Is it okay to ware a menstrual cup for the duration of your period (emptying and then replacing it immediately)? Even at night?
Just pour the blood into your toilet bowl (or a jar so you can water your plants with it later if you’re a weirdo like me)
Then rinse it out under the sink
Pop it back in until it’s full again!
At the end of your period, boil it in your designated period-pot.
Yes, you can use it at night, though if you have a very heavy flow, start with your cup and a pad at the same time to watch out for leaks. Once you have a good relationship with your menstrual cup, you can ditch the pads all together.
Funny you should ask, Tumblrbot! Because my favorite object is my Diva Cup!
This is the first thing I want to share on this blog. The glory, and wonder of the Menstrual Cup.
A menstrual cup, as seen above is a small generally silicon cup that is folded and then inserted into the Vagina to collect the period blood in place of a Tampon or Pad.
This little guy is a girls best friend, and I’m about to tell you why. There are many brands of Menstrual Cups. There are two kinds, disposable, and reusable. This blog post is in favor of the later.
Safer than Tampons: Tampons put us ladies at a big risk of TSS. This is because the tampon absorbs the blood and then holds it there, directly against the wall of the vagina. The diva cup collects the blood inside the cup, so the blood isn’t physically in contact with the vagina. This almost eliminates the risk of TSS,
Cheaper: Let’s say you have an average four day period. With most tampons you go through one every three hours. Now, assuming you only use one at night, that being three nights that’s 27 tampons a period. A box of tampons 36 count ranges to be about 6$ dollars. (and those are the painful cheap kind!) So you spend 6 Dollars minimum a month on tampons. And that’s if your very thrifty and shop Walmart only. After tax, you’ll probably spend 7$ a month on tampons. That’s 84$ a year. On Amazon Diva Cup costs about 30$. If you go to one of the few stores that sells it, it’s 40. Either way you look at it, it’s at least half the cost of tampons.
Convenience: Tampons last 3 hours before you need to replace it. Diva cups can be worn for 12 hours before you need to empty them! And, they don’t leak. Need I say more?
Comfort!: Diva cups are nice smooth squishy silicon that sit low on the Vagina. They don’t feel like a hunk of steal wool going in like tampons.
Know your body!: Diva cups have little lines in them, so you can actually measure how much blood you lose in a period! A little gross, but a lot cool! Keeping track of your blood flow and the schedule of your periods can help you detect ovarian cancer early!
Smell: Have you ever noticed how smelly used tampons and pads get? It stinks, and everyone who lives with you smells it and hates it. That’s not a problem with reusable menstrual cups, since you dump the contents of the cup down the toilet, there’s no smell left behind!
And those are just the top six reasons you should get a Menstrual Cup!
How do they work!? Menstrual cups work by using suction to stay in the vagina. They collect the blood and hold it until empty and clean it.
How do you get it in?
You start by making one of the folds you see here. Then part the “lips” with one hand and insert with the other. Push it in there just enough that the little tip there isn’t poking out. Then you grip the base and twist it 360 degrees so it’ll pop open, and get suction. You’ll know it’s in right, when you squeeze the bottom. It should feel like a full balloon, not flat. pro tip: When you twist it, don’t try to lightly grip it. Use your thumb and fore finger and squeeze it so you’ve got a good grip, and twist. It’ll feel a bit odd, but it’s the best way to get proper suction. Remember to check that it feels like a full balloon. That’s how you know it’s in there right.
Why do you seem to favor Diva cups?! I have only ever used Diva cups, and I’ll tell you why. They are one of few reusable menstrual cup options available and FDA approved in the states. The other brand options, like the Lady Cups and Meluna all come in bright fun colors. Which is bad. You don’t want something with dye going into your vagina. Especially for a long period of time, during a time when the PH level of your vagina is pretty high. You do not want that dye coming off inside you. The dangers of dyes have already been proven over and over so you don’t need to hear why they’re bad from me. Diva cups are dye free medical grade silicon. And they’re made in Canada! No slap-shot made in China trash for your vagina! You deserve the best! Eh?
Are they hard to get used too? There is no more of a learning curve to Diva cups then there is to say, Tampons. The only difference between the two is that most people don’t even know what Menstrual cups are! So they don’t know it’s an option and they start off with Tampons right away, at a time when they are already learning all about what it’s like to have a period. At that point it just starts to feel natural. Menstrual Cups are different then tampons, they feel different. But, they don’t take long to get used to at all. The first time will feel a bit odd. If it’s not deep enough you may feel like it’s leaking, but it’s not. I found that it took me a day or so to get used to mine, and now I love it, and I forget I’m wearing it.
