Hi Lovelies, I hope you’re all well!
We’re doing a bit of a first on Love, Leigh today. Even though I consider myself to be a pretty open individual, it’s not very often you’ll find me publishing a particularly personal post. That isn’t because I don’t feel confident enough, or I’d prefer not to for fear of not remaining ‘on brand’, it’s more because I can’t imagine why anyone really CARES about my life.
I suppose I also view my blog as more of a journalistic venture (of sorts) rather than an intensely personal thing. Anyway, whatever the reason, today I’m going to buck the trend ever so slightly and talk about something INCREDIBLY personal to every woman in the world.
Yup, I’m talking about Shark Week, the monthlies, a week-long jam session, riding the cotton-bud pony etc etc, although I doubt I’ll ever bother riding the pony again, *ahem*, after finally taking the plunge and jumping on the Mooncup bandwagon
I’m pretty sure I’d have never heard of a Mooncup if it wasn’t for the bloggers I follow. I’ve seen a huge increase (on my feed at least) on posts talking about menstruation in all its glory, promoting new products to encourage #periodpositivity and banishing the idea that menstruation is a ‘taboo’ subject. It was through reading these posts that increased my confidence to actually go out and buy a Mooncup in the first place.
If you’ve got to this point and have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, I’ll quickly explain.
In essence, the Mooncup is a medical grade soft silicone cup that you insert into the vagina during menstruation. It sits in the wall of your vagina, collecting the blood for up to 8 hours (depending on your flow) and leaving none of the crappy cotton-bud remnants that tampons leave behind.
I decided to give it a try because its a well known fact that periods are expensive. Sanitary products should not be taxed and I’ve basically got sick of spending so much money every month on something I can do nothing to prevent, I’m a woman, I have to bleed because its natural for my body to do so, why should I have to pay for it?
Not only that, but after years of using tampons (from day 1 of my first period no less), I’ve found that it can become incredibly uncomfortable/painful changing my tampons every few hours, especially when you’re flow has slowed down, towards the end of the cycle. I know I could quite easily switch to just wearing a sanitary towel, but it makes me feel gross – personal preference I suppose.
So after reading post after post, I finally headed down to Boots and picked one up for myself.
The Mooncup retails at £21.99, yes its more than your average box of tampons, but considering women spend around £500 a year (on average) on feminine hygiene products, this little cup could save us an absolute fortune as it’s re-usable for years.
The product comes in two sizes. Size A is for women over 30 or women under 30 that have had vaginal childbirth, while Size B is for women under 30 that either haven’t had a child at all, or have had a child by caesarean. Obviously I picked up Size B as I’m well under 30 and haven’t had a child (nor do I ever intend on it).
The first thing I did once I got home (and read the instructions) was put the cup in a pan of boiling water and leave it there for 6 minutes. The water sanitises the cup, making it safe for you to use, avoiding any germs or fibres from its little pouch (mine had a fair few bits of string stuck to it) from getting inside you. If you boil it for any longer than 6-8 minutes, you risk weakening the silicone, meaning it becomes less effective and you may have to replace it faster than normal.
Once that’s done, I took it out of the water and left it to cool for a few minutes. It’s probably not wise trying to shove a just-boiled silicone cup up your chotch…
After it cooled, I started practicing the folding technique. As you can see from the photo’s, this thing doesn’t come with an applicator, and it’s pretty big (it has to be if it’s able to collect 8-hours worth of blood), you can’t just jam it inside you and hope for the best because a) it won’t work and b) it’ll be mighty uncomfortable let me tell you!
Thankfully, the Mooncup instructions offer up two ways in which to fold and insert the cup. I tend to fold it in half and insert it that way, I think the other method looks a little too complicated. When inserting it for the first time, the cup should sit as low down in the vagina as is comfortable. To remove the cup again you will need to run a finger along the side of the cup to release the ring, pinch the cup together and remove it.You will get used to inserting and removing the cup a few times as you also need to trim the stem down enough so it doesn’t poke out anywhere it shouldn’t.
