Podcast Diaries: Everything You Need To Know About Using a Menstrual Cup

Why we love it:

This is one of our favourite videos about menstrual cups EVER !! It's so real, honest, and genuinely gives you tips and tricks to help you get your head around menstrual cups. We're sure you'll love this episode just as much as we do so make sure to give it a lesson below and subscribe to Danielle's channel!. 

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The Transcript:

There are some weird phenomenons that happen when people use menstrual cups, "Can you use this if you are a virgin?", "I guess if you're really constipated or something and you're pushing really hard, is it going to get stuck? I'm scared it'll be stuck inside of me forever." Hi guys. It's me, Danny, Danielle. Whatever you want to call me, I don't care. And today I'm going to be talking about periods. I never thought I would be so excited to discuss this, I honestly used to be very uncomfortable talking about it. But guys, times have changed, okay? It's 2020, vagina isn't a bad word, periods aren't awkward to talk about or they shouldn't be, at least. It's not a big deal. If you have a vagina, you probably bleed out of it. So let's just get right into it. Today, I'm going to be talking about menstrual cups. And the reason why I'm telling you guys about these is because not only are they just amazing in general, for periods in general, for your wallet, for your body, for everything, but also they're so good for the environment.

            So, so, so, so, so much better than using single use pads and tampons. If that's what you use right now, which I'm pretty sure that's what most people use. Before I get into this, I just want to say that using a menstrual cup, it's not for everyone. But I believe, I really do believe that with patience and some time stretching yourself I guess, mentally, it can be for most people. If you are a pad wearer who has never liked tampons, and doesn't like the idea of putting something inside of you, you're not going to like a menstrual cup. You're just not. But if you are a tampon wearer, and you're comfortable with that, and you're good going, exploring in your nether regions, then you're good to go. You're totally going to figure this out, it's going to be fine. There's a learning curve for everyone, regardless of how comfortable you are. I'm very comfortable with tampons, and I still had a learning curve because you still have to understand how to put it in, how to take it out, how to get it right, and how to do it correctly for your cycle.

So with that being said, we're going to move forward. Just keep in mind that it's not for everyone, but I do believe everyone who tries it and gives it a chance and gives themselves time, can figure it out. I'm going to get into what it is, how to use it. And any question that you guys may have for me so I can really give you a full well-rounded explanation, so if you want to start using it yourself, you feel comfortable and informed. So let's get into it. And before we start, just make sure you follow me on Instagram @consciouscalleiro and don't miss my videos every Wednesday and Sunday, I post twice a week. Okay. So just to start, what the hell is a menstrual cup? These are two menstrual cups. They're the same brand, this is the Saalt cup. This video isn't sponsored. I'm just ... This is the only brand that I have, it's the only one that I use. And this is their duo pack, so it comes in a small one and a large one just for size reference.

This is my cell phones next to the salt cup, so you can see it's not huge. It's pretty small. That's the smaller one, this is the bigger one. What a menstrual cup is, is a silicone cup that folds up real tight and goes inside of your vagina. It opens up and it suctions to the walls of your vagina, and it catches all the blood that comes out when you're on your period. There's many different brands, there's many different sizes, different shapes, different colors, there's so many different options for you guys. But it's so much cheaper than buying pads and tampons and using so many of those every single month. It lasts you 10 years if you take care of it. So you only have to buy a couple of these in your lifetime, and you're good to go. For now, I just want to talk about putting it in and taking it out, and the nitty gritty details, because I'm sure that's what everybody wants to know. When you are about to use this, you're like, "What is this? What's happening?

What do I do? How do I put it in? And how do I do it right?" The first thing is that in order for it to work, you have to do it a specific way. It's different for everyone, but I'm saying you have to do it in a way where it properly suctions to the inside of you. Because if it's not suctioned, it's not going to catch all the blood, it's going to leak. So just to give you a visual, this is the vaginal canal with a menstrual cup inside of it. So it doesn't go super far up in you, it's actually sits right at the bottom. It's supposed to sit beneath your cervix. Some people recommend measuring your cervix before you get one to see how high or how low it is, and that will tell you whether you need a small cup or a larger cup. I haven't done that yet because I haven't had the need to, but some people have found it very helpful. So if you want to know how to measure your cervix, just look it up.

