So after all the talk about the Moon Cup, or Diva Cup online lately I took the plunge and purchased a Moon Cup. And I was truly surprised to discover that I love this thing. If only I had known about it years ago.
For the uninformed, the Moon Cup is a reusable ‘menstrual cup’ that is made from soft silicon rubber. You sort of squish it and roll it and then insert it – just as you would a tampon. It unfolds inside you making a firm seal against the vaginal wall and then collects your fluid in the ‘cup’.
What I really love about it is that it contains no bleach, no deodoriser and no absorbing gels. That’s important to me because I don’t want those things sitting inside or near my body for hours at a time. That means there are no links to toxic shock syndrome and it won’t interfere with the health of your vagina. In other words, the smooth silicon allows the mucus membranes of your vaginal wall to continue to perform their natural cleansing and protective functions. It’s hardly surprising then that so many women say that once switching to a menstrual cup they experience far fewer issues with thrush and bacterial vaginosis. The vagina needs to be left alone to do its thing.
It’s no secret that I’m a bit of a greenie, for personal health and wellbeing reasons and of course for environmental reasons. If there is a sustainable and environmentally sound option that I can use, I will. Except, I am ashamed to say when it came to tampons, which I never questioned and had use since I began menstruating until a few weeks ago. Silly me. Now, many years later, I cringe when I think of the fact that I have used bleached cotton with fibres that can come off and be left inside me and then having to deal with a blood soaked wad several times a day for several days a month. You shouldn’t flush tampons, so you are left with the really unappealing option of wrapping it into a not-so-discrete pile of loo paper and stuffing it into a bin in the hope that nobody has to witness that later on. Then it goes to the landfill. Or if you are naughty and flush it, well that’s terrible for your plumbing, can block drains but that’s just the start of it. This article in The Guardian is well worth a read.
In our average menstruating lifetime we get through around 11,000 tampons or sanitary pads. I am frankly nothing short of disgusted with myself that for all this time I considered these options normal. It’s simply terrible for the planet. Aside from that, they don’t come cheap either and I was probably getting through two boxes of tampons per month. I can think of FAR better things to spend my money on. Like shoes and expensive skin care. 😉
And yet, people ‘freak out’ about the Moon Cup. It’s not ‘gross’, it’s not ‘wrong’ or ‘weird’. Lighten up ladies. I do find this world we live in so, so odd. How is it preferable to throw away cotton soaked in period blood to clog up the landfill than to use a Moon Cup to capture the blood so it can easily be washed away? I have never rolled my eyes so hard after reading some of the melodramatic comments from women about how ‘gross’ a Moon Cup is. If anything, being the Type A perfectionist that I am I kind of like seeing just how much blood there is, as it makes it easier to track my cycle. It’s satisfying when you start to bleed less and realise the hellish time when you turn into a demonic bitch might soon be over. Or is that just me?
So the nitty gritty… I found it super easy to put in – you just squish to fold and then fold it again and push it up. No problem. OK, the only thing that might go ‘wrong’ is that you could not put it in far enough and leave the stem hanging out (that would be uncomfortable) or you could push it up slightly too far and have to ‘go deeper’ to release the cup. Note: I did need to trim the stem a tiny bit but you just snip it off ring by ring until you get the length right. If you read the instructions carefully you will see that it does not need to go up as high as a tampon so that is something to note.
Once the Moon Cup is in you can’t feel it, there’s no annoying dangly string and I have had no leakage whatsoever. For me it is far, far less hassle than tampons and pads are truly awful things and make you feel as though you are wearing a nappy and increase occurrences of thrush by preventing airflow to the vagina. Pads are a total lose lose in my opinion.
As for removal, well … that admittedly is a little bit trickier. To remove the Moon Cup it’s best to be in a squat position and then insert a clean finger and thumb past the stem of the cup and up between the sides of the cup and the vaginal wall. I personally think this is where it would be advantageous to have a shorter stem and a few reviews I read commented on that too. Let’s just say I have had to sport shorter finger nails these days. You then squeeze the cup, which ‘releases’ the suction and it is easier to pull/slide out. Look, I do panic slightly doing this, because I have a copper IUD which I don’t want to upset, so as instructed by the Moon Cup people you can use your vaginal wall muscles to ‘squeeze and push’ it lower to enable an easier grip. After doing 15 million kegels during pregnancy I prefer to do this to make removal easier. I know it all sounds a bit fussy, but it’s really not so bad because on the upside you can leave it for eight hours – I’ve actually left it for up to 12 and had no problems whatsoever, so it’s usually easy to ensure you are home to remove it, or better still take it out while you are in the shower at night. Seriously, you could go to work all day and be unlikely to have to remove your Moon Cup until you got home anyway.
And, if – like me – you find you have have a particularly heavy period since having children, the Moon Cup really comes into its own. It is life changing, planet changing and frankly the best decision I have made for my body and the easiest way for me to live a greener life instantly. If you’re thinking about getting one, place an order now. And if you’re not thinking about getting one, please do. It’s time we were kinder to the planet and this is a simple fix.
Have you tried one, what did you think? Do you love it as much as me?