Vaginas, Periods and the Mooncup!

Why would someone, anyone, me, you, your best girlie friend want to use a Mooncup? What the squidgy once a month fannies is a Mooncup anyway? It sounds like something I’d read in a children’s story book …. Cotton Rabbit held his cup up to the moon and hoped he could catch it (no that’s not it!)

This is! 

I have been using Mooncup for about dum de dum de dum de *works it on on my fingers* 10 years (aha, time to change my Mooncup as recommended). But loving the concept, now that I know there are other competeters on the market – why do I want to stick with them?

Well, first of all, let me tell you what the Mooncup is and why it’s madness not to great to use.

Mooncup is a small, silicone, flexible, BPA free, cup (similar to a diaphragm – cervical cap) that sits comfortably in your vagina and captures the blood flow during your period – it comes in a pretty, ribbon-tied, recycled cotton bag to keep it in your bag.

The questions that immediately jump to mind in any woman that has been using tampons and/or pads for many years and had reasonable or adequate success might well be …

It it safe?

Yes, it’s BPA free and so there are no toxins. Unlike a tampon that releases fibres when used, the Mooncup, leaves nothing behind.

Can it get stuck?

Well, anyone who has had a baby knows that their cervix is not going to come open without hours of angonising contractions and I would hazard a guess that there isn’t a woman on the planet that has a quick release cervix that opens at will, never mind unwillingly. So no, the Mooncup can only go as far as a mans penis will and unlike a tampon, it will not break up leaving bits of it left inside you (which is something that can cause toxic shock) – which I will subtley tell you is a very dangerous and traumatic experience (it happened to me once).

Will it fall out?

The Mooncup comes in two sizes: Size A is for women over 30 and women who have had a vaginal birth regardless of age. Size B is for women who are under 30 and women who have had a C section (under 30). If you use the right size, gravity and the muscles in your vagina hold it comfortably in place. If you’ve just had a baby, then it might take one or two periods before you will feel comfortable using the Mooncup again (gravity and all that), but I used mine around two months after and a pad for extra security (just in case!).

Is it easy to use?

Like all things that are new to us, there is a technique to using the Mooncup. But, if you read the guidelines and practice, I feel certain that you will be converted to using the Mooncup after your first use throughout your period.  You can read reviews for ‘really honest tips and the pro’s and cons of using the Mooncup’ – all of the users have a few negative things to say initially, but it is only while getting used to using the Mooncup and how to wear/change it. Everyone goes on to to say how great they are!

Is it clean?

The Mooncup sits comfortably inside you and holds the blood away from the walls of your vagina. There is no bacteria forming, as with the absorbent cotton in tampons. There is no residue of cotton fibres. So yes, it is absolutely and totally clean. If you feel you need to rinse the Mooncup on emptying you can do and when it is wet, it is easier to insert.

Why is Mooncup safer and more hygienic than using tampons?

The Mooncup does not absorb your natural mucus secretions of your vagina, which are your bodies defence mechanism and how your vagina cleans itself.

It seems expensive to buy, will it save me money?

The Mooncup is appoximately £17.00 wherever you buy it from and if you compare this to a packet of sanitary towel or tampons, multiply this by 12 and then multiply it again by 10 (the recommended life of the Mooncup) then it is infinitely cheaper than using any method of disposable sanitary protection. You will have paid for the Mooncup within your first 6 months of use!

Right! So now I’ve got the obvious questions out of the way, I will also tell you that by using a menstrual cup (there are a few on the market now) you are reducing your carbon footprint by eliminating the packaging you dispose of every month (which is a recycling pain in the bum). Then there’s the cotton wadding that you are either flushing down the toilet every time you change a tampon or the pad you pop into bags with your bits of flimsy paper (for the knicker sticky bit and the wings). Cotton is one of the worlds biggest polluting industries!

Using a menstrual cup is much safer and heathier for your vagina!

