The Random Bibliophile

by Renee Alexis

Renee Alexis
20-something Filipina, an introvert who loves young adult fiction, brush pens, Taylor Swift, and BTS. Coffee runs in my bloodstream.


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My Menstrual Cup Experience

I grew up in a conservative family. When I first got my period, my mom introduced me to sanitary napkins. She taught me how to use them and when to take them off and dispose of them when they are already full. At a young age, I wasn't aware that there were other mediums being used by other girls when they are menstruating. I became aware of tampons years later when I began watching teen movies and chick flicks. I didn't really have the interest to try them and I didn't know where to purchase one as we Filipinas are accustomed to only using pads in our period.

For the last 12 years, I have only used sanitary pads but then I came upon Bethany's blog one fine day, and I was introduced to a thing called a menstrual cup.

It was my first time to try this menstrual cup and my experience was awesome! Read about it more on my blog...

What is a Menstrual Cup, you ask? Well, guys, it is a type of feminine hygiene product which is usually made of medical grade silicone, shaped like a bell and is flexible. It is worn inside the vagina (kinda scary, but read on) during your period to catch menstrual fluid (blood). There are tiny holes around the lip of the cup to form suction once inside to avoid any leaks.

To all Filipinas out there who haven't yet heard about this product, I know it's quite odd and weird and scary. We have been raised to be reserved and having to insert something in our private parts can be overwhelming, not to mention what our moms and Lolas would say if they ever find out that this cup is a thing nowadays. Okay, let me be clear here. This product is safe to use and it has a lot of benefits you can get.

I've been thinking about purchasing this one for months and after reading about Alissa of The Wallflower Secrets' blog post, I was finally ready. Thankfully, these cups are available in our country. Thanks to Alissa, I came to know about Anytime Menstrual Cups PH on Facebook. I purchased their Intimate Cup Package which includes an intimist spray and the cup itself.

Make periods easier with menstrual cups!
The box includes the cup with the breathable pouch, the intimist spray, and an instruction manual.
I bought the green one (because why not) in the smaller size. There are two sizes to choose from: Type 1 with its 43 mm diameter recommended for women under 30 and Type 2 having a 47 mm diameter developed for women above 30 and those who have given birth the natural way.

Make periods easier with menstrual cups!

So, what made me purchase this menstrual cup? Because frankly, it is quite expensive if you think about it, but on the long run, it's not. Here are a list of benefits the cup can offer:

1. It helps you save money because you only have to purchase it once, unlike pads and tampons.
The menstrual cup can last up to ten (10) years of usage. Imagine, TEN years. That's what the seller promised and I ought to find out if that is true. But guys, ten years. That's quite a long time. Ten years without having to purchase sanitary napkins or tampons every month. Compute how much you can save!

2. It is a healthier alternative to pads and tampons.
The cup does not alter the vaginal pH, flora balance and it keeps the beneficial bacteria in place. Unlike tampons and pads that absorb all your vaginal fluid along with the blood, the menstrual cup only collects the fluid, hence keeping the delicate pH and bacterial balance in your vagina.

3. It is reusable, economical and ecological.
Some cups, like this one, are designed for long-term use (even years) providing significant cost savings over tampons and pads. Since you can reuse them, there is less waste to clog up our landfills and fewer trees sacrificed to make the paper-based alternatives. Keep in mind that some cups are designed to be disposable, make sure you read the box label carefully before buying if you want a reusable one.

4. It can be worn on various physical activities such as swimming.
The cup does not limit your actions, you can do any activity you want, you can sit and sleep in any position you want, you can even swim without worrying about turning the pool red! It's awesome.

5. No more odors when you're on your period.
You don't have to worry about embarrassing menstrual odor wafting out since the fluid does not get exposed to air as it does with pads and tampons. And this is true, based on my personal experience!

6. It does not cause dryness and rash. It is comfortable and easy to use.
Again, the menstrual cup only collects the menstrual fluid and does not absorb it thus, not causing dryness and rash.

