Menstrual Cups Might Be The Answer To Your Period Woes

Menses are messy but how you handle them doesn't have to be.

Women's Health

I've had plenty of names for menstruation, each one more fitting than the last—my favorite being a Game of Thrones reference—the red wedding. And sometimes Aunt Flo is an utter b*tch, especially when I don't have birth control to keep my hot headed cramps at bay.

The only thing worse than Aunt Flo herself is the astronomical taxing of feminine hygiene products—better known as the pink tax. We don't talk nearly enough about how it affects low income women or women in prison. In fact, it wasn't all that long ago that a state rep in Maine suggested that by providing an adequate supply of feminine hygiene products, it would make prison like a country club.

I say to you in my best early 2000s crunk rapper voice, haaaan?

Well, I guess he's accurate in that sadly because this is a man's world forgoing free bleeding all over yourself has become a privilege much like a country club. As someone who has admittedly been caught stealing tampons in hardship and have in recent years foregone menstrual hygiene products for the better part of my period unless I luck up and find an old one lying around the house—I can tell you that not bleeding on yourself is not a feeling next to being admitted to a country club. It's quite literally as simple as feeling good about yourself in the most basic ways, feeling clean, and shame-free.

It's feeling carefree because you're not spending the days leading up to your period worrying about whether or not the red wedding is going to hit hard, killing all your panties in the process. I hadn't felt that in a long time because my months have been dedicated to picking and choosing what bills I will foot. Menstrual hygiene has not been one. I had been leaving my tampons in all day just to ration out the intermittent use of pads and tampons.

This, of course, also led my vagina to feel like it was on its deathbed as tampons are not meant to be in the vagina for that length of time.


Fortunately, in 2020, the options to go green is steadfast in every industry marketing products. So I started to do the research by my own accord of what it means to go green (i.e. saving my money) and I decided to give recyclable menstrual cups a try...again.

(I tried one once and I spent a great deal of time flipping shit and pinching my labia minora in a panicked effort to retrieve it.)

This time, I tried out three different brands: Bloody Buddy, Lena, and Lunette cups. And this time, I fell in love.

What You Need To Know About The Menstrual Cup + Reviews

You should know that menstrual cups are made from medical-grade silicone that are placed in the vagina in to catch Aunt Flo when she begins to fall, it can stay for up to 12 hours of her visit before you need to remove, empty, and rinse/wash.

Most brands size their cups based on lite or heavy flows, but some will ask you to take into account matters such as whether you've bore a child and others will ask you to consider how your cervix sits. I highly recommend reading up on these things before selecting a brand that works for you.

1. Bloody Buddy (two-pack), $26.99


I wanted this menstrual cup to be my fave because (hello) the name is, and don't get me wrong they were incredible—they just weren't for a newbie like me quite yet. Partially because I hadn't read up on soft cups versus hard cups prior to me troubleshooting on the toilet. After every insertion, I had this weird feeling when I was walking, like the little tether string was constantly rubbing up against my labia minora in a weird, friction-causing way. Assuming I hadn't fully inserted it, I went through the motions galloping through my hall in a side squat, taking my boots off to get up in there and rework the cup. It felt a lot like trying to jump into my jeans that barely fit. Although, eventually I was able to get it adjusted, it took a lot of footwork which wasn't conducive to my work day or productivity on any given day.

Regardless of the weird feeling I was having, I'm happy to report that I was leak-free with the Bloody Buddy. Not to mention, unlike many other brands, this one comes with two cups in each pack...periodt...and for a damn good price (the price of one through other brands), might I add. And even though the price varies by color, it wasn't a major tipping point as far as prices go.

Shop the Bloody Buddy 2-pack here.

2. Lena (two-pack), $39.90


These menstrual cups were ready for anything and easy to use just like their marketing as the "best beginner" cup suggested. My guess was that Lena cups were hard (hard cups, that is) due to how easy it was to place, as it reformed into an 'O' as soon as I inserted it. Most videos I found suggested rotating the cup after you've inserted it and so I did this with each cup to ensure that it was sealed properly, however, Lena was the only one that felt easy to rotate, only requiring the quick swirl of my index finger.

Lena was so easy and comfortable that I forgot I was wearing it and unlike tampons, there wasn't that irrational albeit urgent fear of toxins culminating in your vagina. I didn't have to lie in my bed and dig in my crotch and I appreciated that.

Price-wise they are pretty steep by comparison to the others. Nonetheless, the price point is so worth it when you consider that you can fund a good chunk of Aunt Flo's first year of college education with the money you spend buying tampons and other unrecyclable feminine hygiene products. They also don't charge you based on color preference, as it's likely included in the upfront cost. And lastly, it's easy insertion makes it well worth it.

