It has been disinfected, dried and nicely kept away in its pull-string bag, so when my menses finally came after being a week late, I was excited. Excited to try out my new ‘toy’, that is.
You see, I have been extremely vain ever since I started my new job which gives me the opportunity to dress up and still look dainty all day long (instead of driving around town, spotting oily face and sweaty body). I get to wear nicely fitted dresses and skirts, even more so after I discovered an effective push-up undergarment for saggy bum. Conscious about VPLs (visible panty lines), seamless undies and G-strings are the only way to go for me. But what happens when your period comes and these just won’t cut it?
I decided there and then to try out the menstrual cup after staining my flair beige dress one afternoon and had my boss and colleagues shading my behind from the public’s view while walking to buy another dress at the nearest boutique. Mind you, I was wearing granny undies with maxi pad at that time. Not sure if other mums who underwent natural birth experience the same as well, but my post-baby menstrual flow is a lot heavier than those before I fell pregnant.
At RM145 each, menstrual cup is an expensive investment to start with but considering the chemicals used to bleach disposable sanitary pads, tampons and panty liners so that they look ‘clean’, plus the hassle of changing every few hours and not forgetting the landfill we are creating by disposing so much of these waste, I decided to give it a try. With proper care, a menstrual cup can be used up to five years, saving you money from buying packs after packs of disposable.
My first experience
I tried using it for two days. The description is going to get rather graphic here, so brace yourself 🙂 According to instructions, you’re supposed to wet it with water before inserting it into your vah-jay-jay. Then fold it two times and say “open sesame” to your V – literally!:
► I squatted and pushed it in but couldn’t find the entry.
► I stood up and tried again…this is even harder! Time to sign up for the anatomy class.
► I sat on the toilet bowl and ta-da, I got it. Took a deep breath, gently pushed it in and pop! The cup unfolded into its original shape inside.
► It felt amazing to be pad-free during menses. I could walk, run and wear anything I want. It’s a new level of liberation!
► I felt ‘cleaner’ and less messy down south too.
► For extra assurance, I used my cloth pantyliner just in case the cup leaks. Guess I didn’t wear it correctly as it leaked a little but was nothing major.
► At one point, I could feel the cup stem dangling inside.
► I managed to take it out easily the first time, easy-peasy! It was probably because I was very relaxed during the insertion.
► The second time around was the traumatizing part. It took me almost 15 minutes to get it out from my vah-jay-jay. I sat, squatted, knelt, stood and did whatever pose I could think of. The cup went quite high up and I had to rummage my V just to get hold of the stem. Using two fingers (or maybe three), I digged, stirred and grabbed; the suction was too strong. I almost cried for hubby’s help and started imagining the embarrassment I would have to go through should I need to admit myself into the hospital. Oh nooooo….this is a BAD idea 😦
► It didn’t help that my finger nails were long and sharp!
► Then it chanced upon me that the key to managing a menstrual cup is to RELAX. I took a deep breath, imagined myself meditating, did some Kegel exercise, held on to the stem like my dear life, pressed the cup to release the suction and hiakkkkk (and oucchhhh!!)….pulled it out. I felt so bruised and ‘violated’ after that. Boo-hooooo….
► Did I learn my lesson and ditch the cup? Certainly NOT. I tried again the following day and went through the same daunting experience. OK, maybe I’ll call it a day for this cycle and try again next month. Apparently, it takes at least three cycles for one to get used to it.
My conclusion is, I probably inserted it wrongly because according to the manual, it should stay in place and not leak at all. I did some research and found more techniques/tips on using it – relax, twist it around after insertion to lock it in place, cut the stem etc.
I really, really like the concept of menstrual cup and want to make it work for me. Wish me luck when Aunt Flow revisits again in January. Until then, it is Kotex then.