Menstrual cups: are they a good fit?

670px-Chasha-tcvet2_834By Anonymous

As a licensed physical therapist, I am required to take continuing education classes, but as a licensed PT who specializes in pelvic floor, my courses are a little different. We all learn from practice and experiences in class, and many of my courses involve internal work on the pelvic floor muscles.

Of course I am well aware when I sign up for the courses what I’ve gotten myself into! However, I don’t always plan my courses around my menstrual cycle.

This particular course was a Friday-Sunday weekend course. Thursday before the course, I began menstruating. So, I knew I could still participate in the class; however, I had heavy bleeding and was not thrilled about internal work to say the least.

At the beginning of class, the instructor mentioned that anyone on her period was welcome to come up to get a menstrual cup. Although I’ve heard of menstrual cups and Beyond Basics has been given samples, I was hesitant and never inclined to try them out myself.  BUT it was menstrual cup vs. menstrual blood all over during the lab. I opted to try the cup!

Inserting was interesting. For those who have used tampons without the applicator, almost the same experience, but you have to squeeze the sides of the cup together. It took more than one try to figure out the best approach, also reading directions before hand is probably helpful (whoops).

Getting the cup out was the FUN part! I was sitting on the toilet in my hotel room at the end of the day and essentially fishing for the cup…COULD NOT GET IT OUT. So, I stood up, straddled the toilet and re-attempted. I could feel it, just couldn’t get a grip on it – so I added in some diaphragmatic breaths with a pelvic floor drop and Eureka! I got it out…and thank goodness I was over the toilet. What a mess…

Overall assessment!

Pro: I was able to keep the cup in for about 8 hours without any issues of leaking on a heavy flow day. I also did not feel it at all, so much more comfortable than tampons or wearing a pad!

Con: Insertion and removal. Insertion really was not that bad, but removal is tricky. I would say you have to be in a private bathroom at the very least and really relax your muscles.  I also think a menstrual cup may not be the best choice for someone with pelvic/vaginal pain, because it may irritate some of the muscles of your pelvic floor.

Would I use a menstrual cup again? I honestly don’t know.

There are several brands out there. The one I used was Soft Cup. It may be interesting to try out different brands. Just realized how many there are when I stumbled across this Menstrual Cup review website!

Take a look http://menstrualcupreviews.net/

And feel free to share your thoughts or experience in the comments section!

Photo: http://www.wikihow.com

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