As women, we learn early on about the impending doom and gloom that surrounds the ever wonderful Tía Flow, Lady in Red, or the apt period. We are given a general overview of what’s supposed to happen: some bleeding, some pain, total discomfort. What we aren’t told is that every single one of us experiences something that is as specific to us as our DNA. Only through whispered discussions with our friends and fellow chicas do we learn the true breath of what it means to experience a menstrual cycle. How through the careful eye of “knowing” do we recognized the nuanced changes in our emotions and body language, things women often get chastised for, but have no control over.
Clearly, 2020 didn’t turn out to be anything like we had planned. I, for one, had several trips I wanted to make this year. So when toilet paper and other necessities like pads and tampons started to fly off the shelves, I decided that I would be adventurous for the sake of practicality. So I purchased a menstrual cup. Yes, that thing we’ve all seen on the shelf when we grab our favorite pads and always silently judge the women who use it. The universe has a sick sense of humor, if you ask me. I took the plunge and became one of those women, and I’m here to tell you I don’t regret it one bit.
“Gradually my whole concept of time changed until I thought of a month as having twenty-five days of humanness and five others when I might just as well have been an animal in a steel trap.”Florence King
Through use of the cup (my cup of choice was SAALT, a bit more on them later), I found out, that I didn’t actually have a good sense for a lot of things, mainly my flow. I thought that I was a hard “medium flow” kinda gal, and I’m not. Not saying that to brag, but it’s the truth. Another thing I learned? That your cervix has two different “settings.” You cervix is either low (hard & closed) or high (soft & open), and depending on which one it is at that given point determines how high up your cup rests. I learned that my cervix fluctuates every month and even during the bleeding days as well. Something I find novel whenever I go to insert the cup, as weird as that sounds.
I also learned about a lovely thing called prolapse. What is prolapse, you ask. The kind folks at the MayoClinic describe it as follows: Uterine prolapse occurs when pelvic floor muscles and ligaments stretch and weaken and no longer provide enough support for the uterus. As a result, the uterus slips down into or protrudes out of the vagina. Not something you thought you’d have to think about before childbirth did you? In the first month of using my cup, I learned more about my individual feminine health than I had all my life. Which made me wonder how many more women were truly in the dark about their health.
Now, I’m not saying to go out and buy a cup — everyone needs to do what feels best for them. But do realize that we should look more into what really makes our period tick. For many women, specifically those who don’t suffer from something more serious like endometriosis or PCOS, we are on autopilot when it comes to that and see anything outside of what we already do as “too much” or “demasiado.” And that shouldn’t be the case. But had it not been for my bright idea of venturing into the world of the menstrual cup, there are certain things that I wouldn’t have known. Things I’m glad I know now.
Wishing you peace, love and lots of cookies,