Well, I promised you good people a post once I used the Ruby Cup so here we go.
(Warning, some things may feel like TMI…it comes with the territory, I think)
1st things first….size and presentation. My friend S asked about this because the pictures make it look gigantic. I have included a few pictures below for the purpose of context. I absolutely love the bag it comes in; it feels more like a treasure than One More Possession.
OK, then, let’s talk about my experience using it.
As you know, its use is premised on insertion. With, as they say, no strings attached. I found it a tad difficult the first two or three times. The silicone proved to be amazingly slippery. I used the ‘C folding style’ (see more folding styles here) and I can tell you this is a different kettle of fish from the usual (tampon) insertion. However, a ninja can figure out how to go round that. My solution was to press the C really tightly until say half the cup was in then to push it in using the stem. Voila!
The SO (who was invaluable during the ‘shoot’) absolutely loved this ‘alien’ shot with the Ruby Cup looking like it’s glowing 🙂
Still on the issue of insertion. This may just apply to me but I wouldn’t advise inserting when one is on their back (get your mind out of the gutter!). I had a leak when I did that so I imagine the cup doesn’t fit into the contours well when you insert it like that. Subsequent insertions (done in positions similar to those one uses during tampon insertion) went uneventfully.
It proved quite easy to clean the cup. Good old water from the bathroom tap in a cup carried from the office dispenser was enough during the day when I emptied it. Unless your flow is heavy, you’ll probably only need to empty it once during the day. A simple rinse is sufficient at that point. I also cleaned it with some soap and warm water (this site recommends using cold water) when I got home for one ‘thorough’ clean each day. This may just be my paranoia but some sites recommend it. A rinse during my morning bath made for 3 cleaning episodes a day & kept me comfortable.
I found the evening wash useful as the first and last days for me mean thickish discharge which requires a little help coming out of the stem if it gets in. Pressing the stem as I cleaned the cup proved effective in nudging (so to speak) the liquid out. This had me worried at some point (old blood etc…or should I say BAD blood) but it went away easily enough.
Time: I found I could use the cup for up to 8 hours without any leaks. If anything, proper insertion eliminates leaks. I would recommend using a pad/sanitary towel for back-up in the first days. There was a learning curve with insertion for me & having a pad meant I felt more confident. I plan to transition 100% out of pad use as the cup is comfortable. I couldn’t feel it inside my body and I almost forgot to take it out one day!
Will it disappear in my body? Trust me, for a smart person, I entertained this notion more times than it is proper to admit. The trick, I found, is to insert the cup till such a point as the stem is seated comfortably in one of the contours of your vagina. If I have said ‘contours’ more than once, it’s because using the cup is a study in exploring one’s body. If you have inserted tampons using your fingers, you’re halfway there. If you’re squeamish about touching your body…prepare for a crash course in what your lady bits feel like on the inside 🙂
I took this picture so I could show the graduations on the inside of the cup. These are really cool as one is able to see just how much blood they are shedding. Useful information when your flow changes especially if you are obsessive reporter when you see a doctor!
On the same note, the trick to removing the cup is working with your body. All those pelvic muscle exercises 😉 will come in handy. Imagine a Kegels exercise (link) and the ‘unclenching’ half of it. Do that once or twice and the cup will be out easily. Trying to fish it out, I realised, was a joke. And an uncomfortable one, at that. Once I started using my pelvic muscles, it was smooth all the way 🙂
Once I was done, I boiled it for the for slightly over the 5 minutes recommended to sterilise it and put it back in the beautiful bag. As I had been cleaning it throughout my period, it was just a way to follow instructions & ensure I can use it for long. I can’t wait for next time!
Aside: When I bought the cup, I carried the box in a brown bag to the office. One guy saw the bag and asked, “What’s that? Is it a contraceptive?”. I said not quite, but close. The look of disgust on his face as he said, “Anything to do with down there is creepy!” was priceless. An hour later, my ‘deskmate’ asked me if it was a box of tampons. Close, I said, and that was the end of that conversation. There is a theme of avoidance of women’s body issues by these men. Have you seen this before?
I hope this post helped. If you have any questions, ask me in the comment section or check out the Ruby Cup website. Plus you can always google ‘menstrual cup’ to find a treasure trove of information. Thanks for your time!