A guest post by Jaime Barton
OK, so this is clearly a blog that is for the mamas out there. I need to start this with a disclaimer. My period grosses me out. I can handle nasty poop, vomit and spit-up, coxsackie virus blisters, and what-have-you, but when it comes to my own cycle all I can say is ick. I hate that I bleed: the odor, the sight, the feel…it’s just freakin nasty. Not to mention, my cycle has never been my friend. Without some form of hormonal birth control, I’m so irregular that it isn’t funny and I bleed heavily. I could soak through a box of pads or tampons in a day, that’s how bad it is. Then I could go many months without a period. When it comes to birth control pills, I forget to take it and get myself more irregular. When it comes to birth control like nuvaring or the patch, I get migraines. So after becoming a mommy, I got Mirena put in so that I don’t even have to think about it and it is localized to my “down there region” and I don’t get migraines. It is a wonderful thing.
Anyway, all that aside, let’s talk feminine products. I may be a cloth diapering mama, but mama cloth grosses me out. As I said, I cannot handle my period, so I cannot handle dealing with and washing cloth pads….big EWWWWWW! For those who can use mama cloth, that’s awesome. What can I say? I’m weird. But I do have an issue with pads and tampons. OK here is the deal with pads. Only Always brand works for me with no leaks, but I get nasty rashes. They chafe me and I get itchy red dots everywhere the darn pads touch. The more natural disposable pads fall apart when I wear them because I forget to change them often enough. There is a problem with tampons too. When I put them in, I itch down below, always get a yeast infection, and after awhile they slip out so I leak. I’ve ruined many a nice pair of underwear while wearing tampons. Not only that, but I have a confession. I can be a moron when it comes to tampons. On more than one occasion, I’ve forgotten that I have one in and inserted a second one. Then I’ve been in pain from having in 2 and needed to get them removed…by a professional.
This month, I decided to try something new. I wanted to try a menstrual cup which sits near the cervix and collects the blood in it, rather than absorbing the way a tampon does. A big plus to a menstrual cup is that there is no risk of TSS as there is with tampons! There are reusables on the market, such as a Diva Cup but my period may eventually go away with Mirena, plus I don’t want to wash one because that’s just not for me. So after recommendations from You ARE Loved (@youarelovedTSS on Twitter), I found a store near me that sells the Instead Softcup and ran there to buy it.
Here is what the Softcup looks like:
Basically, you insert it the way that you insert Nuvaring, by squeezing it in half between to fingers and inserting it up high in yourself, then you hook it under the pubic bone. It’s very easy to do.
This is how to sqeeze it for insertion:
Then it lasts for up to 12 hours! I wore one for the first time last night, didn’t feel it at all (no itching) and didn’t leak at all in bed!!! That is a first. Taking it out was more of a challenge, because I clenched when I went to pull it out but I know it isn’t hard to remove because you do it just like you do the nuvaring, which I did use years ago. I did change it a second time with no difficulty removing the softcup. Basically it is important to relax so that it slides right out. I was scared of spilling both times, but no such thing occurred.
I actually attended a pool party today wearing the Instead Softcup. Yes, I was a little nervous without knowing what would happen but it did the same thing that it did before: collected the blood with no leakage. I did laps in the pool, played with J both in and out of the water, and had a great time. It was nice not having to worry about a tampon falling out of my special place while in the water and causing a blood ring around myself in the pool (yes, it has happened in the past).
Will I keep using this for every single period? Absolutely!
A pack of 12 is $10 at the local store; not cheap but a pack should last for my entire period and the pay-off for me is no chafing, rash, yeast infection, or leaking.
Jaime Barton is blessed to be married to the love of her life. After almost 2 years of marriage, she and her husband became parents to J, the light of their lives. When Jaime took an earth science class after being a mom for just 8 months, she converted from disposable diapers to cloth diapers. Then, a few months ago, she started looking into alternatives to disposable pads and tampons. Besides being a green parent, she is in college, majoring in elementary education. Jaime loves kids and always wants to be a part in shaping tomorrow’s leaders. Check out her blog: Over-Caffeinated Mama for more of her writing.