My First Menstrual Cup

Written by Mandy on June 15th, 2012

Ecological Responsibility, Fertility, Green Living

In December, as my youngest child turned 20 months old, I was met by the return of my menses. Being pregnant and/or lactating for almost ten years (my oldest child is 9 years old), I’ve only had a handful of periods during that time.

I can’t say I have missed dealing with it. I hate pads; they leave me feeling wet and rashy and as though everyone can see the outline. Remember when disposable pads used to be really thick? I do. I resorted to using tampons pre-motherhood (and in those rare instances since). They didn’t have the same issues as the pads, but they came with their own. They tend to leave one feeling dry, and there is always the thought in the back of my mind about toxic shock syndrome. Both disposable pads and tampons create a lot of waste, both during production and in land fills.

When I had children, and subsequently began using cloth diapers, I was introduced to the idea of cloth pads. It seemed like a better idea than disposables, but it didn’t address the other problems I had with disposable pads: the wetness, rashiness, or bulkiness. I really didn’t want to switch to pads, so I told myself that with as infrequently as I had a period, it really didn’t warrant storing a bunch of cloth pads in the interim.

A few months ago, I began taking a closer look at my options, as we may not have more children, and I knew I would eventually reach a point where my daughter’s nursing (despite nursing through day and night) wasn’t enough to keep my cycle away. I knew I wanted to try a menstrual cup. I asked around about different ones, read reviews, and ultimately ordered one to put away. I then proceeded to forget about it.

So, when my period decided to show, I was a little bummed. Honestly, I was hoping that it would stay away for a while longer. I was a bit mopey. Here I was having to deal with menstruation and the struggle we’ve been having about whether or not to have another child seemed to dangle closer, as my fertility began to return.

Then I remembered my menstrual cup packed away in my drawer. I wouldn’t say that it was like opening up a gift, but it did make my day a little brighter. So, I tried a menstrual cup for the very first time.

I took out the cup, washed it, and then looked at it. It seemed a bit intimidating. I then mentally compared it to the size of something else and decided that I would be just fine. It was much easier than I thought it would be. It had all of the benefits of tampons without the drawbacks. I did have some leakage in the first couple of days. After my first couple of cycles, when my menses began to be back to normal, I haven’t had any real leakage issues. A cloth panty liner has been enough back up without any issues.


This post has been edited from a previous post at Living Peacefully with Children as part of the January 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama.

About The Author: Mandy

My NPN Posts

Mandy O'Brien is an unschooling mom of five. She's an avid reader and self-proclaimed research fanatic. An active advocate of human rights, Mandy works to provide community programs through volunteer work. She is a co-author of the book Homemade Cleaners, where simple living and green cleaning meet science. She shares a glimpse into her life at Living Peacefully with Children, where she writes about various natural parenting subjects and is working to help parents identify with and normalize attachment parenting through Attachment Parents Get Real.

5 Responses to My First Menstrual Cup

  1. Rachel  

    What brand did you end up choosing?

  2. Mandy @ Living Peacefully with Children

    I haven’t tried all of the brands out there, so I can’t give an accurate comparison of them. Also, every woman is going to be different and have different needs and preferences.

    However, I will say that based on reviews I had read, I ended up ordering a Moon Cup through our local Frontier co-op. I really liked it, although the long stem was bothering me sometimes and I was afraid to cut it. I recently ordered a Me Luna cup through another co-op. I liked the way it felt immediately but had difficulty getting it to pop open. It did help me figure out the small issue I was having with the Moon Cup, and now the Moon Cup is working perfectly for me.

  3. Momma Jorje  

    I ordered my first cup just before I got pregnant. My period just returned, so I’ll be trying it soon. I’d love to create less waste and I feel the same about pads & tampons as you do.

  4. Joanne

    I first started using a Moon Cup when I was about 13 I think (I’m 15 now) because I hated tampons anyway, but I was also bleeding through them in about an hour!

    I love that it creates so much less waste but for me it was almost necessity. I also really like that I can leave in for school (nowhere to change a tampon/cup easily) without worrying about TSS.

  5. Melissa

    I enjoyed reading your post. I too recently made the switch to a menstral cup. I opted for the Diva cup. I’ve got it down pat, no back up pad needed after a few cycles of trial and error. I do wish I would have tried one much sooner. So much more comfortable than tampons or pads.