It’s been nearly two years since I switched from using tampons to my menstrual cup as my preferred way to manage my period. After almost a year of doing research online, I finally took the plunge and bought a Lily Cup at the end of 2015. To say it has completely transformed how I view my period is a huge understatement.
I chose the Lily Cup for several reasons. First of all, the slanted top made it easier to fold for insertion. It’s also made with super soft silicone for comfort, and had a spill guard to make the process less messy. If you’re interested, you can hear my full review of my Lily Cup and first experiences in this video. Overall, knowing I can basically forget about my period for 12 hours at a time makes me less angsty about my cycle. My period no longer slows me down, and I even get a better night’s sleep not having to worry about leaks.
Over the years, I’ve learned a lot through my use of a menstrual cup. Keep reading for more insight on what using a menstrual cup has taught me. Check out the video at the top of the page for menstrual cup tips I use to make the process even easier.
1. I don’t bleed as much as I thought.
Until you see a full day’s worth of blood all in one place, you really don’t realize how much (or how little) you actually bleed. It almost makes you wonder why you have to change tampons so often… even on a heavy flow. While I originally thought it would gross me out when first starting my menstrual cup journey, seeing the blood my cup collects over twelve hours helps me become more in tune with how my body works and what to expect throughout my cycle. Knowledge is power!
2. I can tell when I’m really done with my period.
Piggybacking off of my last point, I can finally tell when I’m actually done with my period. I’m sure you’ve been in that situation: you think you’re done, you skip the tampon and BAM. You re-start for another few hours and leak on your undies. Looking in the cup and seeing how the levels change as the week goes on makes me more confident about the end of my cycle. If I had a very light flow in the past, my tampons would suck it to the core. When I pulled the tampon out, it would look and feel dry on the surface, faking me out. There’s no hiding in the cup— so when it’s empty, I’m done.
3. It’s not as messy as I thought it would be.
One of my main worries going into using a menstrual cup was the splash factor. The fact that the blood was just… sitting in the cup instead of absorbed into cotton made me assume it would be splash city. But two years in, I’ve never spilled on myself! Especially because the Lily Cup has the rim on the inner lip, even if you tip it the blood has a small barrier before it flows out. Like I said, this is one of the main reasons I chose the Lily Cup over others and it hasn’t failed me.
4. Tampons are expensive!
You don’t realize how expensive tampons can get until you’re not buying them anymore. I usually had to buy a new box ever 2 months… at $9/box, I’ve saved $108 over the past couple years! That means my Lily Cup has already paid for itself and then some. Since the cup can last me a long long time with proper care, it’s a smart investment for the budget-conscious.
5. It’s easier to stay active.
When I was using the tampon + pad system, it was really uncomfortable to work out. From migrating pads to worrying about my tampon leaking, being active just wasn’t in the cards. Wearing my Lily Cup, I don’t have to stress. It keeps me protected through running or yoga without a leak. I have full range of motion not having to worry about keeping my legs together to hold something in place.
6. Sometimes I still want to wear a panty liner.
Back when I wore tampons, I usually wore pads at the same time, all the time, to catch leaks. With my cup, I don’t necessarily have to double up for protection but I do sometimes find the need to wear pads or panty liners. I’ll wear one on my first day, when there is some blood residue outside of the cup from starting my period, and I’ll wear one on my last day of my period when I’m too dry for comfortable insertion but still discharging. Either way, I’m still not using as many and I don’t need as much coverage.
7. I’m more in touch with my body.
Using a cup forces you to learn a lot about your body. Because you have to come in contact with your own vagina, and sometimes feel around to get the cup into place, you might be surprised at what you find! Before using a cup, I had no idea about the position of my cervix throughout my cycle, or the shape of the vaginal canal. You get in touch with your own body fast, and you get to know what’s normal. That way, if anything ever seems out of whack, you can detect it early.
Overall, I don’t think I ever see myself going back to using tampons except in emergency situations. The Lily Cup has made a huge difference in my menstrual care and even my mindset during my period.
Have you ever used a menstrual cup? Tell me about your experience