Shop Lena Menstrual Cup here.

3. Lunette (single pack), $26.99


While the Lunette menstrual cup got the short end of the stick as it didn't get to make its appearance until the last day of menstruation, it was still put to the test, especially because I knew what to look for with the cup.

I quickly discovered that these cups were of a softer variety, as well, making it difficult to expand once in my vagina. However, these were a bit easier than Bloody Buddy when it came down to adjusting them in order for it to fit properly. I had minimal issue with inserting my finger to shift the cup.

It can't go without being said: Off-top, I loved Lunette for having wipes to go with my cup and sanitizer. Despite YouTube video after YouTube video saying that while you can boil your cup to sanitize it in between cycles, you can wipe it with tissue or rinse it on the day-to-day of your menstruation—I was not fond of the former method. All I could envision is tissue residue stuck to my cup and thus internally floating in my vaginal canal. I enjoyed being able to thoroughly wipe my cup down after each 12-hour window and it was appreciated.

Shop Lunette Reusable Menstrual Cup here.

How It’s Going Down

Many of the products ask for you to account for a learning gap when it concerns leaking, but fortunately for me that wasn't something that I experienced. That could be due to the research I conducted prior to trying or the fact that my period is fairly light with the inclusion of my birth control. Either way, I suggest doing some additional research, plus giving your menstrual cup a trial run prior to your period.

How you fold impacts how smoothly your insertion process goes, and thus, the leakage you experience. Through YouTube reviews, I found that my favorite folds were the tulip/push down method and the seven fold—the seven became the ultimate with a little work on my grip and by little I mean my hands are a bit on the small side, so I had to remember to apply pressure to hold it down prior to inserting it into my vagina.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our weekly newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

10 Of The Absolute Best Period Hacks

The Truth About Period Sex

I Tried CBD Products For Period Cramps, Here's What Happened

Men Admit Period Sex Is Not A Turn Off

Originally published on May 8, 2019

Featured image by Shutterstock

This article is in partnership with Xfinity.

Those who have experienced an HBCU homecoming understand the assignment. Students, alumni, and family of a Historically Black College and University gather to partake in the excitement of celebrating the heritage and culture of the school. It's a time of joy, honoring traditions, and for some, reflecting on the good ol' days. Homecoming weekends are spent eating well, laughing plenty, and enjoying the sights; and there is plenty to see! (Spoiler alert: Sleep is not on the syllabus.)

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

Summer is coming to an end, and it's officially time to start the fall activities. And with the start of a new season comes new movies and shows. One, in particular, is the final season of Netflix's Dear White People, airing September 22. A great thing about this show is that it sparks healthy conversation. Past seasons have explored topics like double consciousness, sexuality, and the Me Too Movement, but it's done it in a way that still allows the show to feel relatable and fun.

Keep reading... Show less

Period pain. Lawd. Could there be something that is more annoying, especially since it happens every 28-30 days? Like, c'mon. If you've ever wondered about the science behind it all, basically, we need our uterus to contract, so that it can shed the lining that accumulated, just in case we conceived in between cycles. And so, what basically happens is, the prostaglandins levels in our system increase which trigger inflammation and also period pain, so that the blood is able to flow from our bodies.

Keep reading... Show less

One of my favorite things about the changing seasons are the new vibes and new energies that change welcomes with it. September represents a transition from the white sand beaches, bottomless brunches, and undeniable romantic vibes long nights, festivals, and impromptu road trips often thought of when we think about the summer. In its place comes romanticism in a different approach. Pumpkin spice anything, the excuse to cuddle up, and the leaves of the trees turning warm shades sparks joy in a different way as fall begins. Perhaps what I am most excited about though are the 2021 wellness trends that come with it.

Keep reading... Show less

A few days ago, I was having a conversation with some folks about songs that should've been official singles yet never were. One of the ones that I shared was Mariah Carey's "All Alone in Love" (a song that she wrote when she was only 15, by the way). To me, it's a perfect way to intro this piece because I have had enough personal experiences and counseled enough people to know that it is very possible to be in a relationship with someone — and still feel quite alone in it. Not because your partner doesn't love you. Not because they're up to some totally f'ed up shenanigans. It's just…even though you signed up for a true and lasting partnership, somehow you now feel some of the very words that define what being alone can feel like: unattended, detached, unassisted, semi-compassionless and perhaps even abandoned on some levels.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Exclusive: Lucky Daye Is Doing It For The Culture, From The Soul

Every so often, an artist comes along who seems to be a physical manifestation of all that we are.

Latest Posts