An Asian Girl and Her Lily Cup Compact
Hi! I’m Bethanny from Indonesia and I use a menstrual cup called the Lily Cup Compact during my period. As a girl born and raised in Asia, menstrual cups aren’t really a thing. Pads are usually what we go for because inserting a cup inside our vaginas, or inserting anything for that matter before marriage, is considered taboo. I’m actually the first to try out a menstrual cup in my circle of friends, who always ask me how it feels but cringe when listening about the process. That being said, I honestly never really imagined that I would be sitting down and writing about my thoughts regarding my experience with the Lily Cup Compact. And keep in mind that this is not a sponsored post, everything I write is entirely me!
How did I find out about Lily Cup?
I was randomly going through Instagram when I stumbled upon Be Zero. I looked at the website and found a post regarding zero waste as a traveler. Among the recommended list was the Lily Cup Compact. For those who don’t know, the Lily Cup Compact is a menstrual cup that can be stored in a compact case not larger than a lip balm. The idea and the design (it was pink, how could I say no?) was so intriguing that I had to visit the Intimina website and began my research.
Why did I switch to the Lily Cup Compact?
After doing research for a month or so, I realized that changing to Lily Cup Compact might be a good idea. Pads can get really uncomfortable, but I didn’t want to wear tampons either. I also learned that women actually create a lot of waste by using pads and tampons and I didn’t want to continue creating that much waste. So if there was something that I could do to make a change, this would be it.
I told my best friend about this idea, and she said it was interesting. She even said,”I’m going to buy this for your birthday present. Wear it, and let me know how it goes”. I still laugh when I remember that conversation.
Lily Cup Fail
When I received the Lily Cup Compact, I was super excited. I immediately went to the bathroom and an hour passed. Nothing. There was a lot of ‘oohh’s and ‘ouch’s, but I couldn’t do it. I tried again in my room, and after another 30 minutes, I gave up and went with another pad.
Yes, it was disappointing, but after getting over it, I went on my computer and did more research. I read every blog and watched videos of women sharing their experience. It turns out that using any type of menstrual cup can be difficult for women the first time. I felt better about this, and I patiently waited until the next month.
My second and third try was nothing like my first try. Everything went super smooth because of a useful tip I found in one of the blogs (lube!). However, I did get a few leaks at first because I still couldn’t adjust it right. During my third try, I managed to adjust the cup and I experienced less leaks. I think that through time and practice, you get better at using it. I also still double up with a pad while sleeping, especially during my heavy days, just to be safe. In total, I used only 2 pads in July.
Thoughts and tips
I really like using the Lily Cup Compact and I don’t think I would be going back to pads (I tried, but felt uncomfortable). I love that it’s compact and I can just carry it around while being discreet. However, I do wish that I knew about how to use a menstrual cup beforehand and what to expect. Therefore, I want to give a few tips for my girls who want to switch to a menstrual cup:
- Relax: You will see many articles that say this, but it is true. Whenever you feel stressed, stop and take a deep breath. If you need to, try again a few hours later or the next day.
- Use lubrication: I found out about this tip waaay after failing badly on my first try. I never used lube before, but I thought to give it a try. There are different kinds of lubrication, some are even natural. Be sure to research to find out which ones are right for you.
- Expect some kind of pain: Every person’s pain tolerance is different. I know some people who feel like dying using the Lily Cup Compact because of the suction/pressure. For me, the pain is like a toothache, not so bad but you feel it every single moment and it’s just annoyingly there. When it gets bad, I try to lie down or drink something hot to calm my stomach (I am against taking medicine for my period).
- Getting it out can be hard: Inserting the Lily Cup Compact is quite easy once you get the hang of it. The not so easy part would be getting it out. The cup is a strange item to your body, so getting it out will be a little painful. My Lily Cup Compact also tends to get a little bit further inside my body sometimes, which means I have to get my hands inside. The idea is scary, but remember: this is just another part of my body, there is no reason to fear it.
Menstrual cup is an option
Using the Lily Cup Compact has been an eye-opening adventure, especially coming from my culture. No, I’m not bashing my culture or my country, but I’m not agreeing to the methods that we use back home to educate girls regarding their bodies and sexuality. I know that many will say that I have already been westernized or that I am too liberal. But honestly, the society keeps so much information from us as if it’s bad to know about our body and our options! Well, I may be Asian, but I am also a woman. I deserve the right to be aware about my options, to receive education about my body and sexuality, and I should not be seen as a disgrace to my culture for having this knowledge and choosing a menstrual cup over pads. Period.