The Clunkster

six things you should know about menstrual cups


Hello, my loves! This is something I’ve been wanting to post for a while and never got around to. But I’m so excited to talk to you guys about all the benefits of using a menstrual cup! Before I started using one, everyone would rave about how amazing they were and swore that they would never go back to using tampons and pads. Now, I’m one of those people. I get so excited when people ask me about menstrual cups! To be honest, when I first heard of them, I thought they were so gross. I eventually learned more about them and decided that they were right for me. Read on if you’re on the fence about giving menstrual cups a try, or even if you’re just curious!

Menstrual cups are silicone cups that are inserted in the vagina, like a tampon, during someone’s menstrual cycle. Unlike tampons, which absorb your blood during your cycle, menstrual cups collect your blood. They should be emptied every twelve hours. I’m not a medical professional or expert on menstrual cups; this is all based off my personal experiences, talking to others, and online research! Be sure to click on the hyperlinks throughout this post for more information and sources.

  1. Not All Are Created Equal

The Lena Cup was not the first menstrual cup I tried! I started out with the Diva Cup, which I liked, but it was a little too long for me. It may take a few tries before you find a menstrual cup that works for you and your body. I checked out this amazing, detailed chart of almost every menstrual cup on the market and their measurements before deciding to buy the Lena. I recommend consulting this chart if you’re looking to buy a menstrual cup for the first time, but you’ll definitely find it more helpful when you’ve already used one or some and have a better idea of what you need. The same website also has a quiz that recommends the best menstrual cup for you, that I just took now! I found it pretty fun because I love quizzes, and if I ever decide to switch cup brands I’ll definitely keep them in mind.

I’d also recommend asking friends who have tried menstrual cups about brands they’re a fan of, and reading reviews of different cups online. Reading Lena’s product reviews on Amazon was what really sealed the deal for me, and I haven’t been disappointed!

2. It’s a Little Gross, but Not for Long

When some people learn about the insertion and removal/emptying process with a menstrual cup, they’re understandably a little freaked out. Lena puts it nicely here, with some awesome diagrams that really help beginners. The way I see it, this is something my body does as naturally as sweating and peeing, and I shouldn’t really be afraid of something I’m producing. The blood you dump from your cup is the same blood that you’d see in a tampon or pad. Even if you’re squeamish, I’m sure you’ll get used to it.

3.  You Get to Know Your Cycle

Another thing I really love about menstrual cups is how much I know my cycle now. When you wear tampons and pads, it’s hard to see exactly how much you’re bleeding, but the menstrual cup makes it very straight forward. If you’re bleeding more than usual, you can go to your gynecologist and figure things out as soon as you notice that there’s more blood in your cup.

One worry a lot of people seem to have about menstrual cups is that they won’t hold enough blood. The average person loses a bit more than 60mL of blood during their entire menstrual cycle, and most menstrual cups hold 30mL-50mL. Though you can wear the cups for up to twelve hours at a time (which I’ll get into later), you’ll eventually get used to how your body works with the cup and find an emptying schedule that works for you.

4. They’re Great if You’re Sensitive

Pads and tampons are made with a lot of synthetic stuff that you probably don’t want near your vagina. Most menstrual cups are made with a single material, usually silicone, that’s probably still synthetic, but less harmful for your body. My Lena cup is made of 100% medical-grade silicone that’s typically used for human implantation, aka, something that’s definitely safe to sit in your body for a bit. Lena also makes a Sensitive cup, which I have and love!

5. They Save You a Lot of Money

We all know that tampons and pads can get expensive, especially if you’re a heavy bleeder or have longer periods. While the initial price of a menstrual cup is a little steep, it’s nothing compared to how much money you’ll save on tampons and pads, in my opinion. I still keep them around in case of emergency, but it’s really nice knowing that if I’m wearing my menstrual cup in public and I need to empty it, I’m definitely covered with what I already have.

They also last for a nice amount of time. The shelf lives of all menstrual cups are different depending on the brand and how they’re used, but they usually last for about two to four years. Of course, you should be cleaning your cup whenever you empty it and giving it a deep clean in between cycles. Lena has another wonderful guide on cleaning here.

Additionally, since menstrual cups are reusable, you won’t be throwing out tampons and pads, and you’ll be helping the environment! We love a good environmental impact and an empty bathroom garbage can.

6. You Can Wear Them for Up to Twelve Hours

My favorite thing about menstrual cups is that you can wear them for up to twelve hours. Twelve! This is a big reason why my period has become so much less of a hassle since I switched to menstrual cups. I’ll usually put my cup in at 9:00am and I won’t have to worry about it until I get home at 9:00pm. I never have to empty it in public bathrooms, which I have done before and isn’t the worst thing, but why do that when you can time it as best as you can and be more comfortable in your own bathroom? You can even wear your cup to sleep!

As with anything you’re putting in your vagina (we’re looking at you, vagina crystals), there’s a risk for Toxic Shock Syndrome, or TSS, if you leave it in for too long. Symptoms for TSS, according to Lena’s website, include “sudden high fever, diarrhea, vomiting, sunburn-like rash, fainting or blacking out.” If you have any of these while you have your menstrual cup in, go straight to the hospital! If you’re forgetful, set alarms to remind yourself when to empty your cup.

If menstrual cups are intriguing to you but you’re not sold yet, consider giving SoftDiscs a try! They’re similar to menstrual cups in that they last for twelve hours, but they’re unfortunately not reusable. Also remember that there’s nothing wrong with using a tampon, pad, period underwear, or nothing at all. This is just my new favorite method, and I wanted to share it with you all! If you have any more questions about menstrual cups, you can Google your life away, speak to a medical professional, talk to friends who use menstrual cups, or slide into my DMs!

Let me know what brand of menstrual cup you use in the comments!