Why I stopped using a menstrual cup

Okay so true to the title this blog is in fact about menstrual cups, more specifically why i stopped using one. So, fair warning, but if you don’t care about this topic at all or just don’t want to learn about this stuff or know it just skip this one because I will be describing why I did not like the cup, what a cup is, how to use it and all of it’s functions.

Now there there is a lot out there on menstrual cups, the majority of it good reviews. Raving about how great it is and all that. And I am not discrediting those, because it is super awesome and works amazing for so many people. But everyone is different and not everything will work for everyone. And while the cup is a great alternative to other disposable products and makes less trash during our periods, the cup just isn’t going to work for some people no matter how many times you try it. And that is fine, but too many times I have seen some nasty comments telling woman to get a different size or do something better because they just have to use the cup to save the environment. Huge no, physical and mental health are super important and if you need to use pads or tampons for that go ahead. Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to use the cup or reusable pads or anything else. Helping the environment is important but so is our health. Again, everyone is different and this is just my experience with the cup. Yours may be better or worse, but I figured I would share since there isn’t a whole lot of negative experiences with the cup.

When I first got the cup I was thrilled, I wasn’t going to pay 40$ for one so I got 2 off of Amazon for a great price. This in no way affected my experience at all and was not the cause of my dislike. I just need to say that, I know different cups give different results but I loved my cup to start with so I know that the model that I got was not just a knock off. It takes a lot of getting used to though and it took me a couple periods just to get the hang of it. But once I did I had leak free periods and it felt like nothing. When I first tried I followed the instructions which said to fold the cup in half but I found that way to be too invasive and big. I googled another way and you can scrunch the cup up even more and it fit much better. I was good to go. However, I didn’t stay on the birth control that I was on and I feel as though that may have affected things quite a bit.

I was on a low dose of the pill, which I should know but honestly it’s been a year so I don’t remember. And then we used condoms for a bit and THEN I switched over to the depo shot because I felt like it would be easier and I didn’t get a period for like 6 months. And then we decided to ditch all forms of birth control and I stopped getting my does of the shots(this was in October of 2017). I had taken two of them so that was 6 months and I didn’t go back after the second. It can take up to a year to become regular again after the depo, which sounded nice at the time but it’s really not when it’s happening. So even after I had stopped I was still only spotting a little bit and didn’t even get a full blown period until January 2018. Also note that we were using condoms up until New Years so I’m not entirely sure if switching birth control around so much affects anything especially when your cycle is already on the fritz, who knows?

So wow, after that wild ride of indecision and what works best for us, I hadn’t used my cup in quite some time. Come January when I am actually getting my cycle back, I have to re-figure out how to use the cup. And this time it took much longer than my first time. No matter what I was trying, I couldn’t get it in comfortably. I would fold it as tiny as I could, I would relax as much as I could (which is super important because if you’re not relaxed it’s not happening) and pretty much anything else that I could try I tried. It wouldn’t suction no matter what, it would always be leaking and I could constantly feel this pressure of where it was. It sat too low, but if it went any higher it would hurt.

And I knew how to do it, I had done this many times before perfectly. It was just not working this time around. After several more periods, and several more days of frustration and leaking I was at my wits end. I also could’t tell how heavy my flow was until the very end. Which that question in itself had already caused a massive controversy on a zero waste page which I have since unfollowed. After finally getting a period I was wondering if it was actually a period of just some irregular spotting, so upon inquiring to see if there was a better way to tell how much the flow was than a cup I got a massive amount of hate for wanting to check more often than 12 hours. Seriously, no joke. Also this is why don’t do facebook groups because honestly those people can be massive jerks and act all righteous about something they don’t understand. But apparently I was stupid for wanting to keep track of something better, like if I have one spot of blood during the day its spotting and if it keeps going thats the flow. You can’t really tell that with the cup though, hence my question. Also another reason I wasn’t really liking the cup very much anymore, I wasn’t able to conclude if I was actually having a flow or spotting because I couldn’t feel anything. Usually that’s not important but when you’re trying to get regular again, it can mean everything.

