Convincing My (Pre-Menopausal) Mom to Use a Menstrual Cup

Have you heard the saying, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?” Well if my mom was old and a dog (she’d kill me if I actually compared her to that), I would definitely be able to claim this as a true fact.

Why?

Because after almost a full menstrual lifetime of using tampons I got my mom to not only try, but to fall in love with menstrual cups! Since my own menstrual cup journey happened nearly at the same time, I thought it would be helpful to hear a brief backstory…

BACKSTORY

A few years ago, when Be Prepared. Period. was in its early development, I was privileged to be introduced to one of the most awesome products ever, the menstrual cup!

At that time, I was only familiar with the traditional tampon and pad products on the market. Wanting to offer ladies all their products of choice, Be Prepared. Period. quickly grew its offerings to also include an organic variety.

As our inventory grew, my beloved sister-in-law requested that we start carrying the Softcup, since had been using this product for over 12 years. She promised she would be a customer for life.  I thought, “Sure, why not – who can turn down a ‘lifetime customer’ and favorite sister-in-law?”

Shortly after the addition of Softcup, I was contacted by other makers like the DivaCup. (Update: I’ve now added XO Flo to the mix) They wanted to know if I’d like to carry their menstrual cups as well. They even generously offered to send me a cup to try out myself!

Being a curious creature, once again I thought, “Sure, why not ? After all, I  should have firsthand experience with all the different options out there, right?”

I won’t lie; the thought of trying a menstrual cup was a little freaky at first. You see, I had been a tampon user my whole life. Technically, after about my second cycle when I said, “I’m done with pads, I gotta try tampons!” I followed my mom’s suit and “borrowed” some of her tampons with applicators and never looked back.

So why was I so freaked out about trying a menstrual cup? I suppose I was like many others considering menstrual cups – my biggest concern was it would be super messy, and honestly… a little gross. With my super absorbent tampons (with applicators) I rarely dealt with a mess. I guess you’d say the applicator acted as a kind of barrier between me and my period, so I really didn’t have a lot of experience with it. And like many things that are not well known, that unknown can cause a certain amount of discomfort.

As someone who regularly pushes outside her comfort zone, I bit the bullet and tried not one, but all of them! There were so many benefits that I just had to give them all a try. The two key benefits of menstrual cups (in my opinion) are:

  • 1. They are more eco-friendly
  • 2. They don’t carry the same risk of TSS – something I should have been better educated on way earlier in life. I urge everyone to become aware of the dangers, symptoms and ways to reduce risk of TSS.)

So, with those two big factors how could I resist?

Now this story is supposed to be about how I convinced my mom to use a menstrual cup, so I won’t go into great detail about my experience (that’s its own story) – but I will tell you, menstrual cups rocked my world!

For me, there was only a small learning curve before I was on my way to 12 hour a day period protection. And the Carrie like visions of blood being everywhere was just a product of my imagination, it was much cleaner than I expected.  Yay for another fear conquered!

MY MOMS MENSTRUAL CUP STORY

Having a very close relationship with my mom, she got to witness my menstrual cup adventure. Whether she liked it or not, she got to hear all the details as I braved each cycle with a new product.

At this point, I had already educated my mom on the benefits of organic tampons and natural panty liners and had convinced her to make that switch. (Little did she know the new world of menstrual cups that awaited her.)

Sharing that same curious quality (guess you know where I get it from!), she started reconsidering her product choices after hearing me go on and on about how awesome menstrual cups were. She, too, liked the advantage of getting to wear the cup for up to 12 hours.

But unlike me, my mom had begun experiencing the symptoms of irregular and erratic periods due to perimenopause. Her periods were not on a consistent cycle nor were they a consistent flow – sometimes they’d skip a month, sometimes they’d come multiple times per month. Sometimes they were really light in flow, sometimes they made her feel like the flood gates had opened up.

As you might imagine, this not only made it hard for her to manage her period, but it also made selecting the right product difficult. She had to be prepared for anything, from spotting to flooding. So the thought of being able to wear a menstrual cup safely for extended periods of time and it accommodating any amount of flow (light or heavy) made her even more intrigued.

But like anyone trying something for the first time, she had her own concerns. Her two biggest ones were:

“Can I put it in properly without causing leaks?”

“Can I take it out without a mess?”

(SPOILER ALERT: These two concerns ended up being “no big deal” – neither was an issue.)

MY MOMS FINAL VERDICT ON MENSTRUAL CUPS

The question remained, did she like them as much as me? The answer: Heck yeah!!

And so… there were two new menstrual cup lovers added to this world!

Knowing I wanted to share her story to help those that wanted to try a menstrual cup, I asked her, “What three things would you like me to say about your experience?” She told me there was no way she could just list three things. So… because she’s my mom, I agreed to share them all.

This is what she had to say:

“One of the biggest surprises was that while wearing the cup I actually experienced less menstrual cramps – that completely blew my mind!”

 “With a menstrual cup, you almost don’t even realize you’re on your period!”

“No leaks = no odor!”

“With tampons, you always gotta run to the restroom to keep checking for leaks, with a cup, I was at peace!  That was huuuge! Say goodbye to self-consciousness and hello to self-confidence!”

“The other bonus…not having to go to the store and worry about buying groceries to conceal my feminine care products. I know people shouldn’t worry about this, but there are still a lot of us that do.”

“After so many years of using tampons it was truly exciting to be introduced to the cup and the normal life that it allows you to live all month long.”

 “Menstrual cups are great for just about every gal…heavy flow, light flow, irregular periods, active or athletic ladies, and those that need longer period protection.”

“It’s never too late to change! Don’t be scared, it’s worth it!”

 

With my mom’s whacky perimenopausal periods I could say the introduction to menstrual cups couldn’t have come at a better time. But, according to my mom, they came about 40 years later than she would have preferred. Because after only a little over a year of service, she had to retire her new menstrual cup friend for her newest milestone…MENOPAUSE. (Congratulations, Mom!)

To this day, my mom continues to say, “I just wish I learned about menstrual cups earlier, they could have made life so much easier.

Even though menopause has eliminated the need for her to be concerned with menstrual management, she is happy to be among the many menstrual cup advocates out there spreading the word about their awesomeness. She’ll tell anyone who will listen, “You HAVE to try a cup, it will change your life!”

What concerns do/did you have about menstrual cups, are they the same as ours were? Share with us in the comment section below.

Are you already a menstrual cup fan? Share this article with your waiting to be menstrual cup fan friends and get them on board!!

Not a menstrual cup fan yet? Share this article with your friends and take the menstrual cup challenge together and bond a little deeper over some period talk!


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