Reading this back, I realise it sounds a little complicated, but when you actually try it out, you’ll figure out what is and isn’t comfortable for you pretty quickly.
When it comes to emptying, cleaning and re-inserting the cup, I simply empty the cup and rinse it out with cold water. Mooncup recommend carrying a bottle of water with you when your out and about so you don’t get caught short anywhere, or find yourself having to rinse your cup out in the sink of a public bathroom.. ew.
So that’s getting how to use it out of the way, what do I think about it?
It’s certainly an unusual way of handling your period, literally.. and you can’t be squeamish either.
I’ll admit, I was a little taken a-back by the price of this cup (I’m not sure if you can find cheaper on the market, I did my research and opted for a Mooncup), probably because I’ve grown so used to spending maybe £10 a month getting all the tampons I might need, it felt like a bigger purchase than it actually was.
There was also a little bit of fear/hesitation in wondering if the product would work for me. I didn’t want to waste £22 on something I really hated (that said, I’ve done it on makeup plenty of times before) or simply couldn’t figure out how to use. Although, thinking back to my very first period, I seem to recall the very same fear in using a tampon for the first time, I still managed and got used to using them.
It’s exactly the same with this.
As I said earlier, you simply can’t be squeamish if you’re planning on using this product. The Mooncup offers a VERY intimate way of dealing with your period. You’re inserting and removing a cup, you’re in there wriggling it around trying to get it to sit right and you’re emptying out your own blood. You’re not just removing and discarding a tampon or sanitary towel. There’s a little bit more effort in it. At least for me anyway.
It’s also messier than using a tampon or sanitary towel. I mean, maybe I’m just doing it wrong but it’s very difficult to not end up with blood on your fingers when you’re all up inside yourself. Personally, it doesn’t bother me, I’m pretty happy that I’m not experiencing the dryness and pain in using tampons, or clogging up landfills with my used sanitary items every month.
HOWEVER, this does depend on your flow.
I probably shouldn’t preach and say ‘this thing means you’ll never need to buy tampons and pads ever again’, because I do. In truth, I have a spare box of tampons incase I get caught unawares at the start of my period (particularly if I’m at work or somewhere where I can’t get to my cup easily), I also have some spare sanitary towels incase my Mooncup leaks in the night. (Yes, it can leak when it’s full, just like a tampon.)
The reason I do this is because I’d rather not end up bleeding on my white bedsheets while I sleep. I think you can forgive my not wanting to ruin a pair of knickers or my bedding every month. I’m not about to set an alarm in the middle of the night specifically to empty my Mooncup, I enjoy my bed (and sleeping) too much for that!
One thing that is worth pointing out when wearing your cup to bed is that it can move further up the vagina in the night. It’s perfectly normal, but it means you might have to dig a little deeper *cough* in the morning to remove the cup. The most important thing is to remain relaxed in doing so, as soon as you start to panic or get frustrated (like I did) your muscles contract and it makes it even harder to remove.
All in all, I’m generally pretty happy with this product. I’ve been using it for 2 months now and while I’m still getting used to the inserting/removing part (especially in the first day of using it again), it’s generally very comfortable and easy to use. As I said earlier, I don’t think the Mooncup will make me give up purchasing other sanitary products entirely, but it will certainly significantly reduce the amount I spend them every month.
Unfortunately, to those women who suffer with Endometriosis, the jury is out on whether this product is suitable for you. The Mooncup website recommends you discuss use of the cup with your GP, however it also claims that some suffers have reported good things from using it, as it collects blood and clots rather than absorbing it like a tampon. Personally I’d pop to my GP before trying it, just to be safe.. you don’t want to end up wasting your money or more importantly, putting your health at risk.
Well, that’s it for today Lovelies!
I’d love to know what your thoughts are about the Mooncup, do you love it or hate it? Comment below and let me know!
Till next time,