What is it?
The mooncup is a soft cup made out of silicone rubber. It’s about two inches long and holds 30ml of fluid.
Okay, so what do I do with it?
Basically it’s there to catch and hold menstrual fluid in the place of tampons.
Yes, you do have to position it in the vagina, but honestly, it’s easier than you think and it becomes even easier with practice. I think the trick is to aim towards your lower back as you would with a tampon.
Are there different sizes?
Yes. Two. From the site: “Model A is recommended for women who have given birth vaginally or who have had a caesarean section and aged 30 or above. Model B is recommended for women who have not given birth or who have had a caesarean section and aged below 30. “
How do I put it in?
When you first get it, it’ll have a “stem” sticking out of the bottom of the cup shape. DON’T cut this off until you know you can get your cup out without it. Basically, what you need to do is ignore the stem, fold the cup in half and in half again [it’s squishy, so it’s pretty simple] and then you just go for it – aim towards the lower back and try to place it as high up as is comfortable/doable. All of the cup should sit snugly inside.
Now you have to make sure the seal has formed – grab the stem and twist it to make sure the mooncup isn’t folded up inside you. I also like to physically feel around the rim of the cup.
Now for the stem – you might want to try it without cutting it for a few days, but sometimes if it’s sticking out it can give you a pinching sensation. You ought not to be able to see the stem – it should be inside you totally, and if it’s not, it may be that you need to snip the end off to make it more comfy – but there’s no rush, do what feels right.
I personally cut most of the stem off. I’m not sure whether that’s because I’m not very long, or because I just don’t like it that much, but it doesn’t really serve any point as I can get my cup in and out without using it.
How often do I change it?
Tampons usually come with instructions to change every 4-8 hours. You should really be aiming to do the same with the mooncup, but it’s not *as* urgent. You can sleep in it too.
It’s not associated with toxic shock syndrome [TSS] and doesn’t affect or dry the internal environment of your vagina.
And how many do I need?
One. If you sterilise it and care for it properly as dictated in the instructions, it’ll last you several years, so it gives you a good money saving incentive.
How much is it?
From www.mooncup.co.uk, it is £19.99 including post and packaging and only two pound extra if you’re outside the UK.
Pros and cons
- You will not be contributing to landfill and other environmental nasties
- It works out cheaper than using any other form of sanitary protection
- It’s not linked to any diseases
- It doesn’t leak if it’s in properly
- No smells or Infection harbouring
- It’s easy – you don’t have to carry around tampons everywhere you go when you’re on your period
- It comes in a neat little bag!!
- It’s discreet
- It doesn’t dry you out or leave fibres in your lady garden
The only cons I can see are as follows:
- It hasn’t been *brilliant* when swimming. It filled up a little more than I’d have liked, but it didn’t get to leakage stage, so that’s not so bad.
- If you’re squeamish, it’s not fantastic. It does involve fiddling about down there, and yes, you will see your own blood and will have to clean it out.
- Sure, the idea of it sounds pretty monstrous when you first hear it, but honestly, this thing has been tried and tested every which way and there’s constant support and advice for you on the above website. If you don’t like it – you can send it back.
Having problems getting it in
I think nerves play a big part in this. Relaxation is key. The good thing about mooncup is that you can practice any time with it, because it doesn’t dry you out. Failing practice, try a little WATER BASED!!! Lubricant to help you pop it up there. Remember to fold it as tightly as possible.
How do I get it out?
Sometimes when you go to pull it out, you get the feeling like you’re pulling on something that’s formed a vacuum. It’s not going to pull your uterus out, but it is a little uncomfortable. The way around this is to put your finger right up to the rim of it and push down gently on it – it’ll break the seal and allow you some more leeway. Then place your finger and thumb either side of the cup and gently squeeze it until it *pops* out. Take care not to be too violent or spillage may occur.
It also helps no end if you bear down [like..try to poo it out] because it shoots down much easier when you do that!!
Sometimes, the tiny little holes at the top of the cup get blocked, and that’s not good – they need to be pushed out gently with a pin.
How do I clean it in public toilets/at friends’?
I find it okay just to wipe it thoroughly with loo-roll and then give it a quick rinse. If you don’t have access to a tap, maybe you could carry around a tiny bottle [like an ointment bottle] and squirt it until you can get it home and clean it a little more thoroughly.
At the end of your period, you can sterilise it if you choose to, with some boiling water/sterilising fluid. This stops it getting clogged and further prevents infection risks.
I’m having problems peeing with it in – I feel like not all of my pee is coming out.
A couple of us have noticed this. We first thought it was because we hadn’t got the cup in far enough, but it seems as though the cup needs to be removed to make sure that ALL of your pee gets out. I think it squishes your urethra a bit [like tampons often do]. You should try to change every time you go to the toilet anyway.
Look, I’m sorry, but I hate it.
You can send it back. Mooncup.co.uk will accept used cups and provide refunds if you really can’t hack it.
The mooncup is excellent. I really think it’s so fantastic to be able to go out without a bagful of tampons when I’m on my period. I’ve gone from being scared to stay at people’s houses to not being bothered.
Of course, it’s not that great to see your blood like that if you’re squeamish, but it is something that you get used to. In a few ways I prefer tampons because you don’t see the blood as much, but the mooncup holds much more than a tampon and it makes me feel better at night knowing that it’s in.
It’s also cool because when you think you *might* be coming on, you can just stick the mooncup in. You can’t really do that with tampons because you’re not supposed to use them unless you’re bleeding. This way, you can stop worrying about leaking because you’re not quite sure when you’re bleed is going to start.
I think it’s definitely worth a try. What’s the harm? You can send it back and get your money back if it’s not for you – but if it’s good, you’re helping yourself, your wallet, AND the environment. It’s an appealing concept, really.
For more information, do go to www.mooncup.co.uk. There are testimonials from people who’ve tried it and loved it, and the solutions to problems that you might have when using the mooncup.
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