5 Things I’ve Learned Since I Started Using a Menstrual Cup

Flowers on a table, with menstrual cup next to them and the words "5 things I've learned since I started using a Menstrual cup"

Hey friend! Back in August, I shared my very first time using a menstrual cup. It was such a game-changer after only ONE CYCLE that I had to share!

I then reached out to Saalt to do a collab post with them. They sent me a Saalt Soft (regular size) for free. All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own. 🙂

I also want to say that this post has a lot of TMI’s. I mean, we’re talking about vaginas soo, what else would you expect?

This post does contain affiliate links, see site footer for disclaimer.

The other day I was talking about cups with one of my good girlfriends and I told her that in high school I’d wished that there was some sort of magical cup that would catch all of my period blood so that I wouldn’t have to deal with pads and tampons.

I had no idea that cups existed.

Okay, that’s not exactly true, because I’d heard of the Diva cup a few times, but I don’t think I really processed what it was.

After I had Von, I didn’t get my period for almost 16 months because I was nursing. Then when my period came I was like, “this really really sucks.” But it wasn’t until I bled through a tampon in just over 2 hours that I knew I needed a different solution.

I knew that I needed to use something other than pads and tampons.

Sure, I spent a lot of my time at home, but what about the days when I wasn’t home? When a bathroom wasn’t conveniently down the hall all day long? That’s when I discovered Put A Cup In It and took their quiz, and then I discovered Saalt.

I ran to Target later that day and purchased their small size (regular firmness) even though I was 3 weeks away from my period. I was so excited to give it a try, and well, if you read my post in August, you’ll know how that cycle went!

Saalt then sent me their regular size cup, but the soft option. I knew I wanted a bigger cup for days 2-3 but I was a little worried about the firmness of their regular cup. The small cup I have is fine, but any bigger? I was nervous. I got the soft cup and had no problems though!

Flowers on a table, with menstrual cup next to them and the words "5 things I've learned since I started using a Menstrual cup"

Today I wanted to share 5 things that I’ve learned since I started using my menstrual cup.

1) Just because you can leave the cup in for up to 12 hours doesn’t mean you’ll be able to.

Right on the box, it says that you get up to 12 hours of protection! AWESOME!

But for me, on my heavy days (2-3) this isn’t actually how it goes down. I have a really really heavy flow. This means I’m using the regular size cup and I’m changing it every 2-4 hours, depending on the time of day/flow.

I know this might upset some people who were expecting the cup to last the full 12 hours, but for me, it was still easier than worrying about tampons and pads (which I often had to change every hour).

This only is the first couple of days of my period and after that, I’m able to leave my cup in for a lot longer.

2) Using a cup makes traveling a lot easier.

Since I started using a cup, I’ve had my period on both vacations I’ve been on in the past few months. I wasn’t even dreading my period though, because I knew that having a cup and my Thinx underwear was going to be just fine.

And I was.

I didn’t have to pack extra pads or wonder how many tampons I’d need. I just made sure my cups were boiled (how you sterilize them) and then they were ready to go!

*I did get super sick on day 1 of my cycle this last period and had to borrow some pads (I was puking my guts out and didn’t want to think about when I needed to take out my cup, so I did use pads for the first day until I felt better.) But as soon as I wasn’t throwing up, I went right back to using my cup!

3) Emptying your cup in a public restroom isn’t as bad as you’d think.

When I’m at home I can take out the cup, dump it, then rinse it with water before reinserting. But when my period came two days before I flew home from Salt Lake I knew that wouldn’t be an option while I was at the airport and I was nervous.

I checked in the Saalt Facebook group to see what other users recommended doing when they were in public places. A few mentioned bringing a water bottle in with you to rinse the cup over the toilet, or even using flushable wipes. Some recommended just using toilet paper, which was the option I went for. I was traveling with Von all by myself and it was already slightly stressful, I didn’t want to think about bringing something else with us into the bathroom.

Emptying my cup was totally fine and then when I got home I gave my cup a good rinse with my Summer’s Eve soap.

4) You can’t feel the cup when you have it in correctly.

I didn’t love tampons. I used them because changing pads every hour wasn’t a practical option, but I hated them. When I switched to a cup, I was worried that I’d hate having something up in my vagina all day long.

I didn’t hate it though, because I forgot that it was there. I couldn’t feel it at all, and that’s how it’s supposed to be!

