It will be four months now that I cupverted, and do you see the happiness on my face?!! Honestly, this has been the best decision of my life and the best choice I have made to contribute to the environment and to my body. I am no more troubled by the thoughts of contributing to the heap of non-biodegradable waste which we are accumulating on the surface of the planet day by day, and I am no longer bothered by the monthly process of buying and then ‘concealing’ my pads in my bag and then wondering about ways to transport them to the appropriate place (read toilets) to use them.
Owning one silicone Menstrual Cup means freedom from all the trouble. Talking about the experience of using it and what I learnt from it, here it goes! Here are a few little somethings I learnt and feel would be useful to anyone thinking of cupverting:
- Prepare your body: A menstrual cup is definitely a foreign object and I felt that my body was not ready in the first go to accept a foreign object. I had the procedure of episiotomy during my delivery (which I think every Indian woman goes through unknowingly) and I felt that my body still had not healed even after almost 5 years. I experienced pain in the opening of the birth canal, the area where the incision happens during childbirth, even now during my periods. I felt my stitches are still raw after five years. So, I prepared. I prepared my body. I started by using tampons. I had never used them ever. But when I found that my body accepted tampons, I was sure it would accept a menstrual cup also.
- It might be tricky to use them for the first cycle or two but I feel it majorly depends on your mental state. If you are intimidated by the idea of using a cup and are not motivated enough, it might prove to be a tough task. Keeping an open mind would make it much easier.
- I would suggest giving your menstrual cup a dry run before actually using it for your period. That would tell you to what suits you. A dry run would give you an opportunity to find the comfort level of your body towards your menstrual cup. It would also give you an opportunity to decide which cup fold technique is your body most comfortable with.
- Try out different cup fold techniques. A menstrual cup has to be folded in such a way for it to be inserted in your birth canal, that when it is placed correctly, it opens up and creates a suction in the passage. This would ensure that menstrual blood does not seep out and gets collected in it. One fold does not suit all. The above mentioned dry run is the best way to test this.
- When you have dealt with these things, the next thing I suggest would be to play on the safer side initially. By this I mean, the first time you wear it when you are bleeding, keep a backup. Either wear a pad or a thick lined underwear. This would save you from any mishaps which might occur using the menstrual cup for the first time or even the second.
- Do not shy away from your own body. Where on one hand, using a cup is the neatest way to deal with our period, where you do not have to stare at your blood filled pads emanating that peculiar smell, or deal with that blood soaked tampon, and more so, looking for ways to dispose them off every 6 hours and fearing that stain to appear on your clothes, on the other hand, using a cup means you’ll have to deal with your blood, and know your body. It is not necessary that you create a mess while removing the cup, always. It is more a matter of practice. You would be able to use it only when you own your body. Using a cup would mean you would be inserting it, using your hands, and then removing it is also a physical process you cannot shy away from. It is possible you might have spillage initially when you are removing your cup, but with a few tries, you would know what works for you and how. So, do not shy away from your own body by irking your self with the thought of your own touch. Own your reproductive system, respect it, and treat the monthly process of having an option to procreate as a blessing too. All would be fine!
P.S. I have two menstrual cups. Not that you need two, owing to my forgetful nature, I had forgotten where I had kept mine after the first cycle, hence had to buy another. But that means I can present a review of two cups for you! Here is my take on both:
Sirona Menstrual Cup: I bought this based on the reviews it had received. It is a sturdy one, due to which it proved to be leak free, easy to use cup. I had no leakage even in my first cycle. I am holding it in my left hand in the above picture. You can buy it here.
WOW Freedom Menstrual Cup: This was my second buy. It is softer than the other one, and I find it is suitable for the light days. It’s surface being smoother, I face some leakage during my heavy days. It sits on my extended lap in the above picture. You can buy it here.
I hope the above pointers would help. If any of you decide to cupvert after reading this, I would feel elated! Job done! Feel free to give suggestions about anything else you wish me to add in this. I would love to add.