by Natascha Pearson
May 19, 2021
Until October of last year, I was using the menstrual cup for about six months before discovering I was pregnant. Before that, I used tampons during my monthly flow. These were uncomfortable for me, and I felt unsanitary throughout the day. I also wasn’t comfortable with disposing of them, they shouldn’t go down the toilet, and it was always a pain throwing them away in the trash because my dog would try to get to it (gross, I know.) I worked on connecting with myself spiritually when I made the switch. I would save my blood to give back to the Earth. My monthly cycle was right before the full moon, and I took advantage of this by giving my offering when the moon was full.
Using the cup not only cuts out the waste of using tampons (or pads), but it is easy and comfortable for me to dispose of (in the toilet, or my case, a jar for safekeeping,) washed (preferably in a sink or in the case of a public restroom, over the toilet with a water bottle) and reinserted. It never felt too deep or lost (which can very well happen with a tampon.) So not only did I feel cleaner, fresher, and more comfortable, I also felt more aligned with my flow. I was aware of the days to expect it, how many days I would be bleeding, even how much I had bled (you won’t get that insight with a tampoon.) I could wear the cup in the water without an issue and keep it inserted for 6-12 hours without it filling, spilling, smelling, or causing discomfort. I use the brand Dot Cup (I prefer the black one to the white), and it comes in a discreet carrying pouch. You can choose from three different sizes. There are loads of tutorials on youtube for comfortable insertion and distraction.
Giving blood to the Earth sounded eww to me at first, too. But once I had come to appreciate how much the Earth offers me (or how much I take from it), I realized that contributing back to the planet that aids me daily helped me feel more connected to my environment. Women lose 2-4 tablespoons of blood a cycle. Blood should not be stored longer than 3-4 days to avoid bacteria build. In my practice, I dug out a pile of dirt next to my ritual tree or within the forest and buried my offering there. This offering comes with nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Blood is an attractive food for insects, according to an article on abc.net. Watering down the blood that is condensed with salt and other chemicals can be applied directly to plants as a fertilizer.
When my period didn’t come in October, I knew four days after my missed date that I was pregnant. Offering my menstrual cycle was a very beautiful experience for me since I felt that Gaia had shown her appreciation with the most magical gift of all, my first pregnancy. Later I would continue to give blessings to Mother Earth by offering herbs from my tea bags (something I drink a lot of while pregnant.)
I have gathered information from healthline.com about the cons of using tampons and pads compared to using the cup. In the worst-case scenarios, tampoons can cause toxic shock syndrome, which is life-threatening. They often can be uncomfortable, need to be changed frequently, can get stuck and forgotten inside the uterus, and the size of your flow can be more or less than the size of your tampoon. Tampoons have a significant environmental impact, with millions littering landfills every year. Tampons shouldn’t be flushed, and they can also irritate and dry out your vagina, causing pain and discomfort. Pads, on the other hand, can’t be used in water. It can lead to an odor throughout the day. They can shift out of place, wrinkle, and be uncomfortable. Their less discreet than tampoons or the cup, and you can’t wear them in a thong with G-string. The cup’s cons also include toxic shock syndrome in very rare circumstances. It can be irritable if not inserted or cleaned correctly and a possible chance of infection if your hands are not cleaned properly.
I wish someone had told me about the cup when I was younger, I would have liked to have taken advantage of it earlier in life, and I’m thankful now to have a tool that makes my period more comfortable and something honorable. I’m a woman, and I have this fantastic gift of giving birth. My monthly flow is something to embrace, not to be embarrassed over. It’s also a money saver.