Talking about menstrual cups is something I never really envisaged myself doing on my blog, but I figured I should because I couldn’t find any English blog reviews for the cup I decided to buy. This is going to be a TMI personal post which is a given considering it is a menstrual cup, so please feel free to click away if you’re a little squeamish, as I want to be as informative and honest as I possibly can. I’ve tried the Mooncup Menstrual Cup but I couldn’t make it work for me, so I gave up on the whole menstrual cup concept, but the last few months have been very difficult for me in terms of periods, so I decided I needed to give it another shot and ordered the Yuuki Menstrual Cup.
So what is a menstrual cup?
According to WikiPedia;
“A menstrual cup is a feminine hygiene device that is inserted into the vagina during menstruation. Its purpose is to collect menstrual fluid and prevent its leaking onto clothes. Menstrual cups are usually made of flexible medical grade silicone and shaped like a bell with a stem.“
I bought the Mooncup on a whim in Boots as I’d heard many things about how life changing a menstrual cup could be, and I didn’t do any prior research. I had no idea there were different sizes or versions and went off happily to try it. The Mooncup is available in two sizes; A and B, and I just bought A without even looking into the differences between them. Menstrual cups can be pricey, and the Mooncup was £21.99. The difference in the sizes between menstrual cups are judged by two main factors; are you over 30? And have you given birth vaginally? If you are over 30 and/or have given birth vaginally, it’s recommended you choose Mooncup A, but if you’re under 30 and haven’t given birth vaginally, it’s recommended you choose Mooncup B.
I bought my Mooncup A when I was 27 and I just couldn’t get it to work for me, and really wish I’d done some research before taking the plunge and choosing as the whole experience put me off trying any other menstrual cup for several years. I ended up binning it because I found the whole experience so unpleasant, which is why I wanted to write about my menstrual cup experience on my blog, in case anyone is looking for someone that’s had a similar experience.
My experience with periods
It’s about to get graphic now, but as I said, I want to be honest about my personal experiences. I have really awful periods. I’m not talking painful cramps, I’m talking debilitating bleeding which means I can’t leave the house. I started my periods at 11 years old, and I always had painful periods but I just assumed all girls had the same pain. The extreme period pain only got worse in my late teens, and at 19 I was diagnosed as having polycystic ovary syndrome after an internal ultrasound discovered a ‘conker’ sized cyst in my left ovary. I was given codeine to try to manage the pain and sent on my way.
I ended up having the contraceptive implant put into my arm when I was 22 and for over a year I didn’t have any periods. It was absolute bliss however the implant caused me a lot of psychological issues and really effected my mood. After 18 months my GP finally agreed to take it out but I wanted it out after only three months, but I was constantly told things would ‘improve’ but they never did. I really wish I’d been a little bit more assertive as I knew it was having a negative effect on my mental health within weeks of having it inserted, but my worries were just pushed aside.
It was amazing not having any periods but once the implant had been removed, my periods changed completely. I now have the heaviest periods imaginable where I have to use an Ultra size Tampon every half an hour, even with tranexamic acid and mefenamic acid prescribed by my doctor. It’s very much TMI but I have to sleep sitting up during my periods as the blood flow is so heavy that I flood my tampons, sometimes in minutes with very large clots. I have very low iron due to the extreme blood loss, and I’m on the ridiculously long waiting list to see a gynaecologist for a laparoscopy as my GP is sure I have endometriosis.
I’ve wanted to try menstrual cups again for the main reason being that they can hold a lot more than a tampon, and using tampons is costing me a fortune. Changing my tampon up to 32 times a day, for each day of my period is very expensive but I literally have no choice. Ultra tampons are said to be able to hold upto 18-21g, whereas a large size of a menstrual cup can hold upto 50ml, but it obviously depends on the brand of cup.
My experience with Mooncup
I chose size A randomly without looking into the different sizes which is completely my fault, and at 27 I should have chosen the size B instead which is probably why the whole Mooncup experience was unpleasant. The Size A cup measures 46mm in diameter and 50mm in length, whilst the Size B cup measures 43 mm in diameter and 50mm in length. I found the Mooncup to be very rigid and uncomfortable, and whilst you can snip the ‘stem’ to make it more comfortable during use, I felt nothing but discomfort the whole time I wore it. I tried all the different methods of insertion, I practised when I wasn’t on my period, and tried everything I possibly could but the Mooncup felt way too rigid for me, and it hurt every time I sat down even though I had inserted it correctly. It’s horrible to even type, but after inserting the Mooncup, it feels as if it’s scraping my insides every time I walked and I absolutely hated it and assumed all menstrual cups would be as hideous.