It's a little bit intimate of a experience, but some people find it very helpful. The way that you put it in. Basically there's lots of different folds, there's tons of different ways you can make it small to put it inside of you. This is the one that I use and it's the C fold. It looks like a C as you can see, I know it looks a little funky. And what I do is I use two hands when putting it in. So I usually stand up when I put it in. While I'm holding it shut with this hand, I use the other hand to push it up. And this one tends to get up in there. So once it's up, as you can see how it keeps doing this, every time I fold this, it pops open. So it slides up you and it goes like that. It doesn't feel crazy. I promise. You definitely feel it opening, which is a good thing. You want to feel it opening, but it's not like a shock or anything. So I think you can see this.

It has little holes on the top, do you see the little holes there? And these are what creates the suction. So that's why you have to put it in the correct way, because if not, the holes aren't going to line up and it's not going to work. What I do is once I've done the C fold, I put it up, it feels like it's popped open. Then this thing right here, this little tail is supposed to be dangling out of you. I promise you don't feel it. But it's supposed to dangle out of you because it helps with removing it and checking on it. So I pull on the bottom and you can tell when it suctions. It's not really a big question like, "Oh, is it working?" You can feel it because it's a feeling you've probably never felt before of something being suctioned inside of you and you pull on it, and it's very tight and taut I guess. If it's not secure, it will slide down the walls of the vagina and it will move. You can probably push it up, push it down.

If it feels like it's moving, what I tend to do is if I pull it down too far because it's moving, I push it right back up with my finger And then I gently wiggle it. I don't try to pull it down, I wiggle it around. Some people twist it around like this until it feels like it can't move very much at all. Once it's in there, it catches all the blood. So if you are inserting your cup and you wear it and you realize that you're having leaks, it's possible it's because your cervix is located at a specific location to where your menstrual cup is too big or too small or too high and then it's letting blood fall through. It's really hard to explain. Here's a diagram to show you because it makes more sense. I'm not really a doctor, this makes more sense when I look at it. And again, it's hard to tell. But I haven't had any problems with this, I haven't had to measure my cervix, it just works for me.

I'm a standard tampon wearer, I don't have a super heavy flood, I don't have a super light flow, it's in between. So if you have a special case, then you really want to look it up for yourself and find the right cup for you. But there are so many different options and so many different ways you can figure out what size is right for you with the right resources. Okay. So now that the cup is inside of you, you can leave it in for 12 hours. Which is so cool because if you guys wear tampons, you know that horrifying thing of, "Oh my God, I left my tampon in for eight, 10, 12 hours. Oh my God, I'm going to die. I'm going to get toxic shock syndrome that everybody warned me about, and that everything said on the tampon packaging and I'm going to die right now." You don't have that. You don't have that fear because you can leave it in all night long, you can sleep for 12 hours. You can hang out for 12 hours.

You can put it in, in the morning and leave it in the entire day and you don't have to worry about dying, which is great. From what I've found, only one person has had a problem with toxic shock syndrome using a menstrual cup. So based off of that evidence, it is a lot, a lot safer than a tampon. Which is so great because I'm sure you guys all know the fear. I'm sure you know. Anyway, you've left it in, you think it might be full, or you want to check it, or it's about to be bedtime, or whatever, you want to change it. So how do you take it out? So let's pretend like this bag is a vagina because it works. So I'm just going to put this cup inside of it because this will be a great demo. It is different for everyone, guys. You're going to have to work with yourself and give yourself some time and figure this out for yourself. But this is what works best for me, and what I have found most people on the internet say is best for them.

So it's up in your imaginary vagina and you have to pull it out. So if you pull on it like this, it's going to barely move. Because again, it's suctioned, so it's not supposed to move. So what you have to do is push on your stomach muscles like you are taking a dump and push, and push, and pull at the same time. And as you're doing that, it should come out enough to where it's right here. It's going to feel weird because this cup is pretty big so it's going to stretch out your vagina a little bit. But guys, we are made to give birth with these things. Babies' heads are supposed to fit through this. It stretches so much. So don't worry about the little bit of stretch that's happening right now, it's very normal. It's going to go right back into where it was before. Don't worry about it. Once it's right here ... This is a little difficult because obviously this isn't a real vagina. You have to grab this, and squeeze it and break the suction. You will hear it, at least I do. Most people say they can hear it.

It's just like a gentle like, "Pshh." So you squeeze it and then you pull it out. I try to do it quickly because it doesn't hurt, but it can be a little uncomfortable pulling it out, especially when I'm using the bigger one. Really give yourself some time to get comfortable with the removing process because in my experience, that has been the most strange process for me. A thing that a lot of people ask me and a lot of people wonder is when you pull it out, does it just topple over and explode with blood? And honestly, I thought that was going to happen before I got one, because I hadn't used it before. But at least with the Saalt cup, this is a pretty stiff rubber it's very firm. So when you pull it out ... Like if I were to pull this like this, it doesn't fall. It's barely ... It's really hard to topple over. So no, it's not going to explode all over your hand, it's not going to tip over. You have to physically dump it out.

The cleaning process, once you pull it out can be a little bit messy because of the outside of the cup will have blood on it. It won't be a ton because it's only a little bit, but it will have a little bit of blood on it. So you're probably going to get a little bit on your fingers and you're going to have to be touching a dirty cup. So here's what I do. I pull it out. I generally pull it out either when I'm in the shower or on the toilet. And then I take toilet paper or a wipe and just wipe it down, or even place some toilet paper on the ground and just set it down on the ground just so I can finish my business. And then I get up, go to the sink and then I rinse the cup out and then I wash my hands. And then I usually wash the cup as well. You don't have to wash the cup every single time you take it out, you definitely need to rinse it. But I wash it every single time, just because I like to be clean.

I wash it with the Dial Gold Unscented antibacterial soap. I really think you need to use an antibacterial soap, something unscented for sure. Nothing fancy, it just needs to clean. So I take it to the sink and wash it out and wash my hands. And then it's totally good, and you can put it back in. A really, really, really good idea though, guys, is to do it in the shower. Taking it out in the shower and dumping it out, I don't recommend that. I recommend using the sink or the toilet to actually dump it out. But once it's dumped out, even if there's a little bit of blood on your hands or on the cup or whatever, take it into the shower when you're about to already take a shower and then you can just clean it and then clean your hands and then take a shower, set it down and then you can put it back in when you're really clean. And then you can get out of the shower and you don't have to worry about leaks.

Oh my gosh, I'm sure you guys know the fearful moment when you're getting out of the shower and you're bleeding and you know that you're going to drip everywhere, or you're going to ruin your rug or your towel or something like that. Oh my gosh, it's so stressful sprinting to get a tampon or pad. So you don't have that problem if you do it in the shower. I really, really recommend doing that. And then a question that people had was using it in public restrooms, is that hard, or confusing, or gross? If you can avoid using it in public restrooms ... I have not had to use any public restroom yet. Some people say that it is more annoying, but the beauty of the cup is that you leave it in for 12 hours. So if it's suctioned, right and you've gotten the right size for your period and everything like that, then you won't have a problem leaving them for 12 hours. And you can probably go to public restrooms and do everything and live your life, and you won't have to take it out until you get home.

However, if you are in a public restroom on a road trip or something like that and you absolutely have to take it out, then just keep wipes around you or use toilet paper to clean it off if you don't have wipes. Some people have like to-go spray that they use or whatever, I'm sure you can buy that too. Keep something with you to clean off your hands enough to go wash your hands so it's not everywhere when you're in the bathroom, and then to wipe off your cup so that you can put it back inside of you. Now I'm going to answer a couple questions just to make sure I didn't miss anything, and then I will be done. You guys had a lot of questions on Instagram. If you want to follow me and be involved in my next polls or questions that I have for my videos, definitely go follow me. But for now, here's what people said to me. A really big question was, "Does it hurt?" And in my experience, no. It doesn't hurt to put in, it doesn't hurt to take out.

It definitely can be uncomfortable because if you're used to wearing tampons, it's wider so it feels different than a tampon. However, once it's inside of you and you start living your life, you don't notice it at all. If you put it in correctly, you do not feel it at all. Even more than a tampon, it is so comfortable. I've been wearing tampons for years and I still had issues with comfort. And sometimes when the tip of the tampon is too low and you know that feeling where it feels like it's scraping your vagina. I don't have any problems like that anymore, and it's very comfortable. A lot of people ask, "Does it leak? And when you have a heavy flow, can you use it?" And the answer is, no, it doesn't leak if you do it right. Because if you put it in correctly, it has these little holes and it will suction. It will stay and nothing will get through. But if it's put in the wrong way, or if it's put into high, or if you're using the wrong size, you can have leaks.