It did take me a few tries to get to where the cup was positioned correctly (so there were no leaks + I couldn’t feel it.) But now that I’m getting the hang of it, periods are so much easier. I use the Tampon Timer app to remind me when to take out my cup (so I don’t forget) and then I can go about my day!

5) Using a cup is less gross than tampons and pads.

For some reason, I was so worried that I’d be grossed out (even more) than I had been in the past when I used pads and tampons. I mean, when you use a cup, you’re sticking the cup up in your vagina which means there will be blood on your hands (super easy to wash off though). But for some reason, it didn’t gross me out.

It sort of amazed me (not the blood on the hands part). But my actual cycle. I’ve figured out where my cervix is (since your cup goes right to your cervix to catch the blood). I can see how much blood actually comes out of my body each month and for some reason I’m like yes, I’m a woman, and it’s cool what my body can do.

There’s less smell (like gone almost completely) than using pads, and my body just feels cleaner than it did when I used pads.

Are you convinced yet? Take the Put A Cup In It quiz to find out which cup is right for you!

Bonus thought:

One last thought before I go. My period is getting shorter! A lot of people in the Facebook group have talked about this same thing happening to them. But my period went from 8 days long (yes, really) to 5-6, with that last day being mainly light spotting. Maybe that’s still a long time for some people, but for me, I’m jumping up and down!

Life with a cup, periods with a cup, is so much better than they were before. I’m so glad I took the leap and decided to try a cup for myself.

Have you ever used a cup? If yes, what’s your favorite part about it? If not, what’s holding you back? I’d love to chat about it!

  1. I have heard so many great things about using menstrual cups but have yet to try them. I too am not a huge fan of tampons but they are the best options at time. I need to look into this cup and I’ve heard a lot about the panties as well. Loved how you were super honest about your experience!

    1. Yes! I’d heard a bit about them before I gave it a try. Tampons were always what I thought was the only option for me but I’m so glad I tried a cup! Super life-changing! If you look into cups, I highly recommend the quiz that Put A Cup In It has on their website, it’s so helpful!

  2. Interesting article. As I guy, I wasn’t aware of such a thing, but I could see this as something that someone would pack for travels.

    1. Thanks! Haha, well I wasn’t really aware of cups either until fairly recently, but they are definitely useful!

  3. This is so interesting! I was always hesitant about using cups as well but you make it seem like its a breeze!

    1. There was definitely a learning curve, but it was a lot easier to use than I thought it would be!

  4. This is the most useful blog post I’ve read in a really long time! I write about sustainability so my interest in the topic comes from trying to figure out a way to create less waste during period time because thinking about all those tampons, pads, and wrappers getting tossed every month is overwhelming. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much! I love that my periods are waste-free now! It really does make a big difference.

  5. Also the lack of chemicals going into your body is a perk. Honestly, I’m a little bit interested in getting a cup for many reasons – main one is the lack of chemicals that pads and tampons tend to have on them. As well as the need for having a more clean and less waste as possible.

    What you wrote about was very informative and I shall look into getting one in the near future. That with period panties (which I just found out ARE a thing). Who knew?

    Thanks again!

    1. YES! Definitely a perk to not have those chemicals in my body anymore! And I only discovered period panties earlier this year and I LOVE THEM! Both that and my cup have been huge game changers!

  6. I’m way past needing these however I would have tried these for sure! Anything to make “that time of month” easier is a blessing!

    1. Right? I’m really glad I discovered them when I did. My MIL said the same thing that you did. But it really is such a blessing!

  7. Menstrual cups are so interesting to me! I didn’t know it would be that easy to change in a public bathroom. That’s something I’ve wondered. And it’s also good to know you couldn’t feel it. The more I read about these, the more awesome they sound!

    1. They are interesting and sort of mysterious (at least in my opinion) until you actually give them a try! I was surprised at how easy it was to change it in a public restroom. But yes, definitely comfortable and makes my period so much easier!

  8. I so wish they had had these (or I had been aware of them) way back when. My daughter has been using one for years now and loves it! On a larger scale, I’m also intrigued by the positive impact this simple little cup could have environmentally, as well as in impoverished nations.

    1. They are so amazing! That’s another reason I love Saalt, they donate cups + provide education about periods for girls. I love that!

  9. I never tried a menstrual cup, and I don’t know they are here in Japan. I could try one but I am a bit sensitive about using things. Like, I don’t tampons because I hate the feeling.

    1. I totally understand. I hated the feelings of tampons too, but my cup has been completely different! I would definitely say give it a go if you’ve been thinking about trying it!

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