You may all know that I have chosen to opt for a menstrual cup to take care of all things period related each month, and that's a decision that hasn't come easily. It's stemmed (no pun intended) from a pure fear of tampons - and grown to me being an ambassador, convincing friends, family, and any women that I meet in life to give the little plastic marvels at least a go. I often wish that I have known they were an option as a thirteen year old struggling with heavy periods that really weren't suitable to me using pads, and so I thought I'd share some wisdom with those of you dubious to start.
You have to change them less. On the whole, anyway - because they don't tend to leak, they don't really feel uncomfortable as you bleed more or less, and they can hold a lot more than a pad (and arguably, just as much as a tampon). This means that I often only change mine two or three times a day, which is neither here nor there at home, but means I don't have to worry too much about finding a stall with a sanitary disposal bin when I'm at uni - which is something Chester really needs to step itself up on, but nevertheless it's good to not need them at all.
They're much more eco friendly. No chucking waste and plastic into the sea or into landfills! One will last you much longer! Save the whales, bees, planet etc. etc. Seriously though, this alone would probably be enough to help convince me make the move if I haven't already fallen in love with a good Divacup, but I do thing that it's not something to be brushed over because a huge selling point of a menstrual cup comes from the sheer lack of waste.
You don't need to carry tons of stuff around with you. Gone of the days of trying to work out how many pads that I'd need in the day so I didn't have to carry more than necessary, gone are the days of rationing them so I didn't run out if I'd calculated wrong. Instead, I just have a handy little bag with the cup inside, and when I need to change it, whip it out, clean it and pop it back in. Easy as pie, and no rustling plastic in the toilet making it sound like you're eating a packet of Walkers on the sly (something that never bothered me, but advertising leads me to believe this is an issue for women everywhere).
This isn't a propaganda post, though, so it's worth noting that if you're buying a cup they come in tons of different firmnesses, and tons of different sizes. It's taken a solid six cups to find the one that I feel most comfortable with, and it's been a trial and error type affair. Additionally, it's worth noting that these are expensive and there's very little in the way of choice in physical shops; lest we never forget the day that I forgot my cup and had to shell out £20 for a bloody mooncup in Manchester Piccadilly Boots.
So that's the first installment of menstrual cup 101, please do leave anything else in the comments!