1.12.2013

Menstrual Cup Madness

***Editing now, and this post is a lot longer than what I planned. Feel free to skip down to the stars if you don’t care to know about my journey from hearing about menstrual cups to buying one, and just want to know about the process.***


I have been hearing about menstrual cups for a few years now, but I never had any interest in using them. I thought that they were a gross way to deal with a gross/unnecessary problem. (Gross cause it’s blood and unnecessary cause I'm adopting.) I can’t stand the thought of using pads because it’s like sitting in your own grossness. And I was all fine with tampons until in November or early this past December and I heard about moldy tampons. I was in no way ready for the cups, but moldy tampons scared the shit out of me. Click here to see what I'm talking about. What choice did I have? I know that pads and tampons (bleached cotton o.O) are a terrible way of soaking up the blood that pours out of our crotches and extremely wasteful and bad for the environment, but I really didn't care. If mother nature was so adamant about punishing me, I would return the favour. This is not usually my attitude in life.

So after eleven years of nothing but suffering, and being scared out of using my current method of dealing with this situation, I finally decided to do some serious research, again, into these magical cups. This was very frustrating for me. I ended up in tears many times because not only could I not find a cup that I would think would suit me, but I was also getting really upset about the fact that I am never going to use my uterus and yet I still have to go through this bullshit. As I sit here typing this, I'm still not okay with this whole thing. Why doesn't nature have a neutral gender? Almost every review I have found on the internet is a super stepford wifey, fake happy, everything is all good, these things are amazing kind of thing. Like these cups can do no wrong. And I'm thinking, either these people are in some kind of cult or they're being paid to say all these wonderful things about the cups. And almost none of these reviews are talking about the first one or two tries. All you see about the first time is “it’s a learning curve” or “it takes some getting used to”. Like no one can be honest and talk about how difficult this thing is. And for the few reviews about first time using the cup, they were not the accounts of a virgin using them. But really, if I see “learning curve” on more time, I'm going to punch someone.

Another one of my big stressors was the lack of information and beating around the bush when it comes to the topic of virgins and cups. ***Virgin is probably not the best word to be used here, since losing one’s virginity doesn't depend on a penis being put into a vagina. When I say the word, I mean to say ‘a person with a vagina who was never had something bigger than a tampon inside of them’, aka hymen not stretched. Although one company I came across soft cup insisted that this is the only way to for people with vaginas to lose their virginity.*** So yeah, all most of these companies said about this was that it is perfectly safe for virgins to use. Not very helpful. I just wanna know if it’s gonna hurt. These things a three times the size of tampons. I think I was justified in worrying. And then there was one site I saw that said to be very careful not to do dry runs and be very careful when taking the cup out cause it might tear the hymen. Encouraging. Very encouraging.

Almost the size of a large egg...

and slightly longer than a USB key.

As a virgin, I found it difficult to believe that something the size of a peeled banana or egg sitting inside of me would go unnoticed, and the thought of tearing my insides made me want to just rip out my uterus then and there. ***Please note that the only time a hymen should be torn is when a baby is coming out of you, at which point you probably won’t even have a hymen any more. Tampons, fingers, dildos, penises, speculum, etc.  should stretch it. NO TEARING!! Tearing is bad. Also, some people don’t even have a hymen to begin with.***

So I'm scared of moldy tampons and my period is coming soon. Maybe. I'm regularly irregular. And I have no other way of dealing with this bloody mess. No interest in trying sponges. So I go out and buy it. The woman at the store said she's been using these things for over a decade and she loves it. Blah blah blah. The same fairytale story I've been hearing on the net. So let me just wait for this thing to come and see for myself. ***I might seem negative and super sceptical but I really do want this thing to work out because I'm now out $50 and there is no other method, other than endometrial ablation, to deal with this.***


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Day 1

So it finally comes. I go to the washroom, and clean this thing. I tried putting it in sitting on the toilet, but that wasn’t working. Squatting it is! I used the punch down method to put it in because it makes the top of the cup smaller and easier to put in. I was super surprised at how fast I got this thing in. Only a few tries. Like wow, have I found the answer to all my problems?



