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my body & the menstrual cup



Have you ever used a menstrual cup? It is a reusable silicone cup worn in the vagina during menstruation that catches menstrual blood inside the vagina. I’ve recently changed the sanitary product I use from pads to menstrual cups, so I’ll share what I felt and what I learned about my body.


The main reason why I changed sanitary products from pads to menstrual cups was that pads were not breathable and moisture irritated my skin around the genitals. When I was living with my family in Japan, I used the pads that my mother bought. But I started living alone six months ago in Finland, and I started to buy sanitary products by myself. I was curious about menstrual cups for a long time, but I never considered it as an option because I had never used products that went in my vagina and had some fears as well as a lack of knowledge. However, since watching Youtube videos by the user Shiorine, a sex education expert, I started to see tampons and menstrual cups as an actual option.


So, I bought a menstrual cup and a special cleanser for it at a department store, and tried to use the cup. However, I faced various challenges and I almost gave up using it many times. Firstly, I couldn’t put the cup in my vagina. I had never put anything in the vagina before, and didn’t even know where my vaginal opening is. It made me realize that I’ve never touched my vagina before even though it’s a part of my body. Maybe I subconsciously thought that it wasn’t right to touch my vagina.


So as a first step, I looked at a website to learn about the position of the external genitalia to make sure I knew the location of my vaginal opening. Then, I practiced putting my index finger into my vagina. I made a few new discoveries to my body doing this. I found that although the opening is narrow, there is a space deeper inside where the cup can rest. Also, I used to think that the vaginal canal extended directly upwards, but in fact, it bends towards the buttocks side. When I was inserting the cup the first couple of times, I felt reluctant to put my finger into my vagina while it was bleeding and wanted to quit many times. But now, I’m so glad that it gave me an opportunity to learn more about my body.


Another difficulty I faced was putting the cup in and taking it out. It is necessary to insert the cup in the folded state and opening it up inside. It is totally different from just putting your finger in your vagina. When taking it out, you need to push and put pressure around your uterus to move the cup to the lower part of the vaginal canal, then release the vacuum in the cup with your fingers, and take the cup out while folding it in the vagina. When I wasn’t used to it, I struggled to fold the cup, and I had some painful experiences from accidentally opening the cup too close to the vaginal opening. I also experienced spilling my blood on the floor, and I got anxious wondering if I was doing things correctly.


It’s been about three months since I first used the menstrual cup, and I feel like I have gotten the hang of it. Once I was able to get used to it, menstruating became so care-free that I almost forgot that I have a menstrual cup in my body. I can now spend my days with menstruation in the same way I spend my days without menstruation. I have been enjoying the fact that I only need to empty the cup every 6 to 12 hours (this will depend on the cup and the amount of blood) and how it’s so clean since the genital area doesn’t touch any blood. Plus, it’s eco-friendly and economical because this product is reusable! What’s even more is that I can easily notice changes in my menstruation because I can see at a glance how much blood is coming out since the cup has scale markings. I can also see its color, consistency, and viscosity of the blood while pouring out.


Even when I go to bed at night, I keep the cup in my vagina. I don’t have to worry about leaks when I roll over because the cup fits into my vagina and doesn’t shift around like pads. But of course, it sometimes leaks when the cup doesn’t open properly in the vagina or if it’s a heavy day. So when I’m worried about leaks, I wear a thin pad or pantyliner. When the cup is full, the blood will gradually leak out but not all at once. You can also exercise without worrying about a shifting pad, and you can even swim with it in. In a swimsuit, there is also no need to worry about the string coming out unlike tampons.


As I wrote, I was so anxious and about to give up using the menstrual cup in the beginning. However, after taking the time to learn about my body and practicing a lot, I felt that it was a great option for me that reduces issues I had menstruating such as irritation in the genital area. And also I was able to learn about my menstruation and body even more than before. So I am glad I tried it out!

使い方などは、各月経カップのメーカーがWEBサイトなどで公表しているので、ぜひチェックしてみてね :) ちなみに私が使っているのはOrganiCupという月経カップ。透明でより経血が見やすいのに加えて、会社の理念や実際に行なっている事業に共感したので、このメーカーを選んだ。他にもメルーナRoseCupSckoonCupなど、たくさんの種類があるので自分の体にあった月経カップを選ぶことができるよ。

You can check how to use the menstrual cup on the websites of the respective menstrual cup companies. By the way, I currently use the menstrual cup from OrganiCup because it is transparent and easier to see the menstrual blood. I also sympathized with the company’s philosophy and their business. There are many brands of menstrual cups such as Me Luna, RoseCup, and SckoonCup, so you can choose the menstrual cup that best suits your body.


When do you think of your own body?

Images by Akari

Edited by Kiara and Hikari

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