Can I Use A Menstrual Cup If Tampons Don't Work For Me

Monday, 21 December 2020

Can I Use A Menstrual Cup If Tampons Don't Work For Me

I have never been able to use tampons of any type, regardless of applicator style or no applicator, brand, absorbency they just never worked for me.  They either do not sit in the right place, make me too dry for comfortable insertion or removal.  I was nervous using a menstrual cup as I just did not think it would be comfortable but honestly from the first time, I used one I was comfortable and never looked back.

The problems I experienced with tampons are common complaints and are the same concerns we deal with every day from other people considering using a cup.  The key thing is to find the right cup for you.  Make sure you read our guide to choosing a cup and use our sortable menstrual cup comparison table.  This will all help point you to the right one for you and I am sure like me you will never look back.

The reason menstrual cups work where tampons do not is due to them being two VERY different things even though they both do the same job.

Tampons are designed to absorb menstrual blood, but they also absorb normal vaginal fluids which can leave you feeling dry. I really struggled to reinsert a new tampon as they made me too dry as my flow was never really heavy.  Cups do not absorb any blood or fluids they just hold it until you are ready to empty it therefore there is nothing to dry you out.  Even on a very light day at the end of your period (or even before it starts) a cup can be used to catch this light discharge safely as it is only holding it not absorbing it.   A tampon is a well compacted cotton product, it is not pliable it is a ridged shape whereas a menstrual cup moulds to your shape and with so many to choose from you can find the perfect cup to fit you.

I tried all sorts of tampon applicators carboard ones, plastic, and tampons without applicators.  I could never find one that worked, those without applicators were hard to insert as tampons left me too dry, cardboard felt scratchy, plastic while smoother was wasteful. I also found applicators hurt if they pushed the tampon too high and my cervix moves lower during my period, if I tried to insert them lower, I could then feel them, and they would expand even further lower yuck yuck yuck. 

Menstrual Cups naturally sit a little lower than tampons. Cups come in different shapes and sizes so perfect if you have a low cervix or a high cervix . Even if your cervix changes height as your period goes on you can even have a different cup for those days later in your cycle.  Menstrual cups look larger than tampons but for insertion they are folded into a shape very similar to a tampon and then it gently opens once inside. Once it opens it then forms a seal to catch the menstrual blood, but you will not feel it. 

Trying to remove a dry or partially dry tampon is another experience that I am in no hurry to repeat.  I can remember tugging on the string trying to get it to come down, dry and friction are not wanted down there!  Removing a menstrual cup is NOTHING like that experience.  Remember a cup does not absorb fluid it only catches it.  I slide my finger up the side of the cup to break the seal, you are not left dry as the cup is not drying so no dryness or friction. The cup is usually made of silicone and then once the seal is broken it is easily slid out for emptying.  It is never scratchy, dry, and no tugging.

I hope my unpleasant experience with tampons and now my love for cups gives you the confidence to give a cup a go!  They really are life changing!  If you're not sure where to start read our article "Choosing A Menstrual Cup."  Our Menstrual Cup comparison chart with also help you find the right one for you.   We have many great articles on different aspects of cup use but for a beginner Menstrual Cup FAQ's is a great place to start.