I tried using a menstrual cup and thought I would die In the Powder Room

I Tried Using a Menstrual Cup and Thought I Would Die

“Birthing a set of triplets was easier than this.”


Y’all, I have been traumatized. I let those crunchy moms sway me to try the menstrual cup. They told me I would never go back to tampons again!

So I bought one. I ignored the voice inside my head that told me I was 40 and perimenopausal. And that I had periods that resembled Niagara Falls. And that these weird things were made for dainty women who just drip.

I folded the cup as instructed and inserted it. But it didn’t open as it should so it was really just a wad of plastic. Using my middle and index finger as tongs, I pulled it out.

Sweat now on my forehead, I tried again, and gently pushed upward. I felt it open like a beautiful spring flower, accompanied by angels singing.

But the singing abruptly stopped. The cup was sideways and nowhere near my cervix. All I managed to do this time was create a rain catcher to direct “Niagara” over to the right a bit.

Sweating all over, I tried a new position and finally made contact with my cervix. Yes! I gave it a final push to make it flop into place. It felt good to be crunchy.

When the time came to take it out, I sat on the toilet, and attempted to find the rim. Let me just stop here and tell you that I was apparently blessed with a longer than normal vagina. The rim was way out of reach. Maybe I can just pull the tip of the cup to break the suction and then pull it off that way, I reasoned.

Did you know a menstrual cup on a cervix is like shrink wrap on a fruit basket? And that your middle and index finger really have no muscle power at all?

After many attempts to get the devil off my cervix, I ripped off my sweaty shirt and positioned my legs as if delivering a baby. That was the moment I remembered my doctor telling me I had a tilted uterus. “Oh my lord, I am going to die,” I wailed.

The door chimed. My husband was home. Lying there, I listened to his footsteps as he made his way toward the bathroom. “Are you Okay?” he asked through the closed door.

“I don’t know!  . . . Yeah I’ll be alright . . . NO, I’m not OKAY!!!”

He cracked open the door and saw me lying, shirtless, on the floor sobbing.

“What the . . . ?”

“I think I need to go to the hospital.” I sobbed out. “I have this . . . thing . . . stuck to my cervix!”

I weakly gestured to the empty box lying in the corner. He picked it up and said, “How could something like this get stuck to your cervix?”


“Can I help you?”

“You have sausage fingers and Carpal tunnel!!” I hissed. “How can you possibly help?!!”

I spent time resting and staring at the ceiling AC vent wondering if it was even working at all. Then, after many attempts, different positions, and profanity over having a tilted uterus, I finally managed to hook it and yank it out. I tossed it angrily, watching as it skid across the floor before bumping into the closed door. Then I collapsed in a spent mess.

Birthing a set of triplets was easier than this. I swore I would never listen to another crunchy mom as long as I lived on God’s green earth.

I was even angry enough to want to throw away my organic milk.

Debbie McCormick is a writer, humorist, and mom of six, which includes one set of triplets. She was voted Circle Of Moms top 25 funny moms of 2013 and Parents Society’s top 10 funny moms on the web. Her humorous essays have been featured on many popular sites as well as regularly featured on Blogher. You can find her on her blog, WrinkledMommy.com.

Keep the conversation going...



  1. says

    At least your husband was helpful. Mine would’ve been like, “hey while you’re down there can you wipe the pee from around the base of the toilet. I forgot. Here’s a clorox wipe”.

  2. says

    Been there, done that!!! I had completely forgotten these moments until you reminded me, and yes, my story is very similar! Also a mess with some kind of European Sponge that one of my neighbors convinced me would “contain” all of the blood! Don’t go for it, ladies! But I will promise you this: there’s humor here, but not until about 15 years later!

  3. says

    Debbie, I feel so bad that I’m laughing so hard it took me five minutes to just type this sentence! I can only imagine how horrible the experience was, but I do thank you for giving me the best laugh of my week, heck, the month is young but it might end up being the best laugh of my month!!!!

  4. says

    “You have sausage fingers and Carpal tunnel!!” <- I die. So so funny, Debbie. (Of course I'm laughing with you, not at you.)

    In defense of the menstrual cup, I'm totally one of those crunchy friends who will never use tampons again. But I will admit, those first few times of trying to figure it out were a bit like the prom scene of "Carrie." I've also birthed three nearly 10 pound piglets so I actually have more trouble keeping the damn thing in than getting it out. #vaginormous

    • says

      I know, my poor husband who is digit-disabled, bless him. Am I mistaken, or do they make them with strings now? It seems like I remember seeing an “updated version” somewhere.

      • Jay says

        No, they don’t make them with strings – how would that even work? You need to grip the base of the cup to break suction, if you struggle then you push down or you leave it a little while – seriously, you freaked out, while understandable it just made your experience negative.

        You can however get cups with valves so you let the blood out of the stem rather than removing the whole cup.

