Dear Menstrual Cup: Sorry, But We're Breaking Up For Good

Despite how trendy you become or how much other women praise you, menstrual cups just aren’t for everybody.

We are over. Done. Finished. Finito. 

And not just because my period is ending. This time I mean it for good. I wish I could say, "It's not you, it's me," but that isn't true. 

It's you. It's definitely you. 

I tried you on for size years ago, back when the only people wearing menstrual cups were the same kind of crunchy ladies buying organic bananas before it was trendy, the kind of ladies who decorated their homes with dream catchers and wind chimes and let their gray hair grow wild with zero fucks given. At the time, I tried to befriend you. I liked trying new things, and I liked the idea of never having to buy tampons again. I read a scary article about how many chemicals were in women’s feminine products and decided to explore less toxic options. First, I tried your stubborn cousin — organic tampons —the ones with no harsh chemicals like bleach. But, I am sorry to say, they just don’t work for heavy bleeding ladies who are prone to waking up like victims in their own crime scenes. 

That’s when I bit the bullet and shelled out 30 bucks for you at my local co-op. I tried you for a few cycles, but we never really seemed to connect. Either you leaked, and I was left with period stained panties, or the pressure on my bladder was too intense for me to bear. I eventually ended up cheating on you with my one tried and true, my ride or die — Kotex Reg. I carried on with Kotex for another five years, no harm no foul. 

Honestly, I didn’t even think of you once. That’s how little of an impression you left upon me. 

 

Despite how trendy you become or how much other women praise you, menstrual cups just aren’t for everybody, especially if your body happens to contain a deep narrow abyss like mine. And guess what? That's okay. 

 

That is until I recently walked into the kitchen I share with my roommate/best friend. My friend was boiling something on the stove. It was too early for pasta, so I asked her what the hell she was cooking. 

“I’m boiling my cup, my period started.”  

“Your WHAT?” 

“My menstrual cup. You have to boil it before each cycle to reduce infections.” 

I was slightly disgusted that she was using our pasta pot to boil the infection out of her silicon period catcher but also slightly intrigued. 

“Maybe I’ll try the cup again,” I pondered out loud, “I tried it years ago but didn’t like it. Perhaps they’ve improved the engineering.” 

 

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For once, I was actually excited to get my period so I could try you out again. The excitement came and went, however, when I struggled with putting you in. I tried the taco fold which felt more like shoving a plastic chew toy up my ya-ya. I still didn’t like the slight pressure I felt on my lower abdomen, but eventually I got used to you. 

I decided that my new period routine would be to use you for the first two “heavy flow” days and then to use my Thinx period panties for the remaining three lighter days. I felt confident about my new environmentally friendly, chemical-free menstrual routine despite the fact that the toilet is located in a separate room from the bathroom, which meant I had to be very strategic when I decided to take you out. 

Last night was the night that changed everything. I had just finished a Peaceful Warrior Yoga sesh with my homegirl Adrienne when I went to the bathroom to remove you. I stuck my index finger inside expecting to feel the silicon nub that would allow me to set you free. Instead, I just felt the warm, cavernous walls of my vagina. In fact, you were nowhere to be found. Of course, I did the one thing that you are not supposed to do when you can’t find your menstrual cup — I panicked. I tried squatting so that fishing you out would be easier. Still nothing. I decided to move to my bedroom where I had more space, grabbing a towel in case things got messy. I removed my pants and underwear and squatted over my full-length mirror. Nothing. I inserted my finger again hoping that I would make contact. That’s when I felt your tail. But it was so far up that I could not manage to grab hold of it with my thumb and finger. 

I Googled “what to do when your menstrual cup is stuck.”

I imagined having to yell for my friend to help me give birth to my cup. She’d once helped me dig a splinter out of my foot, this was the same thing, right? 

I imagined having to explain this to my gynecologist tomorrow.

I cursed the fact that I had to even think about this right now. 

I suddenly became a militant feminist. “Periods are such a drag man, and you dudes with your dangling balls have no freaking idea. Fuck men, seriously.”

I vowed that once you came out, I would never, ever, insert you again. 

I squatted down and pushed as if I was giving birth while at the same time pulling on your tail’s tip, trying to loosen your death grip on my cervix. “You are coming out mister, RIGHT THIS MINUTE.” 

Finally, I got you free. 

As happy as I am that you, a parasite, are now out of my body, I’m also very disappointed that it didn’t work out. I was looking forward to sharing the news about you with my other feminist friends.

Instead, I’m sharing this letter as a warning. 

Despite how trendy you become or how much other women praise you, menstrual cups just aren’t for everybody, especially if your body happens to contain a deep, narrow abyss like mine. And guess what? That's okay. 

From this day forward I vow never to let any wide-mouthed, suction lipped, foreign object near my sacred saccharine peach again. Unless he buys me dinner first.


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