It is that time of the month again that every woman dreads.
Like every other girl out there, I absolutely hate it when it arrives. I constantly worry about the fluid sloshing where it’s not supposed to slosh to, that sudden WOOSH of endometrial lining coming out that I had to just stop from what I was doing, and waking up to find my sheets stained as if someone had stabbed me. And the stains? The stains are hard to remove.
Aside from the bloody drama, I have to endure napkin rashes that sometimes anti-rash cream could not help relieve it. I have to change the thing constantly because, apart from feeling icky, it is dreadfully uncomfortable once it’s full. On top of all these, it’s costly in the long run.
I dread to experience all of these again the when the next month rolls in. I wanted something; a solution of sorts. That was when I found it: The Menstrual Cup.
I was browsing the interwebs, being bored and all, watching clips on YouTube when I stumbled upon this Buzzfeed video. Curious, I checked it out. After finishing the video, I wanted one so bad. It seemed like the possible solution to my bloody monthly disaster. I checked out online shops within my country if they were selling the thing. Unfortunately, there weren’t any. Weeks later, I finally purchased it with my best friend while we were at Singapore.
The name of the company/organization where I got the product is called Freedom Cups and I contacted them through Messenger since they do not have a physical store in Singapore. They have this scheme wherein they give one M-cup to another woman in an underprivileged community for every cup purchased. Their cups are small, designed specifically for Asian women, and are available in one color.
We arranged for a meet-up with their rep and we met her at Orchard Station. Vanessa, the company rep, was very nice and we chatted with her for several more minutes after giving her our payment. She told us about their program and the places they have visited to give cups away. We discussed more on how to use the cups (there’s a leaflet included with instructions), that there is a learning curve for first-time users, and how we (my best friend and I) found out about the M-cups.
To be honest, I felt quite nervous using this thing. My main concern were leaks and stains.
They came in a paper bag and I like how Vanessa made it more personalized with a cute little note scribbled at the back in green ink.
Inside the paper bag were two pouches, one for me and the other for my best friend. They contained the actual cup itself wrapped in plastic for sterility, and a leaflet with instructions printed.
The cup is soft, pliable and, according to the leaflet, could hold 20ml of liquid.
It was perfect timing that I had ordered this because, not a day later, THAT arrived. As a first time user, I was slightly skeptic about the “no leaks” factor of the device. Being the paranoid girl that I am, I still used a pad as a precaution.
There are many ways on how to put the M-cup in and it is all listed down in the leaflet. There is a definite learning curve. I had several unsuccessful attempts in inserting the thing and letting it stay where it is supposed to stay. It was a struggle getting it in there, making sure that my cervix is where it should be: inside the cup.
Tip: It is better to insert it while or after taking a shower. After insertion, check whether it has been inserted properly.
It felt awkward at first. It felt kind of “full” down there because the device opens up once it is popped it in properly. After a while though, that sensation faded and it was as if I never inserted it in the first place.
Since I do not bleed that much, I just emptied it twice a day. I empty the cup, clean it, and do the whole frustrating job of inserting it every after shower. Cleaning is a breeze, though. I could use whatever mild soap I was currently using to clean it before using it again. I average 2-3 pad changes in a day back when I used pads.
Fun Fact: The first menstrual cup was patented in 1932 by the midwifery group of McGlasson and Perkins. The first commercial cup was patented in 1937 by Leona Chambers. (source)
On my third day though, it leaked. It wasn’t a lot though. I still had a pad on for precautionary measures. Turns out that I had not inserted it properly. After a few adjustments to the device, there were no more leaks.
On my fourth day, I decided to forego the pad and braved it. I went out to explore the country, did a lot of vigorous walking, and sometimes a bit of running to catch the train before the doors close. I even slept without a pad to catch any possible leaks. The next morning, I checked and I was happy that there were no stains whatsoever.
Overall, I love it. I love that I won’t get rashes. I love the fact that I won’t worry about stains on my sheets and clothes. Most of all, I won’t spend each month buying pads.
Its my second month using the product. I ditched the pads.
Feel free to check them out!
Disclaimer: This article is, in no way, sponsored by the organization mentioned above. I personally bought the product and tested it with minimal knowledge concerning the merchandise.