Selamat Hari Raya guys!
Sorry I've been away for awhile and even my previous post was kind of a listicle rather than a real post.
Not sure why, but I've been wanting to stay away from social media for awhile and once you manage to drop it, it's quite hard to pick it back up again. 🙈
Also, I think it was my pre-period hormones that was making me feel very blue and sensitive 😂
I literally felt like this all day every day.
EVERYTIME it rained, I felt like my life was one of Jay Chou's emo song MVs 😂😂
Anyway…now that the gloominess has gone out of the way, it's time to resume regular schedule again ✨
Oh, and I tried using a menstrual cup for the first time during my period and I like it! I got one for @chenshiqi too and she got to try it out earlier AND SHE LOVES IT ALSO.
I'll talk more about it and share pics as well. The brand we got from was Freedom Cup (I first saw them during Artbox) and decided to purchase from them cos they donate a cup for everyone purchased.
What's a menstrual cup?
Hehe stole this pic from the interwebs cos I'm using my cup now and it's quite…weird to post it ah HAHA.
Anyway, a menstrual cup is a soft silicone cup that you insert into your vagina during your period to hold and collect the blood.
It's like a tampon only in the sense that it is inserted inside you, but the way the blood is collected and everything else is different.
The cups are made of medical sillicone and are supposed to last you a long time so even tho they are quite a costly investment at first (~$50) they are more affordable than menstrual pads in the long run!
They are also safer than tampons cos there is no risk of toxic shock syndrome ✨✨ Awesome!
Buying your first cup
It's actually quite difficult to lay your hands on a cup in SG, as in they aren't carried by Watsons or Guardian so you have to purchase it online.
Prior to the freedom cup, I actually read up quite a bit on the moon cup and the diva cup. I was so so intrigued and really wanted to try but I didn't wanna part with the $60-70SGD
HAHAH I'm damn weird.
So when I saw the freedom cup, I decided to get it.
The US brands tend to have more sizes? As in there's usually a size for women who haven't given birth and another for women who have.
But the freedom cup comes in 1 size only. Not a problem for me tho!
There's also a difference in terms of how hard/stiff the material is and how comfortable it's supposed to be when it sits inside you.
Some people also have a preference towards the colour, but I don't care la 🙈🙈😂 afterall inside also cannot see right?
I feel that the freedom cup is slightly big, and abit stiffer than I expected but not super uncomfortable!
When you purchase it, it comes with an instructional manual so you'll know how to put it in and how you'll know if it is inserted properly!
Day 0 with the cup
I was planning to head out with my friends for some drinks when I discovered my period came. 🙈
Worst. News. Ever. Sometimes I turn down a night out cos I'm having my period. It just makes me feel very uncomfortable and damn weird to be out and about with a pad.
Some more sometimes when I go to the toilet with my friends and there is only 1 cubicle available, we go in together (ahhahshs is it we are weird) so it's super weird if I'm having my period HAHA 😂
I've read up quite abit previously so I know how to fold the cups la. It actually came quite intuitively to me when I was handling the cup.
But prior to that, you're supposed to sterilise it, but apparently the freedom cup doesn't need? Just wash your hands with mild soap and the cup too!
There are multiple ways to fold a cup and there's no right or wrong!
You fold the cup so that it is small enough to enter your body and once it enters, the cup will open up to form a seal and collect the menstrual blood.
The trick isn't to find a fold that makes the cup smallest, more of something that just works for your body! You can experiment but so far I'm doing well with the C fold or the Heart fold!
The heart fold or C fold!
Basically squishing/flattening it then folding it in half.
Once you're done folding it, I find that the easiest way is to bear down with your legs slightly bent. Like you're about to do a squat.
Don't fully squat tho! I find that that compresses the opening and makes it slightly harder.
Look for the opening to your vagina (this will be slightly more tricky if you'be never had intercourse) and gently insert the cup.
For the first timers it will be difficult la confirm. But not very also!
I find that as compared to the tampon, the cup really doesn't feel like it's in there at all.
For the tampon, I was told that you really got to push it in for it to feel invisible. And that can really hurt man. Cos you never know when it's deep enough and sometimes you push too hard. 😂
But the cup right. Once it makes it pass the opening, it is sucked in gently. And it's done. No need to keep pushing.
———–CHECKING IF IT OPENS PROPERLY————,
My biggest worry was actually if the cup formed a proper seal with my vag walls. 🙈
Because only that way will the blood not leak out.
So according to the handbook, you can either insert a finger and run it alongside the circumference of the cup to see if it's opened.
Alternatively you can hold it by the stem (pointed part at the bottom of the cup) and wiggle it back and forth for it to open up!
Just in case, here's the anatomy of a menstrual cup!
Some cups have a ring in replacement of the stem but no difference la! They serve the same purpose!
So on Day 0, I wore it out from about 9pm to 5am 😂😂🙈🙈🙈
And I was doing some running (story for another day) and dancing and bouncing around HAHA. And the cup held up really really well!! 0 leakage at all.
I did feel slightly achey at my lower abdomen and back. Which @chenshiqi warned me about cos it means your vag is getting used to the cup.
I did some research after that and it depends on how narrow your vaginal passage is and how strong the muscles there are.
The ache doesn't last very long, about 1 day for me and it gets better. On day 2 I had backaches that were not that bad but definitely noticeable.
Removing the cup
Ok first up, it isn't actually as messy as you think it is. 😂
You imagine sticking your fingers into your VJj and it's super bloody and everything right? Cos that is what I thought the first time.
But truth is, cos the cup holds all the blood in, the part where your fingers reach into actually have no blood.