  • There has been no cases of toxic shock syndrome using menstrual cups since their intoduction in the 1930’s.
  • There is no absorbent cotton (a playground for bacteria to multiply) reducing the risk of infections.
  • Menstrual cups do not affect the mucus secretions of the vagina – so it can continue to fight infection and clean itself. Don’t get me started on uncomfortable sex and having to use KY jelly!
  • Menstrual cups have smooth surfaces and so do not irritate sensitive skin – a major plus if you are prone to infection or thrush!
  • Menstrual cups allow you to have a healthy vagina – say what!  It’s not that I’m saying your vagina is not healthy (or mine), but the use of bleaches, rough textures, absorent gels, fragrances, etc. in disposable sanitary protection is not exactly doing it much good, compared to smooth silicone or latex used in menstrual cups (Mooncup is silicone btw!).

I first started using a Mooncup when ordering supplies for my business as a Sports & Holistic Therapist from Amphora Aromatics – they had put a leaflet in with my Trade Pack with detailed information. My first instinctive response was that I had never heard of menstrual cups and why would I not want to change from disposable sanitary protection. But then the cogs started turning in my brain and weighing up the benefits, not least the reasons I shouldn’t use the disposable option – I couldn’t find a reason not to!

I am one of those unfortunate people with sensitive skin who is prone to thrush – my first and subsequent visits for a smear test told me this  (I could curse the nurse after each inserted speculum and laugh at her reasoning that it is impossible to feel irritated or have an infection afterwards – funny that!).  For similar reasons, I only had to say the word antibiotics and I was off to the chemist for a dose of Canestan – and once I’d got that it was almost impossible to get rid of, if it coincided with a period – that’s funny too – not!

Then there was this one time (that was enough thanks) when I took extremely ill and over the period of a few days was near to collapsing with a rash all over my body. I had strong pains in my pelvic area and dont ask my why, but I had an instinct to ‘douche’ with a shower head and the remains of a broken tampon revealed itself in the shower tray.  My recovery was rapid and a visit to my GP that day was a conversation of “Do you realise how very lucky you are.” He gave me a prescription of what, I can’t remember, to make sure I was going to be OK.

So, it was a complete no-brainer that I had to try this Mooncuppy thing and try to make it work.

My experience, like most women that try it, sort of went like this ..

1. Admire the discreet packaging and the neat little bag that it comes in

2. Laugh at the shape and size of the cup and think “yeh, right – how is this going to hold my blood flow?”

3. Thoroughly clean Mooncup before using it – it’s come straight from manufacturing after all.

4. Read the instructions and think “What the hell” *Squat, squeeze rim of Mooncup, insert and wiggle*

5. Stand and think “Mmh I can feel that, this dangly thing is a bit in the way.

6. Wear it for an hour and check that it has captured something *squat, squeeze, squelchy sound, remove* “That was easy! – of course the lack of blood in my knickers was a good give away, but I had to check, right!

7. Give it a rinse in the sink, rinse sink and re-insert *Squat, squeeze rim, insert, stand up*

8. Stand up and think “Yes, that dangly thing is ‘still’ a bit in the way” – the leaflet says everyone is different and I might want to snip the length accordingly.

9. Take back out – hang on ‘rewind’ – re-insert – wash hands –  go find a pair of sharp scissors – snip!  “Did I cut too much, oh crap, what if it gets stuck”

**Tip – you didn’t use the dangly bit to remove anyway – you squeeze the cup gently to remove the suction, so the dangly thing is only to pull it back down if you thought it too high. My personal advice is that when inserted, you get used to the feel of it being in the right place and your body adjusts it to the right place.

***Another Tip (how kind I’m feeling) Washing your Mooncup not only makes it easier to re-insert it feels nicer to have a clean cup to re-insert. I always wash when at home (the sink is next to me so that’s easy). When using public toilets I use the Disabled toilet or the Baby Changing one (with a sink). If this is not possible then you could carry a small (300/500ml) bottle of water with you and pop it in your handbag – easy peasy!

As I said, I have been using the Mooncup for almost 10 years now and my only experience of any leakage is when after having my 2nd child, almost 5 years ago (after a month, maybe 2 of wearing maternity pads) I had heavy periods for a good while and my flow was also much faster. I used pads as a back up and had I not had the Mooncup, the pads would not have stood a chance and they held off the flow considerably (even when full the cup has a slight vacuum affect that your body enforces and so leakage is extremely rare).

