Cups – Still Not Convinced?

NEWS:  I now sell menstrual cups at my new store:

www.zanashop.com

These are my direct words from a video I did about the rejection of menstrual cups. I am currently working on editing the video and will hopefully have it up soon.  But for now, I can offer this for my readers.  Its basically concerning cups, and some people’s different reaction to them.

More specifically, its to discuss the reasons why some people completely reject the idea of a menstrual cup, and hopefully I can address those issues in such a way that helps to soften people’s hearts about them.  Of course, what you use to take care of your period is totally up to you, preferences are different for everyone, and that is perfectly ok.  I would never try to force someone convert to cups.

I like them, so naturally I might encourage people to give them a shot…  But I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad about what they’ve have chosen to use.  I always say, if there’s one thing every woman should have completely control over, its what she uses for her period.

But I do think its important to make the point that just because someone doesn’t personally want to use a menstrual cup, doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea for others.  Or that that person can‘t accept menstrual cup as a reasonable option for other women to use, and put it in the same accepted category as pads and tampons.

Again, that’s all I’m trying to do by discussing these matters– not push people into using a cup, but just get them to accept them as an option.

So with that in mind, let’s go over the most popular reasons why some people might reject menstrual cups:

1– They think a reusable item that goes in the vagina is disgusting, or unsafe.
2– They think the concept of a cup that collects blood is nasty or gross
3– They think its going to be messy
4– They don’t like having to touch the genital area

 

So first, lets go over #1– Thinking a reusable item that goes in the vagina is disgusting, or unsafe. I think its really just a matter of getting over a different idea, and seeing it for what it really is.  Because its really not that weird, or different, or unconventional at all.  For example, here are some things that people put inside the vagina, or up against it, and then wash and re-use all the time, but nobody gives them a second thought:

Underwear– and that’s actually an important one to remember if you are grossed out by things like washable cloth pads, because its essentially the same concept.

Diaphragms– and doctors actually prescribe those, which they wouldn’t do if they thought the concept of reusable vaginal products was medically unsafe.  Lots of women have been using diaphragms for decades.

Certain personal bedroom items– such as adult toys, and things that single adults or couples use.

All these things come in direct contact with the vagina, or go up inside it, and are washed and reused.  And they are no cleaner or dirtier than a menstrual cup during use, or after they are washed.

Furthermore, the material used to make menstrual cups is non porous, so it won’t be absorbing anything.  There‘s nowhere for bacteria to hide.   And medical silicone has natural antibacterial properties.  So any germs or bacteria you may be concerned about, will just wash right off the surface of the cup, and down the drain.

So you’re not putting something dirty back inside you– its perfectly clean.
Now we’ll look at #2– Thinking the concept of a cup that collects period blood is nasty or gross. Well technically, its not really any more nasty or gross than a mushy blob of cotton, soaked in period blood and either sitting right next to your skin on the outside as a pad, or coming in constant contact with the vaginal walls up inside as a tampon.  The only issue is, you’ve been conditioned to overlook the cotton concept, all your life.  But trust me, if you had never heard of it before, you would have the same reaction to it.  In all 3 cases, the blood will be constantly touching your skin.   Its really all just mind over matter.

#3– Thinking its going to be messy.

Um ….  This one I think, is really just a matter of being honest.  Both with yourself, and others.

First off, it’s a statistical fact– most people who use a menstrual cup (myself included) with a little practice, get to a point where we can put one in and take it out, with no more mess than a pad or tampon.

Second– I’ve used both pads and tampons most of my reproductive years.  And I’ll be the first person to admit– They’re not as clean and fuss free as they’re made out to be.  Even with pads and tampons, you will occasionally get a mess on your hands, or on your underwear.  Tampons get overly full and leak.  Pads move and shift around, and messes happen.   That is just a fact of life.

And if you have been using pads or tampons for a while– you know that‘s the truth.   Especially with pads.  I don’t mean to be overly graphic, but they can be quite messy when you‘re doing your business in the bathroom.  I’m not putting pads down– I’m just saying that I dealt with more mess using pads, than I do with a menstrual cup.

So I think if people can just acknowledge that cups, pads and tampons can be equally clean or messy, then that’s good enough for me.
And # 4– Not wanting to touch the genital area.

I would never insult anyone for being uncomfortable with this.  Because sometimes, there could be a lot behind it that I don’t know about.  It could have been the way they were raised, it could be a religious or cultural belief, or something traumatic may have happened to them in the past.  Its really not my place to judge anyone on that.