Fat chance!! I got it in fine, but then comes the turning. I don’t think these companies realise how impossible this is. I was not able to get my fingers in there to grip the base of the cup. I couldn't even get one in!! No space, and when I tried it just hurt. Not worth the pain, so I figured I would just see what happens. Then my body decided to swallow this thing up. I know it’s supposed to be completely in, but this doesn't have a string like tampons. I want to know where it is at all times. So I started pushing down as though I was releasing a poop, and then I started to get a hold of the stem and bring it down a bit. Fail. After a few minutes of trying this added on top of the few attempts it took to get it in in the first place I had to stop because I was all sore. But the cup wasn't hurting. Even though I had no idea if this thing was in properly I decided to wait it out.

After about an hour, the worrying of whether or not I would be able to get this thing out got the best of me and I headed back to the washroom. Did I mention this thing is a suction cup? Suction cups and vaginas don't mix. To take this thing out I had to first pretend I'm pooping again, grab the stem with what little nails I have and by the time the suctioning started to happen there was enough of the base of the cup for me to punch in to break the seal. It was messy, awkward and painful because I was still irritated from trying to put it in. There wasn't much blood in the cup, but I didn't have it in for that long. Off I go to bed. I'll try again tomorrow.

Day 2

Surprisingly optimistic this morning. I put the cup in again. Same method as before, and again, it went in easier than I expected. ***Still waiting for the day when this thing accidentally pops open too soon and tears my hymen. Pray for me.*** I still can't get my fingers in to turn the cup, but I'm not feeling it and there's no pain, so I leave it as is and once again hope for the best. First hour or so was fine but then I started feeling pain, but I wasn't sure if this was cramps or the cup. Two more hours. I decided that maybe I just needed to poop. Impossible. These companies are full of lies. I couldn't pee even though I felt like I needed to and I couldn't poo either. So I took it out, (less suction action this time). More blood than the previous day, but just blood. The clots were all over my fingers and the outside of the cup. Now I know for sure that this thing wasn't in the right place. Not impressed. I took a poop and put this thing away for the next day.

Day 3 (and last day wtf, so soon?)

I'm so determined to make it work this time, but just as before my fingers couldn't grip the base of the cup to turn it. But I'm feeling fine. Cramps are done and I feel no pressure. So let me just go on with my day. I finally figured it out!!

Nope. Three things happened when I was wearing the cup this time. First, as I lay down on my bed I can feel the cup. Not actually feel it, like I don't actually feel the thing inside me, but I felt open. If I were to squat over a mirror I know it would look like any other day, but this cup is taking up so much space inside my vagina that I feel like it is open to the world. So yes, tec
hnically people on the internets are correct in that you can't feel the cup, but this open feeling made me feel really uncomfortable and unsafe. Weird, I know. But that’s how I felt and I'm owning it.

Secondly, I started to feel the blood passing by the outside the cup. Again, I cant actually feel the cup, but this is the best way to describe how it felt. I knew it was leaking again. And I was getting really annoyed.

Finally, I felt it pop/snap. Good sign that it wasn't in properly in the first place. O.O It was so sudden. Like wtf is going on here?! I didn't know what to do. But soon after I started to feel a lot of pressure on the right side of my pelvis area, and I figured I could walk it out, but no. That pressure turned into pain, and that pain travelled to my back. I was so done. Luckily for me, my period was almost done too. I think all the suction action sucked the blood out. I took it out and put that thing away for the next time my body decides to torture me.

And there you have it. My first time using a menstrual cup. Since I put so much time into this, I might as well keep reporting on the progress. THERE WILL BE PROGRESS!! Speak into existence right?



On a more positive note, there a couple of people on the internets that I have been talking to about this whole thing and I'm not giving up just yet. One of the people showed me to this link. (Only a few days I've known about it now.) I feel a little discouraged by it though. Seems like more problems than anything. And the only advice people keep giving is “take deep breaths” and “relax”. No shit! Of course I relax. The cup would never get in if I hadn't. The problem is once it's in and the lack of space. Breathing deep isn't gonna stretch my hymen so that I can rotate this thing. UGH!!

I hope this helps in some way. I don't want to scare anyone out of using menstrual cups because I think they're a great idea. It's just really difficult to know which one to buy. So many brands and so many sizes. You can't possibly know which one to get ahead of time. By the time you know if it works or not, your money's been spent and the companies have it. But I seriously encourage you to do plenty of research. Don't go by brands, go by sizes (measurements). I would think that by now there is at least one out there that will fit properly. Feel free to comment. I'm learning to love these stories.


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