Why I hate the menstrual cup

This (instrument of torture to rival the Marquis de Sade) is a menstrual cup

Menstrual cup – sanitary product, or torture device?

If you have ever used a female condom, this is a million times worse in terms of insertion. 

If you don’t put it in properly, you can’t sit or walk or lie down without feeling great discomfort. Not to mention it will be sitting on your bladder and you have the incessant urge to pee. It’s made of silicone and you’d think it shouldn’t hurt as much as it does, but it really does. 

Inserting a menstrual cup

Insertion is complicated by the shape. If you notice how wide the opening is, you can’t shove that into your cervix without first fiddling with folds to narrow the opening. Then you have to twist it around, and jiggle it and try to push it high enough and make sure that it has unfolded, which you do by running your finger around the base. If it doesn’t pop open it will leak and it will make the Red Sea parting look like a puddle.

Menstrual cup or the tampon?

All this fiddling and you can’t see what you are doing and the whole thing is just slick with blood, like it was a murder scene out of the American Psycho‘s wet dreams. It’s a steep learning curve. Because not every woman’s cervix is the same shape, or angle or length or width. Talk about getting to know your body intimately. On occasion, it’s actually made me cry with frustration and give up and just reach for the tampon box. I could feel the will to live seeping out of me like a punctured balloon.

Why I hate the menstrual cup

They also lie to you that you only need to change it a couple of times a day. That totally ignores how heavy some women’s flow is. An average cup holds about 30ml. So 5 changes later, you have already lost 150ml of blood. Over an average cycle you could lose a whole pint. And you don’t even get a cheap tartrazine free drink and cheaper biscuits for your efforts like for blood donation.

Then there is the joy of extraction. They tell you that it can’t get lost inside your cervix, but it can travel further up and make removal difficult. So it helps to have strong pelvic muscles to do kegels to help shift it. And if you are overeager about yanking it out, there will be blood everywhere; have the police sniffing around to ask you where the body is. 

Menstrual cups in developing countries

The one key difference with tampons or pads is that there is no smell. Period blood is actually odour free. But you need a ready supply of clean water to make sure you don’t catch an infection. So why it’s offered as a solution to women in developing countries where water is often a scarcity, let alone clean water sources, I don’t know. Bleeding heart liberals.

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