Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen the advertisements online for the period cup. They’re branded as being better for the environment, your vagina and last up to 8hours, so you don’t have to keep rushing to the bathroom to change your tampon every two hours.
I decided to purchase one of them for the sake of all of the above. I didn’t research; I just picked a ‘regular’ size from my local Coles. The cups aren’t cheap – they cost $40, but I probably spend that a month on tampons anyway.
The first thing you have to do is sterilize it; it comes in a little egg-shaped cup, it’s a lovely shade of pink, so it’s kind of cute but still feels a bit of work when you’re already a bit nervous.
It only takes a minute in the microwave, though, and it’s sterile and good to go (perhaps I was too hasty in thinking it was work). I read that it said not to try it early on in your period if you weren’t sure. Still, I am a risk-taker like that, so I decided to do it anyway despite being first-day cramping.
There’s a couple of different options to folding it before insert, so I would suggest it’s trial and error, similar to whether you squat or one leg up to insert. For me, inserting it was straightforward, but once it’s inside, the instructions say to rotate it 360 degrees which I didn’t know how to do. It felt super comfortable and didn’t feel like anything was in there at all, thankfully.
The hardest part I found was removing it, the instructions say not to tug on it but to use the grip marks on the cup, but I couldn’t even get my fingers up around the cup. I ended up just tugging on the thing they said not to and feeling relieved after.
Honestly, it was OK to insert and felt nothing while it was inside. Still, the removal was a bit stressful, blood splattered on my bathroom floor, and I don’t really know how comfortable I’d be out and about if I needed to rinse it.
So next up was the panties – full disclosure, I was pretty grossed out about the whole thing. Wearing my underwear while bleeding out an empty egg felt dirty and dangerous; we’ve all experienced a leak at least once a cycle. I can’t even count how many good 1000 thread count bed sheets I’ve got with stains on them!
I did the basic and purchased Bonds – I went the G and the full just to see the difference in comfort. They run small, so be prepared to go up a size. The first day I put them on was when my trusty Flo app told me I would be due. The hero of the day – not once did I stress when I felt wet that I would need to run to the toilet! When I had time to go to the bathroom, I had indeed gotten my period, and my fear turned to happiness – no leak and no smell. What trickery was this material?
I wore the panties for the remainder of the night and during my blissful 8hours sleep, and when I did, my morning wee was literally the only time I felt a bit off. You know that feeling when you wear a full pad and it’s kind of damp and cold!? That was the indication for me to change.
The rinsing part was also surprisingly OK; I rinsed them in the shower and then chucked them in the washing machine, no stress, no dramas.
Safe to say, I went out and bought three more pairs. The period cup, I’ll do without for now.