this post is about periods.

no, the title is not misleading.

i figured it’d serve as a nice warning for those that would prefer to not discuss it, OR that know me in person and wouldn’t want to read anything like this. either way… 🙂

stop reading now if you can’t handle reading about periods or vaginas.

menstrual cups

 

readers who’ve stayed… i do this for you…

this post is dedicated to our monthly visitor and the ‘healthier’/more eco-friendly alternatives we have available to pads and tampons.

if you haven’t heard of a safer, more natural, or more eco-friendly alternative to menstruation products, i’m glad we can have this chat.

your vagina is delicate. truly. it has its own pH, its own balance of flora, and its own schedule. but why aren’t traditional tampons and pads a good option? well, there are a slew of toxic chemicals in those products, that we then keep near/in our vaginas, for extended periods of time.  our vaginal mucous membranes are highly sensitive to changes in pH and are highly absorbent of anything that is put inside of it. even if you use pads, keep in mind that the vaginal area is highly vascular and highly permeable. besides tampons causing dryness, discomfort, and small tears in certain cases, the manufacturing process of menstruation products (tampons and pads) and materials used traditionally aren’t the types of things you’d want.

plasticizing chemicals like BPA and BPS disrupt embryonic development and are linked to heart disease and cancer. phthalates which give paper tampon applicators that smooth feel and finish — are known to dysregulate gene expression, and DEHP may lead to multiple organ damage. besides crude oil plastics, conventional sanitary pads can also contain a myriad of other potentially hazardous ingredients, such as odor neutralizers and fragrances. synthetics and plastic also restrict the free flow of air and can trap heat and dampness, potentially promoting the growth of yeast and bacteria in your vaginal area. this can lead to abnormal tissue growth in the abdomen and reproductive organ, abnormal cell growth throughout the body, immune system suppression, and hormonal and endocrine system disruption. (source)

doesn’t sound very vagina-friendly, right?

enter our alternative – the menstruation CUP!

note – i know there are many versions of this out there (with differing models, colors, etc.), so i will stick to the brand i purchased. it was NOT provided to me. i did my own digging into which brand i would like to try, and purchased it.  there are bound to be loads of you females out there who use cups or have tried them, so PLEASE leave your experiences, your preferences, any tips, etc. below in the comments section.


what is The Cup?

these babies are a reusable alternative to tampons and pads, and are usually made of silicone. unlike tampons and pads, it forms a seal with vaginal walls to collect (rather than absorb) menstrual flow.

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how is it used?

it’s inserted up into the vagina, and situated (ways of doing so vary from woman to woman) to seal against leaks and to avoid discomfort. it’s then left to collect menstrual flow. when it’s time to empty the cup, you can dump the contents into the toilet, rinse your cup, re-insert and go. your cup will of course need to be cleaned and disinfected between periods, and stored properly.

how long does it last?

you can keep a cup in for 8 to 10 hours. AND it holds way more liquid than pads and tampons so you can sleep in them and wear them without a bathroom trip during work hours.

how often do you have to purchase this?      because it’s pricey!

most brands advise annually, which i assume is more due to caution than anything. your cup can last years as long as you take care of it properly and keep it clean.

what you should think about when purchasing one:

  • shape – do you need one that is slimmer or wider? there are variances in shape you should check out.
  • size – have you had a child or not had sex? there are different reasons why you’d need a different size cup.
  • stiffness – do you need a softer cup or a stiffer one?
  • how it’s made – are dyes used? is latex in the cup? etc.
  • price – does your wallet approve?
20140721_143252

 

why i purchased a cup from lunette:

i poured over blogs and vlogs for experiences with different brands. i took into account shapes, sizes, pros/cons, and price. i narrowed it down to lunette because of the list of pros vs cons, the un-colored silicone, and the price (which i found was cheapest on amazon).

my experiences:

generally speaking, i love my cup! there have been some times where i’ve been really frustrated with it, but i honestly prefer it to tampons now.  inserting it can be tricky. i learned how to insert it when i wasn’t on my period, so i think that made things a lot easier. it never came out or was painful or uncomfortable, but i did have a HUGE problem with leaks. i was doing the punch fold (fold in half and then in half again, and insert) and learned it wasn’t opening all the way. i’ve since learned how to properly get it on up there and everything’s all good.

another issue i had was taking it back out, especially after sleeping with it. it moves up a little too far and it’s hard to get ahold of to break the suction. and if you don’t break the suction… well… let’s just say it hurts in a very unique way.

breaking the suction of the cup was something i felt was the messiest thing to do, but it’s not the end of the world.

i really enjoy the fact that i don’t have to mess with anything during the work day. and going to the bathroom hasn’t ever been an issue. if i need to empty it and i’m away from somewhere i can clean it, i wipe it thoroughly. it’s not ideal, but for those few and far between times it’s been okay.

overall – no discomfort, complete convenience, happy vagina.


