Tips for active women looking to switch to menstrual cups [by @babyarkansas]

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Krissy here. I told you guys that I reached out to reader to share their experiences using menstrual cups since we all live different lifestyles and you know no two vaginas are the same. Allow me to introduce you guys to Ednita; a curly-haired, bike-riding, librarian, coffee-loving, vegan, and avid Diva Cup user that was kind enough to share her experience since switching 2 years ago. You’ll find my questions to her in bold and her responses in the regular font. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter under the handle @babyarkansas


Which cup and size do you use?
I use the larger of the two due to age although I’ve never had a child and it works just fine.  I’m fairly active, ride my bike a lot and have long days at work (sometimes only having access to a porta potty). The Diva Cup has been a lifesaver because I can wear it for a long time w/o having to worry about it. I was motivated to try to the Diva Cup because I was tired of the packaging and trash/waste involved in using pads and tampons.  Tampons always leaked for me and pads were just irritating my skin since I sweat a lot and they prevented airflow, so the biggest one.

What cleaning solution do you clean your menstrual cup with?
I wash mine with Trader Joe’s Vegetable Wash, I keep it in a spray bottle in the shower and in the bathroom.

What should a new user expect?
Expect “Diva Cup Shoulder” the first few times/cycles that you use it and be ready to offset that pain.  You’ll be moving your arm/shoulder in unfamiliar ways as you try to get it in properly and none of the blog posts I read told me about that.
I know you talk a lot about Kitty Care but I don’t know how many people get up in there and know where their cervix is.  It will take a few tries and folds to get your insertion right but if you don’t feel that suction, it’s not in right.  Also, if you can feel the opening of your cervix outside of the cup, it’s not in right.
I usually wear a back up pad to bed on the first heavy day because If I get out of bed wrong after a night of sleep, I break the suction on the cup.  You feel a leak immediately but if you are close to a bathroom you can usually minimize the situation.
Changing in a public restroom is easy once you get the hang out of taking it out w/o spilling it.  Once you’ve got that down, it’s no messier than using a tampon.

Which fold method/ style do you use? I tried the “C fold” at first but soon found the “Punch Down Fold” works best and feels most natural for me.  Make sure to spend time researching folds.

Also, there is no harm w/ practicing putting it in even when not on your period.

How often do you replace your cup?
I’ve had mine for going on two years and it’s still working great.  I don’t feel the need to replace it yet although it has gotten discovered.  I’m the only person who ever sees it though so I don’t mind.
Oh and I no longer carry back up pads or tampons.  I carry my Diva Cup w/ me when I know my period will be starting soon. If I know I’ll probably start it that day but know I’m going to be in the field, I’ll just put it in so I don’t have to worry about it.

 

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TMI but how do you change and clean it in public?
 In a public restroom, I take a wet paper towel to the toilet stall with me and wipe it off.  At work, we have restrooms and the toilet is right next to the sink to rinse off.

Once I had to use a porta potty.  I just did my best not to make a mess….it went surprisingly well and I just washed my hands like normal right outside the stall. That situation was a little stressful but I had no choice, it was a heavy day, lol.

We do the same thing lol. My friend says she take a cup of hot water in the stall!
So awesome!  I wish I’d known about menstrual cups earlier.  I feel like my whole menstruation experience would’ve been so much more positive.  My mom taught me to use tampons as soon as I started bleeding.  A lot of my friend with daughters that I tell about this are too freaked out about the insertion thing.  I would love to know a younger person’s experience with this too.  Do you know any teens that use a cup?

 

Unfortunately I only know one teen I could pitch the idea too and I don’t know how that’s going to go. 

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