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The Menstrual Cup

The Menstrual Cup

Ok. This is an interesting post for me to write. My mum came over to me the other day and started talking to me about menstrual cups and how amazed she was that they existed. When I told her that I’d been using one for a few months now and that I was in the process of convincing my sister to use one.. firstly, she got really annoyed at our lack of communication and then she was intrigued.

I have to be honest, my Mooncup stayed in my knicker drawer for about a year before I actually had the courage to use it. I remember back to being a teenager and the fear I had had with tampons and then after a few tries I had got the hang of it.

With the menstrual cup, once you’ve got over the initial fear and wrestled with it a few times, you find that you barely notice it and what’s great for me is that I can go to the gym, run errands and pretty much go through my entire day without really thinking about it. Whereas with tampons, I used to panic about toxic shock and end up changing them far more often that I needed to and thus wasting my fair share of them.

So there is a few things to think about when deciding to switch to a menstrual cup. The fist thing is that it will take a bit of getting used to. I’d say after two full cycles, I felt comfortable with it. The second is choosing the right size… there is information about sizing here: WHICH SIZE MOONCUP? I’m over 30 and haven’t had children yet, but I went for Size A and that’s perfect for me. There’s only 3mm between each size but that small difference can make all the difference.

Then there is the question of how to use it.. me personally, I like the C Fold but there’s lots of options for you to choose from, the main thing is that you test out which one feels the most comfortable for you. I’d recommend testing it out before your flow starts. I did it in the shower to start with and it took a fair few attempts before I finally felt like it was in there the way it was supposed to be. I think lubricating it made it easier for me as well the first few times.

The video below explains how to do use it and remember thousands of woman are using menstrual cups and they all went through the same thing.

Before you use your Mooncup menstrual cup for the first time and after you’ve finished your period:

  • boil it immersed in water for 5 to 7 minutes (in a pan you use just for this purpose)
  • or you can use sterilising solution or tablets. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for dilution and soak for the minimum recommended time. Then rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Cleaning the Mooncup is really straight forward, wash your Mooncup with water or mild, non-perfumed soap. Always rinse it well with water after using soap as any traces left on the Mooncup may cause irritation. When you’re out and about it will be a little harder to keep it clean but it’s totally doable!

  • take a small bottle of water into the toilet cubicle with you, empty your Mooncup into the toilet bowl, rinse with a small amount of water and re-insert; or
  • wipe the Mooncup with toilet paper and re-insert.

Remember, because the Mooncup tends to hold more menstrual blood than tampons or pads you may not need to empty and reinsert it as often as you would change your conventional sanitary protection. The first few times that I used it, I’d empty it in the shower just to make things easier. I’ve done the toilet cubicle/toilet paper trick often as well and it’s not been a problem for me at all. Again, it’s just about getting used to it.

I think it’s important to know why I advocate for the use of a menstrual cup.. I was shocked to learn that per individual the average amount of disposable period products used will equate to an average of 11,000 products, that could be tampons, sanitary towels or panty liners. Consider then, the packaging per individual item as well.. Tampons, pads and panty liners along with their packaging and individual wrapping generate more than 200.000 tonnes of waste per year – THAT IS INSANE. Menstrual cups will also save you money – you’re probably going to need one every ten years rather than going through an average of 20 tampons per monthly cycle.

OrganiCup (another menstrual cup brand) talk through the environmental impact of disposable period products in detail. I did the OrganiCup cost savings calculator and I’m likely to save £550 by the time I reach the menopause alongside this, I’ll save 76lbs of waste as well. Obviously, this is an estimate but it’s good to have a reference point.

While there are lots of brands to choose from – both Mooncup and OrganiCup are my preferred choices. I’ve used both of them and would quite happily recommend either.

Taking care of them is pretty easy as well.. just boil the

Mooncup is convenient, easy to use (once you get the hang of it), reliable as it’s holds more than 3 times the amount than a tampon meaning that I don’t need to change it more that once every 12 hours. They soft, Latex-free, hypoallergenic and containing no dyes, perfumes, BPA, phthalates, plastic, bleaches or toxins. Alongside that, it’s made from soft, medical-grade silicone, it’s so comfortable you can’t feel it’s there.  While tampons absorb 35% vaginal moisture, the Mooncup menstrual cup won’t dry you out or leave fibres behind.