I Figured Out The Menstrual Cup – Boondh Cup Review

One of my resolutions for 2018 was to make my period as eco-friendly as possible. It took about 9 months for my period to return post-baby and I had initially purchased the Eco-Femme Cloth Pads (which were a great alternative to regular pads) but it wasn’t long before I was informed about the sustainable period miracle that is the menstrual cup. I got a lot of recommendations for the Boondh Cup, which I ended up purchasing. It took me a few months to figure it out so I thought I’d share my thoughts here.

boondh cup, boondh cup review, menstrual cup review, menstrual cup tips, menstrual cup indiaWhat Is A Menstrual Cup?

A Menstrual cup is literally a cup shaped thingamabob made out of medical grade silicone that you can insert into your vagina during your period. The cup will collect the blood during the day. You can then remove the cup, dispose the contents and reinsert it until your cycle ends. {Edit: You can purchase the Boondh cup – here. You can also check out menstrual cups on Amazon, here. If you’re looking for a non-silicone way to make your period more sustainable, check out the eco-femme cloth pads, here.}

 That sounds…painful?

A lot of girls I spoke to about the menstrual cup told me about how uncomfortable they were about the idea of shoving a silicon cup up their vaginas and I get it, I totally do. It just sounds painful – but it isn’t. With a bit of deep breathing, warm water, and some squatting skills, it’ll be inside you before you know it. If you’re sexually active, the cup goes in the same way the penis does, so really, it’s not at all uncomfortable when you’re aware of that angle towards your tailbone. If you’re not sexually active, no problem! Just breathe and take the time to figure out your own body before you try the cup on. It will definitely be awkward the first few times, but honestly, it’s just a matter of getting used to the idea of having something inside you.

Why Shift To A Menstrual Cup At All?

Menstrual cups are period freedom. Apart from the fact that you can do virtually anything while you’re on your period (including swimming and wearing really white pants), they’re cheaper and are practically zero-waste. The average menstrual cup costs something between Rs. 400-800, whereas one pack of Ultra Pads costs like, Rs. 300 and only last for one cycle. A Menstrual cup will last you for 10 years! That’s an automatic saving of Rs. 36,000/-! Apart from the low cost, once you get used to the cup, they’re incredibly comfortable. You don’t feel like you’re wearing anything at all!

Boondh Cup Review

The reason I purchased the Boondh Cup was that unlike most of the other cups in the market, the Boondh cup came only in one size. Most cups come in pre-birth and post-birth sizes because vaginas tend to expand after having a child and this made shopping for one, confusing. I gave birth through C-Section so I wasn’t even sure if any expansion had happened. The Boondh Cup eliminated the confusion and I honestly think it’s the perfect size. The cup also comes in some really fun colours! Perhaps the only thing about the cup which I find a little challenging is the way the bottom nub is shaped. It’s a little hard to get a grip of. There are some menstrual cups that come with flat tabs which are easier to get a grip on. Once you insert the cup, though, you don’t feel anything. There is no discomfort or poking of any sort and that is probably a function of the small nub. The Boondh Cup is priced at Rs. 590/- for one cup. Boondh is an NGO that works to improve menstrual health among lower income communities, so you can also

Image: The Pistachio Project

buy the ‘together’ cup, where you can sponsor a cup for a woman from a lower income community. Win-win!