In addition, due to pelvic problems arising out of a hip problem I inherited during pregnancy (lucky me) my pelvic floor is not the same when the muscles around my hip are weak in that I struggle to hold any flow – rather common for a lot of us after having a baby for a while! Using the Mooncup has given me grace to get to the loo in good time and I jsut have to remember (like I’d need too) to empty it more frequently when this happens.

**On the whole though, my periods have been a much easier, cleaner, less irritating, less expensive and I’d even go as far to say as ‘a liberating’ experience where ‘I’ am in control.**

Why Mooncup then and not another brand?

Well, I guess it’s personal. I have used my Mooncup for such a long time and had no problems and don’t feel I need to invest in a replacement cup from another manufacturer. Mooncup was the first UK manufacturer of menstrual cups and have a very good reputation. They are also silicone and BPA free which I feel is less irritating than a latex variety.

You can order Mooncup from Amazon in two sizes – be sure to order the right size!

You can read the following reviews on other opinions and some ‘very funny diary sories’ listed below:

A Self Sufficient Life – do you use a Mooncup?

The Mooncup Review (412 comments!)

The Palace of Princess Pink – The Mooncup Diaries (this one had me in stitches)

Love Your Vagina – all you need to know about Mooncup from the experts

And no decent review would be complete without a song to sing along too!

Alternatives:

Femmecup is an alternative to the Mooncup, also available from Amazon. Make sure you recieve the new model and not the previous discontinued one!!

Right, I’m off to place my order before my next period (although my Mooncup is still working perfectly, I shall take their advice and replace).

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored, I was not asked to write it by any of the named sites or manufacturers and is totally and utterly of my own opinion. Whilst I recommend you try this product, I cannot be absolutely sure you will love it – but HonieLikes!

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About HonieMummy (HonieBuk)

Mum of two girls (16 & 9) and step-Mum to one boy (15). All of whom are bright, fun-loving, creative and musical and make me proud and despite his disability (CP) my step-son and family face challenges with a smile and the will to succeed. Love to travel (mainly US/Canada/Scotland), passionate about photography, music is a must, always in HoniesKitchen, love a bit of crafting and I'm learning to knit (maybe even crochet). I'm a networking junkie and of course there has to be time (quality time) with my amazing family! I like to Blog infrequently whenever it takes my fancy and I don't mind sharing my ups and downs, advice and querky ideas with you all. I will mostly post recipes and photos of food, family and travel. I love to review products that my family and me would use - I kinda consider it my 'duty' to let you all know if something is as good as it says on the tin and a 'must buy' product, that all families should know about. Find these in HonieLikes. If you like what you see, please tell me - I work hard at these things :o)
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13 Responses to Vaginas, Periods and the Mooncup!

  1. Fab title for a post, and a brave post at that! This made me snigger a bit, I’m so sorry, because it reminded me of a mooncup review on amazon that everyone was retweeting last week. That wasn’t you was it? It was a hilarious read!

    • I didn’t see the Amazon one, but did recently fall across one accidentally about a week ago and thought (as well as commenting) “Why have I not had the nerve to blog this – I’ve always wanted to” And so here it is!
      It’s not meant to be serious – I hope you did laugh! The Diary Review mentioned near to the end is hilarious and the song is well ‘nuts’.

      But I did consider it a crime not to tell all you women out there that there is a ‘much better option’ and given the tax man charges sanitary protection as a ‘luxury’ (yeh right) then we should at least make is bearable.