However, I will say that regardless of anything else, I believe that knowing your own body very well and being comfortable with yourself and your natural functions– is not a bad thing.  In fact, there are very good medical reasons why its important to be extremely familiar with as much of your body as you can.  Don’t overdo it of course, there are some areas that only a doctor should explore, like your intestines (laugh).  but knowing your body for cleanliness or medical reasons, is perfectly honorable.   And if your discomfort is because of something that happened in your past– there is nothing wrong with working through that, and maybe even finding someone to talk to, who understands.  Your body is a beautiful and precious thing, and you have every right in the world to be comfortable, to know yourself, and know the things that you need and want, in regards to your own body.

Also, from a biological standpoint– since it is part of your body, you are constantly touching the area.  Its attached to you, and part of you.  In fact, along with the heart and brain, it’s one of your main centers.  The skin of the legs is attached to the vaginal area.  Blood that is flowing through the veins of your vaginal area, will be flowing through the veins of your hands, your face, your mouth and tongue, your brain, your stomach and the rest of your body– in just a couple of minutes.  All of your body parts are constantly sharing with each other.

I know that my words are not miracle words, and it takes time to work through personal discomforts.  But I would just like to encourage everyone to explore this as much as possible.  And I hope I’ve been tactful about it. 🙂

15 Comments

  1. ilknur said,

    Hello and happy holidays,

    I am trying to introduce menstrual cups to Turkish women, believe it or not i am the first person attempting this, at least on internet…i really like this article, menstruation and genitals are serious taboos in turkey and even tampons are rejected by most (not for health or environmental issues but for the fact that they sit inside your vagina) i have been thinking about posting something about it on my blog….then i found your post and instead of inventing the wheel again, i wondered if it would be ok if i translated your post into turkish, maybe with minor changes and some additions and of course give reference to your blog?

    • menstrualcupinfo said,

      Sure that’s ok. Also, its good to remind people that religious books don’t really say anything abotu period products that sit inside the body. So any issues with them would mostly just be with virgins, and preserving they hymen. But for sexually active or married women, it would really just be a personal choice. Its not a “sexual” item, so it does not cheapen or pervert sex. It is a medical item. Even some very religious or culturally strict women will still get examined by a women’s health nurse or doctor. Exceptions are almost always made in matters of the genital area for medical purposes. I think tampons and cups fit into this category. Best of luck 🙂

  2. Rose said,

    I have an incredibly dumb question… I’ve seen people say they love these for swimming. So that means the stems aren’t long like a tampon. The stems aren’t visible in any way are they?

    I am anxiously waiting for a Cynthia to get stocked somewhere. Maybe a selena also. LOL!

    • Margar said,

      The stem is not supposed to protrude from the body. Many women prefer to trim the stem or cut it off completely. So a cup is great for swimming because you never have to have the dreaded “is my string hanging out” thought!

  3. Julia said,

    I am a 19yo virgin with relatively light periods. I never use larger than regular tampons and simply change them more on the first day. I’ve become increasingly frustrated with tampons. I started out with OB, which I struggled with due to lack of applicator and difficulty inserting them because they were so dry. When I switched to plastic applicators, that problem was eliminated, and I knew there were environmental drawbacks to these but I didn’t think there was an alternative.

    My vagina and entire perineal area ache consistently during my periods. I have trouble towards the end with things getting too dry and difficulty removing tampons. I know that some fibre loss is occurring and having done research on the components of tampons this worries me considerably. I have considered organic cotton tampons but I think I’d still have the same issues with dryness and the ensuing discomfort. Therefore, I think a cup would be ideal and I definitely want to at least give it a try for the health benefits as far as eliminating the terrible dryness and toxic fiber loss in my body. Perhaps this could even diminish the aching. As I’ve researched, your videos and site have been incredibly helpful. Thanks so much.

    I’m looking at the Meluna small with the ball grasp; i want something as small as possible both for my body and flow rate. Is this what you’d recommend?

    • menstrualcupinfo said,

      I usually tell people to be careful making the smallest possible cup your first cup. I often see people make that mistake of getting a very tiny cup, and then it doesn’t hold enough liquid for their flow, and they are stuck having to empty it too often.

      However, if your period is mostly light, then it should be alright. Meluna is pretty good. If tampons tend to sit fairly low in you, then you may have a lower cervix, which Meluna is nice and short (at least the smalls and mediums). Also they have different stems to choose from. I personally like the ball stem, because I’m so short inside , its easy for me to grasp. But if tampons sit kind of high in you, then you may want a traditional stem, and just trim it to your needs.

  4. Juliana said,

    Hi there!

