CVS-Brand Menstrual Cup

Note: Because of the nature of this product, I am going to talk about blood, bathroom stuff, and the reproductive anatomy. If this bothers you, then kindly click the "Back" button and do not read this review.

We live in an amazing time now, people. For those of us who are tired of disposable menstrual products, and don't care for fabric pads, you can now purchase a menstrual cup from CVS for about $30. (I would absolutely NOT buy the ones from random Amazon sellers, y'all. There's no guarantee that it's a body-safe form of silicone.)

Photograph of a hand holding up a menstrual cup.

$30 is a lot more affordable than the fancy-schmancy brand-name menstrual cups. Within a year, this beauty will pay itself off--if it works. So of course, I tried it.

First note: The size is based on your age and whether or not you've had children. I don't know what happens if you buy the wrong size, nor do I quite understand why being over 30 is supposed to have the same effect on your vaginal shape as PUSHING OUT AN ENTIRE BABY, but I'm not a menstrual-cup manufacturer, so I went with the bigger Size B just to be safe.

You sort of flatten-and-fold the cup from top to bottom to get it into a suitable shape for pushing Up In There. This can be tricky if you're re-inserting the cup after emptying it, because blood is a bit slippery. There is no photo of this in the included instructions, but there is a wealth of illustrations of different ways to fold your menstrual cup on the Internet. You just kinda have to figure out what works best for you.

Once the cup is entirely past your vaginal corona (except for the little pull-tab at the bottom, which isn't big enough to be an issue), you quit shoving it Up In There and just let it unfold and sit there, inside your vagina, blocking the blood from making a mess of your wardrobe.

When you go to the bathroom, you carefully pull out the cup and let it empty into the toilet before re-inserting it. Yes, this means you'll have to wash your hands before AND after going to the bathroom, and you're gonna get some blood on your hands. You can handle this. I have faith in you.

At the end of your cycle, you take the cup out again, only this time you wash it in the sink with either an unscented soap, or one of many brands of special cup cleaner, making sure to stretch out and empty all the little ventilation holes around the top. I used Flex brand cup cleaner, because it was readily available and the price wasn't too ridiculous.

Photograph of a bottle of Flex Foaming Cup Wash

There's a special little baggie included with the cup, to store it in. Keep it in a nice dry place until next month, when you start the whole thing over again.

I have one tiny, disgusting warning for you: Just like with a tampon, it is possible to poop out your menstrual cup. If you feel like you're gonna drop a number 2, pull the cup out FIRST so it doesn't fall in the toilet and get all gross. (Thankfully, I was at home when this happened, so I could scrub the cup out with my special cleaner and wash my hands.) A backup tampon may be nice to have in case of this sort of really nasty emergency.

The Verdict

Overall, this is a good, solid product. If you aren't an exceptionally heavy bleeder, you can count on a menstrual cup to do what needs doing, without making the inside of your vagina dry out the way tampons can. There's a bit of a learning curve, and you will have to put your finger and thumb up your vagina to get the cup properly In There, so if you're gonna get one, your first couple of insertions should take place at home, where it's nice and low-stress. You'll know it's inserted correctly when you can stand up and not feel much of anything there. A properly-cleaned menstrual cup also won't leak, so it can last for YEARS without issues.

8/10 Not the easiest product to use, but well worth the effort to learn.