I was pretty nervous the first time I tried the menstrual cup. I started out using the Keeper, which is an old school cup made out of thick rubber. I was so confused as to how this cup would fit inside my vagina.
I lived in a co-ed dorm with co-ed bathrooms. I waited until there was no one in the bathroom and scampered into the stall. I sat on the toilet and reminded myself to relax my clenched muscles. After five minutes of adjusting the position of the cup, it was in and I couldn't feel it.
Throughout the first two cycles, I had a few leaks but made sure to wear a backup liner. More than 10 years later, I am still using the menstrual cup and don't even think twice about it.
Getting over the initial mental hurdle is the hardest part. Remember when you first learned to use a tampon? For me it was awkward and took several cycles to really feel comfortable. However, moving from pads to tampons was totally worth it.
The same is true for the cup. The benefits far outweigh the initial learning issues. I never buy tampons or pads. I don't have to pack a gazillion tampons when I travel. I don't have to wear big pads at night. The list goes on and on.
Here are 5 tips for making the initial learning process easier:
1. Try the cup with a friend
Learning together and sharing experiences will make the process easier. One woman we recently connected with bought cups for her and her friend as a birthday gift. Connect with your best friend and jump over the mental menstrual cup hurdle together.
2. Do a dry run
Practice inserting and removing the cup when you aren't on your period. This will make the learning process easier. Tampons can be painful to remove if they aren't fully saturated. This is not the case with the cup. The cup is made from silicone, which makes it much easier than the tampon to insert and remove when you aren't on your period.
3. Wear the cup at home for the first cycle
For your first cycle, just wear the cup when you are at home. This way you can learn how often you need to change the cup without having to worry about leaks or public bathrooms.
4. Wear a liner for the first few cycles
Build up your confidence by wearing a liner for the first two cycles. This will allow you to learn when the cup is full or when the cup isn't inserted correctly without having to worry about leaks.
Clenching makes inserting anything a lot harder. Relax your muscles and breath. There is no rush to become an expert with the cup. Do it at your own pace.
Are you ready to try the menstrual cup? Check out Ova's Period Kit. What are your tips for using the menstrual cup? We'd love to hear from you about your experience.