Mooncup First Impressions

Sunday 28 February 2016

image of the Mooncup Packaging

Warning: This post will contain in depth talk regarding menstruation and the female reproductive system.

I remember a few years back when I was in university and I first came across the idea of a menstrual cup. I was fascinated, but also very grossed out by the idea. I couldn't wrap my head around the idea of ever using such a device. Somehow I kept it in the back of my mind, and each time I looked it up, I became more and more interested in the idea. Really I had no motivation to try the device because I was on the combined pill, and I made it so I would only have a period every 2-3 months anyway, so I didn't see the point in investing in one. Then just before Christmas I came off of my pill for a short while, and then when I wanted to be put back onto it, I was advised that I was now too overweight (more on this coming soon). As such I had to be put on the single hormone pill, which you still have regular periods on. This meant that once a month I now had to have my period, whether I liked it or not. So I bit the bullet and ordered myself a Mooncup in size B.

Picture of the mooncup outside of it's cotton bag

When it arrived I was very nervous about the idea of using it, and spent a long time looking at it, and reading the information booklet that came with it. After hours and hours of reading I thought I might be ready to give it a try. At the time I wasn't on my period, but I wanted to make sure I could insert it, and remove it, before I had the added complication of actually being on my period. I gave it a few goes, and honestly it wasn't working out for me, and I really thought it was never going to work.

Flash forward a few weeks and my period arrived, I put all of my misgivings out of my mind and gave it a go. I don't want to lie it was hard, and weird, and took a lot of adjusting to get used to. However now coming out of my first full period of usage, I can say hand on heart I love my Mooncup.

Now comes the part where we get a bit more in-depth, so if you are squeamish this is your cue! 

Firstly I want to share some basic information about the Mooncup, which is very important to go through if you are thinking about getting one. You can find further information about the Mooncup on the website here. If you want to you can skip ahead and just read about how I got along with using the device.

What size should I buy?

Mooncup comes in two sizes, size A and size B. Size A is for women over the age of 30, and/or women who have given birth vaginally. Size B is for women under 30, who have not given birth vaginally. I fall into the latter category so got myself a size B.

How do you insert it?

The Mooncup is inserted by folding it first, and there are two recommended ways to do this.

Technique 1

Technique 2

Personally I found that technique two was the easiest for insertion, however it is entirely up to you and what you are comfortable with. This is why they recommend that you spend some time (before your period) inserting and removing the cup to get used to it.

How far should you insert it?

Mooncup is designed to sit as low as comfortably possible within the vagina, much lower than where tampons would sit. I found that mine cup will comfortable sit literally just inside my vagina, and I couldn't feel it at all.

How often do you need to empty it?

It is recommended that you should empty your Mooncup every 4-8 hours, similarly to a tampon. However this greatly varies dependant on how heavy your flow is. I am very lucky that I have a very light flow, as such I can probably go a little longer between emptying. As the Mooncup is made from medical grade silicone it is perfectly safe to use, and shouldn't cause you any problems. Toxic Shock syndrome is still a risk, as it is with Tampons, however the risk is greatly reduced with using the Mooncup. Still you should empty it at least 3 times within a 24 hour period. 

How do you remove it?

To remove the cup you will need to break the seal that it creates, to do this you can either pinch the base of the cup, or place a finger alongside the cup and pull it away from the vaginal wall. Once the seal is broken you can carefully manoeuvre it out.

How should I clean it?

This is again a totally personal preference, you can rinse it with water and a mild or non-perfumed soap. In between periods you may also chose to give it a more intense clean either by boiling it immersed in water, or by using sterilising tablets. I found it easiest to empty my cup and run it under a tap to rinse it when emptying, but then once a day gave it a more intense clean (whilst I was in the bath) by washing it out with baby shampoo and leaving it to soak in a sink of hot water. Now my period is over I plan to invest in some sterilising tablets to clean it more thoroughly.

I think that's all of the basics covered, but there is a much more in-depth FAQ's section over on the Mooncup website, so if you are thinking of buying, please go and check that out first. 

I'm sure you're all dying to know how I got on with the cup, so here are my thoughts after my initial period using the Mooncup...

I had already decided that the first few days using the cup that I would also wear a sanitary towel to cover me if I got any leakage, which can be common when first getting to grips with using it. However I need not have bothered because I didn't experience any leaking whatsoever. I attribute this to the fact that after ever insertion I checked that the seal had formed properly by pinching the base of the cup and twisting it, something which is recommended on the website. 

My first time emptying the cup was equal parts messy, and disgusting, but surprisingly fascinating. You can clearly see the amount that you have collected, and there are even 'fill lines' on the side of the cup which you can use to track how much you are collecting, in case you ever need to do that for medical reasons or whatever. Another point I noted when tipping the contents down the toilet is that it may take a couple of flushes for it to disappear, I believe this is because dumping it all in one go means it is quite 'heavy'. After doing this the first few times, and not being happy, I decided that instead of emptying down the toilet I would much rather empty down the sink. I mean it all ends up in the same place anyway. This also meant that I could rinse at the same time as emptying, and made the whole experience a lot cleaner. I also noticed from doing this how much easier it was to insert my cup, as when it is wet it is a lot a much more comfortable experience. 

I decided very early on that I wanted to try and wear the cup overnight, as I had hoped there would be a lot less chance of leakage, in comparison to what I used to do, which was wear a sanity towel. for the first night I wore a sanitary towel as well as the cup, and again was very happy when I woke up to zero leakage. After the first few days I could wear the cup confidently without leakage, and this honestly felt great.

My final thoughts on this product is that it is honestly a really good solution to several problems women face when it comes to menstruation. The biggest of which is having to spend a good chunk of money on purchasing products which are taxed as a luxury (let's not get me started on the tampon tax), which is honestly unfair, and annoying. Mooncups are made with medical grade silicone which can last for years, and at £19.99 for the cup you can really make some great savings. Not only that but if you are conscious about the environment, there is so much less waste using a Mooncup in comparison to tampons and sanitary towels that go straight to landfills and take X amount of years to break down. One thing I do really want to mention about my time using the Mooncup is that it's really made me feel in control of my periods, and more in tune with my body. Having to be so up close and personal with my vagina and my period during the insertion and removal process has made me feel a lot more powerful as a woman. I know that sounds really stupid, but honestly I have never felt more happy about being a woman, and having to deal with a period. As mentioned above, I used to make myself have a period only once every 2/3 months because I absolutely hated having them, and a lot of that was down to tampons being uncomfortable, and sanitary towels making me feel like I was wearing a nappy. Now I don't have either of those feelings, and that is a huge relief seeing as I now have to be like everyone else and have a period every month like a 'normal' woman. 

If you have ever thought about using a menstrual cup, I would urge you to really read up on it, and have a long hard think about it, because I could not be happier, and I think although this might not be for everyone, it's certainly worth a go.

 photo signature_zpsdqnlsjzz.png

No comments:

Post a Comment