I’m sorry okay but you can’t let Beyoncé drop the album of the week and then expect me not to make an incredibly poor pun out of it. Fortunately for my uterus, Lemonade was the only thing that dropped this week as my period is late again, however in its absence I thought we could talk about something I have a love/hate relationship with: menstrual cups.
Now don’t get me wrong, I want to like them. In fact (despite this super long list of reasons why I hate them) I’m actually trying really hard to get used to the idea of essentially putting a mug inside me, especially because they’re so hygienic and cheap and environmentally friendly and feminist and you can pick the colour(! Beat that Tampax). I have friends that use and love them, so hopefully one day I’ll be in that club, but until then, here are my Period Cup Calamities: (yes the font has to be red)
I can never tell if they’ve popped open: For those of you lucky enough to not be aware of how cups work, you basically fold them into an aspiring origami flower and then when they’re ‘in’ they should pop into the shape they were before unfolding. However I can’t feel a bloody (ironically) thing and therefore have no idea when this has happened. The problem is that if they don’t unpop then they leak. And the only thing more traumatic than putting in a menstrual cup is putting in a menstrual cup and finding out you haven’t put it in right until a few hours later when the strawberry jam disaster has ruined your new Jack Wills pants.
They’re always in Korean packaging: Don’t get me wrong I’m sure Korea scores 10/10 for quality holiday destinations however I’d appreciate if the materials used to make something I’m about to put up my vag were at least a little bit legible. I wouldn’t mind if it was something with the same alphabet, something at least vaguely Google translatable on a qwerty keyboard, but unless I’m going to spend hours playing Pictionary in order to decipher the writing then I’ll never know what’s going up. Fingers crossed, eh?
I just want to throw it away: I know that one of the reasons why cups are supposed to surpass tampons and pads is because they’re reusable but I just reallllly want to bin it after every use. Sorry environment. I thought we could be friends but apparently not (I guess I could always try flushing them but then it might end up as an extra in Finding Dory).
The woman that paints with it has forever scarred me: I first came across menstrual cups when I was purchasing one for a friend’s birthday- as in as a gift, it wasn’t like the dress code or anything- and during the initial research period (…lol) I came across a woman that uses the contents of her menstrual cup as a paint pot. I’m all for destigmatising mensuration but now every time I tip my cup out I feel like I’m rather wasting a valuable art supply or not being creative enough.
And speaking of tipping out: You need a sink closeby. As in really closeby. Otherwise think of all the problems: I take my cup out and then, because there’s no sink in any cubicle except the disabled, I have to leave the toilet to access the sink, but then a) I’ll have to pull my pants and skinny dungarees up for a 30 second diversion (which anyone familiar with dungarees will understand is too much effort to bear) aka what if I leak while I’m tipping it out? And b) how do I explain to someone to not use my toilet while I’m stood at the sink? Surely, they’ll think that I’m done, head towards the loo and then I’ll have to break the tragic news that actually I’m only halfway through my encounter. What if they don’t hear me and I have to tap them on the shoulder and risk getting rogue bits of blood on their nice new Boohoo blouse? Oh Lordy. Although on reflection, nothing from Boohoo is particularly nice so that’s one less thing to worry about.
In order to avoid this I’d have to use the disabled toilet with a sink any time I want to change it at college and this always makes me wee in fear that I’ll open the door to find somebody who is actually disabled and in desperate need of the loo. Are you all seeing The IT Crowd parallels because you should be. Rather that or I won’t be able to get my cup in under 14 minutes (my current quickest) and the queue will snake all the way out the toilets, down the corridor and into the carpark where someone will probably get hit by a Somerfield lorry and it’ll all be my fault.
So Teamales, join me in this menstration formation and share your cup experiences with me because I’m sure they can’t all be that bad: have you ever tried them? Would you be up for it? Are you a tampon or pads kinda gal- maybe even a cheeky sea sponge? Thank you for reading and now go listen to Lemonade. Now.