So I recently purchased a lily cup compact and I thought I’d do a review for you all. This is my first experience with a menstrual cup ever, and honestly I only found out about them very recently. They interested me because a) you spend less money in the long term, b) they contain no chemicals just medical grade silicone, and c) they produce a lot less waste than tampons or pads.
So I’ve been a pad user my whole menstrual life. In fact the few times I’ve used tampons because of swimming, etc, I’ve found they give me cramps. I’m one of the lucky few that doesn’t really get cramps I just feel like I’ve a ten tonne weight in my belly. But on tampons holy hell its like someone’s trying to claw my insides out!
Which is why when I first heard of menstrual cups I wrote them off. I figured that they work the same way a tampon does so it’ll just give me cramps. But actually they work slightly differently. Tampons work by soaking up the blood and will expand when they do, menstrual cups catch all the blood and don’t change in shape or size. So I figured I’d give menstrual cups a chance!
After extensive YouTube research I decided that the lily cup compact version A was the cup for me. I bought it from the Intimina site and it cost me 36.76 euros with a first purchase discount of 3.62, that includes shipping. So okay its a little bit expensive, however if you think about that box of pads or tampons your buying every month doesn’t it add up? Plus you’re not going to suddenly run out of a cup unexpectedly. And with the compact you can always have it on you! So I think the pros outweigh the price cons.
The cup arrived on Thursday after being ordered on Monday, and considering storm Angus (2016) blew through on Tuesday I think that’s pretty awesome going. Oh and side note if you ever want to order something online that you’re embarrassed about the people you’re living with seeing order it just before Christmas. Then tell them you’ve ordered gifts online so not to open any packages that have your name on in case it’s theirs. Obviously I think menstruation is something we should all be comfortable talking about but I don’t think my teenage brother feels that way!
Anyway, back to the cup. So when it arrived it came all wrapped up in plastic and then a nondescript brown cardboard box. Once you open that box, you see this box;
So shame on you intimina for wayyyy too much packaging but I guess its to ensure it’s discreet so you cant please everyone. Inside the box you get the handy dandy travel case, the cup all packaged up, and the care and use booklet. I say booklet and not leaflet because that thing is THICK and contains the answer to any question you’ve ever had about menstrual cups. Its really excellent.
The cup itself is a lovely pink shade and made of very soft silicone. My absolute favourite thing about this cup, and one of the main reasons I chose this one is the storage. It folds! Look how cute it is all folded up, and its so discreet you could carry it around and no one would know. I think it’s just fabulous.
After boiling it I got a little over excited and decided to take it on a dry run, a week and a half before my period was actually due. I do not recommend this. My vagina was not pleased that something was being inserted into it when it was clearly not aroused. It was a little painful and the cup did not insert all the way. The suction was great through.
Actually using the cup during my period was a little different though, thank goodness! On day one it was a bit funny to be putting something up there. But once it was all situated it’s actually like there’s nothing there at all.
On day one I did have a bit of a leaking situation. I was wearing a pad because I knew on day one it was probably a bit foolish to not expect some leaking. At that point I was inserting the cup using the C-fold or U-fold, and I was using the “one leg up on the toilet seat” position that you can use to insert tampons. Because of the leaks I decided to swap to the tulip fold, where you push in one of the sides. And because I’m lazy I swapped to just sitting on the toilet. Day two, no leaks, no pad. Success.
I realised that because my flow is so light on my worst days I can go twelve hours with the cup inserted. This basically means I empty it when I get up and just before bed and the rest of the time I don’t even have to think about it. Lets take a closer look at the pros and cons I have discovered while wearing the cup, shall we?
Table One: The Pros and Cons of the Lilycup Compact
Reusable Up Close and Personal
Costs Less Can be Messy
Easy to Carry
As we can see from Table One…did I mention I have a degree in science? lol, anyway as we can see from Table One there are several more pros than cons. Pro number one, the cup being reusable speaks for itself. A well cared for cup can last for years which protects the environment and your wallet. Hence point two.
No evidence, meaning that there’s nothing to throw out. There’s no evidence anywhere for anyone that you are on your period. It saves some awkward conversations when staying over in peoples houses on which bin to put your waste into if there’s no bin in the bathroom. It’s a feature I like a lot because I am super socially awkward and anything that prevents me having to talk to another human is awesome.
And last but not least for the pros; easy to carry. Did you know that studies have found that a woman will be judged more harshly if she drops a tampon from her bag than if she drops something more benign, such as a hairclip? (Johnston-Robledo and Chrisler, 2013) A horrible thought that in this day an age such a thing should be judged but there it is. So the pro of “easy to carry” not only refers to the fact that the compact is as big as a tub of Vaseline, but also to the fact that if you drop it not everyone will know what it is. Just the kool kids will know.
As for the cons, well they really don’t live up if I’m honest. Yes you learn a lot about your vagina, but honestly when you’re used to using other menstrual products you see the same stuff. People seem to have this notion that there’s going to be so much blood, but in reality there’s the same amount that there would be in your pad or tampon. And as for messy, well yes but you’re in a bathroom and I’ve never gotten anything anywhere but the sink and toilet. But this is month one so I best not jinx that!
All in all I really encourage every menstruater to have a go of a cup. Maybe not this cup, though I do really really like this cup. Also, if any of you have your own menstrual cup stories or any questions I’ve not addressed definitely leave them in the comments below!!
Until Next Time,
Emily Jayne xo
Reference: Johnston-Robledo, I. & Chrisler, J.C. Sex Roles (2013) 68: 9. doi:10.1007/s11199-011-0052-z