We Tried A Menstrual Cup To See What It's Really Like


via Giphy

When it comes to feminine wellness here at HB HQ, we’re not shy; literally no topic is off the table, from pubic hair to period pains, our office chat has covered it all. So when we received a new menstrual cup called the Intimina Lily Cup, $26, along with multiple other variants of the menstrual cup, the office went wild. All-day people were stopping by to look and feel the Lily Cup, asking questions like “Is it comfortable?” “Is it easy to insert?” and the inevitable “But is it messy?” Well, we put it to the test and we have all those questions and tons of others answered. Here’s everything you need to know about using a menstrual cup.

What Is The Lily Cup?

Lily cup

The Lily Cup is a menstrual cup that you insert into your vagina, instead of using a tampon or a menstrual pad. The ultra-soft medical-grade silicone cup is placed inside the vagina to collect menstrual blood, offering 12 hours of protection. The cup is 77mm in height and can hold 28ml of fluid, it also has a no-spill rim to prevent leaking. There’s also an easy-grip system that’ll help remove the cup, which can also be trimmed for comfort. When the cup is removed, you simply pour the blood into the toilet, rinse the cup, and it’s ready to be reinserted. There are two cups sizes; size A, which is recommended for those who have not given birth and size B for those who have given birth or have a weak pelvic floor.

How Does a Menstrual Cup Work?

To use the Intermina Lily Cup, you simply roll it up into a cylinder shape and insert the cup into the vagina. Once it is placed inside, the cup unfolds, and it sits comfortably inside protecting you for up to 12 hours. To remove it, grab the grip at the base of the cup, and pull it downwards. Once it’s removed, you can empty the blood into the toilet bowl and reinsert. You should then wash the cup in warm water at the end of each day and boil after each cycle.

lily cup

Our Experience with the Intimina Lily Cup

Okay, so full disclosure, we’ve only used the menstrual cup for one cycle, but one of our colleagues has been using it for years, so you’ll get the first-time realness, plus the pro tips.

Our First Time: As a regular tampon user (I actually prefer using a non-applicator tampon), I’m pretty comfortable inserting a tampon. And honestly, the Lily Cup was kinda difficult to insert and it did take a couple of attempts before I felt comfortable enough to leave the bathroom. Folding the cup into a tampon formation can be a little tricky so make sure you have a firm grip before you insert it. Once it’s folded, try and insert it at an angle, which makes it SO much more comfortable to wear throughout the day.

Our Tips: Kinda gross, but this process was a little messy so we’d definitely recommend first-time-insertion to be in the comfort of your own bathroom. On one occasion, it felt as if it might slip out, and although it can’t, it definitely wasn’t comfortable – in this case, take it out and reinsert it (it was fine the second time)! It really is a trial and error experience when you start using a menstrual cup so don’t be afraid to get up close and personal – it’s your body, after all. The first few times you use a menstrual cup, in case the cup isn’t quite inserted properly you may experience spotting, so use a panty liner to feel more comfortable.

Our verdict: Although using a menstrual cup takes a little getting used to, we definitely recommend it, as in the long run, not only will it save you a lot of money, but it’s also so much better for the environment.

Experienced Tips

Our colleague who has been using the menstrual cup for years has converted tons of her girlfriends into menstrual cup fans. She says they typically find that after a few periods, inserting and removing a menstrual cup becomes super easy. Her top tips for using a menstrual cup:

  • It’s easiest to insert when you’re squatting, so get into position!
  • When you insert your cup, to remove any trapped air, twist the cup three to four times when you’re pushing it upwards. This will avoid any suction issues and ensure that it’s comfortable.
  • To remove it, tighten your kegel muscles to push the cup out.
  • We’re gonna be real with you guys… If you need to poop, remove the cup first to avoid the cup dropping in the toilet, otherwise the pressure could squeeze it out.

So Should You Trade in Your Pads and Tampons for a Menstrual Cup?

Menstrual cup

Although it may seem slightly intimidating or tricky to begin with, just think back to the first time you used a tampon – personally, we were terrified! If you’re a pad user, this may take more time to get used to. Once you’re past the initial phase, you’ll get on board with the benefits: like not inserting bleached cotton into your body once a month, and preventing environmental waste. Both pads and most tampons contain plastic fibers, which do not decompose and aren’t recyclable, which means those 11,000 sanitary products you use over the course of your life will stick around long after you. By using a menstrual cup, you’ll cancel out this massive amount of waste. Plus, you’ll save SO much money, by not spending $7 on a box of tampons or pads every month you’ll end up saving around $70 a year if you keep your moon cup for just two years.

Check out the Lily Cup here, $26.

Intimina also offers other variants of the Lily Cup, like the Lily Cup Compact, which can be pressed down so it becomes flat and fits inside a small circular case that you can easily stash in your purse or pocket.

There’s also a flat fit design called the Ziggy Cup that you can wear during intercourse for mess-free period sex.

menstrual cup

For more period chat, check out these 9 natural ways to soothe period pains.