I first came across the Mooncup about a year ago. My periods returned approximately 9 months after the birth of my second child. At first they were manageable, but as time went by they started to get more painful and far heavier. Since starting my periods at the age of 9, I have had problems with both the heaviness and pain despite taking medication which is supposed to help with that. I am always having to get up during the night, sometimes several times, and throughout the day I have to change sanitary products as frequently as every half an hour to an hour. I dread to think how much money I have had to spend on tampons and pads throughout the years.
It was after my periods returned following the birth of my second child that I realised tampons simply weren’t an option any more. They were extremely uncomfortable and leaked a lot. I resorted to using pads which I was having to change every half an hour to an hour. It was not just inconvenient, but it was also very expensive and I felt tied to the house 24/7. I couldn’t sleep at night, knowing I would have to get up, and was very tired and fed up with the whole thing.
This is when I started to research alternatives and came across the Mooncup. The Mooncup is a menstrual cup made from soft medical grade silicone. It is latex-free, hypoallergenic, it contains no dyes, BPA, phthalates, plastics, bleaches or toxins. It sits low inside the vagina where it forms a light seal and collects the menstrual fluid. The key word here is ‘collects’. The fluid is collected in the cup, rather than being absorbed in the way that pads and tampons do (which often leads to dryness and irritation). It can collect much more than a tampon can absorb, as much as three times more, which can greatly reduce the bathroom visits. This definitely appealed to me due to the amount of night-time disturbance I was experiencing.
There are two sizes available. Size A is suitable for women over 30 years old and for any women who have had vaginal births. Size B is suitable for those who are under 30 years old and have either never had children or who have had a Caesarean. I’ve had two children so I am the size A.
Inserting the Mooncup can be tricky at first, but gets easier with time and practice. The Mooncup can be folded in one of two ways, it is simply down to personal preference when deciding which fold to use. If you have experience with using a diaphragm it may make inserting the Mooncup easier as you will already be familiar with insertion into the vagina.
The Mooncup is first folded using the desired method, keeping it firmly held in one hand. The other hand is used to find the entrance to the vagina and guide the Mooncup inside. The Mooncup should be guided up towards your back and sits low down in the vagina. The Mooncup comes with a stem that should be trimmed if any part of it sits outside the body. This should be done gradually so as not to remove too much. The stem should be trimmed if too long as this can make the vaginal entrance sore.
The Mooncup should be removed and emptied every 4-8 hours. Like with any menstrual product, it is important to wash your hands with soap and water before insertion and before removal. The cup can be cleaned with water or with a mild soap (non-perfumed). If using soap the cup should be well rinsed afterward. Any trace of leftover soap could cause irritation. If cleaning your Mooncup in a public toilet, take a bottle of water into the toilet with you where you will be able to empty the contents of the cup into the toilet, rinse the cup with water and then re-insert it. When travelling, remember to use drinking water to clean the Mooncup. If abroad then make sure you have bottled water to hand.
The Mooncup comes with a breathable cotton bag. It should be thoroughly dried before being stored in the bag between periods.
There are several different reasons for using the Mooncup. It could be that you want to be more eco-friendly. One woman may get through 20 or more disposable sanitary products per period. These all end up in landfill. In a time where we are being urged to recycle and reuse, the Mooncup is a brilliant product to have available. If all women were using Mooncups we would be eliminating a huge amount of rubbish.
Perhaps you’re looking for something that is good value for money and long-lasting. The Mooncup costs only £19.99 from the online store at mooncup.co.UK. I spend about £10 on sanitary products per period so if I were solely using the Mooncup it would have paid for itself within two months. The Mooncup can last for many years if cleaned and cared for properly.
There are also health reasons for using a Mooncup. The Mooncup doesn’t contain anything that can dry out or irritate the body, such as perfumes. When using tampons I used to suffer with bad soreness and dryness but since using the Mooncup I haven’t had any irritation.
The Mooncup website contains a wealth of information which can be referred to at any time and they are always happy to answer any questions.
The Mooncup has changed my life for the better. I am ever so glad that I found it and made the decision to go ahead and buy it. I no longer feel tied to the house all day, repeatedly making visits to the bathroom. I can sleep for longer at night knowing that the Mooncup collects three times as much as a tampon. I am less tired, less moody,
I’m not irritated like I am with tampons. I do have sensitive skin and often find sanitary products irritate me, but this issues are no longer now that I am using the Mooncup.
The insertion and removal does take a while to get used to but I urge other women to give it a go. If you don’t try, you’ll never know.
I wish I had found out about the Mooncup sooner. It could have made such a difference to my life if I had had one throughout my teenage years. £20 is a small price to pay for an item that will last years, save you a small fortune in other sanitary products, cut down on waste and leave your body feeling healthier.