– My Period History
– Tampon Ingredients
– Period Cups ARE SAFE
– Changing A Period Cup When You’re Not At Home
– Finding The Cup For You
– Comfort & Fitting
– Removing The cup
So many people were totally grossed out when I openly told them I was switching from tampons to a period cup and it has really bugged me as to WHY? So for all the women out there, passionate about making periods a NORMAL topic of conversation, then I am totally here for that!
You may have seen a featured post on the Oliver Bonas website, where I touched on the topic of period cups and usage. Well given the success of this post, I wanted to take you even further, give you tips, tricks, facts and hopefully, even help a few of you make that switch, if it is something you have been considering.
And just to let you know; I switched to using period cups almost 6 months ago and I would now, never EVER return to tampons or pads.
My Period History
I started my period the day before my 13th birthday and I started using tampons when I was around 16 years of age. I always felt more comfortable using tampons, specifically non-applicator tampons. I felt this was a much better fit for me, and non-applicators meant I could ensure that I was sufficiently plugged.
Over the years I have started to consider the ingredients, primarily the cotton, used to make tampons, asking questions like; where is it coming from? And mainly, is it safe?
Unless you are buying certified organic tampons, that fully list their ingredients, do you really know what you are putting inside your body? And the honest answer is… Nope.
So, I decided to do some of my own research.
SHOCKINGLY, I found that many popular high-street brands, gave NO information, at all, as to where their cotton was coming from.
No mission statement, no ingredients, nothing at all on ethical trading and absolutely nothing about the safety of these products.
These same ‘popular brands’ had also very recently, launched their own 100% organic line, however again, no further information as to how this cotton is farmed or developed into SAFE feminine hygiene products.
I am totally shook. How can we (myself included), be so careless as to not think twice about what we are actually using on and inside our bodies?
Fact of the matter is, tampons can be very dangerous if not used and changed frequently, sometimes causing Toxic Shock Syndrome, which is very rare, but can be a life-threatening complication, caused by bacterial infections when using tampons.
It is critical for the safety of your body, to ensure that the cotton you are using is totally clean and bacteria free.
Period Cups ARE SAFE
When using a period cup, you are exposing your body to minimal bacteria growth.
Think about it simply; a period cup simply holds the blood, in a cup, slightly away from your cervix and the cervix wall. Whereas a tampon, soaks up the blood and holds it there, allowing bacteria to generate and grow, directly touching your cervix and inner vagina walls.
Changing A Period Cup When You’re Not At Home
FACT: Period cups can be left in for up to 12 hours! There are 24 hours in a day, so here is how often they need to be changed:
I change my period cup twice a day. Once in the morning; remove, shower, re-insert and once in the evening, before bed. And that is it. So generally, you are going to be able to change your period cup in the comfort of your chosen bathroom.
Totally safe, totally comfortable, totally minimal changing and totally eco-friendly.
Finding the cup for you
I have now tried and tested two types of period cups and although some of you will not believe this, they HONESTLY feel so much cleaner than tampons. They are easy, lightweight, totally unnoticeable and so simple to empty, clean and re-apply within minutes.
To give you a little more comparison, my periods are very heavy for the first 2-3 days, slowing by day 4 and spotting on day 5, sometimes extending to day 6.
There is no ‘normal‘ when it comes to periods, so do not be concerned if your period lasts slightly longer/less time. Although, if you have any real concerns, you should always consult your GP.
Here is a little more info, regarding the two cups I have tried.
&SISTERS Nüdie Period Cup – *GIFTED
Unlike many high-street period brands, &SISTERS are totally transparent about the ingredients of all of their period products. The period (Nudie) cup is an eco-friendly alternative to pads and tampons.
“Made from 100% hypoallergenic soft medical-grade silicone, nudie was designed with every woman in mind, from teens to those in midlife. It’s reusable, comfortable, and it’s got you covered from light to heavy flow days. No leaks. No odours. No fibres. No Strings.“
The Nudie Cup comes in multiple sizes and you can select a suitable cup based on your age and life experiences. &SISTERS are also currently selling the period cup at the reduced price of £19.95, as they are sending out letterbox friendly cups with reduced packaging, in light of COVID.
The Nudie Cup is an even size all the way around, it is fairly small, compact and comfortable. I use a size medium as I have not given birth vaginally.
I am in love with the &SISTERS brand and their core values. They really care about your body and your period experience and I totally trust all of their products.
Intimina Lily Ultra-Smooth Menstrual Cup
I purchased the Lily Cup from the Oliver Bonas website for £24.50. This was the first period cup I had ever used. Clear application directions are provided on the box.
This period cup is a longer cup in height, in comparison to the nudie period cup. The Lily cup has one tall side, allowing you to fold the shorter side of the cup and insert with the shorter side facing upwards.
INTIMINA offer a huge range of period cups on their website directly, in all different shapes and sizes.
Comfort & Fitting
If you are a frequent user of tampons, you shouldn’t struggle with applying the period cups. They each offer a clear application guidance on their packaging; both of these period cups fold in half, into the same size as a tampon and insert in exactly the same way.
You do not need to force the period cup into position. Allow the cup to open and fit safely around your cervix, this is where the blood flow is coming from. Ensuring the cervix is fully covered, will mean ZERO leaks!
Once the cup is in place, like a tampon, you would never know it is there.
Many years ago I discovered that crouching on the floor, enabled me to insert and fit tampons SO much quicker and easier, with NO discomfort.
A little fact for you, the apparent ‘perfect’ 90 degree angle in-which we sit, whilst on the toilet, is not actually our bodies natural way of doing it’s business.
We should instead, be in more of a crouching position. So fitting a period cup in the same position will ensure a smooth, easy and totally pain-free application.
If you suffer with extreme pain or regular pain whilst fitting any type of period product, you should always consult your doctor.
Removing the cup
Simply pinch the bottom of the cup, give a little wiggle to allow airflow back into the cup and to remove any ‘suction’, then gently remove.
There is no spillage. Pull out and simply pour down the toilet, rinse out in hot water and re-apply. Even with a heavy flow, these cups have provided me with more comfort and support than any tampon ever has.