OK it’s sure taken me a while to get around to trying the menstrual cup, but hello! I did! And I lived to tell the tale of my experience with the Lunette Menstrual Cup LOL!
There are so many brands of menstrual cups in the market these days. So many, I was confused. This more so, when you start reading, trying to decide which to buy, and you find that not every cup suits every woman.
Then, you ask around, and no one gives you a straight answer which cup to pick, because every woman is different, with different physical attributes and preferences.
So, are you here wondering if I can tell you which menstrual cup is best for you, or if the Lunette menstrual cup is the best in the market? Well, no, I can’t do that either, sorry 😛
Instead, I’ll share what I think after trying a menstrual cup for a few months, and if it might be an option you want to consider. And if you are using or have questions, I’d love for you to share your experiences too! 🙂
What is a menstrual cup?
Simply put, a menstrual cup is a device made out of soft but firm silicone, shaped like a cup. You wear it inside you to collect your menstrual blood, and empty it out every few hours.
It serves as an alternative to disposable sanitary pads, and is often touted as a more environmentally friendly option. This is because a cup can be reused throughout your period, and it lasts for years, which makes the initial cost a one-off spend.
How big is the Lunette Menstrual Cup?
I didn’t know which to pick, as they are many brands in the market these days, as I’ve shared earlier. If you shop at some zero-waste stores, or in some higher-end supermarkets, you might have even seen some sold in the aisles.
I picked the Lunette brand, because I’d heard of it before (menstrual cups aren’t a new thing) and it happened to be available on iHerb where I was doing a spot of shopping.
I must confess when it first arrived, that I was quite shocked at the size LOL! 😛
It is a fairly large sized item, as you can see. I bought the Model 1, Light to Normal flow one. Model 2 is for normal to heavy flow. I wasn’t sure what constituted light, normal or heavy, to be honest, so I just took a chance.
Like those of you who haven’t yet tried a menstrual cup, I did wonder how it would fit inside, and if it would be comfortable. It is after all, a foreign object inside you.
Most reviews and articles I read before commiting to trying a menstrual cup proclaimed it to be a life-changer. Most people say that it is very comfortable, and that you don’t feel it at all. But people also say that about tampons, and I always feel a tampon 😛
Most articles I read also talked about a learning curve when using a menstrual cup. You do have to insert it a certain way, ensure it does not leak to avoid embarrassment, and be able to remove it when you have to empty it.
Was it easy to use the Lunette menstrual cup?
Personally, I got it on my first try, so by all reckoning, I should consider it “easy” to use.
To insert the cup inside you, you do have to first get it small enough so you can squeeze it up your vagina. If you look around online, there are many illustrations and videos that show you different ways to fold the cup to achieve its intended purpose.
I got a little fed up trying to figure it out, if I’m to be honest (it shouldn’t have to be this hard!) so I just went with what I felt to be the most logical and basic. This is known as the C-fold.
Is it hard to fold?
No. Not really. However, the rim of the cup is thicker and therefore firmer, so you must exert a little energy to get it to fold nicely.
The tricky part however, is to keep it folded while you insert it. Some people might find it still a little big. I don’t know how much smaller you can get it, peeps. It is quite a big object after all! 😛
How to insert it? Is it painful?
Personally, I find it easiest to insert while hovering. not exactly squatting, as I found it shortens the canal, and you may have problems getting it deep/high enough. So, I found that hovering, as if in a half-sit, half-squat was most convenient for me.
You have to hold the cup folded, then slip it inside, trying to hold it together till you get it deep enough, before letting it pop open. Taking a deep breath, then releasing as you slip it in is helpful.
I again, had no problems getting it to pop open. I do understand that it can be tricky for some people.
However, I also find that if you don’t insert it high/deep enough, and then it pops open, it can feel a little uncomfortable.
Imagine if you will, that your vagina is fairly narrow, before it widens up near the cervix, where you want your cup to go. So, if the cup sits too low, in the vaginal canal, it can feel uncomfortable, and a little sore.
While I understand that you can use a menstrual cup from the day your period starts till it ends, I personally find it more uncomfortable to do so when the flow is very light.
Some people recommend putting a little lubrication around the top of the cup to help with insertion on lighter days. Personally, I just prefer to use it only on heavy days, when there is less friction. On other light days, I prefer using a light sanitary pad (use a reusable cloth pad, if that suits you) or a panty liner. It’s just more comfortable.
It is a little uncomfortable to wear a menstrual cup
While I wore it, I did not find it painful.
However, I did find it uncomfortable. It wasn’t painful, but I felt a firm pressure, like something pressing from within. While I was out and about, walking and doing things, I did not notice it as much.
However, when I was sitting down, or just being quiet, it felt more apparent. It made me feel like I had a lot of gas in my tummy, which wasn’t the best feeling, on top of having your period when you already feel bloated.
I did relish the freedom it gave away from wearing pads, so it is a bit of a balance you have to consider.
Does it leak when you wear a menstrual cup?
Theoretically, if the cup fits you well, and is inserted properly, it collects your menstrual blood from the cervix, you don’t have it running down through your vagina. It forms a sort of seal, so theoretically, it shouldn’t leak, no matter if you’re lying down or upside down.
In practise however, while I did not experience heavy leakage, I did notice a light leak, enough to stain a panty liner. Do note that I’ve said I use it on heavy days. I did wear it while lying on the couch and to sleep, and there was minimal leakage. I would recommend wearing a panty-liner just in case, unless you are very confident it’s inserted correctly.
How do you empty the menstrual cup when it’s full?
Well, I didn’t wait till it was full. I chose to check on it every 3-4 hours or so, by which time, it was quite full.
