I’ve never really thought about using a menstrual cup because I believed that it might not work with my pelvic pain. Shoving something up my vagina has always been a huuuuge problem for me, from the very first time I Tried using a tampon at the age of 12.
I had a pool party booked for the day (my own pool party so I wanted to be, you know, the coolest kid), and of course my period came knocking. It’s always like that eh?
I had my dad go to the grocery store to get me my very first package of tampons (hallelujah dad), and he came back with like the biggest tampon he could find. Really? This was before my whole life as I know it came to change when I had diagnosis after diagnosis thrown at me, but I knew that that thing wasn’t going anywhere near my vagina.
So I had my dad go back to the store (he must have been extremely annoyed at this point) to get me the tiniest tampon size he could find, because even that tiny thing was going to put on a fight with me. Needless to say, I didn’t get it in properly and I ended up being in pain most of the day. You know that uncomfortable feeling of the tampon not being in the right place, right?
In the end, only three people came to my cool pool party. My best friend, my sister, and her best friend. I’m was the cool kid.
Fast forward a couple of years to when I was in high school. I remember when my friend found out that I wasn’t using tampons and she convinced me it was So Much Better.
She gave me a tampon and was standing outside the bathroom stall as I was trying to get that thing in there. It was a struggle but I did it, and I was so freaking proud.
You know when you think you can’t do something, but when you succeed you get a rush of confidence, and you can just take on the world? That was Pernilla that day.
However, every month when my period would come visit I just hated it. I especially started hating it in the beginning of my 20s, because I knew that my vulva and vagina would like me even less during that time of the month.
It wasn’t until about a year ago when my friend mentioned a company that donates to communities of women all over the world every time someone buys a menstrual cup. Because sadly, period poverty is a thing – and it breaks my heart. And pisses me off.
So I thought about it some more and about 9 months ago I purchased my first menstrual cup. At first, it was hard. I almost sprained my ankle once squatting down to get it in, and the twist of the hand, oh the twist of the hand, it was a pain. About 3 months in I felt like I had the hang of it.
And this weekend as I got my period I went running for my new menstrual cup. I invested in another one, different size and style, just to try the difference. And it hit me. My Lichen Sclerosus is not as fleary during my period now a days, and my vulvodynia is kinder to me.
I used to get horrible pain in my vagina and vulvar area every time I was on my period.
Some reasons to why using a menstrual cup might minimize your pain during your period:
- You can keep it in for 10-12 hours – if you change it in the shower it makes the whole procedure a lot less challenging.
- You don’t have to put a tampon in every 4-6 hours, which can irritate the skin even more.
- You don’t get the pain of pulling out the tampon, since the cup is softer and more flexible. This one used to hurt so freaking much on me. Due to my Vulvodynia, it was actually so painful pulling the tampon out.
- You don’t get the irritation of the pad against your skin (you can always try out a cloth pad but that’s for a different Penny story).
Also a plus:
- You spend less money. Organic tampons are about $7 a package, depending on where you get them. A menstrual cup is around $40. That is approximately 6 months of tampons in that menstrual cup. Depending on how much you bleed.
- You don’t ever have to worry about remembering to get menstrual products at the store.
- You’re threading more lightly on the planet.
- And if you find a brand that works for your body, and that also works to make the planet a better place – I think that’s a huge win.
There are different ways to insert your menstrual cup, and you often get instructions with the cup you buy, or you can check out one of the resources down below.
With love and kindness,