My journey with my menstrual cup started largely because of my overly enthusiastic friend; I’ve heard of them before but when it comes to such drastic life changes, I needed about 100001 reasons to do so.
What a menstrual cup essentially is: a reusable medical-grade lil' silicone fella, that is shaped like a bell and very flexible, worn inside a woman’s body to catch ~*those nasty menstrual stuff*~.
There are tons of menstrual cups to date, but I recommend Freedom Cups (you can get it here)! They’re based in Singapore, and what made them stand out is that they work on a “Buy 1 Give 1” model. This means with every cup purchased, the good people at Freedom Cups will give a cup to a woman in an underprivileged community. :’)
My Virgin Experience With a Freedom Cup:
I’m kind of a *nervous cough* apprehensive person when it comes to putting things in my body. Even putting on my contacts took a while for me to get used to. I’m more of a pad girl as compared to tampons - I’ve only worn tampons once when my monthly buddy visited me while I was in Bali.
Naturally, the first few questions when I looked at the Freedom Cup were:
- It’s that big?!
- How is that going to fit?
- Will it hurt?
- Will it drop out while I walk?
- Will it flip over if I’m doing weird yoga poses?
- Will it overflow and and burst and stain my outfit?
- Can I poop?
As soon as I started my period, I took the Freedom Cup out of its packaging and washed it thoroughly with fragrance-free soap and water. I got into a comfortable position - squatting, or standing with one leg propped up on a closed toilet bowl - and questioned my life.
Inserting the cup was pretty straightforward. Freedom Cup comes with a very handy guide so don’t worry! There are 3 types of folds, namely: The ‘U’ fold, the Shell fold, and the triangle fold. I strongly recommend the Shell fold, because it makes the circumference so much smaller and less daunting. Grasp the folded cup firmly and insert!
Like all VJJ-related things, the key thing is honestly to CHILL! If you’re stressed, put a pad on and get back to it later, because you need your muscles feeling relaxed. Of course, I had zero chill about this and as soon as I remind myself to breathe, I start thinking that it might all go downhill from here.
It went from like “OMG it’s really happening” to “HOW DO I DO THIS?!” to “WHAT AM I DOING?” to “OKAY YOU KNOW WHAT. LET’S JUST GET THIS OVER WITH.”
The moment I managed to nudge my new acquaintance in there, IT WAS A WHOLE NEW WORLD! I could not feel it throughout the day - as compared to tampons (p.s. uncomfortable) or pads (a.k.a. women diapers), because the cup is not all the way in, it’s meant to be at the bottom and we have basically no nerves in that area.
I got home after a long day and struggled hardcore to get it out. #Life! Basically the whole idea is that you have to push with your vaginal muscles and at the same time find the bottom of the cup and slowly get it out. DO NOT yank it out by the stem (important!) The stem is there simply to give you an indication that it’s there. It’s also important that you have a good grip of the base of the cup because of the suction. And also, you won’t end up with a murder scene. (p.s. suction sounds scary but it’s not! It’s totes comfy.)
After one round with Freedom Cup, everything was a thousand times easier! It really is something that you learn as you go along. I honestly cannot think of a way you would injure yourself using a menstrual cup - and no, it will not get lost in your body. If the cup gets a little too high it’ll naturally work back down lower into a spot where you can grab it.
Why You Should Get A Freedom Cup1. It’s convenient AF
From amount of things to pack in your bag, to time spent in public washrooms to accidental stains (NEVER AGAIN!) - these Freedom Cups are a solid option. Pads and tampons have to be changed regularly (every 4-6 hours) because it can get pretty gross and irritating, so it feels nice to be able to leave my cup in for 12 hours and go out.
So basically, I gotta put a ring on it.
2. You save truckloads of money
A set of pads would cost us women about an average of S$6 a month = ~S$72 a year
For tampon-users, it’s about S$10 a month and a half (depends) = ~S$80 a year
This Freedom Cup costs S$30 - and it can last up to a decade! (with proper care.) This means you’re essentially paying half of what you’re paying for pads/tampons a year for a decade!
The first day when I wore it, I had a mini heart attack in the middle of the day “OMG WHY AM I NOT WEARING ANYTHING”, then I realised and went “ OH. :’)”
Also, on the day when I usually get the heaviest flow, it did not even leak one bit! I was thoroughly impressed.
And yes, you can swim in it.
Because it’s virtually a one-time purchase, owning a Freedom Cup reduces the massive amounts of waste generated by pads and tampons!
Also, unlike pads and tampons, these cups don’t contain dyes, odour neutralisers, scents, or other chemicals.
As mentioned, the good people behind Freedom Cups are driven by a mission to educate and to raise the awareness of good hygiene for women, especially when on their period. They have travelled around Philippines last year to distribute and teach about Freedom Cups so by purchasing a Freedom Cup you’re helping these underprivileged women.
Unlike tampons, which can easily slide out when your muscles contract, these cups are made such that it will not move out of place due to the suction, thanks to its shape!
Overall, despite a few hiccups, my first cycle with a Freedom Cup was undeniably a very positive experience. I now don’t have to worry about bringing emergency pads or staining my outfits so *two thumbs up*!
Go get your Freedom Cup here or any of the Naiise outlets and be totally badass! ;)