Category: Health

The Menstrual Cup- Everyone is Doing It

Our friends here in France threw us a little going away party this past weekend. I figured I would bring up the topic of the menstrual cup at some point since it was fresh in my thoughts. I decided to inquire about it with the youngest female at the party. Yes, I did this all in French.

She looked at me and enthusiastically, stated “Oui, bien sur j’utilise la cup”. Okay then. Also at the party was a mid-wife, who was closer to my age. I should have known that she was familiar with the cup and that I could ask her questions about the challenges I had with my experience.

Luckily she also spoke some english. She was even more enthusiastic about the topic. She shared that the cup I had used was to blame for how difficult it was to get out and explained that pinching the bottom of the cup, to unsuction it, was all that was necessary with the right fit.

I found out that all 7 women present knew of the cup and some used it as their sole resource during their menstruation. I, again, felt very out of the loop. I am curious how you may have heard about the cup and if you have tried it… Leave a message below.

Day 4-8- The Menstrual Cup Experiment

Yes, I have my period between 6-8 days. Each month is a little different but there are always a few very heavy days. This month, the first 4 days were light while days 5-7 were heavy.

Day 4- Easy Breezy

I was happy to wake up, take out the tampon and use the cup. I changed it twice today but then used a tampon for the evening again. As the day progressed, my period started to get heavier and clumpy. I predict that tomorrow will be the ultimate test.

Day 5- No plans today.

It was nice to have nothing going on today. We ended up going over to a friends house and BBQ’ing. Ahh summer time!! I put the cup back in and was gone for about 7 hours. When I got home I easily took it out and this time it was more full than it has ever been. Which was an experience. But I will be honest. It was better than wrapping up my soggy tampon with toilet paper and placing it in the garbage.

I do feel that I am getting more use to the cup. I am more comfortable putting it in and know when I have done it correctly instead of it having one side slightly folded. Taking it out continues to be challenging but I know what to expect which helps.

I continued to use a tampon at night because I am just nervous about it getting lodged up there. Plus, I feel like the heavier it gets the more likely it will be that it will leak. Though this hasn’t happened yet.

Day 6- Yucky Tampons

I woke-up and was leaking from the tampon I used last night. Let me point out that it is day 6 of my period and it keeps getting heavier. Anyone else have this problem out there?

Ugh the nasty soggy string and the smell. Getting real here. So after that was out, I gladly went back to the cup. Since I am having a heavier day, I am going to check it every 6 hours (the recommended is 8 hours) which is still 2 more hours than a tampon recommends. So the fact that I shouldn’t have to worry about my period an extra four hours is really great.

I ended up dumping the cup after 4 hours one time because my intuition just told me too. Which was a good thing because it seemed like it was necessary. In the middle of the day I ended up using a tampon because I wanted to disinfect the cup. I concluded that I will probably need two cups to cope with my period each month.

I will admit that my fingers get pretty bloody when I remove the cup. Mainly because of how high I need to go to pull the cup down. It is also a little shocking to see all the blood go into the toilette. This will take some getting use to.

Day 7- Bloody Sunday

It’s not Sunday but I wish it was because I need a day of rest after a week of bleeding. Today was another heavy day. I switched about every 4 -5 hours between cup and tampon.

This really allowed me experience the difference between using the tampon and the cup. I think once I find the right cup, I won’t ever miss tampons.

Even the fact that I will just have this little cup to carry around with me and not have random tampons everywhere. That would be so nice! I don’t know about you but I have tampons in all our bathrooms, in all my purses, gym bag, at work, in the car, even in my suitcases. To be able to get rid of all these would be really liberating.

Day 8- Done!!

Okay, I used the cup throughout the day and can tell that my period is finally over. Seriously, what a week. Overall, I am so glad that I tried the cup out and committed to this experience. I am actually looking forward to next month when I can try the new cup. Stay tuned.

Day 3- The Menstrual Cup Experiment

Day 3- Today did not start off well. I could not reach the cup this morning. I had to pinch and pull and pinch my insides to get a handle on the tail. It took a good 10 minutes of positive talk and calming my panic. It hurt and freaked me out so much that I used a tampon.

There was some relief in using something familiar. Though I don’t like the system and using tampons, now that I have experienced something different. But I would be driving around all day taking my daughter to and from dance practice and I wanted something familiar. I did not want to be worried about a cup getting stuck inside of me.

That being said, I noticed feeling more consumed about the usual tampon worries. “Am I going to bleed through everything” “Do I have enough tampons.” “When should I plan on changing it next.”