SO YOU HAVE A CUP….

and it hurts… or leaks… watch this girl’s video. it was SO helpful to me! i was having leakage problems and this gal solved it for me after watching once!

keep in mind you can always try a different shape or size or softness. just because 1 type didn’t work doesn’t mean that none of them will 🙂

WANT A CUP?

research which ones would be best for your needs. there are lots of blogs and even vlogs out there that review various brands and types within the same brand. get to know as much as you can to make an educated purchase.

here are some major brand names to start your research:


DONT WANT A CUP BUT WANT AN ALTERNATIVE?

awesome! here are some other alternatives you can look into:

  • sea sponge (link for information only)
  • organic cotton tampons and pads (not bleached; like these here)

HAVE A CUP ALREADY? TRIED ONE?

leave your experiences, preferences, tips, etc. below!!

anything i missed? lemme know!

see you guys later to talk about cramps!

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Published by

alexraye

almostexactlyblog.com // alexandraraye.com

46 thoughts on “this post is about periods.”

  1. Me too! have been using mine now for about 5 years and used to have rather terrible thrush problems that have finally begun subsiding! It’s amazing in that there is basically no impact on the environment and I seriously dont want to think about how much waste there is in landfills JUST due to periods.. I did and still do sometimes have minor leakage issues but buy panty liners so as to limit the problems. Perhaps the suggestions of chaging cups to find the right one may be good.. Thanks ladies 🙂

  2. I started with a Diva Cup and loved it at first, but I was having a lot of leaking. I discovered that during my heaviest days my cervix was too low and the Diva Cup was too long for my cervix and body. So I switched to a Lunette and I love it!! I still have to empty quite frequently on my heavy days, but it is less frequent than when I used pads and tampons. I really want to try some organic pads/tampons for when I’m having a “bad cup day”! So glad that more and more people are speaking up about “the cup”!

  3. I have a Yukki for day as it’s a harder stiffness and a Si-Bell for night (soft resistance). I love these two and I only change mine twice a day! I have strong core muscles and am pretty active throughout my day so I need a stiffer cup and the Yukki is fantastic. I’ve never had trouble getting it open! I’ve tried the Lunette but the grip rings are pretty prominent and I could feel them with the cup inserted. 😦

    I got my Yukki on Amazon for a great price and my Si-Bell I had to get from Italy. It took a little longer to get here but was well worth the wait.

    I also practiced before my cycle started which definitely helped! I found the videos on cup reviews and tips from Precious Stars Pads on YouTube very helpful. She recommends “bearing down as if you’re going number two”. This really helps! I do this for inserting to get the cup high enough and to push the cup down far enough to break the suction upon removal! My first cycle with a menstral cup was a breeze! I will never go back to tampons and I’ve already began converting my friends.

  4. Hi Alex ! Love your blog! I had a question, in order to clean your lunette cup, do you wash it with the feel better cleanser or with Dr bronners Castile soap? Thank you

  5. THANK YOU so much for this post! I’ve never even thought to consider tampons and pads bad for me. I’m so happy I read this. I ordered the Diva Cup and a sample of the cloth pads someone mentioned in the comments (party in my pants I think it’s called) and just went through my first healthy period. It was amazing! No cramps and no ickiness factor anymore. I’m never looking back! 🙂

  6. I literally ordered a Mooncup a few days ago because I final had enough money to spare. It was the first thing on my ‘to get’ list. Read a lot about menstrual cups and saw a lot of YouTube videos of people saying how much it has helped them. I just want to be able to feel like I basically don’t have a period to deal with. Will be different trying to use it though. Will take time to get use to but it will be better both for me and the planet. We shall see how it goes, I should get it in about 15 days. 🙂

  7. I love love love my DivaCup! My best friend got it for me for Christmas last year and it is still in perfect condition. No need to replace it after a year as long as its cared for. I found a tip on another crunchy site about getting staining off of menstrual cups. You can boil your cup with a slice of lemon for about 15 minutes or put your cup in a mixture of 3/4C water and 1/4C hydrogen peroxide overnight. It will come out looking like new!!! Also always wash with non-irritating soaps that are safe on silicone – like castile soap.

    1. I use the femmycycle cup and love the loop for removal…. But the instructions say not to boil it. Thanks so much for the tip about the peroxide, I’ll have to try that!

  8. I was wondering when I’d finally see a post like this on here! Haha. I’ve had my Diva Cup for almost 2 years and I absolutely love it. I had a huuuuge leaking problem the first few months I was using it and was really close to giving up on it. However, I found that the fold I had been using didn’t allow the cup to pop open and seal once it had been inserted. So if anyone is having a problem with leaks try different folds and circle your finger around the rim to make sure it’s fully opened. Once you master the cup periods are a breeze 🙂

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