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  • Mei Anne Foo

My Love-Hate Relationship With My Menstrual Cup

Popping my menstrual cup cherry.

Let’s just start with this: The first time I tried fishing out my menstrual cup from the crevice below my cervix, I might have had an unexpected spasm.

Yup. It was the most confusing experience ever. Period.

The cup had moved further inside me after a night’s worth of sleep, which meant I had to squeeze my pelvic floor muscles to coax it out. Then I kind of blacked out a bit (as one sometimes does when one experiences a toe-curling moment, typically on a bed and not on a toilet bowl!). As my surroundings came back into focus, I realised what might have happened but I was still super stressed since the little sucker was still stuck inside my bloody—literally—vagina.

See, menstrual cups suck. No, seriously, when inserted rightly, they create a suction onto your vaginal walls, keeping it in place while it collects the goods and prevents blood from leaking. The suction is painless but it makes taking out the cup a frustrating game of tug of war—woman versus silicone.

There are, of course, proper techniques of how to get it unsuck, I mean, unstuck. You have to pinch the base to break the vacuum seal but first, you have to find the damn stem (a tip connected to the base), which took me about 35 minutes the first time.

It’s also easier, I’m guessing, if you have long, slender fingers (which I don’t) and when the cup is almost full. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of using the cup during Day 5 of my period, which meant almost no flow.

Fast forward to a month later, and after a couple of internal pep talks about how this is much better than using stinking pads and tampons, I decided to give my menstrual cup another go. There were definitely times where the ins-and-outs of the cup went smoothly but there were also times where I swore I’d never use it again. But each time I watch the blood flow from the cup to the sink as I wash my silicone sucker, I end up immediately shoving the thing up my coochie—sometimes my body protests but when the rubber hits the road, the rubber wins.

I am well pleased with the fact that my period has no smell and does not clot when using a menstrual cup. I love that I don’t feel the sensation of a waterfall escaping me every time I get up. Or any sensation of “bleeding” for that matter. There’s no dripping, and no drips. So far, I’ve had no issues with staining or leakage. It’s similar to using a tampon but what I hated about the vampire's teabag was how the string would always get a wee wet after a literal wee, which meant I had to swap it out for a fresh piece even before it even gets to soak up enough blood—so much waste! The same goes with using pads—it’s a bloody waste. Apparently, I would be throwing away about 150kg of disposable menstrual products along with their packaging and individual wrapping in my lifetime if I continued using them.

I guess there's a mountain of waste, I mean, reasons to continue using my reusable menstrual cup, even though it really sucks—but in a good way, I guess.

My menstrual cup is from Wā Collective, a company based in New Zealand, and will be fit for use for up to 10 years. It offers subsidised cups for students and since I was a student at the University of Waikato, I decided to give it a try for only NZ$20.00. The usual price is NZ$49.00, which in turn subsidises one for some other student.

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