    First of all I’d like to thank you for all the videos and explanations about menstrual cups. I’m from Brazil and the first time I heard about menstrual cups was about 2 weeks ago, when I’ve read an article about it. Coincidently, I was having my period and did some mess using pads during the night, so this really influenced my decision to buy a large LadyCup. I’ll have to wait a couple of weeks to use it “for real”, but I’ve already tested the insertion and removal techniques that I saw in some of your videos and, thanks to that, I fell pretty confident that everything will be fine and that I’ll be happily ever after with my cup!

    I was just wondering if there are any chemical compounds I should be aware of when I use some soap to clean it during use. Here in Brazil we have some specific soaps for the genital area, but I was wondering if one brand may be better for that purpose…

    Anyways, thanks for all the informations you provide and keep the amazing job!

    • menstrualcupinfo said,

      Soap that is specially for the genital area should be fine. It is far more gentle than regular soaps. Just make sure it doesn’t have a lot of fragrance, or lotions in it.

      Thank you for the encouraging words too! 🙂

  5. niru said,

    hi
    am from India and the concept of the cup is just hitting us now. Forget availability:) However, I got my hands on one and tried to use it. It was next to impossible. I am over 35, married. But the cup just wouldn’t go in:) I felt really bad, cos, honestly am soooo sick of using pads and am worried about continuous use of tampons. Also, is there some tip to use the cup in extremely humid temperatures? one of the reasons I couldn’t use the cup was that I couldn’t get a firm grasp ‘cos of sweat.
    Would love to hear ur thots. And thanks for the really informative posts.

    • menstrualcupinfo said,

      Hello,

      Yes it can be hard to find a cup in some countries. Of course, India does make and sell a cup now, called SheCup.

      First, when you insert into the vagina, make sure you aim back, like you are are trying to put the cup through your back vaginal wall into your rectum. The vagina really does slant back toward the rectum, naturally. Most people think it goes straight up, but it does not.

      Also, try different kinds of folds, because some are easier to insert than others. Here is my video to show different folds, hopefully it will load well with your browser, its different in some parts of the world, lol : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nt6L-POE-b0

      The vagina naturally has plenty of its own moisture, so cups should be good in moisture. But with some brands, they can be hard to grab, if they don’t have good grip rings. Or if they don’t have a good stem / tail to grab. So you can try pushing down with your muscles, like you are having a bowel movement. That can bring the cup down, closer so you can grab it. Keeping some toilet paper in your hand, and you can re-dry your fingers while you remove it. Dry them as many times as you need to. The more dry they are, the better your grip is.

      If you have trouble making the cup open after its inside– try folding it so that one of the tiny suction release holes in inside the fold crease. This keeps the holes exposed to air longer, so it can pop open better. Then insert with the fold crease facing back or down. Some people find this helps it to open much better too.

      Hope some of this helps,

      Melissa

  6. C said,

    Hi, I seen these and thought I would look more into them and now I’m more confused! I’m 15, virgin. I think I want a meluna soft but I don’t know if a medium will fit. I was thinking the ball stem but what if it’s too short is there any sure way of knowing? Also what brand would you recommend for me thanks 🙂

    • menstrualcupinfo said,

      Meluna’s current design (the one in the pictures) is longer than their older designs. So the length “should” be ok. If you are unsure, you could always get a regular stem, and then just trim it nice and smooth with fingernail trimmers.

      But first-time users who are teenagers usually like oft meluna, or small lunette, or ladycup.

  7. 懿佳 said,

    This post is superb! I want to show it anyone I know!

    Personally, I was intrigued by the idea of the menstruation cup when I first heard it and hesitated a LONG time after having purchased it before using. I was honestly afraid of putting it inside me, because I was afraid it wouldn’t come out. Your entry just NAILED the few most important misconceptions and disinclinations people feel towards the cup! And you reassure, encourage and inspire. Great job on the excellent article – you were VERY tactful about it! 😀

  8. Jenteprodukter: Mooncup’en « Kunsten å være / sær / said,

    […] I de siste dagene så har menstruasjonskoppen vært OVERALT! Jeg har sett den nevnt i Dagbladet og nå igjen på nettet, og føler at jeg også må kjempe et slag for Mooncup’en. Min Mooncup er ganske nyanskaffet og jeg har vært litt usikker angående hvordan den kan steriliseres i klor. Søkte det opp på nettet og snublet over en blogg med alt man noensinne trenger å vite angående menstruasjonskoppen. Jeg gidder ikke gå inn på det, men hvis noen er usikre eller skeptiske til prøving av en sånn type gjenbrukbar, miljøvennlig menstruasjonsprodukt, så anbefaler jeg at dere leser dette! […]

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