I used to be a menstrual cup evangelist. It was a bloody lifesaver when my periods became so heavy that I ran through the Maritime museum in Greenwich trying to cross my legs to contain a clot as large as my fist (true story). I could at last buy only one packet of pads and empty my cup every 10 to 20 minutes.
But then I found myself in hospital with a cyst the size of a golf ball on the wall of my vagina. My GP had told me that it was nothing, just a case of vaginas being different shapes and sizes. Turns out, it wasn't. It was painful and it had to be removed.
A 20-minute routine surgery took over double that and caused significant scarring. I was given tramadol and have a fever-dreamish memory of blood going everywhere as I stood up to get changed. It truly was like Carrie.
Three years on, I still can't use internal protection. The scars mean that I need extra small speculums and a recent colposcopy caused *quite* a bit of screaming. While you can go for colposcopies while you're on your period (mine started the day before my appointment) during my procedure there was blood on-screen as well as my cervix... Carrie take two.
Anyway, why am I oversharing here? It's because I know I can't be alone - there are many, many reasons why people choose not to use internal protection, and sometimes it's not a choice. People might not be able to keep cups clean, but they also might not be able to use them full stop.
I miss my menstrual cup so much and I hope to be able to use it again one day. But please remember that although reuseables are wonderful, wonderful things, for some of us disposable pads are an absolute godsend and sometimes the only option.
Keep those donations flowing, you bloody babes!