To remove, you are supposed to stick your finger in, feel for the rim, and then try to pry it away, so it releases the vacuum seal. Ladies, this is rather easier in theory than in practice! 😛
I suppose you get the hang of it after a while. Whatever you do, don’t tug on the stem, because it can be quite painful!
Once it releases, it’s easy to pull out, pour the contents into the toilet bowl, rinse the cup and reinsert. As I said, you get the hang of it after a while.
It sounds a little gross
Well, if you’re not keen on handling your menstrual blood, yes it can feel that way.
You will dirty you fingers, and it isn’t nice rummaging about your nether regions, especially if you’re outside, not in the comfort of your own home. Ideally, I wouldn’t want to be doing this in a public toilet somewhere, because I can’t trust the cleanliness of the place.
However, if you are used to using reusable cloth pads, then you would already be used to handling your own blood, so it would be a shorter step to using a menstrual cup.
What you can be assured it does not do, is smell. There is of course the metallic smell of blood, but it isn’t otherwise gross. If you can surmount having to be grappling around your nether regions, and are able to handle your blood, then you’re probably on your way to using a menstrual cup.
What I liked about using the Lunette menstrual cup?
Once I got the hang of it, it was quite liberating.
You can go swimming and play sports, without worrying about chafing from your sanitary pads. You can sleep comfortably, without worry about leaking. You can basically do everything you can do while wearing a tampon, except you don’t dispose of it.
During your cycle, you will be rinsing and cleaning it as you go. Once your cycle is over, put it in a boiling pot of water to sterilize, then pop it into the included pouch, and store it till next month.
You will never run out in an emergency, and I felt that my periods were a little shorter. I usually get about 2.5 days of heavier flow with clots, and it was down to about 2 days with minimal mess.
You don’t get that gushing feeling you get when you wear pads either. Mostly because your blood and clots are caught close to the source. It is definitely less messy.
It also felt like it was over quite quickly, which was nice.
What I didn’t like about using the Lunette menstrual cup
Well, the biggest downer for me is that odd feeling of the pressure from within. It just felt rather strange and uncomfortable.
While it isn’t uncomfortable to wear the cup, I did feel a noticeable difference when I remove it. It is as if my body heaves a sigh of relief at expelling the foreign object. My insides feel all stretched out when it’s inserted, and I feel a palpable sense of relief when it’s removed.
I don’t know if others feel that way. Quite often, most articles I read rave about how life-changing it is to switch to a menstrual cup.
I don’t feel that way unfortunately.
For me, it actually feels more comfortable to wear a sanitary pad, be it reusable or disposable.
RELATED READING: Yes, I’ve also worn cloth pads before! Here’s my experience. READ HERE
I do however appreciate the freedom it gives, so I treat it as an alternative to a tampon, but it isn’t something I’d use for the length of my period, or something that would make me ditch wearing a pad.
Is a menstrual cup for you?
As much as I appreciate how much waste we save, I’d never push anyone into making the switch to using a menstrual cup instead of sanitary pads, because it is ultimately, a lifestyle choice.
You must consider first, the cost. A menstrual cup is not cheap. The ones I’ve seen locally are about RM60-80 each. You don’t get to test them and return them if they don’t fit properly. So, that is a bit of a stumbling block.
Before I picked the Lunette, I read many reviews of many brands of menstrual cups. Some recommend you a cup based on how old you are or whether you’ve had children. Your anatomy changes with age, and if you’ve delivered a child. It’s all so confusing, because how many of us really know if we have a long cervix, or a short one? If our periods are considered heavy or are they normal? There’s no benchmark.
So, when you buy a menstrual cup, it’s a hit or miss affair. I’m lucky, I got one that fits. If it didn’t, it would be RM160 down the drain. I can’t just pass it on can I? 😛
If you do get one that first on the first try, then of course you are looking at potentially saving a lot of money in the long-run. But if money is tight, it’s hard to take out that first large sum, not knowing if your gamble will pay off.
I personally will not shame anyone who chooses to use disposable sanitary pads. I realise that it comes at an environmental cost, but for many, it is the most practical option, when considering cost, living conditions and lifestyle.
Menstrual cups aren’t useful if you don’t have clean running water, or a sanitary place to empty and clean it before reinserting. I’ve seen people claim that people in need, or those who’re flooded out of their homes should be given menstrual cups instead of disposable sanitary pads. It’s not practical.
A menstrual cup is inserted inside your body. You want to be sure that it is very clean before it goes in. You need clean running water and that’s something that most of us take for granted. But there are people who don’t have these facilities, or perhaps don’t live in areas that are too clean or hygienic. A menstrual cup might even lead to more infections.
But if you have the choice, and are living a lifestyle that allows you to take a gamble on the cost of a cup, and to be able to clean, sterilize and be in a sanitary enough environment to use a menstrual cup, then it’s worth a shot. At least you could say you’ve tried it! 🙂
As for me, I’d use the cup perhaps 2 out of 5 days, when my period is at its heaviest. While I find it a little uncomfortable, I do like how I don’t have blood flowing constantly, and that weird gushing feeling, like you just peed in your pants 😛 As it’s already uncomfortable having your period those few days, a little more discomfort doesn’t hurt 😛
So, that’s my experience with the Lunette menstrual cup. While I know that different cups can yield different results, I don’t forsee myself buying another just to try. In my view, that defeats the purpose of being kind to the environment, as I don’t forsee anyone ever needing more than one cup in their life.
Do you use a menstrual cup? Have you thought of trying one?
It took me a long time to take the plunge. I’m glad I did, and I’m glad I got it mostly right on the first try. I think that makes me one of the lucky ones. It however, isn’t quite the life-changing thing I expected it to me haha! 😀