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Saturday, November 11, 2017

How To Finally Get Your Damn Menstrual cup In. . . . . Because FUCK Twirling



Picture this: Squatting in a bathroom stall like a chicken about to give birth, trying with all your might, and then some, to force a small slippery silicone cup into the deep recesses of your bleeding, cramping, and pretty angry vagina. Getting PTSD style flashbacks of pure, unadulterated frustration and hatred? You’ve arrived at the right place.
Welcome to the wonderful world of menstrual cups! This edition: How the FUCK do I get it inside me?
The current instructions surrounding the Divacup center around 5 key principles:

  1. 1. Fold
  1. 2. Hold
  1. 3. Insert
  1. 4. Seal and Rotate
  1. 5. Remove
  2. Let’s concern ourselves with steps 1–4 which are seemingly straight forward because, honestly, removal is its whole own blog post.
    There are two types of folds. The U-fold (shown first) and the push-down fold, which I refer to as, the ‘triangle’ fold. 
See? It's totally a triangle
In an ideal world, you hold it between the thumb and forefinger pretty much like a tampon, insert it “straight back toward the tailbone”, slip it inside, give it a twirl. 
A "twirl" they said


it pops open, and you’re good to go. Simple right?


...but then why are you here?
I don’t know about y’all, but here is my first experience following the directions:
I folded the mentsrual cup, into the ‘triangle’ fold, sat down on the side of my tub, lady free bleeding into the void, inserted it just a bit, and got to my favorite part, the twirl. I honestly don’t know why the instructions refer to the motion they want us to accomplish with the cup as “a twirl”, because it’s not. The motion is more of a crank, which is in no way comfortable.
more of a crank, really 
As soon as it’s in your vagina, if there’s any sort of moisture on the cup, you will realize that it is slippery. There is almost no way to twirl anything because you need a serious grip on it and getting a slippery object to rotate in a tight space while avoiding certain unwanted scenarios involving your cup and the unsanitary flooring or toilet bowls is difficult.

This is an example of what you don't want
Instead of getting stumped and running up against the ‘WHY IN THE UNHOLY F*^! CAN’T I CONTROL MY OWN VAGINA AND ITS CONTENTS?!” issue, skip this awful time of trial and error and follow these instructions.

  1. Wash your hands. You’re putting them all the way in your vagina. They should be clean, or you can infect yourself. Point blank. Also, don’t leave soap residue as this can also irritate the vagina.

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2. Always use the “triangle fold” or the “push down fold.” To the “U fold” users, I honestly don’t know how you manage it. You guys are the golden unicorns of the menstrual cup world because when I tried it, I found that the edges of the cup actually bow outwards and make the whole thing slightly larger and more of a hassle to insert.
put your thumb over the red arrow
Pro tip! Don’t even hold it the way they tell you to! Put your thumb over the area with the red arrow, and grip the sides with your remaining fingers.

      3. Always use lubricant. Yes, the cup is slippery when wet. Yes, this can make it a pain to insert. You’ll just have to woman down, and get a good grip on it, because it still needs lube. Lubricant just makes the whole process run more smoothly, as I will explain soon.

Do NOT waste your time on the damned "twirling"
I cannot stress this enough; the “twirling” is a falsehood that will waste your time! Reclaim it now and don’t bother. Actually, my hack here is pure genius.

      4. So, now that you’ve got it into the “triangle fold” and have your thumb in the right place, insert the cup into your vagina until your thumb is touching your lady parts. Now, press down on the bump with your thumb until you feel the cup completely open up. Then, AND ONLY THEN, do you insert the cup the rest of the way in. WHEN IT’S ALREADY OPEN AND THE SEAL HAS ALREADY BEEN CREATED. This is why the lube is important. It helps you glide that sucker up there, after it’s all the way open.
The last part is finishing up. Yes, there are some finishing tips! These are just to make sure you get minimal leakage and your cup is properly situated. Trust me, the most annoying thing in the world is to go through all of this, only to realize the dang thing is misplaced. Then, you’d have to go through the separate hassle of getting it out (explained in another post ladies) and RE-inserting it. No, thank you!

     5. Make sure your cup is all the way in. You will can start to encounter some resistance once the cup is almost inside, especially if you have problems relaxing (a relaxed vagina is key with using a menstrual cup)

The little nub on the end
You will know the cup is all the way in once you’ve relaxed and you can no longer feel the little nub on the end outside of your vagina. After it’s all the way inside, you want to make sure your cup is fully open, which is step This is NOT done as per the instructions by “running your finger around the outside of the cup”. It’s almost like these instructions were made by a person who THOUGHT they should work but, and didn’t actually have a vagina to and test it out on.

You can actually do this by completely completely relaxing your vaginal muscles, and doing some hip openers. Not kidding. Relax yourself and get back into the bird-laying-an-egg pose (that ugly squat we do when no one is looking.) and just wait on it. You will know the cup is fully open, if it wasn’t already, because it will feel like an umbrella opening in a cramped hallway but, you know, inside of you.

There you have it! An entire article dedicated to making sure that your menstrual cup (whichever one you picked) is able to comfortably fucking function without frustration and anger inducing episodes on your toilet. All jokes aside, I truly TRULY love my menstrual cup! Making the switch to menstrual cups has really changed my life, honestly. It’s great for really heavy periods, great for saving money on menstrual products, even though I still use liners and pads sometimes but, it really cuts down on how many I buy. Honestly, as gross and corny as it sounds, using a menstrual cup somehow managed to teach me amazing things about my body and “my lady”.

If you somehow got to this article because you are thinking of making the switch and not because you are incredibly frustrated with the insertion process, I wholeheartedly say go for it! The literal ONLY draw back to menstrual cups that I can see, is that they DO have a learning curve to get everything situated properly and it’s a little strange and difficult to learn. Hopefully, after reading this, you will be less intimidated by your new menstrual cup or the idea of it and just jump on the this bandwagon of money saving, menstrual cup using, vagina templars!

-A. Smith

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