I decided to write this article after talking to a few friends about menstrual cups. I have been using one for almost half a year now (wish I had discovered them sooner!), and after asking friends if they had tried one, to my surprise, I got 2 types of responses. They either said no because they were somehow intimidated by the concept or yes after a long period of anxiety. The “no” people were curious and the yes people were very pleased once they actually went through the process.
This made me look back at my own experience as I also went through an emotional roller-coaster, from considering it for a while to buying it and freaking out to eventually trying it on and falling in love with it. So I chose to write this blog post in case you are in the “no” column, curious about it but a bit intimidated to give it a try. I hope to share the why to consider it, what I did to help me get the courage I needed and the actual process and what I learned.
But first, the problem – why are we so scared of trying a menstrual cup?
I believe this has to do with the long disconnect we now have from healthy female sexuality and the importance and symbolism of the menstrual flow. If you look back in time and how many native cultures perceived menstruation, it was seen as a sign of power and celebration. Today, menstrual flow is often associated with shame, an inconvenience, something we cannot wait to get rid of. Some cultures even consider girls “dirty” during their period, not allowing them to attend school, and beautiful organizations, such as Days for Girls are doing great work on changing this mentality as they empower young girls to be proud of being a woman. I have vivid memories, maybe due to shock…lol, of friends of mine in our early teens taking birth control pills to delay their periods because they wanted to go to the beach! How crazy is that? Going on a day-trip to them was more important than the mess they were causing to their hormones, likely due to lack of knowledge on the topic. That for me is sad and I hope we can empower the young girls of today turning into women to know better and do better.
Menstruation is a physiological need of the female body, necessary for procreation and detoxification. Each month, we go through this hormonal ride for a reason and honouring this process is more important than most of us realize. Being an authentic woman in today’s world can be a challenge, so it is now time for us to go back to our roots and together help spread the word that being compassionate, gentle, caring, loving and able to receive is what makes us powerful. That not being able to take on the world one to two days a month, and instead spend our time reading and resting is honouring who we are. The world needs more Divine Feminine energy right now and it all starts with the self. Take care of yourself and the rest will come.
If you are open to thinking of your menstrual flow as a detoxification process and curious to observe the changes in your body, mood and intuitive abilities, I guarantee you much joy can come from it. The simple process of scheduling my entire life around my menstrual cycle has brought me a sense of confidence I did not know before, I felt… excited when I first contemplated this opportunity. No big meetings on day 1 or even maybe a full day-off, whatever suits you, honour it.
So why did I decide to find the courage to do it?
Unlike many, I did not switch to a menstrual cup because I wanted to be super active on the first couple of days of my period. I know it is greatly convenient, however, as I mentioned before, days 1 and 2 of each month for me are sacred. It is the time I unleash my inner Princess and my husband is fully supportive of it. I used to get cranky leading up to it and have lots of abdominal discomfort, but after quite some time working on my diet, reducing sugar and a few other changes, my periods have been essentially pain-free (mind you I had insane cramps in my 20s, when I did not think about my diet much).
The real reason I changed from pads and tampons to a menstrual cup was the health consequences I believe are associated with the pads we use every month. From the chemicals used in the process of making them and bleaching them to the possible consequences of having incomplete periods due to the physical blockage a tampon represents, I was ready to change. I just did not feel good with the idea that I was not allowing my body to detoxify by interrupting the process and overloading it with chemicals.
What I did that helped me get over the fear of inserting the cup and not getting it lost in my body was what I do for basically anything, from making a quiche to buying a new car – I Googled it extensively. I read real people’s reviews, their concerns, their solutions and slowly it calmed me down. Here are the highlights of what I learned, after purchasing The Diva Cup, but before opening the box:
(1) You cannot lose it in there!
(2) Yes, you can pee and pop with it on (a fair concern in my opinion)
(3) Yes you may need to push it out, but vaginal muscles are actually strong (so get to know them!)
(4) Yes it will leak at first until you get comfortable with inserting it properly
(5) No, it won’t hurt, in fact if inserted correctly you cannot feel it
(6) Yes, everyone is different so be open-minded
(7) And finally, you will need to be comfortable with seeing blood, washing it and honouring it as a beautiful part of being a woman
In mind opinion, the invention is brilliant. Once you get comfortable with it you will have the opportunity to re-gain a connection with your feminine side, to honour your body and its needs, know how much you actually bleed each month, and hopefully to help other women feel safe and comfortable to explore their fears. My process was an interesting one, after contemplating the idea for a couple of year to buying and staring at it terrified of what to do next, to the fail attempts at first, I look at the experience with joy and I have shared with others openly as I think this is an important step towards our collective healing.
So do I recommend you explore the idea of using a menstrual cup? YES! Do I feel women should feel beautiful on period week? YES! Do I feel this can be as scary as it gets, but worth the joy on the other side? ABSOLUTELY.
Let’s say no to ignoring our periods, let’s get ready to feel vulnerable, intuitive and strong and let’s reclaim our female power and spread love, our world needs it. If you have any specific questions on the process, just reach out and I would be happy to help!