Periods are not something women like talking about because the stigma behind periods is that it’s dirty, messy, and causes women to act irrationally. But I know how important it is to have conversations about menstruation and how to manage it so that we can go on with our daily lives as normally as possible. Especially since having a period is something we have to deal with until we hit menopause. For me, what has worked for the last few years has been a menstrual cup. It has offered me convenience when I have my period, even while vacationing. If you’re thinking about switching from pads or tampons to a menstrual cup, you’ve come to the right place. Here are all your menstrual cup questions answered!
Related: Why the Intimina Lily Cup Menstrual Cup is Great for Travel
1. A menstrual cup is supposed to hold all of THAT blood?
“All” – yes and no. Yes, it holds “all of that blood” until the cup becomes full. Depending on the flow of your period that could mean it would need to be emptied as soon as an hour after inserting it, or not for as long as 12 hours after insertion. No, it’s not large enough to hold ALL of the menstrual fluid that flows from you during a single period.
2. My cervix is high. Do you think this will work for me?
Yes! Women with a high cervix are able to successfully wear menstrual cups. In fact, women with a high cervix have reported the Lily Cup has worked best for them. I’m one of them. The cup may position itself a little higher within, but to remove it all one needs to do is bear down and let your muscles push the cup lower and then grab the stem, break the seal, and remove it.
3. I’m confused, how does it work? Is it comfortable? Will I feel it? Can I set it
and forget it?
A menstrual cup is folded and inserted somewhat like a tampon into the vagina which sits in the space below the cervix and above the pubic bone. It collects menstrual fluid that exits the uterus via the cervix. I’m currently using the Lily Cup by Intimina, which has been the most comfortable menstrual cup I’ve used. You may feel it at first, similar to when you first insert a tampon. But the Lily cups are not dry or drying like tampons and your body quickly adjusts to the cup and forgets about it.
Depending on your personal flow pattern, you will soon learn how long to leave the cup in on each cycle day and how often you need to empty it. When the cup becomes full, it will settle lower within your vagina and you will most likely sense the change similar to how one knows a tampon has become full and needs to be removed.
4. How well do menstrual cups work with heavier flow cycles?
Heavier flow increases how often you’re emptying the cup. A woman with a light flow may not need to remove and empty the cup more than 2x a day. Whereas a woman with the heavier flow may need to empty it three, four, or more times a day; it really depends on your flow. Heavier days require more frequent emptying. Lighter flow days require less.
5. I used this cup previously after I had a baby. I didn’t like it because I couldn’t sneeze without having it spill everywhere. I mean everywhere. Why did that happen?
After childbirth, pelvic muscles are often lax and the pelvic floor does not provide enough support for the internal organs. The uterus is often lower which means the cervix is lower as well. And, it’s not uncommon for women who are post-childbirth to experience the cervix sitting IN the cup. A cough or a sneeze can cause the uterus to be pushed downward, which pushes the cervix into the cup with force and can even dislodge the cup and cause leakage. My advice, wear a pantiliner.
Pelvic floor strengthening exercises, as well as those designed to lift pelvic organs, can remedy this problem and prevent such. Kegel exercises, when done correctly, can work wonders.