So this is part of a series of posts that are going to be very TMI.
**WARNING: If you’re grossed out by the things things like menstrual blood and such, I highly recommend moving on to different posts. **
This particular post was written last month, April 2014.
I’d decided to try the Lunette menstrual cup. I like the idea of not having to go out and buy a bunch of tampons, heavy pads, and liners every month. Really, women should get some kind of monthly allowance/credit to help offset the costs of feminine hygiene products. Seriously.
I’d tried the Instead cup before and that was just a big mess so I wasn’t sure if I’d give another menstrual cup a try. But, since my local natural food store was having an awesome sale and Lunette was included and the reviews I’d read were favorable, I thought I could give it a go.
Lunette has two different cups sizes — 1 or 2. I went with #2 since I’m an adult woman who has a heavy flow (it’s the darn pill that I’m on. I swear, on heavy days, it looks like I’ve killed something). If you go to the Lunette site, it’ll explain in more detail about sizing and choosing the size that works for you.
The packaging is super cute and simple. I’m a sucker for nice packaging. When you open it up, you find the cup laying on top of the cute storage pouch and instructions. I picked it up to inspect further. First off, it’s definitely very different from the Instead cup, which is much wider and shallower. Instead is also a cup the goes deeper inside the body, designed to fit just under the cervix, which is why it’s much more flexible than Lunette. Lunette is a little firmer than I’d expected. I think I expected it to be a little thinner as well. Though I understand why it’s thicker and firmer silicone. Lunette sits in the lower vagina, which is lower than a tampon or Instead cup. Lunette depends on the muscles of the vaginal wall to hold it into place while the ring forms a seal with the vaginal wall so leaking is not an issue.
**What follows is what happened during my first go-round**
So a little tricky to insert when trying not to worry about getting blood everywhere. It slipped once or twice and popped open while trying to insert so had to “fold” it back up and keep trying. Once I got it a little bit in, it was easier to guide the rest of the way, which really wasn’t that much farther.
I felt around with a finger to make sure that it felt like it was in place properly and a seal was formed. Used a liner cuz I was still a little paranoid. Definitely didn’t need blood seeping thru my pants while I was runnings errands if it hadn’t formed a good “seal”.
I liked that I didn’t have to change out 3 or 4 tampons in the 12 hours that I’d worn it. I suspect I won’t be as paranoid as I get more comfortable with inserting it.
I pushed off removal/emptying as long as I could. Almost did it earlier in the night but then thought I’d have to remove/empty before bed, so thought, “Why not hit the 12 hour mark?”, which is the maximum time between emptying’s recommended by the manufacturer anyway
Now, this was tricky and a bit difficult. The thoughts running thru my mind included, “How to remove. And how to do it without making a big mess and spilling blood a over myself. Which way do I reach? Go thru my legs from the top as I sit on the toilet? From the back as if I were wiping front to back?”
Oh, I tried both ways and right now, I cannot for the life of me remember which way I ended up going with since I’d spent a good amount of time trying both.
I tugged a little on the grooved tab. Then remembered the instructions saying I shouldn’t pull on that as a way to remove. I’m suppose to squeeze and tug the grooved bottom of the cup, then rock it back and forth until I hear or feel the suction release. Weird, huh?
Hmmm… Lemme get a good hold on that bottom bit. Ummm… I can’t seem to get a good grip with my fingertips. It’s not often that I go digging around in my vagina for something like this. Little awkward. Lemme try it from the front. Hmm… No… How about from the back…. Kind of… Just pinch and squeeze the bottom. Leg is shaking. How long have I been at this?? Ugh. Just grab it. Pinch and squeeze. Don’t spill anything! Don’t grab with the nails! The instructions say to be careful about scratching/ tearing the silicone with the fingernails. What did I get myself into? How am I suppose to get this damn thing out?! Maybe if I bear down a little with my pelvic muscles, it’ll help push the cup out a little more so that I can get a better grip on this thing.
Push down… All right. Almost there… Just squeeze, break the suction seal, and pull out.
Got that baby out FINALLY.
Didn’t spill anything on myself. Lemme just dump the contents into the toilet. Wow. That much?”
I couldn’t even be bother to check out how much collected in the cup since the hash marks on the cup are meant for that reason. I was just ecstatic to get it out.
Okay, back to the tampon for now. I need to collect myself and decide how I feel… Will I give it another shot or will I just give up and call it a lost cause? But if I give up, I’ll have wasted my money. A menstrual cup is not something you can Freecycle, no matter how many times you boil it, ya know? That would be kinda gross.