Menstrual Cup Tips, Tricks and Thoughts

Preparing Yourself
  • You need a crap ton of patience if you want to succeed with the menstrual cup. Breathe, breathe again and breathe deeper.
  • I took three cycles to learn how to use the cup properly. So there is definitely a learning curve involved.
  • The first time you try the menstrual cup, try it at home, where you are the most comfortable. Not the office loo or wherever else. At home, where the bathroom is your kingdom.
  • Don’t try the cup on for the first time when you’re in a rush or hard-pressed for time. The process will require a good fifteen minutes the first time.
  • You might want to boil your cup the first time you use it. If you’re squeamish about using the kitchen for a menstrual cup, you can just put your cup in freshly boiled water for about a minute along with some Dettol.
  • Have the hot water on! You will need to clean the cup multiple times as it slips and slides on to the floor. Hot water, for some strange reason also makes the cup easier to insert.
  • If you’re a virgin (or just crazy paranoid), here’s a great guide to inserting the cup without going into like, full panic attack mode.
Inserting The Cup
  • The ‘Punch Down’ fold worked best for me. There are a number of folds in which you can make the cup small enough to insert comfortably. The Pistachio Project has a great post on it along with really helpful pictures.
  • I insert the cup by going down on a full squat. I can squat really low, so this is a comfortable position for me to be in for more than a few minutes. This was the easiest way for me because I found that I opened up better. If you can’t go down super low, having one leg up on the closet should also work. Remember to consciously relax when you’re inserting it!
  • You will be naturally lubricated during your period, but if you need extra lubrication, you can use a water based lube like Lubic Gel (should be available in every medical shop for like, 20 bucks). Alternatively, you can use coconut oil, but make sure you use the good stuff!
  • Don’t insert the cup all the way in! Insert it just until the cup goes in and the nub just about passes the vaginal entrance. This is something I learned the hard way. The second time I used the cup, I was so pleased with myself for being able to insert it without trouble that I pushed it all the way in. Removing it turned out to be really hard!
  • You should be able to feel the cup open up inside you. Make sure you do, otherwise you could leak.
  • I do a couple of squats and jump up and down a bit to make sure my cup is in place. If you’ve done it right, you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable. You might ‘feel’ the cup the first few minutes that pass after you’ve inserted it, but you won’t after that ’cause YOU WILL ONLY BE FEELING THE FREEDOM
  • The menstrual cup requires you to be really comfortable with your anatomy, so take the time to know yourself better. Your body IS NOT gross. It is amazing.
Removing the Cup
  • Menstrual blood is not gross.
  • You can keep your cup for 6 hours on heavy flow days and 12-18 hours for lighter flow days.
  • I sat in the same full squat position to remove the cup the first couple of times but I later realized that removing it while you’re sitting in the toilet is way easier.
  • Bear down for best results! Basically, you have to squeeze your pelvis like you’re really constipated.
  • Make sure you remove the vacuum before you take the cup out! So when you can feel the base of the cup, pinch it and use your fingers to go upwards – you will hear a small pop, which means you’ve broken the vacuum. Remove the cup slowly and don’t unfold (unpinch?) until the cup is COMPLETELY out of you.
  • I once removed the cup without breaking the vacuum and nearly went blind with the pain so THIS IS AN IMPORTANT STEP OKAY.
  • You might splatter the first few times, that’s okay. Just clean up.
  • Wash yourself and your cup with warm water and reinsert!

Never Going To Use A Pad Again

On one of the heavier flow days of my period, I had to rush my baby to ER for a medical emergency, which required me to be on my toes and away from home for 8 hours. I was wearing the cup the whole time and it was such a godsend! There was no leaking, I didn’t feel uncomfortable and I didn’t have scratchy stuff poking my butt. I came home, exhausted but relieved for the mercies that the cup bestowed on me. Then I used the cup through the night and friends – once you have experienced the freedom that the cup gives during the night – I swear you’ll never want to set your sight on a pad again.

So there you have it! I am officially a believer in the temple of Menstrual Cups. Are you a menstrual cup user? Or are you looking to shift? Let me hear your thoughts!

22 Comments

  1. Hey Lavanya,
    I have been a Boondh user for close to a year and a menstrual cup user for a little more than that. I totally vouch for it. I am also surprised (but not really) that there have been almost close to zero ads on the public media on it. If at all, the blue liquid pad ads have zealously intensified.

    On the post, for people who are using the cups for the 1st time, i recommend using a pad (not an all-nighter variety just a normal basic would do). This helps with catching any leakage if you’ve not inserted it properly. Also, so much better for your nerves if you are scared of staining.

    Thanks for the post

  2. I’ve been using a boondh cup over the last couple of months and that translates to 2 cycles. Admittedly, the first cycle was scary but it took almost 30 minutes of pain, perseverance and creative squat positions on my first try before the cup was entirely in me. I kept thinking if a baby could come out from there,a tiny cup can go in.
    I watched a few documentaries on YouTube with my sister before I started using it and I must say, they helped me understand what I was getting into — rather, what was getting into me.
    My first and only scare was when I attempted to remove the cup for the first time. I could not feel the stem or the rest of the bloody (hehe) cup and I pictured getting it removed surgically. My sister had to remind me that gravity was still intact. A few deep breaths and pushes later, I managed to expel the cup and its contents. The pain is real, ladies.
    The second cycle was far easier largely due to the familiarity of it all.

    Anyhow, thanks for writing this. It is wonderfully adequate for beginners.

  3. Hey Lavanya,

    I just purchased the Lena cup to shift towards being sustainable so used it over one cycle and like you said it’s godsend. Definitely a learning curve involved but it’s so worth it. Though as a beginner I’d suggest some to use it with a pad until comfortable and to catch any leakage/staining.

    Great post. Thanks

  4. Hey lavanya,

    Have been wanting to use one for a very long time.. and have been reading up a lot as well..might try the next period. Really worried about the pain and removal more than insertion

  5. So Sonal Jain (co-founder of Boondh) came to our college and talked to us about the cup and the cons of using a pad. Definitely and eye-opener. I purchased the Boondh cup and tried it for the first time. I had trouble getting it in and i was really scared. But when it did go in, i felt like i was on cloud 9. It’s amazing. I had trouble getting it out as well because of the small stem but it came out much faster than it went in. Im pretty sure I’ll get the hang of it soon. But I’m sure not resorting to the pad ever again.