Introducing the Yuuki Menstrual Cup
I decided a couple of months ago that I needed to try the whole menstrual cup concept once more, and looked at all the different options available. It really is crazy how many different brands, sizes and types there are – it’s seriously overwhelming. I bought my Yuuki Menstrual Cup from Feminine Wear which is a site basically dedicated to, you guessed it, feminine wear with every menstrual cup you could imagine. There are 30 different brands of Menstrual Cup on their website which is insane, and they vary in price from £7.50 to £34.50. There’re different shapes, materials and colours and I had no idea where to start.
I knew I wanted to try a ‘soft’ cup because the Mooncup felt so rigid and hard, which hurt and let’s face it, the last thing you want when you’re on your period is additional pain and discomfort. I liked the idea of the Yuuki Menstrual Cup as they had different sizes to suit different flows, but also different levels of firmness. I chose the Yuuki Menstrual Cup in Large 2 to suit my very extremely heavy flow, but in Soft hoping it’d be a lot more comfortable than the Mooncup, and it was £18.
“A modern women’s sanitary aid for maximum comfort during your period. The Soft cup is made from softer silicon (shore 40). If you’re quite sensitive, this is the right choice for you. You can choose from two sizes – larger and smaller. “
What really appealed to me with the Yuuki Menstrual Cup is that for £18 it also comes with an infuser box. You can’t be too squeamish with a menstrual cup as you’re going to have to empty the cup into the toilet, and clean it but it’s imperative you regularly disinfect your cup. Mooncup recommend boiling their cup in water on the stove, but I couldn’t stomach doing that, so I’m very pleased that this cup comes with a cup that you can put into your microwave to disinfect your cup very discreetly. To disinfect your cup, you add up to 250ml of water with the cup and the steam escapes through the holes in the lid of the cup and it takes just 5-6 minutes.
I chose the Clear version, but Yuuki have some colourful designs if you want a colourful cup but the price jumps up to £25 if you want funky colours which wasn’t worth it in my opinion. The Clear cup has the typical ribbed, flexible stem on the base of cup which you can trim if you find it to be a little too long and uncomfortable. Something I find useful is the cup has three measurement marks on the side of the cup for 5, 10 and 15ml so you can keep an eye on your flow.
The Yuuki Menstrual Cup in Large is designed for women after childbirth, or women over the age of 28 and has a capacity of 37 ml. It looks a lot bigger than my Mooncup, but the difference in how soft and flexible the Yuuki cup is incredible. You can squeeze this cup, and mould it into the various shapes for insertion very easily and it’s so, so much easier to insert and it doesn’t make a horrible ‘pop’ noise like the Mooncup does.
There are different methods of inserting the cup, depending on your preference but the main two methods are the ‘C Fold’ and ‘Punch Down’, but my personal favourite is the C Fold as I find it the easiest but it’s all trial and error. I definitely found it easiest to practice when I wasn’t bleeding whilst you get used to inserting, and removing. The cup has little holes under the rim which helps it to create a seal, and stay in place and once you have it in place you have to push one of the sides of the cup inwards to break the seal.
Something I’ve definitely preferred with a menstrual cup is when I have an issue with clots. As horrible as it sounds, some clots can be so big and heavy that they will cause the tampon to slip because the cotton cannot absorb the clot. However, the Yuuki Menstrual Cup will hold the clot, and still collect menstruation. If the cup becomes full, you will get some leakage but no way near the scale of leakage you get with a tampon which gives me a lot more confidence. Sometimes I’m in too much pain with my period, and pelvic area that I just can’t face using a menstrual cup but my Yuuki Menstrual Cup has meant I’ve reduced my use of tampons so massively. Yes the cup is £18 to buy, but it can last for up to ten years and I’ve been spending up to £30 a month on tampons, so the amount of money I’ll save per year is substantial.
I’m really sorry if this post was a little TMI, but how do you even review a menstrual cup without being TMI? It’s not for everyone, but it’s made a massive difference for me, so I wanted to blog about it in case anyone is in a similar situation to me. I still have times where I can’t leave the house when I’m extremely heavy as I still have to empty my cup every hour, sometimes less, but it’s definitely more convenient on my normal heavy days where I can go a couple of hours without having to empty my cup.
Those with normal periods can get away with not emptying their cup up to 12 hours, but I’ve never been one of those girls unfortunately although that would be the dream for sure. I’m so pleased I tried a ‘soft’ cup as it’s so much more comfortable to wear, and the fact you can still get a large size of the cup whilst still being soft is just perfect for me.
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