What if I need to change it at work or something? That can be tricky, but let’s be honest, 12 hours is a long time. If you empty you cup right before you have to leave in the morning then you should be good all day! If you have very long days, then look for a handicap bathroom, one with the sink right in there with you so you have a place to clean it.
How do I Change it? I wouldn’t call it changing. I’d call it emptying, because you’re using the same thing. It’s pretty simple, but remember you need to be VERY CLEAN with you’re Diva cup! Wash your hands before you go to remove it. To remove just pull it slowly out by the base. (don’t bother trying to grip the tail, just pinch the bottom of the cup and pull.) If you are curious, you can hold it in your hand and examine the contents. Gross but oddly interesting. Go on and look, you know you want to. There’s no shame in seeing what comes out of your body. Once that’s done dump the blood down the toilet. Take the cup to the sink and wash it. I like to rinse it with peroxide first, then wash it with gentle hand soap to make sure it’s extra clean. Diva cup sells a cleaner, but I find simple gentle hand soap works fine. Wash your hands, and dry the cup with a new paper towel. I’m not kidding don’t use any old towel. You want something sanitary. And don’t use Toilet paper! It breaks off to easily and you wouldn’t want your cup to have little bits of paper on it when you put it back in. Then, reinsert.
How do I take care of it? Clean as instructed above. Between periods I’d suggest storing it in a baggie. The little bag it comes with is cute, but baggies are just cleaner, and air tight.
Please, before you buy a cup, go to The Diva Cup Website! and read everything they have on cups to make sure it’s right for you. I’m not a paid rep of Diva cups, or any other major company.
There you have it, ladies! If you have any more questions feel free to send them my way and I’ll answer you with in 24 hours! To keep up, make sure you follow this blog for more essential Menstrual advise!
Cramps are like felines not liking the decoration. They’re clawing it down saying “I don’t like this red wallpaper, let’s make it burgundy!” and the Advil is the lion and tiger tamers whipping them and saying “No!”
Any woman with a menstrual cycle has heard of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). Information about the dangerous condition is listed within the packaging of every box of tampons and warned against in puberty talks from the school nurse.
Although cases of TSS have been on the rise in the U.S. (5k-10k cases annually, as common as Lyme disease),1 the illness remains low on the list of health risks for women, despite incidences of death. To reduce your risk of TSS, use tampons made of organic and unbleached cotton (these have no known cases of TSS), such as those from brands like Maxim Hygiene, Natracare, Puristics, and Seventh Generation, which avoid the use of synthetic materials–materials proven to harbor an environment for TSS-1 toxin production.2
If you want to choose the safest option for both you and the environment, you’ll ditch tradition and fall in love with a menstrual cup. A menstrual cup is a small, bell-shaped cup that is generally made from medical grade silicone and used internally like a tampon.
Menstrual cups have no known instances of TSS, as they catch menstrual flow instead of absorbing it. Menstrual cups are reusable, and, with care, can be used up to 10 years.Your immediate reaction might be, “Oh, heck no! I’m eco-friendly, but not THAT eco-friendly!” After the initial concept sinks in, you’ll want to take some time to read reviews online. Many women rave about menstrual cups, and it might be just enough to give you the courage to try one. Be sure to keep in mind that there is a slight learning curve, so practice while not on your period to get the hang of it and go into your next cycle with confidence.
Using a menstrual cup means no toxic chemicals and no micro-abrasions (caused by the tampons fibers) to the vaginal walls. As an added bonus, most women find that they need to change their cups only once every twelve hours, making it perfect for an active lifestyle. Cups can be worn while sleeping, swimming, exercising, or during any other activity involving a wide-range of motion (chasing a toddler, anyone?). Consider a cup from well-known brands like Diva Cup,Lunette or MCUK.
Just not for you? You may want to consider cloth pads, or “mama cloth,” as they can be known. Gone are the days of pads chaffing your thighs. Cloth pads are soft, they work great. A number of online retailers exist (Try Homestead Emporium or Lunapads, for instance) or you can make your own. Another product on the market is underwear made specifically for your period, like these breathable versions from Sexy Period.
Investing in reusable menstrual products is a great way to ensure that you are practicing safe feminine hygiene while also minimizing waste.
As someone who has PCOS, I have experienced years of excruciating menstrual cramping, and just unbearable periods. With that in mind, I have tried numerous products and remedies to find out what would ease the pain, and let me function a little bit better throughout the day. So I wanted to share what has worked really well for me.
