This blog is written by Sophia, a 19-year-old student studying in London, UK.
Starting my journey with the Asan cup six months ago has made such a positive impact on my relationship with my period.
I started my period when I was 12 years old and have always struggled with heavy flow, leaking and chafing caused by bulky sanitary pads as I went about my daily routine.
Whilst at school, I found myself constantly having to change my pad to avoid leaking through my clothes and staining them.
When I switched to using tampons and panty liners, I found that my periods became much more comfortable and manageable, allowing me to go on with my busy student lifestyle without fuss and anxiety.
I had never considered using a menstrual cup before I came across Asan, and I was very aware of the scaremongering which surrounded cups.
But my experience of the Asan cup has been further from the short-sighted horror stories than I could have possibly imagined – I’m so glad that I didn’t heed them!
So here’s a blog about my journey of making the switch to the Asan cup.
my period before the asan cup
For the first few years of my period I only used pads. They were readily available to me and easy to use. I was very anxious about using tampons because I didn’t know how to insert them.
But sanitary pads alone weren’t enough to prevent leaking through my underwear, especially when I was sleeping. A lot of the time they felt unclean and uncomfortable, particularly due to my active lifestyle which included playing netball and attending gymnastics through the week.
Eventually, I switched to using tampons and very quickly overcame my fear of inserting them.
No one had ever introduced me to menstrual cups or sustainable period products while I was at school, and I didn't receive any education about alternative period products and how to use them.
Reading through the Asan website several months ago was the first time that I started understanding the usage and benefits of menstrual cups, and I found the guidance provided incredibly useful when making the switch.
The social mission and environmental work of Asan also really stood out to me. Learning more about the reality of period poverty and the 1-for-1 donation programme which Asan created to combat it quickly convinced me to try the Asan cup myself.
my experience since switching to the asan cup
It’s completely natural to feel a little nervous when using a menstrual cup for the first time. Since switching to the Asan cup, I have learned not to be afraid of trying different period products to find one that best suits your body.
I decided to start with Asan’s heavy flow cup since I get heavy flow for the first few days of my period.
Are you wondering, does using a menstrual cup hurt? Well in my experience, not at all! In fact, I was surprised by how easy the menstrual cup was to insert and how comfortable it felt once I had inserted it.
Removing the cup for the first time was a little bit daunting. It was an unfamiliar feeling and I had to remind myself that using menstrual cups for the first time, just like using tampons initially, takes some getting used to.
Luckily, the unique removal ring of the Asan cup helped me easily locate my cup and I was able to gently take it out after pinching the cup to release its suction.
After a few uses, I realised that my flow wasn’t filling the cup and decided to try the Asan Light/Medium cup size instead. It was slightly less firmer, and I found that this change made me feel more comfortable and confident when removing the cup.
Finding the right product for you is a process of trial and error. It's important to keep that in mind when venturing outside of your comfort zone to use a menstrual cup for the first time.
my thoughts and tips
The best tip I can give to someone for first time menstrual cup use is to stay calm! New experiences for your body can be very nerve-racking, but rest assured that the Asan cup is designed specifically for comfort and ease.
My biggest tip for first time menstrual cup insertion is to take deep breaths and make sure you have plenty of time to give it a go. Squat down on both your legs and angle the cup towards your tailbone when you’re inserting it.
Since using the Asan cup, I no longer experience chafing or discomfort and most importantly, I can go about my busy day-to-day student lifestyle leak-free and worry-free.
And switching to menstrual cups as a student has also been very kind to my bank balance as I now save on buying tampons every month!
The Asan cup has also allowed me to keep up with activities that I’ve always enjoyed - such as skiing and performing arts. It’s easily portable and I can hardly tell it’s even inside me once it’s inserted!
My experience with Asan has been a wholly positive one and I can’t recommend making the switch enough!
making the switch to a sustainable lifestyle
Sustainability is very important to me. I make conscious efforts to reduce my carbon footprint and promote eco-friendly decisions in all areas of my life; I maintain a vegetarian diet, regularly recycle and always try to stay away from single-use products where possible.
One of the most important benefits to menstrual cups is their environmentally friendly impact. The Asan cup is reusable for up to 10 years!
As a passionate environmentalist, I realise that switching to reusable period products is one of the best ways to reduce my plastic waste, preventing thousands of used sanitary pads and tampons from going to landfill.
The Asan cup is revolutionary in so many ways. It heartens me to know that my switch to the Asan cup is a small but significant way to help someone who’s experiencing period poverty whilst promoting a brighter, greener future for our planet.
Ready to give this life-changing cup a shot? Here’s a few frequently asked questions that I hope will help you answer any questions you have while making the switch.
frequently asked questions
Can you put a menstrual cup in before your period?
You should ideally only put the menstrual cup in once your period has started.
When you notice slight spotting on day one, that’s a good time to put your menstrual cup in.
Can you use a menstrual cup when not on your period?
No, a menstrual cup is only for period flow.
Please don’t use your menstrual cup for discharge or postpartum bleeding.
Can you use a menstrual cup on your first period?
Asan has many teen users who started using the Asan cup right from the beginning of their periods at the ages of 12-14 without any issues. Read Kaashvi’s blog to see one such example.
What are the advantages of using a menstrual cup?
Where do I even start? There’s been so many pro’s since I started using the Asan cup. To list a few:
- It’s just so comfortable! You don’t even feel it inside you. That eeky feeling of your period flowing as it comes out is completely gone.
- You can wear it for up to 12 hours so you no longer have to worry about finding a toilet to change your pad or tampon when you’re out
- You save on money you’d spend on period products every month
- It’s super sustainable! You no longer have to toss pads or tampons in the trash every cycle
What are the disadvantages of using a menstrual cup?
The only disadvantage I would say, which is not really even a disadvantage, is that it takes time and patience to learn how to use a menstrual cup.
Much like trying anything new, switching to a menstrual cup takes a bit of trial and error. It’s completely normal if you don’t insert it correctly on your first try - that was me too!
But trust me, with practice it becomes much easier and you won’t ever go back to pads or tampons again.
Does using a menstrual cup break your hymen?
If a menstrual cup is the first thing that you are inserting into your vagina, it’s possible that it might break your hymen. Please know that this is completely normal!
In many cultures the hymen breaking is associated with losing your virginity. At Asan we strongly believe that virginity is a social construct and can only be lost through penetrative sex. It has nothing to do with using a menstrual cup or your hymen breaking.
In fact, many people are born without a hymen or it simply breaks through physical exercise at a young age. So don’t worry if your menstrual cup breaks your hymen, it’s completely normal!
How do you clean a menstrual cup?
Cleaning and maintaining your menstrual cup is very easy.
In order to ensure your cup is clean and sterilised you need to boil your menstrual cup before first use. Just keep it dipped in hot water for 10-15 minutes at the start and end of every period cycle.
During your period, you can just remove it, empty the cup, rinse it with normal tap water and reinsert it - it’s that simple!
You can also use Asan’s One Drop cleanser for some extra cleanliness, and it’s also super handy for when you’re travelling.
Read this blog to learn more about how to clean your menstrual cup.
So are you ready to give the Asan cup a try? What are you waiting for? Shop here now for a life-changing period experience.