We Tried Menstrual Cups for the First Time + Here’s What We Thought
In honor of National Menstrual Hygiene Day on May 28, a handful of Brit + Co women decided to get involved with a deeper cause. When we found out about Ruby Cup, a company that creates menstrual cups and is dedicated to giving back to women and girls who lack access to feminine hygiene products, we were immediately touched and on board. For every eco-friendly menstrual cup sold, Ruby Cup donates one to a girl in East Africa. This is an organization decreasing the stigma around menstruation while also leveraging their product to help fellow women, and we are 100 percent here for it!
Between the waste that conventional feminine hygiene products can accumulate and the lack of access to any form of feminine hygiene products poverty stricken women in other countries have, this was a chance to shift our mindset about how to take care of ourselves and other women at the same time.
We were given the opportunity to test out Ruby Cup and are excited to share how it went! Below are incredibly honest, raw, and beautiful shares from four women at B+C who tested out the coveted menstrual cup. Read on to hear their personal experiences, from fears to key takeaways.
Most women had heard of or been interested in menstrual cups, but everyone expressed some anxiety.
B+C Lady 1: “I’d heard so much about the menstrual cup from friends who said it changed their lives; my friends who switched over were mostly upset about spending money on pads and tampons and not knowing the origins of the materials that go into making a conventional tampon. I’ve been thinking about switching to the menstrual cup for awhile, with the main driving force being that I think tampons are incredibly wasteful, but I’m extra sensitive to change when it comes to something as personal as my period. When I find a routine that works for my body, it takes a lot to convince me to change my habits. I seized the opportunity to start using the menstrual cup because I knew I’d just continue floundering if I didn’t.”
B+C Lady 2: “I had definitely been interested in the cup for a while. I’ve been looking for less wasteful solutions and more financially sustainable solution for some time. I think that it’s absolutely crazy that women have to pay for and are taxed on products that are a very real necessity to our existence. I was hesitant with the cup because I have the copper IUD and had been experiencing really heavy periods. I was concerned about leakage and wasn’t ready to take the leap, so I’m grateful that this opportunity came about.”
B+C Lady 3: “The idea of a menstrual cup was a little daunting. I wasn’t sure how comfortable it would be or how I would feel about a cup replacing a tampon (something that’s felt so natural to use my entire menstrual history). It looked like it might be uncomfortable and I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the use and reuse functionality.”
B+C Lady 4: “I’ve heard about cups like these before and was curious but never got around to buying one. I honestly didn’t know how it worked before actually having the cup in my hand. I was a little nervous but so happy I tried it because I love it!”
There was definitely an adjustment period, but people got to really understand their bodies better.
B+C Lady 1: “The first day was definitely the most challenging. Between growing accustomed to the fit of cup and a few leaks (oops!), anxiety was definitely high, and I’d strongly recommend wearing a liner during your first few attempts. I didn’t know what it meant, or how it felt, to create the seal needed to prevent leaks. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable the cup was! It’s a pretty large object, comparatively, so I was nervous about feeling it all day. Another jarring thing about the whole experience is really seeing how much blood leaves your body. When it’s contained in a cup like that, it can be really overwhelming; in a strange way it feels like you’re really more in tune with your body. I was worried about changing the cup in public places, and honestly I wasn’t able to, but the capacity is large enough so that I change it less than I’d change tampons.”
B+C Lady 2: “The initial placement was definitely a bit uncomfortable. I think it definitely took some time to get it right. BUT, once it was in place, it was great. I liked that I didn’t have to worry about it all day. I’ve also switched to an IUD with hormones, so my periods are really light, so my initial concern is no longer relevant.
Some challenges I faced:
– Don’t cut the pull tap too early. It takes some time for the cup to settle in its natural place. So for me, I snipped the end too early, and it was really difficult to remove after that.
– The first night, I was out all night at a concert and it was difficult to check on it in a public bathroom setting. But after a full cycle of use, I think I would just have to be better about timing it.”
B+C Lady 3: “Using was a little adjustment at first and I didn’t get the hang of it until the second use or so. You really have to twist it in there! I didn’t feel it though and actually had to set a reminder to change it on my heavier days because I was fearful that I was going to leak. Luckily, I never did and although it was weird at first, I kind of looked forward to seeing what was happening in my body (blood color, texture) throughout my cycle. Really interesting and it was easy after a while. It’s half gross, half really intriguing.”
B+C Lady 4: “The first time was a little weird, and I was afraid I wasn’t properly using it, but my experience was great! It’s definitely a more intimate way to know your period flow. You’ll know and see how heavy, light, consistency, etc. The only thing is that I luckily had access to private restrooms with sinks. I’m not sure how you would rinse it if in a public restroom. I also feel like I have to empty it far less than if I were to be using tampons and pads. Other than that, I will definitely be using this from now on!”
The verdict: Three of the four women were sold on the menstrual cup.
B+C Lady 1: “I’m sold! My biggest gripe with conventional period products is that they are incredibly wasteful and so expensive over time. I certainly have not yet optimized my life to be as environmentally conscious as it could be, but switching over to the menstrual cup is one step in the right direction. I never have to worry about carrying or asking friends for tampons.”
B+C Lady 2: “I’m definitely on board with the menstrual cup. It’s not always the easiest solution, but the sustainability factor wins out. I’m tired of purchasing tampons every month and seeing how much waste it creates. I think sometimes good things are worth a little extra effort.”
B+C Lady 3: “I’m still not 100 percent sold on it. There’s something so comfortable about using a tampon and then trashing it… whereas you keep using the cup over and over again. There’s a cleanliness factor that I think still makes me feel a little unsure, and to be honest, I find myself still wanting to reach for a tampon first. I will keep using the cup on the next cycle and see if my fondness and appreciation grows.”
B+C Lady 4: “I’m sold! Again, I’m a little nervous if I don’t have access to a private bathroom stall with a sink. I will continue to use!”
- “I think I pulled a muscle trying to get the cup out the first time… definitely a challenge.”
- “There’s a feel-good aspect to making the switch too. I really appreciate that Ruby Cup donates one cup to a woman in need for every cup purchased. Usually, things like that feel hokey to me, but it really raises awareness and creates action for women’s issues, especially reproductive health. It’s important to remember that tampons are considered luxury items in developed worlds, so you can only imagine how inaccessible these products can be around the world.”
If you have been toying with the idea of testing this method out, what better time to gift yourself and a fellow sister a wonderful new experience? This month, for all purchases made, Ruby Cup will donate two cups to women in Kenya. Celebrate yourself and our ability to make a difference, just by trying.
What are your thoughts on using menstrual cups? Let us know @BritandCo!
(Photos via Ruby Cup)