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Monday, March 27, 2017

Why You Shouldn't Get Super Cheap Menstrual Cups

I had interesting ideas of what I
would wind up looking like pre-T.
I'm a big fan of menstrual cups, something I got into shortly after I started socially transitioning.  Back when I started, these were a really big investment, but since they went mainstream you can get one for as little as a few dollars.

Should you spend that little?  I believe "no."  But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I loved cups as a pre-testosterone trans man for the most trans-manliest of reasons.  For one, I wanted to be more environmentally friendly, but more importantly, buying menstrual products was a huge source of stress for me.  Cups were fantastic in this regard, because I never had to carry around tampons or pads and I never needed to go buy more of either in a store.  The best part was that I could really just forget about my period most of the time, as I had a pretty average flow and would only need to empty it a couple times a day.

I lost my original DivaCup while I was still on testosterone, because when I started I didn't really expect to ever need it again.  There are lots of trans guys and especially nonbinary folx who have a plan to go on testosterone for a set number of years, but I was one who fully believed I'd be on it forever, get a hysterectomy and top surgery and maybe even one of the less-invasive bottom surgeries, etcetera etcetera.  So when I finally took the plunge and went off hormones, the first thing I did was try and find a new cup.

I wound up with the MenstroCup, which is basically a knockoff DivaCup.  Same material, similar design, same type of stem.  In a way it's lucky that I decided to go cheap, as my roommate also uses a cup, and it would be kind of uncomfortable to find that we had accidentally switched!  Related note:  I also converted my girlfriend to the cup.

Anyway, I lost that MenstroCup at a very inopportune time, so I frantically went to Amazon to get another, only to find what I thought was a super sweet deal: Two menstrual cups for twelve bucks?!  That seemed useful... I could either keep one for a backup in case I lost the original again, or I could give it away to another vaginally-active soul who needed it.  So I got the two-day shipping on that to get it just in time for my period.

Let me tell you, cheap cups are not worth it.

Since they're usually made of silicone, which isn't particularly cheap, my cheap cups have very thin walls.  This prevents them from opening up fully in the vagina... they keep a little divot, providing a place for blood to seep out before the cup is full.  It catches enough blood to avoid soaking through your pants, but not enough to grant the total bliss of forgetting you're on your period.

Oh, and you'd better not sneeze.

This was the last straw.  Penelope, my landlord/roommate's little Yorkie, needed to do her doggie business and so I took her outside.  As I have the curse of a solar sneeze reflex, the bright light hitting me caused me to blast out rather a large sneeze, which sent this cheap-ass cup shooting out my vagina.  I stood frozen for a few seconds (hey, the dog needed to finish) before waddling uncomfortably back into the house.

Based on the Amazon reviews, this is not an uncommon occurrence.  There are certainly people out there with apparently magic vaginas (perhaps made of plush and with a faint stream of menstrual blood?) who love these cups, but they're not a great buy.  You're best sticking with something at least ten dollars... the MenstroCup was I think $12 with Amazon Prime... considering you're likely to save loads of money that would have gone to pads and tampons instead.  DivaCups are fantastic and not as expensive as they used to be, too.

My next experiment may be a homemade set of period underwear, but that'll be something I try when I gather some overall motivation.

Happy Trails,
-- Jackson