        • says

          Valves? Ugh, that just makes me sick to think about it. As for the strings, oh I don’t know…maybe have it attached to the rim so people with longer than normal vagis, like myself, can pull it and break suction.

    • says

      Yes, that should be your story and you should stick to it. :) I had a uterine ablation a few years ago and it caused me to become a dainty dripper. I’m all for anything to lighten a period.

  5. Monnie says

    Oh man! Gave this a try a year ago. Think my internal organs are only now recovering. Stupidly, I convinced myself, despite feeling like I had a giant rubbery torture implement up myself, that it would be okay to do the school pickup. Agony! Sitting in the car, gingerly getting out, wincing in pain at any sudden or not so sudden angle change, walking into the school grounds with a gait that screamed “she’s a first cup timer”! My God! And getting it out? Man! You would swear it had a built in motor that propelled it to go in any direction but down! Think I ended up with a whole arm insertion in order to extract. Reminded me of James Herriott from All creatures great and small! Took my cervix, uterus, Fallopian tubes, and whatever else, days to recover from the bruising. Never ever again!

  6. Erin says

    I was pondering trying it – thanks for doing that for me… I’ll stick to tampons, they aren’t that bad!

    • Kasha says

      Don’t let this put you off, as a seasoned cup user let me assure you that she wasn’t using the cup correctly and just freaked out.

      Promise most women love cups and don’t experience anything like this, much better than tampons – wear for 12 hours, with any flow, before your period, overnight, for swimming, no need to alternate with pads, no risk of TSS or dioxin, no irritation or infections, reduce flow, reduce cramps, save money, and no leaks.

    • Nana says

      I agree with Kasha , I have a super long vag like the writer of this post but I’ve been happily using a cup for years and I love it! She freaked out and didn’t use it the right way, for instance tge cup should NOT be in contact with the cervix and this was her first big mistake. Always read the instructions ladies and if possible ask to others who have more experience 😉

      • Allison says

        Can we skip a little on the cup victim blaming? I used a Diva Cup for years, was “eh” about it (i hardly have a period anyway, so when I used tampons I barely spent any money and they were so much less hassle) and then I decided to get a different brand out of curiosity. Oh my god. No problems insertion, let it sit safely where it should, yet it….drifted. I had to go to the ER to get them to puncture holes in it because it had suction cupped itself to my cervix. They told me there was no way I would have got it out myself.

        But yes, continue to profess that anyone who has trouble with a cup is an idiot who “panicked.” The removal directions printed with Diva consist of “release suction with finger,” which is hardly universally functional. Most women I know use their own methods to remove a cup, or ones shared on the internet.

  7. says

    OMG! I’ve read so much about them but the thought just grosses me out and I’d be like you, getting the damn thing stuck! Gross!

  8. says

    It was a nightmare from a horror movies from a scene from Alien all wrapped into one. I put it in, everything was fine as i cooked and moved around. Since we had friends over for dinner
    I even forgot it was in…until I stood up to clear the table and u derstood what happens when a misshaped vagina meets a tilted uterus and they sit down while wearing a cup.
    Nothing like having to ask a group of DINNER guests to close their eyes and no peaking until hazmat had finished.

  9. says

    OMG! SHRINK WRAP ON A FRUIT BASKET!! SO funny, I mean, terrible, so terrible taht you had to go through this. Thanks for taking one for the collective “team!” I’ll considered myself warned.

  10. says

    I was laughing so hard I was shaking my kitchen table. My daughters thought I was in danger. So funny.
    I have always wanted to try one of those things but now I’m not so sure. I always thought the clean up would be gross.

  11. says

    Well, you can add that to your, “Most Awkward Situations I shared with my husband and husband alone,” list. You know, that list that keeps you from getting a divorce mainly because you know you could never have THAT experience with another man, ever. EVER.

    I’m glad you took care of that without a trip to the ER.

    And I’ve never tried those, but I think I’ll stick to my Kotex, Light Day Longs, Aleve, and Chocolate regiment.

    • says

      Yes, most definitely. Plus, staying married keeps this story in our “personal vault to never be spoken of again”. Lord, if we divorced, he would tell his new wife during a “My ex is crazy” conversation.

  12. says

    All the traumatic memories of trying those things just came flying back to my mind. I also laughed so hard I thought I was going to pee. Excuse me while I share this with my mother 😀

  13. says

    Okay, and I was only recently considering switching. No way in hell! Especially coz I have sausage fingers and Carpal tunnel. FML!

  14. says

    I’ve wondered what a menstrual cup actually was for a while. Thanks for informing me. I think I’m going to stick with tampons too. I started sweating while reading this…haha!

  15. says

    This is how I felt about diaphragms! Trying to fold that thing up, while keeping the spermicide from leaking over the edges, and then “fitting” it in there? There’s a reason we had two “sooner than planned” babies!