  6. Not boondh but now using menstural cup for long and wondering why I didn’t use it earlier !
    It’s a miracle and a revolutionary product .
    Good write up

  7. Hey Lavanya. It is a great post and definitely lot of useful information about menstrual cups especially for first timers which is very helpful. I have been using diva cup,another kind of menstrual cup for a year now. It’s a great zero waste option and is truly godsend since I don’t have to worry about changing pads while travelling. I am a civil engineer and I work in the field a lot where I don’t have access to bathrooms, diva cup has been my savior since I don’t have to worry about changing my pad every four hours. Just a note, the recommended period or manufacture recommended use is typically one year for these cups, however it can be used longer. The information that it will last 10 years is little misleading. Also, the recommended period of insertion is 10 hours. Yes on lighter days, the cup doesn’t fill up but it’s not advisable to leave period blood in there for long. So the cup has to be emptied in 10 hours and reinserted. Very useful post. Good job

  8. Are you able to sleep with the cup in? I have super heavy periods and I dread sleeping during my period. I almost always stain my bedding. Have you tried to sleep with the cup?

    • Yes, I am! In fact the ease that the cup gives at night is one of the main reasons I switched. No leaks, no mess. Just make sure you empty the cup and wear it afresh right before you go to bed.

  9. Hii!

    Thanks for the post, it was highly informative! Especially the bit about how to remove it and reinsert it. I’m now [nearly] ready to switch to the cup. I do have one pressing question – I’m at work for about 12 hours a day so how can I possibly use the cup and wash it and reinsert it in the office loo? Since you’ve mentioned that on heavy flow days, one could use it for about 6 hours?

    – Thanks,
    Padmashri

  10. Hi Lavanya,
    I have been using cups for more than a year now. I am sleeping peacefully during period nights . But daytime I experience sudden leakage sometimes thought it is sealed with vacuum..I will try boondh cup and see if my leakage problem goes off at daytime.thanks for the post.

  11. Very informative post on menstrual cups. After an endless ordeal, I was able to insert the cup. But had a feeling that cup kept coming down. So had to keep pushing it inside. But removal was a pain though i thought I had broken the vacuum seal. Should we fold and remove the cup?

    • Yes, please keep it folded until it’s completely out. I took it out similarly the first time and it was so painful that I didn’t put it back in!

  12. First of all let me Thank you got the detailed review of the menstural cup and sharing tips and tricks to make it work.

    I had been meaning to use menstural cups for a very long time and finally took a plunge in May 2018. I have so far gone through 3 cycles with menstrual cups and it has been fabulous. I have so far tried Sirona large menstrual cup and boondh cup. I randomly picked Sirona based on Amazon reviews. During the first cycle, felt a bit uncomfortable. But starting from second Cycle, it has been an easy breeze since then.With Sirona, the nub/stem is a bit long but I read a few comments online where women have shaved/cut the nub off a bit if they were long. Will soon try out to cut the stem part a bit. Maybe a consideration for the manufacturers to produce cups with shorter stems for women with shorter cervix.

    I picked up Boondh based on your review but sadly it is leaking for me. I will probably give it another try and then go from there. What I liked the best about Boondh was that it had such a short stem so you can barely feel it.

    After reading a few reviews on their first experience/difficulties with cups, I can say that I did not even have a single issue when I tried to insert it for the first time. I am a Medico, so I am supposed to know my anatomy a bit, not sure if that is the reason I didn’t have any issues. In fact, on my first day of using the cup, I left to my dad’s place. An almost 3 hr journey by bus (as sadly I am married into a family with unreasonable menstural practices and couldn’t deal with all this Theetu shit and decided to go to my dad’s place) and had the best experience with no leaking.

    When inserting the cup, I am on Mulu Mandi/a little lower than the Indian Toilet squat position and use both both hands and try to locate my Vaginal opening with one hand and guide the cup with the other hand. That has been the easiest way for me. During the last 3 Cycles, I have used cups during overnight bus/flights and also managed to empty the cup in the toilet at airport and it was not gross like I used to imagine before. My main reason for delaying trying out cups for a long time was because I thought for whatever reason, emptying cups would be gross….I can know safely say that switching to cups has been one of the best decision I have made so far. No more rashes, leaking, stains and above all a greener option.

    As a side note, cups are God sent boon if you are married into a family with unreasonable menstrual practices ( I am married into one) and you want to hide your periods from them and not worry about disposing the pads.

    Also, would love to hear back from women who have used cups during workout. I used cups during barr type workout and workouts without much jumping and it was doable.But with HITT type workout, felt a bit uncomfortable with cups and felt the cup almost coming out if I did a lot of squats/lunges.

    I honestly hope our bollywood celebrities would endorse greener products such as these instead of madly posing with pads to promote a movie just because everyone else is doing it.

    Sorry about the long comment, but have been meaning to post a comment for a long time now and Thank you.

  13. Hey Lavanya ,
    This is such an informative article. I was doing a bit of research on cups and this piece of information has been really useful. I am thinking of buying one of these cups and cannot wait to start using them.
    Cheers !

  14. Gosh! thank you so much. I am thinking of moving to the menstrual cup for ages now and I am glad I came across your post because I just read a nasty post and I got really scared.

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