My Experience Using a Mooncup
I’m 30 years old and started my period when I was 12, actually it was the day before my 13th birthday. I have used disposable sanitary products for nearly 18 years, that seems like such a long time when you write it down. I always favoured sanitary towels to tampons because I thought they were a safer option; with a lower risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome, however they weren’t always the most comfortable option. When I began my sustainable journey, I knew replacing my sanitary towels were on the list. Did you know you will use around 11,000 disposable menstrual products over your lifetime and that you will spend around 6 1/2 years of your life on your period?
My first switch was organic towels which were advertised as biodegradable, I thought great! - these will breakdown after use and I won’t be putting any harsh chemicals in my body. (our body can absorb around 60% of chemicals through our skin) I used these for a good while and if you’re not ready for a Menstural Cup yet, I would highly recommend switching to a organic tampon or pad, if its available to you.
I started looking more into sustainable menstrual products and found that my biodegradable pads that I was using where still creating a waste issue. Biodegradable products can only degrade in the correct environment and landfill is not this environment because of the lack of oxygen. I wanted to find something that had a small waste impact and was reusable so I began looking into menstrual cups. To begin with I was scared to invest in one in case I didn’t like it, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to use it correctly. I looked at a couple of different brands and found that Mooncup had so much information which helped me feel fully informed and at ease.
What is a Menstrual Cup?
A menstrual cup is a small, foldable, reusable device made from silicone, rubber or plastic that collects, rather than absorbs, the menstrual blood when inserted into the vagina. Mooncup is the first medical grade silicone menstrual cup in the world.
Mooncup has a great story, it started in 1999 when Eileen heard about a reusable menstrual cup from a friend. Back then cups were made of tougher rubber, were hard to come by and often had latex in them.
In 2000 Eileen met Su and shared the secret about menstrual cups. he environmental & practical advantages of a reusable menstrual cup struck a perfect chord with Su. The secret had landed in the right hands. Su and Eileen found themselves in a lifelong friendship and with a purpose that they’d eventually work together for.
On her return to the UK, Su started selling an imported rubber cup to friends and friends-of-friends and soon realised that she wasn’t the only one ready for a better menstrual product. When friends reported some discomfort and the symptoms of latex allergy, Su realised that the rubber cup wasn’t quite the perfect solution. Her childhood with an entrepreneurial Dad got her inventive spark firing. After extensive research, she came up with a hypoallergenic alternative; medical grade silicone; and, in the Spring of 2002, Mooncup®, the world’s first reusable silicone menstrual cup was born.
My experience using the Mooncup
You may have seen my video on my highlights about my personal experience about using the Mooncup; it is important to mention that everyone’s experiences with menstrual products are their own and different. No periods are the same so its important to find a product that works for you, no matter what that product is. I found the Mooncup was the best for me and my lifestyle so these views are purely from my own experiences.
When I first used the Mooncup it took me quite a while to get it in and out, it actually took me 30 minutes to get it out on my first try. There were definitely moments where I thoughts that it wouldn’t be right for me if it was taking this long to remove, however I persisted and I found that by the third go I had got the timing down to a couple of minutes. (they say it can take up to 3 cycles for you to get used to the product) For me the Mooncup feels very comfortable and I do not notice when it’s in, I have had no spills so far and there is no mess when changing it. It’s simple to clean as I boil it for around 10-15 minutes to remove any bacteria.
Mooncup has a dedicated advice service run y medical professionals, you can either call them on (01273 673845) or email them at email@example.com.
Best features of a Mooncup
- Reusable and lasts for years.
- Dedicated Mooncup advice service run by medical health professionals
- Easy to use (once you get the hang of it)
- Holds 3x more than a regular tampon
- Cheaper alternative to buying disposable menstrual products
- Reduces waste
My advice for anyone switching to a Mooncup
- Take your time, it will take a while to get used to it
- Don’t panic if you’re struggling to get it out, re-look at the guide and take your time getting it out.
- Keep your instructions with you or in your bathroom to re-look at
- Listen to your body, if you feel a pulling or its hurting when you’re trying to get it out, stop what you’re doing, and re-look at your guide. It will be the suction that hasn’t been released yet.
I would love to know what you guys think of using the Mooncup or any other sustainable menstrual products you have tried. Head over to our Instagram @the_plastic_free_life to check out my video on using my cup.