Menstrual Cup 103: Teething Troubles || Issues and Troubles #PlasticFreePeriods

May 28, 2020

Trigger warning: Blood, mensuration, periods.

Menstrual Cup

I hope you have already read part one and two of this series on Menstrual cups. If not, then read Why You Must Switch and How to Insert and Tips for Beginners.  

This post details the issues and troubles one might face when they start using menstrual cups.

Is there any discomfort when using one?

Every worn contact lenses? Or got your tooth sealed/crowned? Or maybe even spects or sunglasses? Were they a bit uncomfortable when you started? It is so because it is not part of your body. However, did it caused an issue later? Things began to sail smoothly then. No? That is the same case with a menstrual cup as well.

On my first night, it could feel it inside the whole time. In fact, because of the cramps, I kept getting up, and I could feel it always. Nevertheless, from the afternoon of the second day, I almost forgot that I had it in. (I get cramps only on day 1 and rarely on day 2. The absence of pains can also be the reason for my relief)

In my second period, it was again a bit uncomfortable for the first day but felt like nothing is in there from day 2.

In the next cycles, I kept on forgetting that I am even wearing one. Plus, my cramps have also reduced a lot.

How long can you keep it?

It depends on your flow. You can keep it more than 8 hours easily unless you have a heavy flow. Also, as you start catching the blood, you realize you do not bleed as much as you think you do when you use pads. Emptying it twice or thrice is enough. Also, slowly you start to understand your flow. For example, now I know that on day 2 if I walked a lot or strained myself, then I might need to empty it 4 times.

Can it overflow or spill?

The cup holds a good amount of blood. It sits there, creating a vacuum so, it does not get out. But, there are small holes on top to keep things comfortable. If you keep the cup in for way too long, then it might leak via those tiny holes. I was so comfortable how I inserted it on Day 2 afternoon that I did not empty it while leaving from office, thinking that I will do it around 10 PM. But I had to go somewhere where I had to stay till midnight. When I reached home, the cup got full, and moments before I rush to the washroom, it spilled a little. I kept it inside for more than 12 hours on my heaviest day when I get clots as well. It was my stupidity and not the mistake of the menstrual cup.

Something similar happened in the next cycles as well. I was at home, but I was so comfortable that I forgot that I was on my periods until it leaked, and I felt it. (Since blood is not continuously flowing out, you slowly become very sensitive to even a drop of it coming out.)

What to do when clean water is an issue?

The reason I had it for more than 12 hours was that the place I went to did not have hand jets or toilet paper. I was not sure how to empty my cup, clean it, and reinsert it. So, the absence of water is an issue. You can carry a bottle of water with you to the washroom or a roll of toilet paper. While using the restroom becomes one thousand times easier when you use a menstrual cup, the cleaning process can be challenging.

Wet wipes can work, but I am not going to suggest another environmental menace when we are trying to go reduce waste. (Wet wipes are not biodegradable and post a high risk in the urban sewage cleaning system. They soak in water and waste and swell up creating a havoc.)

In worst-case scenarios, I have gone back to pads. It is still better than using plastic pads all the time.

Please switch. It is excellent for you and the planet.


Menstrual Cup

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