What You Need to Know about Menstrual Cups

Menstrual cup

WARNING: If you are a man who I know in real life, I’m advising you not to read this. But if you can’t resist and read it anyway…I don’t really want to chat about it in real life.

Send your wife instead.

OK, here we go.

I’ve been avoiding this post for awhile.

It’s not that I’m especially shy or reserved. It’s more I don’t like oversharing intimate details in a place that never goes away.

However, I have a personal vow to use this platform as a way to help others. I’ve been in plenty of situations where I didn’t know something, felt awkward asking, then just lived in ignorance, too afraid to ask.

And so, without further ado, today we will be discussing…

Menstrual Cups.

I wish we lived in a world where certain things weren’t taboo or awkward to discuss, but I’m also OK living in a world where we’re discreet about certain topics, periods included. I felt the same way when I posted about ditching birth control.

I first heard about menstrual cups when my college roomie spent a semester in London. They sounded foreign (which, obviously, they were legitimately foreign in that conversation), and kind of gross.

I mean, instead of using a tampon or pad, you have a little cup that holds…everything?

Sounded messy. And potentially dangerous.

So, I went through my next decade buying a box of tampons every month, grumbling at the price, and feeling slightly guilty at polluting the planet with those plastic applicators. (We all know they’re easier and more comfy than the cardboard ones.) They also can be uncomfortable, which is my main beef.

But in February, a menstrual-cup discussion popped up in one of my Facebook mom groups. The comments exploded, and women raved about them!

One gal posted this link to a quiz, as there are many different kinds/brands of menstrual cups. Skeptical, I took the quiz. It asks questions about age, activity level, and flow. There are even helpful videos to help you answer accurately.

At the end, the quiz gives a recommendation. I decided to bite the bullet, click over to Amazon, and buy the thing.

Now, a little silicone cup costs about $30, so it made me a little nervous that I was throwing $30 down the drain. But if it worked, then I’d save money in the long run, as you reuse your cup every month.

I ended up buying a saalt soft menstrual cup, in case you’re interested (I’m 100% certain you’re not).

It came in the mail, and when I pulled it out of its impressive packaging, I winced. It’s not exactly tiny.


I’m always amazed by the female body. I mean, I’ve birthed two babies, and most of what happened is still a complete mystery to me (much to the eye-rolling of my biologist husband).

I read the little instructional booklet, folded the rubbery cup appropriately, and positioned it as best I could (use water and give it a little twist once inserted). While there are still warnings about toxic shock, the general consensus is that you can wear your cup longer than you would a tampon.

When you think it’s time to empty, you reach up, squeeze a bit to break the suction, then remove. It can get a little messy on my heaviest day. You remove it and dump the contents into the toilet (instead of a tampon that absorbs everything for you to put in the garbage). I basically dump it out, then use some toilet paper to wipe it out. Then reinsert and wash my hands thoroughly.

So, after two cycles, I can honestly claim…the thing works!

It’s so much more comfortable. I can’t feel it, which was rarely the case with a tampon.

After your cycle, you’ll want to sterilize it. I purchased a sterilizer (also $30), as I’m planning on using a cup forever. The thing works like a charm, then stores my cup for the less emotional days of my month.

Those are my thoughts on menstrual cups. Just like absolutely everything, they’re obviously not for everyone. However, if you’re a bit fed up with how things are going, it may be worth a shot.

Here’s a video for more info, and here’s a great FAQ.

Any questions? I’m obviously no medical expert, but I’m happy to answer what I can!

For more Mama, subscribe and follow me!

Currently Reading:
Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy – OK, this one was selected in my book club. Honestly, I wouldn’t have picked up this 650-page beast of my own volition. It can get pretty heavy (literally and figuratively!), but I’m still enjoying it. We shouldn’t have attempted to read it within a month, so we’re taking two months to wade through. After our midway book club, I scarfed down Tessa Afshar’s Jewel of the Nile and Adrienne Young’s Namesake, both of which I adored. And now I’m back to Conroy.

Published by Christine Boatwright


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