How can you tell if someone uses a menstrual cup? Don't worry: they'll let you know. The Cup Coven is a proud, loud, and enthusiastic bunch of friendly witches who want nothing more than for other menstruating folks to join them in their environmentally friendly, period positive ways. But for the uninitiated, it can be intimidating. A big-ol' cup?! Up there?! How does it fit?! And then you just... dump out blood in a toilet?! Don't worry. I asked 10 moms to imbue you, dear reader, with their best menstrual cup tips and to assure you that, no, really, it's so great! Just try it! TRY IT!
The TL;DR here? Don't be scared, practice makes perfect, and there's a whole internet full of people who want to help you make this work! Here are 10 of them now!
"Find an article showing the different ways to fold it to insert it comfortably*. Let me tell you, there’s nothing more awkward than it popping open inside you like one of those rubber poppers we played with as kids**."
*Look! Here's one right here!
**Can attest. It's not fun.
"I fold it in half like a taco, push it up in and kind of twist it a bit until I feel like it’s secure. I did have to trim the stem at first because apparently I have a short vaginal canal."
"I love this site — PutACupInIt.com — because the name is genius. I was having problems using the Diva Cup after having kids (it became really uncomfortable) and this site recommended the Saalt, which I bought and love."
I enthusiastically co-sign the Saalt cup! It's hands down the most comfortable, least leaky, and longest lasting cup I've ever used. Also, call me weird, but the shape — which is a little more bulbous than most — is absolutely adorable. It's like a chubby little friend who comes to hang out once month... in your vagina.
"I use the Diva Cup and actually turn it inside out to use it. It stays in place and the little stem doesn't stick out and bug the sh*t out of me. I also fold like a taco and insert in sort of a squat position and then twist until it pops open. The correct way it kept sliding down and I had to readjust during exercise. I also use Thinx panties on my heavy days to catch any leaks and then just the panties on my low flow days. I'm a total convert. Will never go back to tampons."
"Bear down as you remove it. 'Cause otherwise, you could be up there a while..."
Don't panic: you'll get it out! Just... breathe and be patient!
"I knew all the reasons why I wanted to switch to a menstrual cup but it felt a bit overwhelming to start. I don't know, something about investing $15 a cup to figure it out seemed like a lengthy, uncomfortable, and messy process. So I started with some disposable soft cups to get used to the cup format — once I got the hang of a menstrual cup and came close to the end of my pack of soft cups, I invested in a menstrual cup... Something wasn't quite working though and upon a friends suggestion, I ordered a Diva Cup. Happy to report it's been working out! Best use trick is still folding like a taco and inserting so the stem and bottom of cup tucks up in there. Keep trying! Take baby steps! It's worth it to ditch the tampons!"
"All cups are not made equal! There are so many different shapes and sizes for every woman, there are literally thousands of cup companies and brands out there. Learn how your body works to discover what type of cup may work best for you, this includes understanding where your cervix is located during your cycle, because that little doughnut moves like crazy!"
I don't know if I want to laugh or sob uncontrollably at the idea of my cervix being a "little doughnut."
"Wear back-up your first few periods, because you're definitely going to need it! After a while you'll probably only need it on heavy days. Since switching to my cup I actually like using Glad Rags, which are reusable cloth pads. I think I like them so much because secretly wasn't ready to stop cloth diapering [my daughter]! If you've done cloth diapers cloth menstrual pads are a breeze!"
"Any learning curve I dealt with, which was mostly about containing the mess while emptying it in a public restroom, was immediately overshadowed by not shelling out what at this point probably equals thousands of dollars on menstrual products ... for the past 20 years. I'll never go back. ... Most of how I deal with public bathrooms is trying to time it right and, when possible, knowing how to find the family bathrooms."
"Honestly I had one of my best friends show me. Neither of us are shy and I watched her insert hers. Is this gross? I don’t know. It’s also how I learned how to use a tampon."
There's nothing gross about women supporting women, Sarah! Solidarity.