Enzymatic Therapy Aunt Flo™ Cramp Relax
This has become a must-have in my household, and I will never be without it because I stay stocked up on this product. While on vacation, I couldn’t do anything because of how much pain and discomfort I was in, but a trip to the health store, and I discovered Aunt Flo Cramp Relax. After taking two pills, I felt relief within an hour! During my periods, espcially when I am in pain, I become tense, but this actually relaxed me. Now it is a product I recommend to anyone who deals with menstrual cramping!
This product contains a calcium and magnesium for cramp relief, but also a blend of cramp bark and dill, both used traditionally to sooth menstrual cramps. It also contains L-theanine which reduces irritability and muscle tension, dandelion to fight bloating, vitamin B12 to boost energy,and ashwagandha to support the body’s natural anti-stress abilities.
In the morning, and in the evening, I dab Lunablend to my wrists for some PMS relief, and to de-stress. Occasionally I’ll add it to a bath for a treat to the senses, body, and mind. I enjoy the blend of aromas, and it’s small enough to be tucked away in my tote bag throughout the day.
Lunablend is a blend of orange, lavender, and geranium essential oils, in a base of jojoba oil and vitamin E. It can be applied directly to skin, or a few drops added in the bath to, “help remind you of the goddess that you truly are.” according to Lunapads, or to relieve cramps. It’s an interesting combination of scents, but soothing.
Chamomile is one of the longest-used medicinal herbs known, and it has many benefits from menstrual cramp relief, anti-anxiety, and anti-inflammatory. I remember the first time my grandmother brewed me a cup of chamomile, and all I can remember is that I thought it was such a soothing tea. It not only ease my cramps, but it helped me relax enough to sleep throughout the night.
This tea is calming and pleasant. It can reduce muscle spasms throughout the body, such as the wall of uterus during menstruation It has gentle sedative effects while encouraging your body to relax! It truly is an all-around herb for physical, emotional, and mental wellness.
Despite the spicy flavor, this tea is soothing, and has many benefits that include wading off colds, soothing aches, and encouraging good digestion. It took me a few cups of ginger tea to get past the spicy zing, but it was fragrant, and comforting. I prefer making homemade ginger tea– all you need is fresh ginger, filtered water, raw honey, and lemon juice! You can even add in cinnamon, mint, or chamomile flowers, or extra flavor. Although, you can buy it in the store, too. It can be quite potent for some, so make sure to adjust it to your liking.
Besides cramping, what is one other symptom that many can relate to? If you said nausea, then you’re correct! Ginger tea is a fantastic remedy for nausea, and can be sipped throughout the day for relief. Ginger contains a natural anti-inflammatory called ‘gingerol, which can help for menstrual cramps, and muscle aches that are quite common during menstruation.
Heating Pad or Hot Water Bottle
Before the thought of heating pad on my lower stomach made me cringe because it actually made my pain worse! However, after trying again–this time with damp cloth heated in the microwave–I found it my aching lower stomach to be at ease.
To soothe contracting muscles, and aches, apply heat to the area. Whether you are using a heating pad or hot water bottle, it can not only soothe the pain, but help you relax, and ease tension.
Soak in the Bath
If you are one who is OK with stepping into the bath and soaking during your menstrual cycle, you’ll notice that it can not only be relaxing, but bring quite a bit of relief! My menstrual cramping begins a week prior to my period, so I take that time to enjoy a hot bath to calm my tense muscles, and sooth any body aches. Mineral salt included for the extra benefits.
Lavender and chamomile oils are great for that added relief and relaxation, but make sure to use them safely, and properly.
These two products keep me from becoming a Mad Woman during my period. Despite my period being extremely painful and uncomfortable (even with birth control!) these two help ease the pain and keep me relaxed for the most part.
Aunt Flo™ Cramp Relax includes time-tested cramp bark and dill, traditionally used to soothe menstrual cramps, plus calcium and magnesium for additional cramp relief.
L-theanine to reduce irritability and muscle tension.
Dandelion to fight bloating, vitamin B12 to boost energy and ashwagandha to support the body’s natural anti-stress abilities. Source.
Lunablend is a blend of orange, lavender, and geranium essential oils, in a base of jojoba oil and vitamin E. It can be applied directly to skin, or a few drops added in the bath to, “help remind you of the goddess that you truly are.” according to Lunapads (Thank you!) or to relieve cramps. It’s an interesting combination of scents, but soothing. I always reach for it throughout the day, along with a cup of chamomile tea.