Honestly some days I just want to throw in the sanitary towel and forget about using the cup. That’s how frustrating it is.
But since I threw away/gave away all my pads already, I don’t really have a choice. Bleeding directly into my Thinx is a worse alternative and honestly I don’t want to buy cloth pads–another expense and another thing to wash.
So here’s what I learned about using the cup for my cycle:
- First up, don’t shove it all the way in. I used to do this and it only brought leaks. I seem to remember it worked this way the first time so I tried to do it subsequently. It should sit in your vaginal canal, in deep enough so that you can only reach the end of the stem.
- Reach in sans cup and figure out where your cervix is so you can aim the cup in its direction. I think my cervix moved from the side to the back in two days.
- Make sure the cup is unfurled. I’ve had a number of times where it stubbornly refused to unfurl and then I usually had to remove it or press the back of my vaginal wall to get in more air so it would open up. Or you can stick your finger in and gently rotate the cup with the finger until it opens up. You should be able to feel the rim. Otherwise try holding the base of the cup and rotating it.
- Don’t leave the cup in for more than eight hours, especially on a heavy day. You’re just asking for leaks (especially for me, thanks fibroids). Most people can get through a whole day and not have to change the cup but I unfortunately am not one of them.
- If you have to change it in a public toilet, I suggest getting the handicap one with a sink or being super sneaky or not giving a damn. What I usually do is wipe the cup with toilet paper, wait for the toilet to be empty and wash it out with soap, fully dressed (thanks Thinx). Then I go back in, unzip jeans and put the cup back in after drying it.
- Get Thinx or other period underwear (you can skip the Kotex overnight panties–those look like diapers)–or backup with a pantyliner or pad if necessary. It doesn’t have to be a heavy duty pad (a maxi will be fine), and if you’ve done it correctly, this should be spot free. If you don’t, at least your pants, clothes, bedsheets will be spared the crimson branding.
- Stash a pair of extra underwear in your bag. If you hate walking around feeling wet like I do, this would be useful for mid afternoon changes… just avoid looking at anyone else wondering about the bloodstains coming out of your underwear. Bring a towel to wring dry the underwear to soak up most of the moisture. Wash the towels when you get home if there are any suspicious looking stains.
It may be a miserable two or four days, but it’ll be over soon!