So when you put your fingers in, you have to simultaneously squeeze your muscles down there (kind of like pushing out poop😂🙈) and find the stem of the cup!
The pushing helps to bring the stem lower. I swear it works.
Then you try to break the seal of the cup from your walls by pushing in the side of the cup. Once you do that, pull out the cup slowly.
There will usually be a pop sound when the cup comes out but that's it.
The blood has no smell (unlike when you change a pad at the end of the day) cos blood only has a nasty smell when it oxidises.
Since the blood in your cup isn't, there is virtually no scent.
Once the cup is out, you can pour the contents into the toilet bowl and rinse the cup out with water! Then insert it again and voila you're done.
Plus you can keep it in you for 12 hours (omggggg) and only change it twice a day.
I change it when I wake up and before I sleep! ✨✨
It really feels amazing. The one thing I hate about wearing a pad is how you constantly feel damp and sticky down there cos the pad doesn't really stick to your skin and it's damn gross.
No such problems with the cup! You put it in and feel nothing until the end of the day when you change it.
I used to use tampons? But I was always thinking when it will be my turn to die from TSS. 😂😂😂
And tampons aren't really leak proof? And they hold so little blood. Always have to keep changing.
Plus the string that dangles out is soiled when you pee??? That's weird man and gross HAHA.
My first full day with the cup
I honestly forgot it was there. And despite leaving it in the entire day, the cup was about half full?
So I don't think you'll have problems with it leaking unless you have a super super heavy flow.
I had some super minor problems with leakage tho (literally 1-2 drops) which I think might be because I didn't really feel the cup properly to make sure that it opens up properly.
But in terms of comfort, 💯.
I did have backaches tho and it was noticeable. And bad enough for me to whine.
But it got better at night.
And night time. Omg the time of the day I appreciate the cup the most is when I'm sleeping.
I've never had better sleep during my period. No need to worry about leaks, no discomfort. No need to change pads.
Seriously, the cup will change your life.
I have more tips to share but I'm going to open an AMA regarding the cup now, so if you have any questions at all, feel free to ask ok!
The cup can't get lost inside you
Asked by @csyann and just nice I wanted to share about this.
But just like a tampon, there's no way a cup can get lost inside you! So don't need to worry.
If you're removing the cup and you can't find the cup or the stem, just push down with your pelvic muscles and you'll definitely be able to feel it!
What I think is that as the cup is more squishy and flexible, it's less noticeable than a tampon that is hard and expands after soaking up the blood.
Also it doesn't go as deep!
Usually for first timers, yes you can wear a pad or pantyliner to feel more secure or to have a better gauge on how much your cup can handle!
Everyone's flow is different so it can be quite difficult to see if the cup can handle a full day of your period blood.
So I'd say to be safe, wear a pad for the first full day? 🙈 I didn't la I was damn gung-ho and just wore it out to jump around.
And yes! I ran and jumped around while wearing it and nothing happened!
Yes! You'll need to have a bottle of water or use the handicapped toilet!
I've heard of girls using wet wipes (fragrance and soap free) which I feel is ok also cos it's really not smelly and doesn't feel dirty! 🙈
Hehe actually I never really thought of this, but I went to read up and here's what I found out!
So when the blood exits the uterus, it does so via muscle contractions and not gravity which is why astronauts and bedridden women can still have their periods.
Once it exists the uterus it will go through the vaginal cavity where like it flows out by gravity! So while you're lying down the blood just stays in there. It doesn't back flow.
If there's too much blood, it'll just overflow the cup and leak like normal! 🙈
Apparently someone asked their gynae and it's quite impossible for anything to re-enter the uterus unless there's quite alot of force and pressure 🙈
Hehe no worries!
Nope it doesn't feel abrasive at all! Unless you keep taking it out and putting it in then I think it feels a little raw at the opening.
But even if you wear it for hours on end there's no abrasive feeling! I just feel crampy for awhile! 🙈
No need to!
As compared to tampons, I feel that the smooth material of the cup makes it easier to insert. Plus cos it doesn't need to go in that deep, it doesn't feel that uncomfortable.
However, I've read that it is ok to use water based lubricants if you feel uncomfortable and it's your first time inserting it!
Do not use oil based lubricants tho! They don't sit very well with sillicone based products! 🙈
Actually I have a few questions, was the cup full when you emptied it after you found it leaking?
And also, what type of cup are you using?
I read from @feverdreaming 's informative post on Day51 that some cups are made to be super soft so they take some time to open up fully inside you, which can cause some leakage.
She also had problems with leaking cups and attributed it to her anatomy.
I think if you're using a cup that's too soft, it might warp when you move?
This, causing some leaking!
The Freedom Cup I'm using is actually pretty firm. I sometimes have problems holding on to the fold cos it keeps trying to pop open.
You also have to make sure that the cup is opened and inserted properly. I do this by running a finger around the body of the cup.
I did read in a forum that you should push against the back of your vaginal wall to allow air to enter the cup so the seal can be created! Can try if you think the leaking is caused by that!
You're not alone! 🙈 I also feel like the removal is a little bit more scary than the insertion.
What I do is to squat and push using my VJJ (lol) and you can actually feel the stem of the cup move lower to the bottom.
Pulling to break the seal can be abit scary cos you can feel the suction. But what you can do is insert a finger and push in on the sides of the cup so the seal is broken. Then it's easier for the cup to come out.
Actually alot of the fear associated with taking it out is psychological. So you gotta tell yourself that the cup cannot be lost inside your vag and that your vag isn't that deep.
So you just gotta relax.
I also come to realise that how I imagine the cup to pop out is way worse than when it actually does pop out 😂😂😂 so idk why I keep scaring myself.
Hope it helps!!!