The latest call of mother nature led me to pull out that cup one more dreaded time. At this point I was sick of the discomfort and pain. It would take me so long to even get it in and it would take several re-tries as well. Plus even if it was in and not leaking I could still feel it. I just was not a fan. So I am already super stressed out ┬áhaving to do this again, still having issues trying to get it to fit, and all in all just not a fan. Go to put it in, it hurts. It’s uncomfortable and I can feel it. Everything that it’s not supposed to be. I took it out and just used rags instead because I literally had nothing else. And I was done.

Now maybe this is users fault, and maybe I needed a different size. But I got the recommended size for my demographic and I had been using it for a while with no issues. So I honestly don’t think it was either of those. I could try a different brand, but I am not paying more money to try something that I was hating anyways. I honestly just thing that something so large causes some stress upon insertion. It’s tricky and takes some maneuvering and honestly just a lot of work to get used to. And as we continue with our family planning and aiming for a family I just made the choice to remove the cup from my list of products. I wasn’t getting it to work, it was causing a ton of stress and with the discomfort and pain I just felt like it would be best to keep stressful things out. Its a personal choice, and honestly I think it’s the best one. I’m not a huge fan of tampons either, but I live an active lifestyle so when I do need one I use the Lites, which are the smallest they have, and then remove them as soon as I need to and go with other collection methods.

I’m not overly thrilled about this, I was happy to be done with period products. But with the return of my flow and cycle things seem to have changed and I need to do what’s best (and stress free) for my body. I may return to using the cup eventually, but for now it does not seem like a great option right now. I want to remain healthy and conscious of everything going on in my body and if using the cup is causing that much discomfort and stress then clearly it’s time to move on. But they are amazing tools, and wonderful alternatives for our periods. I loved mine so much until it began just not working out for me. And there are so many types that pretty much any woman is bound to find the one that is right for her. However it sucks that we can’t find out which one is best without first spending a ton of money. And there isn’t a lot of sizes for us either. Apparently, we only need 2 sizes of cups. But again, everyone is different and we all need to make the healthiest choice for our bodies. It’s more important to keep ourselves healthy then listen to the opinions of what others think we should be doing.


Is zero waste always possible?

This is kind of a huge thing for people trying to cut down their waste, especially when there are items that we actually need in our lives. Medicines, feminine products, medical items etc. So are these items truly necessary or have we just been conditioned to think that they are.

In short, yes. But it is really more complicated than that. It seems that sometimes people are shamed for needing these items, and while it is good to reduce our waste we really need to realize that sometimes people actually do need these things in their lives, they may be trying very hard to be less wasteful and we don’t need to shame them.

Reasons someone might need waste in their life:

-Medical needs. Try as we might we really can’t fix all issues with oils

-Medical products- change those gloves, change needles, STOP the spread of disease. Zero waste won’t do any good if we all contract weird viruses.

-Someone may not have time, or the ability, to prep every single meal. We don’t know their life so don’t tell someone they need to buy all zero waste food.

-Some people may not be able to use a menstrual cup, it might be easier for them to use disposable products, we don’t know. So again, no need to judge. Peoples needs are important.

-Maybe it’s just not in their area. I know that it’s really hard for us to get stuff zero waste, save money and not starve.

This is a lifestyle that comes with many privileges. Take a look at this awesome buzzfeed video to see more on it. Zero waste for 30 days.

If you aren’t able to be 100% zero waste don’t feel bad. I used to beat myself up all the time over this. How as I going to buy laundry items that would get clothes clean when we live with 3 cats? In my area I can’t. How can we take care of 3 living creatures without waste? We can’t. I made myself miserable trying to be perfect, when I finally stopped and just did what I could I lived a much happier life.

So try to do what you can, still use what you need. While it is good to question our need of some items we also don’t want to just trash everything just cause of waste.