I recently joined the dark side and bought myself a menstrual cup. I've been a period geek for a while now, and have been using cloth pads for the past six years. I absolutely love pads but have been hearing all of these wonderful stories of women who have used cups, and cups are so cool, and "Kiera, you NEED TO GET A CUP"
In the interests of reclaiming my menstruation, and making it all funky and stuff (Up yours tampons!) I got my hands on a gorgeous, sunny, yellow Lunette Cup.
For the first few weeks of ownership, my cup sat on my desk. It ventured out of its box occasionally to be popped open, and pinged, and played with.
For the uninitiated, an menstrual cup is usually a latex or silicone cup that is inserted into the vagina when you have your period. It catches the blood, you pop it out, rinse the blood down the toilet and you're all done.
- No waste products
- No toxic nasties in your lady garden (My apologies again... I like to slip that term in just to stir!!)
- No earthy odors (I actually have never minded the occasional periody smell of pads... )
Welcome Aunty Flo
My beautiful yellow, fascinating, menses receptacle sat idly waiting for the day my period was to arrive. Joy of joys, the day arrived, and dear Aunt Irma came to visit with her usual pomp and circumstance (Cranky me, cramps, and a bizarre craving for coffee bean yoghurt!)
I could NOT have been more excited to try out my cup. I nearly skipped to the bathroom in my haste to funkify my period.
I folded the cup as per the directions, began the process of insertion, and POP the damned thing flipped open and bounced into the toilet bowl before I had a chance to introduce it to my cervix.
Attempt two (with a freshly cleaned cup...) I performed the fold maneuver, positioned myself ready for insertion, INSERTED!! Pop, the cup opens, and OH GOODNESS, What is this?! Dizzy, Nausea.
Yes, that's right folks, I fainted!!!
Now I'm not squeamish, I've only ever fainted once in my life before, and that was shortly after waking from anesthetic, and a nice and very lovely looking nurse was helping me back into bed. I blame his roguish good looks for THAT particular fainting episode (or the anesthetic, whatever)
My Introduction To The Vagus Nerve
It turns out that there is a nerve called your Vagus nerve that runs from your brain to your gut, and a cup can actually stimulate that nerve, resulting in a sudden drop in blood pressure, which in my case resulted in a head spin and faint.
This isn't a common occurrence for cup users, but it isn't unheard of either. Tampons, sex, well, anything inserted into the vagina can actually stimulate the nerve!
My cup story has a happy ending however - while some women cannot stand to have the nerve stimulated without triggering a dizzy spell, in my particular case it seems that it's quite intermittent, and provided I go slowly and carefully, dizziness is avoided.
I'm happy to say that it's convenient, comfortable, and easy enough to use once you figure out how NOT to flip it into the toilet bowl! I'm very much in love with my new Lunette!
Other women have had success trying a softer brand of cup, or a more bell shaped model.
So All In All
The Lunette is a great product. Its a firm cup as far as materials go, which is why I had problems with flipping it into the toilet. The firmness and springiness takes some getting used to. I'm not a fan of the stem on the cup, which I've had to trim. It's quite rough, and poked into parts that I would prefer not to have something relatively sharp poking.
It's easy to keep clean and store, and once I got the hang of folding and inserting, it works a breeze. Apart from the stem, I couldn't feel it once it was inserted.
Oh, and no.... if you're wondering, no leaks!
Have you had an awkward menstrual cup moment? Go ahead and share with us!