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Four women share what it’s like to use menstrual cups; plus how you can make the switch

By SAAB LARIOSA Published Mar 23, 2021 8:32 am

If you’re a woman who have been lingering around the Internet long enough, you might have heard about menstrual cups (MC).

Made out of silicone or latex rubber material, MCs are small and flexible funnel-shaped cups designed to be inserted inside one’s vagina to catch blood and other fluids during their period.

Though the reaction might be apprehensive at first, menstrual cups can be a viable and sustainable alternative for people who want to leave behind the traditional ways of handling their period. But just like any health decision thought, it ought to be made with utmost thought and research.

PhilSTAR L!fe caught up with four women to share with us their experience with menstrual cups. Plus, we list down the 101s on MCs before you make that bloody switch!

Allyssa Bañares
Aspiring user

Allyssa is set to start her MC journey this year, but like many, she’s yet to make the leap into the unknown.

Why do you want to start using menstrual cups?

I’ve been itching to try menstrual cups for a while now; not only due to the fact that it’ll cut expenditures every month, but it’s also a huge step towards waste reduction especially since I’m a heavy bleeder who uses 3-4 napkins a day. Imagine the truckload of waste I consume if I continue to go for pads for the rest of my bleeding years.

Do you have any tips or advice for women who also want to use MCs?

The most important step for me in every choice I make is planning and research. It’s also wise to read a lot of reviews and stories of women who have made the switch to grasp a better idea of what you will purchase especially since there are a lot of menstrual cups to choose from. I know it may get scary at first, but I’m sure there are a lot of women who are willing to give you their support every step of the way.

Marian Gaston
1 cycle

Marian just started her MC journey during her last cycle, as she’s still on the look-out for that elusive “Goldilocks” cup -  you know, just right

What made you make the switch?

Initially, for sustainability. I’ve gotten more mindful of waste consumption and adding sanitary napkins to that picture makes matters worse. Now with more experience, another pro to it is that I can be hands-on (literally) and closely monitor the quality and quantity of my menses. It feels empowering to have a new sense body awareness.

Learning your cervix height is usually the main factor to consider but it’s possible you could go through trial and error, looking for the perfect cup.

Do you have any tips or advice for women who want to use MCs in the future?

There’s not one perfect cup—we all have unique anatomies and lifestyles. Learning your cervix height is usually the main factor to consider but it’s possible you could go through trial and error, looking for the perfect cup. Also, reach out to fellow MC users with similar concerns as yours.

Maia Dapul
4 Cycles

The pandemic was a big factor for Maia’s switch, as she’s now spent four periods adjusting and having a healthier outlook on
her periods.

What made you make the switch?

I only made the switch in December because of a podcast I was listening to, where the female hosts casually talked about their menstrual cup experiences the whole time. It was great! Nakatulong yung destigmatization ng topic, kaya naganahan ako magpalit.

Do you have any tips or advice for women who want to use MCs in the future?

The learning curve is tough, so it's best to make the switch when you know you'll mostly be at home. But sobrang worth it to make the switch! You waste way less and develop a healthier relationship with your menstrual cycle when you switch to a menstrual cup. I also have menorrhagia (very heavy flows; twice/thrice the usual amount) which is another reason why I didn't want to make the switch as early as I could've. I still experience leakage regularly while using a cup, but I double up na lang with washable pads kasi the pros of using reusable stuff still outweigh the cons.

Sabrina "Bina" Basilio
12 cycles

As a long-time MC user, Bina believes that research and personal stories are still key to finding the right fit.

What made you make the switch?

I first considered the switch when one of my friends starting telling me about the many conveniences of the product, but it hadn't caught on in the public market yet so I was a bit apprehensive. When I started getting a lot of affirming ads and more testimonials started popping up on my timeline, I finally made the switch.

It’s kind of like finding a partner compatible with you and your specific needs.

 

Do you have any tips or advice for women who want to use MCs in the future?

Switching to the cup is one of the best decisions I've ever made for my body. But do remember that it takes time to find the right cup size and brand for you, kind of like finding a partner compatible with you and your specific needs. It's helpful to do a lot of research beforehand on different cup sizes and maintenance.  I've personally found it helpful and reassuring to read up on personal anecdotes and ask friends to see genuine and detailed responses and reviews of the product!

If you still have some doubts, here's some basic menstrual cup FAQs: 

When can I start?

Convinced yet? If you’re keen on trying a menstrual cup for yourself, it’s best to talk with your gynecologist first, as cervix size, period flow, and age are important factors in finding the right fit for you. Your doctor may also prescribe a certain method whether or not you’ve given birth vaginally. 

Does it affect virginity?

No. The only time you lose your virginity is when you have sex. The hymen can "break" or stretch from using a menstrual cup, as can a tampon. It can also be stretched from doing physical activities such as yoga, dancing, riding a bike, etc. 

That said, anyone can use a menstrual cup—including virgins. And as mentioned above, you just have to choose the right product that will cater to your needs. And remember, be slow and gentle in inserting the MC and don't do it by force.

How should it be cleaned?

In order to clean the cup, you just need to run warm water and a gentle cleanser over it when you’re still reusing during periods. Once your cycle is over, experts recommend sterilizing it by rinsing thoroughly, then boiling it for a few minutes.

How can I put it on?

There are a number of ways you can fold the cup to fit you comfortably, such as folding it up in a C or U shape, then waiting for it to unfold once inside the cervix. This in-depth instructional video shows how to shape it best.

Where can I buy one?

Once you've consulted your doctor and researched the right fit for you, these local shops sell menstrual cups that may just be your long-awaited Goldilocks.

Sinaya, P1,199 full set

Sati, P630 (MC only); P809 (full set)

Aunt Flo, P600 (MC only); P995 (full set)

Comfort Cup, P719

Bulan Cup, P940

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Bebu Cup, P850

Photos courtesy of the subjects