I certainly hope some men read this post. It is a good example of a day in the life of a bleeding woman. Maybe not for all but I bet there are many of us out there stressed about the same things each month.

Let me also take this opportunity to share that though I had been washing the cup off between dumping it and reinserting it, I had not disinfected it. Which is what I did while I had a tampon in. I just boiled water and left it in there for about 5 minutes. Your suppose to do this between each reinsertions.

I was not loosing hope about the whole cup idea but I was certainly freakout by this mornings episode. Does this happen to other women at night? I don’t know??

In between running my daughter to and from recital and fittings I went back to the internet to see about buying another option. I ended up choosing the FLEX cup. I am going to order this for next month and see if works better.

Towards the evening, after using tampons all day, I actually wanted to try the cup again. I felt that I was just as concerned about my tampons (for different reasons) as I was about the cup. The difference is I felt like the cup was less likely to leak. And, I ultimately have always been able to get it out.

I ended up using the cup for the recital and it went fine. It was actually really nice to pee and not feel like something was all peeped on or wet.

Taking it out before going to bed wasn’t an issues either. But for sleeping. I ended up using a tampon. I kinda wondered if the position I sleep in is good for the cup. Will the blood just spill out in me? Another example of not understanding or trusting it the cup yet.

Day 2- The Menstrual Cup Experiment

Day 2- Still struggling getting this cup out. I had an idea last night of tying a string to the bottom of it. But, the string came off one time and I realized that I was just trying to make the cup more like a tampon. I also realized that I am taking it out WAY too often.

After realizing that I was treating the cup as a tampon I sat myself down and told myself that it was okay to treat it differently. Starting with not checking it will I went to bed. So from 1 pm to 8:30 pm, I just let it be.

I explored other cup options and saw a few that I think might work better. I think having a ring of sorts would allow me to take it out easier. While looking I found that there were a variety of choices. Which, again, surprised me. There is a whole market out there that I wasn’t aware of.

I also came to the conclusion that the reason I might be having a hard time getting the cup out is because I have a high cervix. Hello!!! How is it that I am 40 and have had 2 children and just now realizing this? Geeze!!

Photo by Juan Camilo Navia on Unsplash

As I sank into the experience a little more I did feel like the cup felt more secure and efficient in collecting the blood. Another HUGE positive is that when you go to the bathroom, number 1 or 2, pee pee doesn’t soak the string. I have always hated when that happened. It actually feels cleaner and less messy this way. As did the fact that I didn’t need to change it as often, liberating!!!

Around 8:30 pm, I struggled to take it out (swearing and sweating a little). The cup didn’t have a lot of blood but I dumped it, washed it off really well and then reinserted it and went to bed.

All in all, even with the challenge of getting the cup out, I imagine that I will not be going back to tampons. There is something about this process that feels better. Better for the environment, yes. But it is deeper than that. I will be thrilled if this continues to go well.

Day 1- The Menstrual Cup Experiment

If you want to know more about my decision to try the menstrual cup, read the following post.

Day 1- After buying my cup, I disinfected it by placing it in boiling water for a few minutes. I have to admit that when I saw the size of the cup I was a little intimidated. It was larger than I imagined and the material is sturdy and rubbery. I wondered how I would get it small enough to comfortably place it where it needed to go. I also second guess if this really was safe to be putting it up my yoni. It is so different than a tampon. Where a tampon is slender and soft, this is bulky and hard.

This reminded me how hard it can be to change and how scary becoming more aware can be. I slightly envy those that are still oblivious to the state of things. I didn’t grow up in a house where we discussed whether or not products were safe for us. My mother’s generation just trusted and assumed that if a product was on a shelf to buy, it was safe. Shit, my mother made microwavable meals for us for dinner.

It has been a huge awakening for me to start changing the relationship I have with stuff. This whole Menstrual Cup is bringing up way more than I thought it would..

I never questioned placing tampons inside of me, but after being introduced to the cup, I started to wonder. Check out this article to see what is actually in tampons. Think Round-up scary…

Which made me think, “what else do I just blindly?”

Then it hit me…. “Well you are blindly going to put this contraption into you and you don’t know if it is truly better for you.” Yes, I did some research. Yes, I listened to some podcasts. But, how do I REALLY know it is better?”

This is one of Rerooting Circles goals. To become better acquainted with our own inner intuition. What better way to strengthen my relationship with my intuition than to use my Yoni or womb.

But I did one last Ecosia to be sure. Here are the two articles that stood out:

Menstrual Cup Dangers: 3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Make The Switch”. Read it for yourself but know that it isn’t what you think.

