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Cycling is a great way to battle those mood swings and cramps that come with our monthly period. Yet, that bloated feeling or the thought of having to change your tampon every few hours during a heavy flow can make spending time in the saddle less than appealing.
Here’s a tip to make cycling while menstruating a bit more comfortable: the menstrual cup.
I was introduced to the menstrual cup during my preparations to trek to Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal. I needed something that would hold up for hours of walking in between access to a bathroom (shack) while also limiting waste.
What I found was that the cup is not only a great option for backpacking and trekking, it also makes cycling while menstruating so much more comfortable and practically stress-free.
Made from medical grade silicone, the cup is worn inside the vagina to collect menstrual fluids. Manufacturers say it can collect up to a day’s worth of fluid, but the cup should be removed, rinsed and reinserted every eight hours. It’s good for bike riding because, while on a long ride, you may not know when or where your next potty stop will be.
With menstrual cups holding much more fluid than even the most absorbent tampon, you don’t have to stress about leaks. Plus, it’s reusable so you don’t have to carry extras on you or dispose of anything! As long as you have potable water to clean the cup every eight hours, you’re good to go.
The downside, however, is that it can be a bit messy and inserting it takes some getting used to and also cause leaks if done incorrectly.
But for me, not having to worry about my period when I’m spending four or five hours in the saddle is such a relief, it outweighs the cons.
Looking to give the menstrual cup a try? There are various brands on the market offering different designs, colours and capacities. More commonly available brands include Diva Cup, Moon Cup, Soft Cup and Lunette.