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.