Editor’s Note: This article contains profanity.

By Raye Weigel 

“There’s definitely the idea that periods are gross and need to be hidden, which like, fuck that. My boyfriend, for one, wants to learn more and doesn’t mind gory details,”  said Jacky Mueck, a sophomore English major.

Every time periods come into the conversation, she brings up the DivaCup.

There is a wide array of lists that detail the wide array of menstrual cups. People with vaginas use different sizes based on whether or not they’ve given birth and other factors. However, DivaCup is one of the most well-known brands.

Hannah May, a graduate of this university and aspiring sex educator, said she would recommend the DivaCup to “anyone who isn’t squeamish about digging around in their own vagina.” In other words, menstrual cups aren’t for everyone.

For May, there’s too much of a learning curve. Even after getting the hang of it after a few tries, “it’s never my first choice in method,” she said.

Some users had better experiences. Rosie Kean, a sophomore multiplatform journalism and English major, said it helped her get over these negative feelings.

“Girls especially are taught to be ashamed of their bodies and, as a result, they can be uncomfortable with the idea of actually seeing what’s going on ‘down there,’” she said. “Because it is more hand-on, using a menstrual cup really makes you become more aware, more comfortable and more in touch with yourself and your body.”

After discovering the DivaCup on YouTube, Mueck said being on her period has been much easier since she doesn’t have to change it so often. “When I was in high school I’d have to change my tampon or pad every other class period, and it was annoying and stressful if I couldn’t make it to the bathroom,” she said. Technically, you should be able to remove the cup and clean it every 12 hours or so instead of four-to-eight like tampons.

Mueck and Kean both experienced a fear of using tampons because of Toxic Shock Syndrome. TSS is a rare, but a potentially life-threatening condition that is caused by poisons released by bacteria if a tampon is left in too long.

People can experience this after leaving a tampon in for multiple days if they forget to remove it.  Using the cup lessens this risk because it is not an absorbent material where bacteria can grow.

“Though all said it was challenging to use at first, it was a little difficult and a little messy. It takes awhile to get used to putting it in and how to make sure it doesn’t leak everywhere,” Sam Sauter, a graduate of this university, said. “Once you get the hang of it, it’s really not messy at all.”

Mueck and Sauter both said they were pleased with the menstrual cup both because of a smaller environmental impact and it being less expensive in the long run. A person will purchase a menstrual cup for $30-40 and be able to keep it for years if they take care of it correctly as opposed to paying for a box of tampons or pads each month.

Though there are various brands of menstrual cups, stores like Target sell the DivaCup, making it accessible.

“It’s better for my wallet and the environment, what’s not to love?” Mueck said.

Sauter agreed. “I love not having to buy pads or tampons anymore and also feeling comfortable going throughout my work day without having to change it [or] empty it,” she said.

Featured Photo Credit: Feature photo courtesy of
menstruationstasse.net on Flickr.

Raye Weigel is a junior multiplatform journalism and English major and may be reached at rayanneweigel@gmail.com

One response to “Let’s Talk About Sex: Menstrual Cups, Fighting the Period Stigma”

  1. The Sicilian Mama Avatar

    Thank you for your informative article. You’re right to say that people consider periods gross and a taboo subject in conversations. Thank you for You might like to check out some hysterical myths about periods in my post: https://sicilianmamaunsolicited.wordpress.com/2017/04/28/dont-wash-during-your-periods-and-other-menstruation-myths/

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