Have you ever used such a menstrual cup? Is that useful?

menstrual cup

Do you know that moment when you arrive at work after a morning when nothing went as planned and then suddenly think, “Oh right, I have my period and nothing at all with me”? That happened to me slightly more often than the average woman because I have been described as forgetful. Fortunately, I have several very open-minded friends who also want to talk openly about everything. Suddenly, they spoke of something new to me: the menstrual cup. It is a kind of ‘cup’ or chalice made of soft plastic that you insert into your vagina to collect the blood you lose. 

I was triggered because they were delighted with the absence of leakage; it can last a little longer than a tampon. It is reusable, and you get a high return on investment. Because let’s be honest: all those hygiene products are expensive, and I find that very unfortunate because it should be a fundamental right.   

After a few YouTube videos about all possible folding techniques, which are very numerous on this subject, I went for it. Before insertion, I sterilized the cup by boiling it for 5 minutes. That is something I always do before and immediately after use. After a few hours of use, you can remove the menstrual cup from your vagina by pushing the cup down a little with your pelvic floor muscles and gently pulling on the “cord.” It sounds very complicated and a bit of a mess for beginners, but this is a piece of cake for an ‘experienced’ user.  

The first time is exciting, as with everything. I checked several times whether the cup was still in place and whether there was no leak at all, whether I still found it and it was not “lost.” I can tell you that I haven’t experienced a single leak in a year, and the cup never disappeared. However, it is recommended to choose a model with a ridge on the “cord.” In this way, you have just a little more grip when it is impossible to get it out with only your pelvic floor muscles. If this happens to you, it is important not to panic, because you can!  

The menstrual cup is not only gaining popularity within my group of friends. 

The Isala survey shows that one in four women already uses a menstrual cup. Sanitary towels (61%) are still the most popular hygiene product, followed by the tampon (56%). 

Our previous blog post about the ‘International Menstrual Hygiene Day‘ also mentions the most popular methods. It is not clear which method or combination is best for your health. Most likely, it is person dependent. The impact on the vaginal microbiome is also, still, an unexplored territory. 

Analysis of the microbiome data of our Isala participants showed that using a menstrual cup is positively associated with vaginal lactobacilli such as Lactobacillus crispatus, while using menstrual pads is less associated with these beneficial bacteria. So good news if you want to try out the cup!

5 answers

  1. Yes, I’ve been using this for over 2 years now, and it is life changing. Never worrying about needing to go to the bathroom to change (depends from person to person). Did have an accident at home once, made a funny move and the cup seal broke. It can happen but I’m so much more at ease and even forget about having my period most of the time.

  2. Sí, la primer vez que la utilicé me dolía, no me dolía al meterla y acomodarla, me dolía el cérvix y pienso que el útero, sólo me dolió el primer día, en los siguientes ciclos no me dolió pero me es difícil romper el vacío

  3. Yes! I started with the Keeper in 2002 and have used the Diva Cup since 2009. It can be a challenge to navigate emptying the menstrual cup in public bathrooms, but taking a damp paper towel into the stall with me makes cleanup of the cup and my fingers easier.

  4. I have used it in the past but not anymore. I found it difficult to change when you’re not home (I don´t recommend changing it in a bar or public toilets, I like having a sink in close proximity, etc.). Moreover, inserting it is not always successful for me on first try so I don’t like it. It’s nice to know you’re safe from leakage though. And it’s also ecological. Just not my solution.

  5. I have used it for 3 years! The first three months were hard, but now, it’s the only product I want to use all my life. For me, it’s very convenient, the last three days of my period, is like I have nothing (because I change it every 10 hours). But still, a menstrual product that is convenient for some of us.

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Isala wants to break the taboo around vaginal health. That’s why all our research kits contain great conversation starters  (also online available). Use these cards as inspiration for interesting chats with friends and family, and find out how much there is to say about vaginal health.

You can also start a conversation online by clicking on a question and adding your response. You can do it anonymously – your first name is fine. The Isala researchers will answer your question. This way, we can increase knowledge about the female microbiome and break the taboo together. That’s our dream at Isala. Feel free to add comments and ask questions – let’s start the conversation together!