7. It can be worn up to 8-12 hours.
It depends on your period's flow, really. But even if yours is heavy, you can still wear the cup up to 8 hours, and trust me, it still won't be full. You can even wear it overnight and no leaks will be seen!

Make periods easier with menstrual cups!

Okay, now that we're done talking about the benefits, here's my experience when I got to wear it during my period last month.

It was the first time that I was excited for my period to come (because who likes menstruating,huh? not me), so when it came one morning, last month, I was ecstatic to finally use my newly purchased Anytime Menstrual Cup. I was blinded by the excitement that by the moment I had to insert it, I was overcome with fear and nervousness. My body went rigid when I tried to put the cup inside me and I had to rest and calm down for a solid hour before trying it again.

I browsed the internet and read through different articles on how to insert it, on the different folds you can do, on how everybody had a hard time using it for the first time. I was relieved to know I wasn't the only one having difficulties in inserting the cup. And so I read and read and when I can finally feel that my body has relaxed, I tried again.

Every girl's body is different, thus, every girl has a different technique in wearing the cup. You can master inserting it by practicing and familiarizing the feel of your body so that you can use the cup with ease. There are a lot of fold techniques you can try but I personally prefer the punch-down fold as it is easier for me to insert it that way. Here are some links you can read for the different folding techniques of your menstrual cups: article one, article two, article three.

When I finally succeeded in inserting it, I used a sanitary napkin because I need to test it for leaks. Surprisingly enough, it didn't! And that's when I knew I was wearing it correctly. I ditched the pads and just wore the cup alone on all three days of my menstruation.

My biggest fear in wearing this menstrual cup, though, is it being stuck inside me. I've had paranoid thoughts like, what if I can't pull it out back again? What if it stays stuck inside me? What will happen if I can't pull it out, will I have to see a doctor?? The horror. BUT, it wasn't so, because the cup, no matter how lodged in it was, can always be pulled out. And that's what the stem is for.

A side view of the Anytime Menstrual Cup

During those three days, I can't help but notice how the cup can feel nothing at all. Yes, you are aware that it is in you, but you don't feel it at all. It's hassle free and there are no leaks and no odors and when you take them off, it's mess-free! The menstrual fluid just rests at the bottom of the cup and pouring it out and cleaning up the cup is super easy. I even tried using it overnight. I also tried using it when I went out to the city. At first, I felt uncomfortable on the trip because I was worried there might be leaks. When I arrived, I was just paranoid because there really were no leaks! That day, I wore the cup for 12 hours straight and when I took it off when I got home, it wasn't even half full. I was really amazed by this product. I am never going back to wearing pads, again. :D

Make periods easier with menstrual cups!

So girls, have I persuaded you to switch yet? If not, you can always read Bethany's blog about this. She was the one who got me thinking into switching and when I finally did, I couldn't be happier.

Some of you may think that this product is an abomination for women who values their virginity. Guys, our virginity won't be broken off by this cup. If you have never been sexually active you can still use a menstrual cup because your hymen will stretch. And if it does “break”, then that doesn't mean you lost your virginity. That will only happen during sexual intercourse. (source) If you are still having doubts, you can read this blog I found over at google: Virgins and Menstrual Cups.

I can say that I am now a complete convert. Menstrual cups are awesome. Aside from getting you to save money and time from visiting pharmacies to purchase pads or tampons every month, you can also minimize the toxic trash you throw therefore saving the environment, and of course, your health. Wearing it makes you feel like you're not even on your period! What more can a girl ask for? (Well, maybe less to no cramps anymore, but that's another subject to be regarded, hehe)

I hope you guys enjoyed reading this post. Comments are highly appreciated! Tell me about your thoughts and feelings regarding this matter. Until then!

A bit of disclaimer: this post is not sponsored, I bought the cup with my own money and I wasn't asked to do a review about it. All opinions expressed are my own, though, I did a little research and linked some of the sources I got.


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