“What are Menstrual Cups Made Out Of”which suggests to read the materials that your cup is made out of because some are better than others.

So back to my cup I go. I looked on the box to find out what it was made out of and where. On the front of the box it is said “silicone 100% médical” and “Fabriquée à Cavaillon en France”. Double good.

I noticed that when I am unsure of things I am so quick to pick up my phone and search for the answer. It is a horrific habit on so many levels. More on that soon.

Okay Okay Okay… back to day 1 of my first Cup experience.

I was excited to see the first signs of my faithful old friend show up today. Though I wished I would have understood the directions better (they are in French). I got myself into a little conundrum putting it in and taking it out.

Luckily the pictures on the box were pretty clear. Fold the circle in and pinch it a little till it forms a triangle shape. I wouldn’t say it was very comfortable getting it in but I imagine that it just takes some practice (as did tampons).

The trickiest part was working with the size of the cup. I think I should have gone with the smaller size for it to be more comfortable. Hmmm, will I need to buy more of these. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of minimizing waste?

Pulling the cup out was not easy. It has a few “beads” at the end, see below. But my fingers are weak and even opening jelly can is difficult. I usually have to ask my husband for help. So pulling on a short knob was actually painful and took a lot of focus and patience. There were a few times I wondered if I was going to need to call my husband in for help.

Goodness. That would be a sign of true love!

I found a method of tugging the beads down a little and then use my other hand to pull them down a little more. I shifted between squating and sitting on the toilet. I also wondered if it was normal for the beads to be so high up inside me. This just didn’t seem practical. Once I got two beads out of my yoni, I could hold on to the string a little easier. I think hooked one finger on my other hand on the top of the cup to pull it out the rest of the way.

Luckily there wasn’t much blood because the cup would come out sideways. I then just dumped the blood in the toilet and rinsed it off in the sink next to me and reinserted it. This didn’t feel ideal and the whole process took about 6 minutes. Which is 5.30 minutes longer than it does with a tampon.

You will want to wash your hands right away and it is recommended to wash the cup before reinserting it. I do wonder how I will do this when I am gushing blood in a few days.

Another unique thing about France is the toilet rooms. There are usually sinks right next to you. I imagine doing this in the U.S., even at home or at work, to be a little trickier.

I found myself thinking about the cup a lot during the day, which lead me to pulling it out and reinserting it 4 times throughout the day. On the box it says it is holds 8 hours worth of blood but I was checking it every 4. Which is the pattern I have with tampons. The fact that I can have a heavy flow influences this greatly.

This was an interesting awareness. My period started when I was about 14, so for 26 years (minus the months of pregnancy and breastfeeding) I have had a routine of caring for my period that has been so ingrained into my psyche. I do this and then I do that and then this…. and I am anxious the whole week. Hmm. Is there a possibility that the cup could change that relationship. Was I willing to be open to that.

I am not sure if I felt relax enough today to connect with my intuition on that idea. Maybe tomorrow will be different.

The Menstrual Cup – What is it?

It wasn’t until recently that I even knew there was another option available to cope with menstruations each month. That option is called, a menstrual cup.

A menstrual cup is a small, flexible cup made out of silicone or latex rubber. Instead of absorbing your flow, like a tampon or pad, it catches and collects it.

I was curious when I began seeing and hearing more about a menstrual cup. I think the first one I ever saw was in Target. I wondered, “WTF is that?” and “who is using this?”

I have never heard my friends talk about a menstrual cup nor has any other woman shared this information with me. But, I wondered, “Is everyone using this, am I missing out?”

So I did a little research. As I learned more about them I became less skeptical. My main hold up was how heavy my flows can be. Could this cup hold all that blood and goop?

After the birth of my first child, 8 years ago, my periods have become heavier and last longer. When I say heavy I mean I put a super tampon in and 20 minutes later blood is gushing out of me. This is also usually accompanied with clumps of goop. I imagine this is my uterus lining and because it is so thick the tampon isn’t able to absorb it. I even use a pad on those days but I have still have managed to ruin underwear, pants and even work chairs because of this issue. It is a constant concern each month that I have just dealt with it and accepted as part of my life.

The only solution that my gynecologists have offered is to go on the pill. Which I have tried off and on throughout my life and the reality is, it doesn’t work for me.

Could the cup really be an alternative? Could it maybe even help reduce how heavy my flow can be?

What sealed the deal was listening to a podcast by Cassandra Wilder titled, “Why Switching to a Menstrual Cup Will Change Your Life.” It would be hard not to try give the cup a try after listening to that podcast.