  2. susankmann says:

    What a great post. It was pretty funny but on a serious note I have huge problems with tampons and leakages, even with pads. I will have a look at this, thanks I truthfully had never heard of this. xx

  3. Johanna says:

    I’m here via a link tweeted by @TheBoyandMe. I’ve been using a Mooncup for 8 years – I started after my first child. I was using cloth nappies, and it seemed daft to continue using disposable sanitary products after making a big thing about not using disposable nappies.
    I love it. It can take a few attempts to get it in properly, it will leak if not in the right place, but that’s only on the heaviest day of my cycle. For most of my cycle I only have to empty it twice a day. I don’t know if it’s a post-pregnancy thing or a Mooncup thing, but I don’t get the crippling stomach cramps and persistent backache that I had when using tampons.
    It’s good to know that I can get a replacement from Amazon; when I bought mine, it was only available direct or from cloth nappy stockists.

  4. Becky says:

    I’ve been using a mooncup for about four months now and I love it! I still wear a pad or pantyliner as it leaks slightly sometimes, don’t think I’ve yet got the knack for getting it in perfectly every time. I particularly love wearing it at night as I’ve always hated the feel of my flow when I’m lying in bed trying to sleep. I’ve never liked wearing tampons so I previously had to put up with yucky pads all the time.

    Chopped the stem off after the first couple of days though. I could constantly feel it digging in and it was about as useful as a chocolate teapot for helping get the thing out. I gradually cut it shorter and then gave up with it completely lol.

  5. Miss may says:

    I thoroughly recommend the mooncup. I have used one for about 10 years. I’m not really one to overly worry about landfill issues but just on a practical & financial level it works better for me.
    The cup can be left in longer than tampons. I don’t have to go out with a handbag full of spares. No decision of do I need a regular or a super today.
    Traditional sanitary products never quite made it through the night for me. Pads seemed to move or get leakage going backwards & missing the pad altogether. Hot nights pads are hot & sweaty. Tampons don’t hold an entire nights flow but mooncup is secure & does the job.

    The only thing that is a little in convienient is the public toilet thing. Ive never quite mastered the bottle of water rinse without getting in a mess. Though possibly because I chose to completely remove my mooncups stem. Though as the cup lasts longer than a tampon it isn’t often I need to empty while out & about.

    Ive never had any issues with leakage. There’s definitely a knack to positioning which I learned fast.

  6. Proudofbeing says:

    This is simply brilliant! Thank you HonieMummy! My 11 year old daughter has just had her first period. Although we’ve been preparing to the event for a long time and she read a number of books and we talked a lot – I had to do some more research. That’s how I came across the Mooncup. I’m definitely getting one for myself. Not sure if it would be suitable for a young girl. What is your opinion?

    Thank you once again. I look forward to reading more of your blogs. Speak soon. 🙂

    • That’s very much personal to your Daughter. I think it’s more about size, practicality (what we see as practical, they may not) and one of those ‘if only I knew then what I know now’ things. Even if they know, are they ready yet, given they don’t know the alternatives or appreciate the risks of conventional choices. It was because of my previous experience, issues about toxic shock and being able to weigh up the pros and cons that had me buy one in the first place. I am on my 2nd one now (so using over 10 years) but it was only about 7 years ago I truly realised the benefits. I had stopped using my mooncup for what I thought was convenience and ‘did’ suffer from toxic shock (an experience I wouldn’t want to go through again). Then after having my 2nd child (now 6 years), I still have heavy periods. I’d be lost without mooncup!

  7. IzzysMom says:

    I bought the MoonCup in June but it arrived after menses so I waited to use it in July…then August. Finally, today i used it for the first time. Yep, I’m perimenopausal now but am astounded at how well this cup works. I went 8 hours no problem at all with the cup, but I did trim the stem until i could no longer feel it touching (poking is too harsh a word) me when I sat down. This device is comfortable and I’ve no fear of shifting or dislodging. Great blog btw 🙂

  8. kate says:

    Great post! Thank you. I googled “moon cup reviews” after buying my very first Mooncup today and happened upon your blog post. Its the first day of my bleed and I still haven’t been brave enough to try it out! I’ve never been able to insert a tampon successfully, my body rejects them instantly so I’m curious/nervous/intrigued, to see how I get on with the moon cup. Im setting the day aside tomorrow to try it out!

  9. Great review! I feel like every woman should use this! If you have a few minutes, I also wrote a review of the Mooncup 🙂

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