Whether you prefer to use pads, tampons, or even a menstrual cup, we’ve all had our fair share of period related horror stories. Though none are probably as terrible as actress Kristen Bell’s experience with a menstrual cup.
During a recent appearance on actress Busy Phillips’s new E! talk show, Busy Tonight, the 38-year-old shared “a very weird experience,” with the DivaCup.
Said Phillips, “A menstrual cup is tricky and takes some trial and error and you have to be willing…”
“To figure it out,” Bell finished. “To finger it out.”
The Good Place actress divulged how she got her DivaCup, um, stuck inside of herself. “I went to grab it and there was something that was suctioned to the wrong part of me,” she said, before describing that she felt as if something was “pulling on her insides.” Sounds painful, right? Well, it gets worse. The feeling that Bell described was so bad that it actually caused her to pass out.
“I fully passed and came to and I still hadn’t had it out, so I then had to remember, like, ‘OK, you gotta brace yourself, you gotta grab hard, you gotta grab strong,” Bell said. “I ripped it out, but after that, I was like, ‘Maybe I should take a break. Maybe it’s not for me.’”
The actress explained to Phillips that her fainting was likely due to vasovagal syncope. According to the Mayo Clinic, this condition occurs when your body overreacts to certain triggers, such as the sight of blood or extreme emotional distress, leading to a sudden drop in heart rate and blood pressure, causing fainting. Some of the most common symptoms of a vasovagal syncope episode include pale skin, nausea, lightheadedness, and tunnel vision. Despite how scary it seems, the condition is usually pretty harmless and requires no treatment.
While the chances of fainting from a menstrual cup are pretty rare, if you do ever find yourself ina situation similar to Bell’s, women’s health brand, Intimina, advises that it’s important to relax, as tensing muscles will only make the removal more difficult.
“Your cup might have moved up too high for you to get a good grip on. If this happens, make sure to use your pelvic floor muscles to push down, until you can get a good grip on the base of the cup,” Intimina recommends in its step-by-step menstrual cup removal guide. “Once you can feel it, pinch the bottom of the cup until you can feel the seal break and air enter the cup.”
As Bell learned through her whole ordeal, menstrual cups really aren’t for everyone, so when it comes to using the period product, especially for the first time, a little trial-and-error is very important.