When I first heard about menstrual cups years ago, I had zero desire to try them. I just didn’t see how emptying a cup of blood in a public restroom would work out when you’re at work, or anywhere, for that matter. Then I did some additional research, and learned that one of the benefits of using a cup as opposed to tampons is that you can wear them for up to 12 hours (no risk of toxic shock!), or even more depending on your flow and what you’re comfortable with. One of my least favorite things in the world is going to a bar restroom to change a tampon while hanging out with friends, so I figured that I would give it a try. And truthfully, I really do hate tampons. Shoot, I’ll take it there — I just plain hate getting my period. Anything with the potential to let me “forget” about it is something I needed to look into.
So for my next cycle, I decided to get a Lena Cup. It didn’t arrive until the third day, but oh my goodness, I fell in love off the bat. I was able to keep it in for around ten hours, even with doing yoga, and the lighter my flow, the more I loved it. My cycle lasts a full seven days, and for the last three, I wasn’t sweating it at all. I felt free! The Lena Cup was my primary topic of conversation with any woman I talked to for the next week; I was in awe. I even felt like the intensity of my cramps had decreased. However, the real test wouldn’t come until I used it for a full cycle during heavier flow days.
See, my flow, on my heaviest day, is the bane of my existence. We’re talking call out of work sick cramps and running to the bathroom to change an ultra tampon every 2–3 hours. I thought that cups, with their ability to hold much more than tampons, would save me from this personal hell…but unfortunately, that didn’t happen. From the night of day 1 until day 3, my cup and I were not friends — it started leaking if I didn’t change it after a couple of hours. “WHY?!” I asked the universe — I felt betrayed. It’s only a day and a half, but it was so irksome. Please note, I initially thought it was user error, but my cup wasn’t leaking right away, and when my flow got lighter again I didn’t have anymore issues. And so, I did more research on cups and decided that my solution would be to get a cup with a higher capacity. Enter the Super Jennie.
The Super Jennie is supposed to be the super hero of menstrual cups. A large one holds 41.61mL of liquid, while a large Lena Cup holds around 30mL. Because of this, I thought it would be better for heavier days, but alas, I had the same issue. I ended up needing to use a pad for back up, and again, this was only for a day or two, but I still found it annoying.
Overall, I’m still thrilled that I finally tried menstrual cups. I still don’t see how I would feel comfortable changing it in a public bathroom stall (personal preference as you could carry wipes if you needed to) and my heavy days are an issue, but it’s much more economical and greener than buying tampons monthly. And for the most part, it is more convenient. During my research, I also read that over time the use of a cup can make your period lighter, so I reeeeeally hope that happens along with the less painful cramps. I do know that I won’t be going back to tampons.
Have you tried a menstrual cup?