Switching to a menstrual cup is something we recommend for everyone, but there are a few things we found out after we switched that no one bothered tell us before. We’ve teamed up with Intimina to bring you some menstrual truths, and while none of these are dealbreakers they are things you might be surprised by — and knowing them ahead of time may save you a bit of stress and worry.
1. Menstrual Blood is Thick
Before switching to a cup or disc, most of us didn’t know that menstrual blood is less like wine and more like soup. As appetizing as this sounds we all remember dumping our cups for the first time. It makes surprisingly lava lamp style patterns in the toilet. If you say you weren’t impressed we don’t believe you!
2. There is a Learning Curve & Backup Protection is a Thing
Clickbait is real and most of it is meant to scare you with bloody horror stories … or to convince you that cups are actually vaginal unicorns that will CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
While we do believe that cups will change your life, the tone of these videos and articles are often glowing and salesy, while glossing over not so glamorous aspects of learning to use a new menstrual product — like leaks. Leaks can happen and knowing this can help you decide if you want to throw caution to the wind or be prepared with backup protection — like pantyliners, pads, or period underwear. If you find that your fit isn’t perfect the first time, experiment with different folds, and possibly even different positions when inserting (squat, leg up, sitting). Find what works for you rather than listening to worst case scenarios played out for YouTube meant only to garner clicks.
3. Your Cervix Moves
You probably never gave your cervix much thought before using a cup but now you can’t escape it. Why? Because it can have everything to do with which cup works best for you. Too long and it won’t fit / too short and you’ll be all hands on deck retrieving it. The quick and dirty version is that it’s best to check your cervix while on your period — at the beginning and at the end — before choosing a menstrual cup. Knowing where it sits can help you feel more confident in your cup purchase. It’s not common to have an extremely high or low cervix, but it’s important to know before throwing down $25-40 on a cup.
4. Cups Can Make Noise
We like to joke that a cup opens inside you and “pop” it’s sealed but that pop is usually for effect and only a select few can actually hear it open inside them. The real fun discovery is that squelching noise the cup can sometimes make when removing… if you’re not a fan try tilting the cup a tad to avoid it.
5. You Can Have Sex with It…. Maybe
Menstrual discs, like the reusable Ziggy by INTIMINA, are one way you can have sex while still catching your blood. But did you know that some people have penetrative sex with an actual cup in? We aren’t saying you should — and it’s certainly not approved of by any brand — but it has been accidentally discovered by many users, including ourselves. Keep in mind that the cup, your partner, and the sex position can all play a role in how successful (or not) this is. Keep in mind that your vagina lengthens considerably when aroused, so you may need to wait a bit for your cup to come back down to a reachable location. An impromptu game of just the tip may be harmless fun when you don’t own a disc, but we think the Ziggy is a great solution if you want to regularly have what is often called “mess free” period sex.
6. Pooping Might be a Problem
We did a whole video and post about pooping with a menstrual cup, but it’s worth mentioning again because it’s something so many people find out from experience. In fact, it’s a subject we even see posted about in our Facebook group. Basically, for some people pooping doesn’t have any effect on wearing a menstrual cup. For others it either means they push their cup lower during bowel movements or that having a cup in makes pooping harder to do. If you find that it bothers you, taking it out before you go is a simple way to work around it.
7. You May Want to Collect Them All
Weirdly enough the thing most people don’t see coming when they switch to a cup is that it will become their new hobby. Making the leap to a cup takes a lot of courage. We aren’t taught about cups in school and most of us don’t know anyone in real life to ask those “TMI” questions. That’s where the internet comes in and you discover there are hundreds of cups in fun colors, soft silicones, and innovative shapes. Even if your first cup works amazingly you may find yourself drawn to a new cup just because it looks cool or has good reviews. If that sounds like you, welcome to what we lovingly refer to as The Cup Cult. You’re going to fit right in!