, I replaced it with one item – a menstrual cup.
Heck, I could be an Olympian assassin being able to pull that off without her noticing my movements and within record time! I see all this running and exercising of mine is paying off😆 I ran back downstairs and sat on the couch and waiting to hear her reaction from upstairs. I could hear her room door opening and she trotted toward the bathroom, likely to change herself before we left the house. I could hear her screaming my name and I burst out laughing. I’m sure some of my readers will consider this a cruel act, however, I know her well enough to not cause any hard feelings and in the event she really asked for pads or tampons back, I wouldn’t withhold them from her. I expected her to come rushing down and scrounging for her products back, but to my surprize, she didn’t. She called me upstairs and asked me to help her (through the door) to figure out how to use it. Now obviously I don’t have a vagina and have never inserted a menstrual cup in my life, but I guess conceptually I know it as well as I could. I talked her through it and she managed to get it in after about 15 minutes (or at least what FELT like 15) of fiddling with it and came out smiling.
She did ask for a pad to put on just-in-case the cup leaked since it is her first time using one, so I just gave everything back to her. I asked her if it felt anything like using a tampon and she said, “Not at all – feels even better and more reassuring.” I was really pleased that she took an opportunity to try it out and whether she continues using it, she at least gave herself the exposure to reusable menstrual products. A few hours into shopping, she was worried it would start to spill as it was day 2 for her and she doesn’t exactly flow on the light side either. She asked me to wait outside the “family” washroom for her just in case she ran into some major trouble. It took her some extra time (compared to when she uses conventional pads/tampons), but I heard the toilet flush so I assumed everything was ok. She emerged, smiled and told me everything was fine and that the cup wasn’t even close to full. She even happily touted that she doubted any pad/tampon she used could’ve withstood so many hours without leaking when she’s this heavy! She was so pleased with the cup that she even told me she ditched the pad because she felt secure enough.
She did mention that at first, when she had to rinse out the cup it was rather disturbing to see how much menstrual flow there was because she’s never seen the true amount of flow whenever it was absorbed into disposable pads or tampons. She also had to be quite careful upon removing the cup as to not spill the entire content all over the place. Understandably, there are all concerns that many of my other disposable-loving girls have. I always like to give opportunities for my girls try new products, disposables and reusables. I will never force the issue, though it can be quite fun and amusing (person-dependent) to pull something like this off and end up with a great reward. Now I have one more of my girls who has at least tried using a cup and that may perhaps create a path for her to try other reusable products like cloth pads.
While writing this entry, I exchanged a few text messages with her to see if she had any additional thoughts. She doubts that she will adopt the menstrual cup as a permanent replacement of her menstrual hygiene options, but definitely will be replacing her tampon-use overnight as it prevents the worry of TSS risk when sleeping beyond 8 hours. The cup will also be more convenient at home to use, though that doesn’t necessarily mean she won’t use it outside of the house either… however, using disposables can sometimes prove to be a convenience. On her VERY heavy days, pairing the cup with a pad backup would buy her a lot of time in between changing if needed or would give her a peace-of-mind to sleep in. Finally, she can immensely cut down purchases of pads/tampons since she has an extra option to rotate with and generate less trash every month.
I hope you found as much joy through this entry as I did with my little joke – which turned out great. I have to reiterate that this is not something everyone should try, unless you know your ‘target’ well. Though it sounded like I did this in the heat-of-the-moment, there was a lot of contemplation and consideration before pulling this off. Remember that you should never force menstrual hygiene options on someone, but encouraging and providing options through a friendly and helpful manner will bring you a better response. You can never understand another person’s needs, comfort level and feelings, so you should ensure not to press the matter beyond what is reasonable between the two of you!
Posted on July 14, 2012, in Periodtastic, Personal, TMI Corner and tagged Blog, Educational, Feminine Hygiene, Girls, Health, Maxi Pads, Menstrual, Menstrual Cup, Menstruation, My Life, Periods, Personal, Tampons, Women. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.