We are going to get real intimate on the blog. Today’s topic: Michelle’s offensively heavy menstrual cycle and the product that changed her life for the better.
If you are anything like me and have periods that are, at times, so bad you joke about needing a blood transfusion, then this blog is for you. If you are the gal that packs a satchel full of menses products and lives in fear of bleeding out in front of your co-workers or, worse, on a date, then this blog is for you. If you spend more money on feminine products than shoes, then this blog is for you.
Heavy periods can suck the life out of you and we women deserve better. If you are still reading then that means you and I are simpatico and you are moments away from improving your quality of life, monthly. I recently discovered the menstrual cup and praise be to sweet baby Jesus, things are looking up!
Men, this is where you click out and head over to Barstool Sports.
The story goes like this. It was the morning of a 2-day, intensive coaches clinic that I had to attend and I was bleeding like a stuck pig. Panic had set in. I was about to sit in a room, or be on a field with, mostly men and, as luck would have it, my period was in full force. How in the heck was I going to manage without all coaches throughout the entire state of Illinois knowing that Michelle Anderson was on her period? You know the drill. Unless I figured something out, there were at a minimum, six bathroom trips in my future. How was I going to manage when I was supposed to be on the field?
I had heard about the menstrual cup as an alternative option and since I am always willing to try anything once, I went for it!
My experience was better than good and, hands on the Bible, I will never use a tampon again. Buckle up, I will get candid and graphic but I promise you will be left curious enough to try a menstrual cup for yourself.
But first, what is a menstrual cup?
- It is a reusable silicone cup made for collecting rather than absorbing menstrual flow.
- Most, if not all, cups do not contain any of the following: latex, plastic, PVC, acrylic, BPA, and colors and dyes and some other harmful stuff we don’t need to be inserting into our nether regions.
- It’s also eco-friendly. The hippie in me loves this!
- They cost between $30-$45. Just think, you will never have to buy another box of toxic, uncomfortable, unreliable tampons again.
- It has zero odor, unlike scented tampons and other menstrual products.
How does the menstrual cup work?
This part is a bit graphic and, if you are prudish or not comfortable with handling your lady bits, this product is not for you. I think my 3-year stint with infertility at a teaching hospital has me pretty “open” to the menses cup. Inserting a malleable tulip-shaped cup was a piece of cake considering I had a twin pregnancy and prior to that, a number of tests and items jammed on up in there. When it comes to inserting the cup it requires two hands, one vagina, patience, and a bit of a learning curve.
READ THE INSTRUCTIONS THOROUGHLY.
Don’t be scared. Nothing is going to get lost up there.
You will fold, insert and gently twist the cup to ensure it opens and can then collect your menses. I promise, for the bleeders, this product is a game-changer.
I had to pull and spread and the bending and insertion are tricky, but totally doable once you get the hang of it. It was completely comfortable. In fact, I felt absolutely nothing. I sported a liner as a precautionary measure. At the 4-hour mark, I decided it was time to remove the cup, dump the stuff, rinse, clean and reuse. Here is how that goes down:
Ever go vaginal spelunking? Get ready! You are now!
Removal of the cup.
To start, wash your hands. It is time to get down and dirty. At the end of the tulip-shaped cup, there is a tiny little stem. That is the part of the cup you are to grab as you begin removal. It is unavoidable, you will get some blood on your hands, but it’s natural and your body.
Time to push. As in, show that cup who is boss. Push like you’re poopin’ and grab that little rubber stem, slowly pull it out until your cup is free from your vagina. Take your time.
All I have to say is, the human body is amazing.
Once your cup is emptied, rinse it thoroughly with warm water. You are now ready to re-insert. At this point, you should be a menstrual cup professional!
PRO TIP: If you are in a public restroom and it is time to dump your cup, be sure to bring a water bottle in the stall with you as well as a fresh clean paper towel. Heading to the sink to wash and clean your cup might not be convenient. Now you will be ready.
I hope encourages you to consider a healthier, more economic, and enviromentally friendly way to treat your body during your monthly flow.
Please reach out with any questions!