I have been meaning to write this post forever. Well, it feels like forever. Who really knows about time anymore?
I do know that every month when I get my Hello Cup out from it's cute little box I think, "Gosh, I really gotta write a blog post about how much I love this thing!" This has been happening for at least a handful of months now, which I think we can all agree is basically forever in pandemic time...
Anyway, The Hello Cup.
My new best friend, and hopefully yours too.
I ordered these menstrual cups sight unseen for my shop last summer because A) I thought the packaging was adorable, B) I was intrigued by the opaque color because it looked like they were made from a different material than the typical cups that I've always had terrible luck with, (they are,) C) I liked that they come in a wide range of sizes, and D) the smooth, rounded toggle looked way more comfortable than the typical pokey stick you see at the end of most menstrual cups (spoiler alert - IT IS.)
Turns out, I made a great pick. I freaking love this thing. This is the first menstrual cup I've ever tried that actually works for me. (I've tired pretty much every alternative period product out there - I'm talking sea sponges, disks, the lena cup, luna cup, diva cup - basically I'll try anything to avoid having to stick a dry ass piece of cotton up there only to yank it back out and experience the sensation that it's also tearing my insides out with it as it goes multiple times per day.) In the past, I've always struggled with cups leaking on me because I couldn't figure out how to get a good seal. I would hear about how much everyone loved their menstrual cup and I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. I kept trying and trying but I wasn't ever really happy with my cups. Apparently, I just hadn't met the right one yet.
So what sets this one apart?
First of all - the material. The Hello Cup is made from TPE, a medical grade plastic, which is much sturdier and holds its shape better than the typical silicone cup. Now, just hearing that, you may not think that you want something sturdy inside of you, but this actually keeps it from moving around too much up in there. Apparently some of us (at least I'm assuming this was the problem for me,) can easily collapse a flimsy silicone cup with their too-strong pelvic floor muscles, which would obviously cause an awful leak. (Darn you, Pilates! But thank you, Hello Cup, because I'm finally free and I get what all of my friends were talking about. Best of all, I don't have to buy disposable products for backup anymore. WHOO HOO!) Fun facts - TPE is more hypoallergenic than silicone, which means it's extremely unlikely to cause a reaction for those of you who are sensitive. It also molds to your shape over time. Mine's a little more oblong now. So it's basically couture.
Secondly - the shape. Y'all can keep those pointy stick cups that you have to cut the end off, I'll stick with this smooth little rounded toggle that I can't feel AT ALL. No joke, on my lighter days I forget it's there.
Third - the sizes. Most cup brands have one or two sizes, but people come in a wide range of sizes, and I like to offer options when I can. I personally use the small/medium which is going to work for most people. The XS is great for petite people or younger people who are just starting to menstruate and learning how to use a cup. And of course, the large is there for those of you who need it. (Check out the IGTV video posted below to actually see the difference in sizes.)
Number four - ease of use. I'll admit that this took me a couple of tries to get the hang of the fold (also see the video below for a demonstration,) but now that I've got it, I can get this in and be done in a matter of seconds. No more twirling and twisting and hoping it doesn't give out on me at the worst possible moment... I literally just pop it in and go.
So are you intrigued yet? Maybe you have some more questions about how this thing works? Well, don't worry, I'm going to do my best to give you all of the details about how to use and care for your future Hello Cup.
First of all, how does this thing work?
The Hello Cup sits inside the vagina and collects menstrual blood during your cycle. The blood stays in the cup instead of being absorbed into a material like with a traditional tampon. When you remove the cup, you turn it out and empty it into the toilet, simply flushing the blood away. Nothing to clog! You can wash and reuse your cup over and over - for up to 5 years.
How long can I wear it?
You can wear it for up to 12 hours at a time.
How often will I have to change/empty the cup?
That depends on how heavy your flow is. On heavier days, you might want to empty it every 3-5 hours, but on lighter days you can leave it in for the whole day. You'll get to know your needs as you go.
Isn't it messy?
Yeah, a little. More so at first, but you'll get the hang of it. I think it's helpful to be in a private bathroom that has its own sink so you can wash the cup before you re-insert, but it can still be used in a public stall - you just won't be able to rinse it off before reinserting and you'll have to wipe your hands off with something (toilet paper I guess,) before you can wash them with soap and water. I personally think that the comfort of these cups compared to tampons makes getting my hands a little messy worth it. I also fuss with my hello cup a lot less than I have with previous cups so it feels way less messy to me.
Will I need to wear something for backup?
That depends on your flow, comfort level, and lifestyle variables. Personally, I wear period underwear for backup on my heavier days because I'm overly cautious - I never end up having leaks so it's (thankfully) overkill, but I like to be safe! On lighter days, I like the organic cotton hello liners just in case.
Can I wear this while exercising? Swimming? Sleeping?
Absolutely! I always had issues with leaks while wearing my other cups for yoga or in bed, but this one works perfectly, even when my flow is at it's heaviest. To be honest, I haven't tried swimming in mine yet, (not a fan,) but they do say that you can...
Can I wear it during intercourse?
How do I insert it?
Check out the video below where I demonstrate the fold, and here are a couple of diagrams I pulled from The Hello Cup website where you can see the correct angle. Note these pictures are a little oversimplified - you do not want to push it up too high - it sits nice and snug in the vaginal canal, and the toggle should be right within reach. (Also, there are obviously full instructions included with the cup!)
How do I clean it?
Before the first use and between every cycle, they recommend to boil the cup for about 3 minutes to fully sanitize it. I wash mine with soap and water every time I take it out and pat it dry with a square of toilet paper before re-inserting it. I'm also working on a simple sanitizing spray that would be a completely optional little extra - all you really need is soap, water, and a small pot to boil it in at the end of your cycle.
Now, scroll down for the video(s) - I hope this info is helpful, but I mostly just hope that if you don't already have a cup you love that you'll consider giving this one a try. Not just because these are the cups that I sell, but because they are fantastic. (What a lucky find!) Feel free to email me with any other questions and I'll do my best to answer!
- Stefanie -