I have been a lover of menstrual cups for several years now. For me, they are the perfect combination of being cost-effective, hygienic and convenient. Since I converted to menstrual cups, I’ve tried a ton of different brands with different levels of comfort. However, as I’ve been transitioning to non-toxic products, I became interested in Organicup because in addition to being 100% medical grade silicone, it is allergy certified for sensitive mucus membranes and free of bleach, dyes and artificial scents. It also comes packaged in an environmentally friendly way and comes with an organic cotton carrying pouch.
If you’ve never tried a menstrual cup before, I’d recommend OrganiCup because it is incredibly soft (the softest cup I’ve tried yet!) and a low to medium firmness. This makes it easier to fold down for insertion/removal, while not being too firm where it can be felt when worn, and firm enough that it doesn’t become easily dislodged during exercise. The stem of the cup is also medium length, so it’s easy to find for removal but can be trimmed if it’s too long for your body.
Menstrual cups are convenient
I work anywhere from 40 to 60 hours a week and that doesn’t include my commute time as I live in a major city. Since menstrual cups can be left in for 12 hours at a time, that means I can get through my entire work day and commute without having to worry about changing a pad or tampon. I can count on one hand the amount of times I needed to empty my cup in a public bathroom over the last few years. That being said, emptying the cup in a public restroom is just as easy as changing a pad or tampon. All you have to do is wash your hands before entering the stall, pour the contents into the toilet and wipe the cup clean with a piece of toilet paper before re-inserting. You can also opt to use a menstrual cup wipe, which works even better and makes me feel “fresher”. In general, I only have to change my cup once I get home, which I do in the shower out of convenience.
I am also someone who likes to travel and the OrganiCup is the perfect option because it means I only have to pack one product instead of wasting my carry-on space with single-use, disposable menstrual products like pads or tampons. It also means I don’t have to time my vacation activities around tampon changes and I don’t have to stress about trying to change it in tiny plane bathroom during long flights.
Menstrual cups are also great to use across various activities… wearing at work, during exercise or even while sleeping. I’ve worn the cup on hikes, on the elliptical, bike riding, and during jiu jitsu without any issues. Just as with a tampon, as long as the cup is inserted correctly (i.e. it’s put in high enough and completely unfolds) I haven’t experienced any leaking or discomfort.
They’re safer than conventional pads and tampons
Vulvas and vaginas are highly permeable, which means we have to be extra cautious about what we put near them. Conventional pads and tampons are filled with many known carcinogens, including dioxin. OrganiCup is made of 100% medical grade silicone which means it’s easy to clean and won’t harbor bacteria, and unlike pads and tampons, they aren’t absorbent so it won’t irritate your skin or natural pH levels.
They’ll save you money
One of my biggest criticisms of the non-toxic movement is how costly many products can be. For that reason, I am always looking for ways to make the transition more affordable. OrganiCup is a perfect cost-effective solution. Since the cup can be used for up to 10 years, they actually make up their own cost in just a couple of months. Menstrual cups can be worn for up to 12 hours at a time, so it’s the only product you’ll need to carry in your bag if you have irregular periods, saving you from having to shell out extra dollars for emergency tampon runs.
There’s a learning curve, but it’s really not that bad
Something I hear all the time is that there is a MAJOR learning curve to using the menstrual cup – a claim that I believe is exaggerated and in some ways, perpetuated by discomfort we’ve internalized about our bodies and menstruation. I would compare the learning to curve to the first time learning how to use a tampon – it takes a little effort, but is overall pretty simple.
We have a beginner’s guide to using the menstrual cup if it’s your first time and OrganiCup has an instructional video dedicated to showing you how to insert the cup. I find the “punch down fold” the easiest way to insert the cup for me personally, but try the different folds to see what you find most comfortable. While it is bigger than a tampon, it’s not going to “stretch you out” or hurt you. Remember that the vagina is elastic and intended to stretch and adjust which is why it can handle penetrative sex and childbirth. If you’re having a difficult time inserting the cup, you can try a tiny bit of lubricant or water along the rim to ease it in and try to do a couple deep breaths to help your muscles relax.
Be sure to push it far enough in – the vagina is a closed, muscular canal so you don’t need to worry about it getting lost or going somewhere it’s not supposed to. Once it’s inserted, gently rotate the cup to make sure it’s popped open so that it’s properly suctioning to your vaginal wall. You can also gently pull on the cup’s stem to make sure the cup fully unfolds – experiment with both to see what works best for your body.
Removal is just as simple. All you need to do is pinch the bottom of the cup gently to “break the seal” and gently pull the cup out by its stem or bottom. Even during your heaviest flow, the cup isn’t going to be filled to the brim, so just be gentle when removing and it shouldn’t spill anywhere. If you’re really nervous, you may want to consider removing the cup while standing or squatting in your tub. I don’t think you need to do this to avoid a mess, but I think it can help build confidence in using the cup if you’re not freaking out that you’re going to make a mess in your bathroom.
All bodies and flows are different
Vaginas come in different sizes and lengths. The vagina is also elastic and will adjust depending on what’s inserted inside of it. Don’t be scared from myths about vaginas getting stretched out, most of our experience of “tightness” comes from our pelvic floor and not the result of being “stretched out”. Menstruation is different for each person as well, with some having heavier flows or more clotting than others. I was incredibly surprised to discover how light my flow actually is, even on my heaviest days. Since conventional tampons and pads are absorbent, it gives the appearance that your flow is heavier than it might actually be. While figures differ, the average woman only loses around 3 to 4 tablespoons of blood per period. While using the cup, you will see your menstrual blood and any clots more clearly since it’s sitting in a cup, which may be a deterrent for some people. I personally didn’t find it anymore uncomfortable then seeing my menstrual blood on a tampon or pad, but I could understand why some people would find seeing the blood in the cup more visceral and wouldn’t recommend a menstrual cup if that would make you uncomfortable.
To make sure you use a cup that is the most comfortable and fits properly, OrganiCup comes in two sizes. Size A: Which will fit most women with a light flow or who haven’t given birth and size B: Which may work best for women with a heavier flow or who have had children via vaginal births. If you order an OrganiCup from The Bloomi you get the added bonus of a size guarantee and a satisfaction guarantee, so you can exchange for a better size or get a refund if you’re unhappy with the product.
OrganiCup is a good option for people who
- work long hours or have long commutes
- frequently travel
- want to minimize their environmental impact
- want a cost-effective method
OrganiCup may not* be the preferred choice for people who
- aren’t comfortable touching their vaginas- have allergies or sensitivities to silicone
- are deeply uncomfortable seeing menstrual blood
*As with any other gynecological concern, we recommend that you consult with your doctor before starting to use a menstrual cup with an IUD. When you have your IUD fitted, it’s recommended to wait at least 2 cycles before you start using a menstrual cup. The IUD is most likely to become dislodged in the first few months after insertion. Once it has settled into its place, you can start using a menstrual cup