The last concern I had was if I could find one in France. But low and behold, there next to the tampons and pads were two options of cups. I must be missing out!

With help from my husband, I choose the most expensive one $30, and home I went. Follow me for the next 6 days as I share my experience.

Day 5- Your Super Foods Detox/Reset

It is official ladies and gentlemen my pallet is reset. How do I know this, well I licked the spoon the clumpy powder Super Green mix off the spoon today and I smiled. Good-bye Peanut butter licking cravings and hello greens.

This is pretty big! I hadn’t intentionally meant to replace my desires, I am not sure that I thought that was possible. My intention was to stop eating and craving the unhealthy stuff and to reset some of my old habits. But I was thinking in terms of extinguishing rather than replacing.

This whole rerooting journey is just that. Having an intention and then diving in and being away of how this intention may lead to so many different things. Circling around these new things and noticing what happens. This is a great example of how easy it can be to re-pattern our brains and bodies. An intention, effort, and time can lead to big shifts in what we root into.

To be clear, it is not like I was eating a lot of unhealthy food but I was in a pattern of reaching for certain foods to make me feel better. I knew that those foods also kept me feeling bad too. Since I couldn’t change my situation at this time, I choose to change my diet. Which, has effected my mood in the simplest fact that I feel better about myself.

And, it is day 5! Normally, I would be done with a cleanse and excited to get back to my older habits but this time it feels different. Not in a forced, “I should keep drinking these shakes” but in a “I am excited to have a new option in my routine.”

Day 4- Your Super Foods Detox

Today I felt a shift. Starting off with a clear desire to drink the Skinny Protein Mix. I found myself feeling more excited to drink that shake than the Forever Beautiful Mix.

One of the great ingredients of the Skinny Protein Mix is Hemp. Which is an excellent source of protein containing all the amino acids that our body needs and some that our body doesn’t produce. It is also packed with micronutrients that help with muscle recovery.

Which is great because last weekend I joined my future cousin-in-law in Budapest for her bachelorette party. “Shorty got low low low low low low low low”. So much that I have not been able to walk up and down the stairs for the last 4 days. Yes, ladies…. I know!

Overall, the day went great. I really am feeling a healthier pallet re-emerging. I am curious to see how I feel tomorrow and encouraged that I will want to continue using the shakes on a daily basis.

Day 3- Your Super Foods Detox

This morning I woke up wanting to eat. I was a little hungry and I think I was missing eating my oat mix. But that craving subsided after making a shake. I used freshly squeezed apple juice (not sure that is allowed but it was organic and fresh with no additives), frozen spinach, frozen blueberries, some lemon juice, and a scoop of the Super Greens.

I ended up eating lunch a little early today. I probably would have gone for a walk before but my son was sick today and I was stuck in the house caring for him.

For lunch I had greens, avocados, and mushrooms. It was delicious. I did use almond oil to cook the mushrooms and some balsamic on the avocados.

While making my son’s sandwich, you guessed it PB&J, I was still tempted to lick the knife but restrained myself. However, I did feel the need to have a bowl quinoa for dinner. I made it myself with sun dried tomatoes and a bunch of herbs. It was a small but satisfying bowl.

I like that there are only 6 ingredients in each mix. They also provide you with where each of those ingredients are harvested. What makes these mixes stand out above other mixes is that they really do have a unique blend of super foods in each mix. I am also starting to look forward to the unique ingredients of each mix. Which suggests that my body is resenting from those delicious doughnuts that I sometimes snack on to pure nutritious healthier ingredients. Maybe I should have called this a reset program rather than a detox program. Detox, to me, sounds so harsh. I am resetting my body’s system, which on these Super Food Mixes has been super easy.

Day 2- Your Super Foods Detox

Again, it was a pretty smooth day. I was not hungry and I felt very good, energetic. I think it helped that I had been drinking a shake or two a day for a week before starting the 5 day detox program. Today, my belle-mere (mother-in-law) said that her head hurt and that she had a difficult time sleeping last night. I had a slight headache today but it went away.

There were a few moments I wanted to eat certain foods. Again, during dinner I sat with the family and could smell the meat they were eating. I think my body is craving some iron (going to get my period soon) so my desire for it is stronger. I also had made PB&J’s today for the kid’s lunch and I usually lick the knife after I spread the peanut butter. I had to restrain myself a little for that. Sup

My FAVORITE mix is the Forever Beautiful mix. I can easily drink it with just water but I like it with coco water and maybe a banana to fill me up a bit. When I am not on the detox plan, I love putting a scoop of peanut butter with it and blending it all.

Here is what is in this delicious mix:

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