Hi, i'm Sally, the little sister of pic&sis. I got my period for the first time at a friend’s bowling alley birthday party when I was 11 years old. This was inconvenient not only because it put me off my bowling (and I am a very competitive bowler!), but because we had four 16-year-old Newcastle lads staying with us that weekend, which was embarassing enough! Somehow, I managed to find a quiet corner of our small house and tell my mum, who directed me towards tampons and pads – this was the 90s and the era of that woman singing “oh bodyfo-orm body fo-rm for youuuuu” and menstrual cups were not yet on the period agenda.
I never got on with tampons, I always found them really uncomfortable, so for the next 27 years I used sanitary pads. I don’t know about you but I always feel a bit like a baby in a nappy when I wear one. My experience with tampons had made me worried about trying a menstrual cup, if I couldn’t use a tampon with an applicator how on earth was I going to insert and remove a small cup? Was I going to end up covered in blood, looking like an extra in American Psycho?! However, Ruth banged on and on about how good they were and it became harder and harder to ignore the benefits of switching to a menstrual cup, so I gave it a go. That was two years ago and I can honestly say that the idea of using a menstrual cup versus the reality of using a menstrual cup are worlds apart. It really is a game-changer.
Here’s my top five tips for using a menstrual cup for the first time:
Try out the different menstrual cup folds beforehand and work out which one you want to try. I used the C-fold as I found that the simplest.
Make sure the toilet door is locked so you don’t worry that anyone will disturb you (there’s a story here but it will remain secret!)
Take a few long deep calming breaths before you insert so that you are nice and relaxed.
The first time you wear your cup, wear a panty liner. I don’t experience any leakage now, but while you are getting the hang of using one, this will give you a bit more confidence.
Empty your cup just before you go to bed and then remove it, empty, rinse and reinsert during your morning shower. Not only can you pour the blood down the drain but you can clean the cup in the shower and you will be nice and relaxed when reinserting.
Some other useful reads: