I’ve never related to a statement more in my life than this golden quote from Mean Girls: “I can’t help if I have a heavy flow and a wide-set vagina.” While I can’t distinguish my vagina as being “wide-set,” I, indeed, do have a heavy flow. Why am I giving you, my dear readers, this hefty (pun intended) tidbit of information about my menstrual cycle? Because—let’s be real here—the majority of us have this issue, which leads us to whip out the heavy artillery: super tampons.
Which leads us to another concern: tampons in and of themselves. On top of being expensive items to buy month after month, they’re also riddled with toxins like rayon (which is the main culprit of Toxic Shock Syndrome), and those plastic applicators are definitely not doing our environment any favors. Sure, there are organic tampons, bulky pads, even period panties for our free-bleeding friends, but though they do tackle a few of our problems, I am a dead-broke woman in need of an inexpensive, environmentally-friendly option.
The only option left: menstrual cups.
At first, I was completely turned off to the idea of using a silicone cup. My mind rambled on with questions: How can you clean it discreetly? How do you even put it in, or take it out? But, my eco-friendly peers have preached the wonders of the menstrual cup to me time and time again, so I decided there wouldn’t be any harm in trying this out.
But, if I were to do this, I wasn’t going to use any mere menstrual cup. My dear friend Marisa opened my eyes to the wonders of the FLEX Cup, a menstrual cup that comes in two sizes, and has a tampon-like cord to pull it out with ease. It’s basically the perfect cup to transition from tampons, and I was sold. So, I got my hands on these bad boys, and went to work.
Disclaimer: I started using the FLEX Cup on the second day of my period for two reasons: a) I have extremely painful cramps on my first day, so shoving a menstrual cup up my cooch was an absolute no-no for me; 2) the second day is my heaviest day, so this is a tried and true testament to its alleged no-leak power.
View this post on Instagram
Because everyone’s different, and every day is too! Most periods last 3-7 days long with your flow varying over the course of it. From heavy to light followed by some spotting, don’t be alarmed if by day 4 she rears her ugly head again! How well can you predict your period? ❤️ Thanks to @radillustrates for the period pie. #HeyGirlsUK #MyPeriod #PeriodEducation #PeriodTalk #BuyOneGiveOne #ShopSocial #PeriodArt #MenstrualEquality #MenstrualCycle
Though FLEX recommends first-time users to use their smaller-sized Slim Fit cup first, I used the Full Fit for this day, because, ya’ know, I needed the reinforcement. As I descended to the bathroom with my little black cup, I wondered: how the f*ck do I put this in? Well, it was actually quite easy: just fold it into a “U”-shape, insert, and you’re good to go (if you need a visual, I can’t provide that for you, but FLEX has a SFW one here). It took me about 10 seconds to do, and I was pretty surprised at how easy it was to use.
At first, it felt… weird. Maybe it was my subconscious mind knowing that there was a literal cup inside of me, or maybe I should’ve stuck to the smaller size for the first time, but it was a tad uncomfortable in the first few moments. But, as I went on to get ready for the day, I almost completely forgot that I was using it until my reminder went off to check on it.
While FLEX says you can wear the cup for a full 12 hours, I decided to wear it for eight. TMI: I was expecting the equivalent of the elevator scene from The Shining to happen. But, once I pulled on the string, the impossible happened: there was barely anything there. To put in perspective: I usually change my tampon about four times during the heaviest days of my period, and I only had to do it once with my FLEX cup. Could it be that our tampons are deceiving us?
I followed the cleaning steps (rinse in warm water for 20 seconds, then re-insert), and went to my next test: sleeping. Usually, pads are my designated menstrual option during slumber, but I decided to stick to my guns (or, more fittingly, my cup), and doze off. I did my usual pre-sleep period ritual: put on a nighttime face mask (for those of you wondering, I use the Youth To The People Superberry Hydrate and Glow Dream Mask), smoked my weed oil pen, and binge The Eric Andre Show until I passed out.
Yet again, when I expected a messy situation on my white Brooklinen bed sheets, I had not a single mark on my bed. Lo and behold: the FLEX cup’s magic is nocturnal! So, did the step-and-repeat cleaning process (yet again, minimal amount of blood), and went on with my day.
Usually, my period lasts for a full six days, but when using the FLEX Fit Cup, it was completely done by day four. How could this be? I genuinely have no clue, but hey, I’ll sign up for shorter periods any day. Once my period was done, I deep-cleaned it with Dial soap, and stored it away in a little plastic bag for next month. Easy, peasy, right?
So, the verdict: I’m a full convert to the power of a menstrual cup. All of my worries of a bloody mess, complicated insertions, and malfunctions were nothing but myth after my trial-run with this miracle menstrual savior. It’s better for me, better for Mother Earth, so in the wise words of Hillary Duff: why not take a crazy chance?