|Image by MeLuna|
MeLuna recently gifted Wise Woman Fertility with quite a sampling of their menstrual cups to try! As you may remember from my previous post about menstrual cups, they are typically made from silicone or latex but Meluna makes theirs out of medical grade plastic. From what I can see from the extensive research and materials that Meluna kindly sent to me, this is the same sort of plastic that is used in everything from heart valve replacement surgery to baby bottle nipples to hospital oxygen masks. The safety of these plastics seems to be comparable with both silicone and latex.
Meluna was extremely generous in gifting me with 6 menstrual cups to try. I was given 3 of their "soft" texture and 3 of their "classic." Meluna makes 3 sizes, so I was given one of each size, small (which is quite small and would be sufficient for only light flow days), medium (which may be appropriate for a teenager's heaviest days and would certainly be appropriate for the majority of bleeding days of a woman), and large (which is comparable with the other standard cup sizes on the market, as far as diameter, but seems to be slightly shorter than the second model of the Diva Cup.) I have decided to keep a journal of my experience and that dreaded "learning curve" for using this product for Wise Woman followers to read. Perhaps some of my problems and troubleshooting will provide solutions or answers for those who would like to know a bit more about use of the menstrual cup before they buy. And perhaps it will give others the confidence they need to try it.
My period began in the morning and I grabbed the largest, softest Meluna that also looked the prettiest (what girl can resist sparkles?!) and placed it in a pot to boil. So. Excited!
5 minutes later
And the Meluna Menstrual Cup is ready for use!(Not all cups recommend boiling, Meluna does)
I march to the bathroom, cup in hand. Now how do I insert this thing? I know there's a "C" fold, a "Punch Down" fold, a "9," "7" and a whole host of other folds. I go for the "C".
Okay, 7 minutes of putzing around here. The darn thing won't open. I QUIT!
Wait. I'll go back and reread my notes about menstrual cups.
Says here that if I rinse the cup under cold water for a few seconds, this might help. Also says I should try the folded side being in back or in front, switch around. Also push in and out a bit, wiggle, turn or twist if I'm having trouble getting it in and to open up.
Cold water did the trick. I heard a distinct "pop" when it opened up. We are up and running!
2 hours later
First time in the bathroom. Weird, I totally forgot that I had my period. Usually I'm feeling very sensitive and a little crampy right now. I'm feel energetic and full of life! Is it because when I pee I don't see any blood soaked pad or smell that familiar smell of menstruation? Hard to say.
I pull out the cup to empty it.
I've barely filled the teeniest, tiniest portion of the bottom of the cup! WHAT?! How can that be? Ug, now to get it back in. Back to rinse in cold water.
Okay, that went a bit faster this time. I think it's opened. I've got a cloth liner on just in case I leak. I wish I could gauge better whether this thing is open or not...there must be a difference between "squished-cup-in-vagina" feeling and "open end of cup fully open" feeling. Wish me luck.
3 hours later
Seriously, why do I keep taking this thing out?! I am BARELY BLEEDING. I could go HOURS with this thing in place. It is SO weird to wipe and not see any blood. It's even weirder how fresh and clean everything looks and smells. I thought there would be blood all over the place with this thing. Yes, I have blood on 3 of my fingers when I take it out and put it in, but other than that, this is amazingly clean. And what's more, I thought that in those 5-10 min it was taking to take it out and put it back in again there would be blood pouring out of me. Not so! No blood at all, really. Just a small tinge.
Well, I went to yoga and felt like singing it was so fun and easy. I was doing all these crazy poses and never even gave a thought to my period. I can't even feel this thing! I've figured out that if I keep the "stem" of the cup right at the opening of my vagina, so it's sticking out just a tiny bit, my body puts it right into place as I walk around and it doesn't go up too far and is also very comfortable and easy to take out. I think when women have trouble pulling it out, perhaps they are putting the cup too far in to their vagina's? At any rate, I didn't change the cup again until I was ready to go to bed. When I took it out I hadn't even filled the cup half way! Now should I wear it to bed? Day 2 and 3 are my heaviest days, and this is overnight. I've NEVER worn anything internally overnight...should I do it? All in the name of science!
To Be Continued...