A Period Drama: Part 1 Radical Honesty Will Set Us Free

Never have I ever needed assistance to remove a menstrual cup.

An OTT share from Chava Kuchar

So the story goes, a couple of years ago I ran into our guest bathroom for an intended second, I needed to pee and check on my Diva Cup, I lock the door (I never lock the door, thanks to my kids unwavering and constant bathroom visits I don’t even close the door anymore, but I locked the door this time because my menstrual cup was new and I didn’t need to traumatize my kids by pulling a cup of blood from my vagina in front of them). My flow was heavy, and it was easy enough to insert, so I figured how difficult could its removal be?! Before I can even start, I hear little hands on the other side of the door frenziedly assaulting the handle, “Ima, iiiimaaaa, iiiiiiimmmmmaaaaaa”.

“Just a sec darl, Ima is in here” (Ima means mum/ mother in Hebrew)

“I just want to show you something…”

No darling, Ima is in here and needs a minute,” I say squatting on the floor while I am clumsily attempting to grab the tab at the bottom of the cup, without any success. In fact, I can barely reach it and when I do manage to reach it my hand keeps slipping off. Wtf!?

“Iiiiimmmmaaaaa…”

Ok, pull up the undies (do people outside of Australia know what undies are? I am talking about underwear), wash the hands, open the door, exit, walking past my kid, who is still trailing me…I turn around I say, “I need to go back to the bathroom, what would like?”

“Look”, then he does some weird little dance and then says “funny?”

“Hilarious, so so funny” (it wasn’t), he seems satisfied and goes back to where he was playing before.

I grab some rubber gloves from under the kitchen sink, hoping the textural friction will assist my inability to seize the tab and return to the bathroom, locking the door. Time to reapproach, squatting isn’t working, so I lift my leg onto the sink basin, and attempt to grab hold of it, got it, slipped…start sweating…relax…again…again…no luck. I take the gloves off, chuck them into the trash and try to leave bathroom ninja style, undetected and super quick; I grab my phone and return to the bathroom. I lock the door and then call my best friend and experienced menstrual-cupper. She doesn’t pick up.

I leave a very intense and anxiety-ridden voice clip “Sara, I can't pull the cup out! I can barely reach it, and when I do get it, it slips off when I try to pull…you might have to come here and pull it out for me”.

I breathe, I sit down on the toilet and summon my inner millennial and google how to remove a menstrual cup. Many tabs later and I find a youtube video suggesting that I pinch the base of the cup- where the tab meets it. So, I put some gloves back on and return to my initial squatting position and do just that, and then suddenly I feel movement- a slight un-suctioning of the cup, like a little pop, some pull and...phew...its out. Surprisingly,  it’s bloody mucous content is not as intriguing as I thought it would be but the upside was that there were no leaks and without a doubt that sucker was in to stay.

“Sar, it's out, all good, ignore this,” I say into the phone’s microphone.

* * * 

So, why the TMI? Because I just want you to know that you don’t need to be an awkward age 12 to have some serious period drama.

As I have matured I have figured out that no matter your age or experience there is always something you can learn about your body and your period- that’s how a 30 something me came to realise that The Moon Cup, with its longer and more accessible tab was the preferable product for me (to the Diva cup that I started with). 

So here I am, most of my friends are starting to wrap their heads around approaching the topic of menstruation with their daughters. It shouldn’t be too hard, right!? Wrong. Because while the facts haven’t changed in the 20 years or so since we received our ‘gifts’ (one of my favorite period euphemisms), the cultural landscape and menstrual products are overwhelmingly different. So the following article is a guide to help you talk to your daughters about their periods- complete with facts, stories, products and we encourage you to join us for the conversation, it’s bound to get good and bloody.

For more read a Part 2: A guide to help talk to your daughters or Part 3: The FAQS and the fiction