Okay, I know what you’re thing; “ew,” but hey, we’re women. We have to think about these things. The average woman begins menstruating around the age of 12, and experiences approximately one, five-day cycle a month until menopause at the average age of 51. This means we have approximately FORTY YEARS of period clean up and waste. On the market out there for us are disposable and reusable pads, regular and unbleached tampons, and menstrual cups. What’s a girl to choose?
Personally, I’ve never been much of pad girl. High school and college sports knocked that option right out of the park. So I’ve pretty much been wearing tampons for nearly three decades (except for seven glorious years after the birth of my last child when I had an IUD and NO PERIODS!)
Aside from the annoyance of constantly carrying these little contraptions around in the event Aunt Flo unexpectedly arrives and mentally calculating how long they can be worn before a leak or toxic shock syndrome occurs, purchasing these things is not only embarrassing, but also expensive! I calculated buying the Costco-sized box of tampons in every shape and size I need costs me $30 every six months. Multiply that by forty years and over the course of my “fertile” years, I will have spent $2500 on something I absolutely hate.
And don’t get me started on all those awful toxins in the typical, run-of-the-mill tampons, which are neither good for my intimate places OR the environment! But if I want to have safe and eco-friendly tampons, those cost TWICE as much and don’t come in Costco-sized packs to mitigate my humiliating trips to the store. Yes, I’ve heard these companies will deliver them discretely to your door via the magic that is Amazon, however, we’re still talking lots of cash.
Enter the menstrual cup, a gift from the heavens for a girl like me. I’ve always wanted to try one, so when Sileu Cup reached out to me to try theirs, I jumped at the chance!
I took the time to read everything to make sure I knew exactly what I was getting into. For starters, you should know Sileu Cup is made by a company called Home Health Europe, and they are not US based. Because of this, the English instructions are not translated well, but still understandable. I’ve never been so thrilled when sunshine came this month because it meant I got to try out my new Rose Travel Pack. Out of the many options Sileu provides, this was the perfect option for me because it comes with the silicone cup (pay attention to order the right size!), a cloth bag for storage, a foldable, silicone sterilizing dish with lid, and a handy, rose-shaped carrying case for all of it!
The first step is sterilizing the cup. The instructions recommend using the microwave, but I detest microwaving anything non-glass. So, instead, I heated water in a tea kettle and poured the boiling water over the cup inside the sterilizing dish and let it sit for a few minutes. When it’s all clean and ready for use, insertion is really simple; much like using a tampon without an applicator. Simply fold the flexible silicone over itself so it’s the size of a tampon, and insert it. You can do this standing or sitting, whatever feels right for you. Once it’s in, the silicone will unfold, molding right to the inside of your body. I couldn’t feel it at all; SO much different than the way tampons can often pinch.
Here’s the best part; you can wear a menstrual cup for up to 12 HOURS, instead of a tampon’s eight! (Insert angelic chorus.) The instructions do recommend emptying it sooner if you have a heavier flow, but even on my heaviest day, when I usually go through a SUPER tampon every two hours, I never filled up the cup in twelve hours.
Now, what about slippage? You know how tampons can annoyingly “scoot” down and leak, pinch, or plop out altogether? While my Sileu Cup did sometimes shift up or down and had to be readjusted, I never had ANY leaks. And, if the pull tab at the end feels uncomfortable, you can always trim it shorter without damaging the cup.
Here’s how each day wearing a Sileu Cup went for me:
7 a.m. wake up, remove cup and dump out contents (always wash your hands first!). I did this while sitting on the toilet (because, let’s face it, who want to see THAT?!) Rinse cup in the sink and wash out with mild soap. Shake dry and re-insert.
Mid-day readjust if slipping.
7 p.m. remove cup and repeat morning’s step. Re-insert.
That’s it. Seriously! And over the course of wearing it for five days, I went to the gym and on all-day hikes, sat through multiple hours of meetings, drove in the car for extended trips, and even went on long distance runs. When my week-long crimson wave was surfed, I sterilized the cup like in the beginning, tucked it inside the handy little bag and zipped it all into the pretty rose carrying case until next month!
Friends, I am now SOLD on the Sileu menstrual cup for saving me the money and chagrin of my next tampon restocking trip! And I will NEVER go back to tampons! You should try it to!