Which is why I recommend when you're starting out using this to wear a pad or a liner for the first few days until you have no leaks. I wore one for three days and then I figured it out, so it didn't take me long. But definitely just wear one because sometimes when you put it in and you think it's in and you think you're fine, then you have leaks. And you're like, "Okay, maybe I need to do something different next time." So definitely just give yourself some time to figure it out. The last thing I want to mention is that some people get Thinx which are period underwear. Some people use those for their period entirely. So if you're a pad person and you want to switch to something zero waste, you can get Thinx and use those for your entire period. But I don't like that idea, I've never liked pads. So I'm thinking of getting Thinx just as a liner so I can wear it just in case so I don't have to buy any pads, or liners, or anything like that.

So that's a really good option, if you want to get a menstrual cup and a couple pairs of Thinx. A lot of people asked, "Do you have to change it every time you go to the bathroom? Or does it interfere with peeing or doing number two?" No, it does not. It should not. I guess if you're really constipated or something and you're pushing really hard, then it will move lower. I mean, I've heard some people had it come out because they were pushing really hard. In that case, I would suggest just putting your hand there and holding onto it if you're comfortable with that. But I would rather do that over if falling out into the toilet, or just take it out right before if you're really scared. It should not interfere with any of those things. And in my experience, it is so much more hygienic, oh my god, than a tampon string. Because you guys know you pee and it gets all over the tampon string, and it's disgusting. This thing is made of rubber, so it's not absorbing your pee and it's not getting everywhere and being disgusting.

So you can wipe it off super easily after going to the bathroom. So, no, it shouldn't interfere with anything. A really big question I got was, "Can you use this if you are a virgin?" And yes, if you're comfortable using tampons and those fit inside of you, you're totally fine. I know that there are different sizes. Like I said, this set that I got, it was a two pack, it came with a large and a small. This definitely would fit inside of a small vagina, it's very tiny. But there's ones that are even smaller than that. Anyone can use this, 100%. You just have to find the right cup for you. There are so many different brands with so many different styles and shapes, so you'll definitely be able to find one for yourself. Just look it up. Some people asked, "Is it going to get stuck? I'm scared it will be stuck inside of me forever." Not in my experience. I'll put my diagram up here again, just to reiterate. But the menstrual cup is not supposed to be really high in your vagina.

If you're comfortable reaching up and grabbing it, then you can put it a little bit higher depending on the height of your cervix like I said before. But it's supposed to be right at the base and this tail is supposed to stick out the bottom. So you're supposed to be able to grab it at any time and pull it out or at least reach up and grab it easily. If you do something weird or if you put it in wrong, then it's possible you'll put it in too high and it'll get stuck. But it's not likely. I do want to mention while I'm answering these questions, that there are some weird phenomenons that happen when people use menstrual cups. For example, some people experience less cramps. I know I have that experience and I know a lot of people that as well. If you get cramps from tampons, menstrual cups may give you less cramps or give you no cramps at all, which is awesome. And also something that happened with me is my period was like three days shorter, which is crazy.

I usually have like a 7-10 day period, and it was like five days or four days, which is unheard of for me. So that was really cool. I looked it up and apparently a lot of people have that experience too with short periods. So, okay. That's all the questions that I'm going to answer today. If you have more questions, look it up. There's doctors, and YouTubers, and people who talk about menstrual cups and how to do it properly. So educate yourself and do it right. You will not be let down, I promise. If you do it right, you will have the easiest period you have ever had, the least painful, possibly the shortest. It will just be the best experience, and not to mention you will be lowering your footprint greatly by not using any single use pads or tampons ever again. That's so cool. Okay, guys, I hope that you guys feel a little bit more educated and confident. And if you want to get a menstrual cup, I recommend the Saalt cup [sidenote: she hasn't tried the BeYou Menstrual Cup!]. But honestly guys, I haven't used a lot of other brands. I'm sure there are some really great brands out there.

So read the reviews, look it up for your own body and pick the best one for you. And please let me know if you try one out and your experience. Everyone who has used one who's talked to me about them has said that it's the best thing ever. I really, really, really recommend trying this out. Give yourself even a couple of different cycles. Give yourself like two, three periods to really try it out and get it right. And if you absolutely hate it, you can never use it again. But at least try it, give it a shot because I'm pretty sure it's going to change your life. Make sure to subscribe and turn on the notifications so you don't miss my twice a week videos and follow me on Instagram.

Leave a comment below if you've used a menstrual cup before, and maybe we can start a little discussion in the comments of how to use it, and what people do, and their preferences, and their favorite brands. If you have a specific situation and you use a specific brand for that situation, definitely comment and let people know so that they can find some help in the comments. Thank you guys so much for watching. Bye.

[sidenote: see... TOLD YOU it was an incredible video!!!]

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