There's something feminine product advertisers don't want you to know: no one has a perfect period routine. We forget when it's coming, it surprises you, it hurts, and don't forget the good ol' leaks here and there. We all go through it. What can be even more uncomfortable is asking questions about certain products regarding your period. Ever consider the menstrual cup? I'm here to tell you everything I wish I knew before using a menstrual cup.

What exactly is it?

Menstrual cups use suction to defend against period surprise attacks. The two main brands called The Diva Cup and The Lilly Cup can be found on Amazon. They are kind of expensive, and we already spend thousands of dollars on period-related products during our lifetime. The good thing is, menstrual cups are reusable. So you may be able to save money in the long run and produce less waste.

There is definitely a learning curve

Menstrual cups come with very thorough instructions that include pictures to help with insertion. Test it out at home (maybe on a weekend/a time you don't have plans) using a pad, so your mistakes won't cost you a pair of soiled underwear.

Read the instructions provided in the box and follow them

Do you want an accident? Didn't think so. When it says to "grab the cup at the base and turn it to make sure the suction is 100 percent initiated"—do it. 

It gets bloody

Especially in the heavier days of your cycle, the cup will fill up fast. It won't leak if you are using it correctly, but when you take it out, it will probably get all over your hand. To avoid this, empty the cup more frequently on heavier days. Less blood equals less mess. 

Do tampons dry you up? Menstrual cups won't

Especially on light days, tampons mess with your vaginal pH balance and dry up your vagina. Menstrual cups won't do that because they're not absorbent. They simply act as a depository. It's nice to maintain the balance of your vagina. Plus, tampons are expensive

Empty it two to three times a day, even if you don't need to

Directions recommend emptying it at least once per day, but if you limit it to that, it could start to oxidize and produce an odor. Once you clean it, though, the smell will go away.

When you do it right, it is WORTH IT

I still recommend wearing pads on the heavier days, especially if you don't have a 100 percent success rate of use. (You will know if you don't.) But when you wake up after a heavy night and there is NO BLOOD ANYWHERE, you will feel victory like you've never felt before. 

The way I see it, experimenting with period products helps bring awareness to your body, and the ways we can appreciate our monthly gifts. Finding the period protection method that works best for you is a reward for all your hard work and pain and helps ease your mind. Other ways to try and alleviate your mental and physical period pains is eating smart foods and exercise.  Always listen to your body.