  16. says

    OHMYGOSH I was laughing SO hard through this entire story!! You have such a way with words! BUT- of course, I felt SO bad for you too! Love that your hubs was ready and willing to help! And so relieved you managed to pull that sucker (pun intended!) out!

  17. says

    As a pad and not a tampon girl, and mother of ONE child (C-SECTION), I have cramps and a scratchy cervix after just reading this. I would NEVER try this. Ever.

  18. Lynnea says

    My menstrual cup usually has wine in it. I am menopausal now b8t get it out at least once or twice a month. Lol

  19. Kimberly Winkelmann says

    OMG! I have a tilted cervix too and had the same experience! I refused to ask my husband for help, but he does have very long fingers. I also thought I was going to die. I finally had to use something to get it out. Worst experience of my life.

  20. Kimberly Winkelmann says

    I meant tilted uterus. And I have twins. Cup still worst thing I’ve ever told my husband.

  21. S. Kent24 says

    Oh I know your pain. Those things are not made for everyone. Can you believe I had the gall to try those things more than once. I guess the first time wasn’t traumatic enough for me. I thought my wrist was going to brake trying to get that thing out. The worst is once it is full and you don’t want to spill that on your hand as you try and remove it. I don’t care what anyone says. It is not about using it wrong it is about how all the equipment is shaped and sized. If you have to wear a pad with it then it is pretty pointless. Yep that should sum it all up. Lol

  22. Diana says

    Glad I read this, I’ve been told I was tilted and long when I had a pap as well and I get very heavy periods. I don’t use tampons thanks to a scary accident I had with one getting lost in there, it was a nightmare to get out. Pads is the way to go for me, funnily enough when the tamping accident happened I had a similar husband moment minus the carpal tunnel, he has short fingers though. Haha

  23. Veronica Bohan says

    It sucks that you had a bad experience with it, I did too my first couple of times using it. They can be tough to get out. I always just yank on the stem to break the suction and pull it right out, no problem. As for the messy factor, when on the go, I would just wipe it out first with a summer’s eve or other feminine wipe before washing just to make it easier. They are amazing things and when in correctly, much more comfortable. I have the problem of tampons sliding out when I cough. I even have a Niagra Falls type period and the cup contains it! Your experience was bad, but other ladies who were curious, don’t let it sour you on at least trying it. Tampons and pads actually contain a lot of toxic ingredients like carcinogens!

  24. Maria says

    I have abundant flow, have never been pregnant and have had little sexual experience.
    The first time I tried the cup I was scared I couldn’t pull it out, I was late for work and I pictured an embarrassing trip to the ER or my doctor’s office. With a little focus and singing a song, I used some water as lubricant and pulled it out of me until next month.

    I decided to try it by stages, using it when I could stay at home and change it without rush, going back to pads as needed, and I can tell you it has been the BEST decision I’ve made ever. Now I used it without fuss, when I’m home or staying out and can wash it while at work or visiting a friend.

    I do agree that this is not for everybody, but all in all, relaxation and understanding how it really works helps tons to users.

    In order to use it, one must be 100% sure it’s what you want, or else you’ll fret and even feel pain inserting.
    I was lucky to find many reviews online of women with different experiences with their periods using them and listing the ups and downs, and I was amazed by the satisfaction those who opted for it felt.

    My advice for those who want to try it: consider a water based lubricant and try it not as a definite replacement, but as a test until you find your routine around it.

  25. Tara says

    Sorry you had a bad experience. I love my menstrual cup. I have a tiny vajayjay so I ordered the smallest one I could find. I have a MeLuna small. It also has a ring stem, and it’s so easy to pull out. Putting it in is a breeze, too. My periods have become lighter and shorter, too. Went from gushing for 6 days to dripping for 3.

    You don’t have to pull it out by the rim, you pinch the base to release the suction and it will come right out.

    Maybe you can do some research about using them properly and try again.

  26. Angela says

    How the heck did you get it sideways? I just bought one and am on day one but I can not fathom it ever finding a way sideways. I have a Lunette cup size two so maybe that’s it? Idk. But this story, while horrific, is hilarious! I long imagined my first time with a cup being similar, thank goodness it wasn’t lol. I did read the instructions and watch/read tutorials every day for a month leading up to today though :) I was VERY nervous.

  27. says

    I never knew these things existed! I’ve avoided a period for several years through pregnancy and breastfeeding. Come to think of it, I might try the cup…

  28. Shanno Doran says

    Oh my gawd!! That was the best thing ive read today! And probably will.be all month! You poor thing! What a horrible experience! But you tell it so well!! Haha haha! !! I too have a tilted uterus and after reading this, will never try a cup! Urk ! Oh some of the replies too! Especially the poor lady with a table.full of dinner guests! ‘Dint look!’