#6 Real Talk about the Mooncup
I haven't posted in what seems forever and I'm back with a post about menstrual cups - in particular the Mooncup! I couldn't think of any relevant song lyrics so if any spring to mind then leave me a comment below. Okay... so being British I am a little hesitant to talk about stuff like this but I like that bloggers and YouTubers are open about their experiences so I'm going to put myself out there. For me, when I see people write about sex or periods it's incredibly normalising! Periods, time of the month, flow, vagina, vag, vajayjay, tampons, sanitary pads/towels. Now that's out of my system let's get cracking, but here's a spoiler alert... I love my Mooncup!
Apologies in advance if this is TMI - but periods are periods. Sometimes they're okay, sometimes they're painful and unpleasant and sometimes they show up when we're on holiday (thanks for that) or when we don't have any tampons to hand. It's a quick cycle, they come around every month and us ladies have to endure them for a huge part of our lives. Every month until menopause begins (which I also hear is a joy... that's sarcasm - us women get a raw deal!)
Now that's a lot of tampons or sanitary towels that are being used all over the world. I've never really considered the 'waste' as an issue before. You have your period, you use a tampon or a towel and that's just what you do but I've never really liked using either. Pads always left me feeling abit grim and dirty and tampons have never been my friend. Personally I find them uncomfortable and need to change them every few hours - my periods aren't heavy enough for the 'super' size and they're just too painful when I take them out. I'm also lead to believe that tampons are bleached somehow to make them white - it might be 'safe' but surely that's not good inside your vagina?
So what else can we use then? Enter the menstrual cup. The thought of this used to gross me out! I've known about these for almost 10 years as I remember seeing stickers on the back of the portaloos at Glastonbury. To me they sounded weird, painful and disgusting... I mean... a cup... in your vag? That you wash out and reuse... no thanks! I didn't even give them a chance to be honest and completely ruled it out because it was the unknown. Recently though, tampons have been less kind and more leaky. A right old pleasant experience.
Since going vegan, I've seen lots posts on Instagram and on blogs about the Mooncup. They're re-usable (I know... I know... hear me out), save SO much waste (and is therefore kinder on the planet) and save you a fortune on disposable and non-recyclable sanitary products. I'd heard that they rarely leak and you can't really feel them, so I thought I'd woman up and give them a go. After all, being vegan has meant that I do consider the amount of waste I contribute to the planet (plastics and all that) and I wanted to make a difference. When I initially posted about the Mooncup on my Instagram stories I had so many messages. Lots of women told me they absolutely loved it (although it took some practice) and some were intrigued at my experience and whether they should get one (in my opinion - yes!)
This is my second month of using the Mooncup and I wanted to write a review because it really is a game changer! Don't get me wrong - when I opened the box initially I was a little surprised at the size (they're actually not that big really - probably the same length as a tampon) and I waited another month to use it because I was avoiding it. The cup works by using suction to keep it in place and collect the blood - then to get it out you have to release the suction and wiggle it out. I know it seems unnatural and it does take practice but 2 months in, I think I've cracked it - although there were some moments of sheer panic along the way.
The first time I used it I didn't put it in properly and it was uncomfortable - there's a long stem on the bottom of it (most people cut this to their desired length as it helps to grip it whilst releasing the suction) and I could feel this digging in when I sat down. I also panicked the first time I tried to take it out! This, ladies and gentlemen (fellas, don't pretend you're not reading this) was not a pleasant experience and that's an understatement. Cue frantic pulling... actual pulling! A thought even went through my head that I was going to tear myself because it was that painful and my eyes were watering. Why do people use this thing? I even thought about shouting Mr B. God knows what he would have been able to do in that moment. I got it out eventually but I didn't want to put it back in - but I did. I did it immediately because I knew that if I avoided it, I probably wasn't going to use it again and lots of people told me it would take practice. You'd have thought that I would have learnt from this... nope. I'm that idiot that does the same thing twice. I tell you what though - I never did it again! Word from the wise... DON'T PULL.
There was also that one time that I thought I had lost it. Yes, I know you can't actually lose it... but it went off on it's jollies! Cue many frantic messages to my mate, Zoe and lots of vag talk and laughs. "Bear down" she said. Bear down... I didn't even know what that meant. Even now that phrase makes me laugh and you don't half get acquainted with your vagina and pelvic muscles. Those of you that have had a vaginal labour will be better at using this the first time I reckon. There are LOADS of tips on internet forums and google questions that made me feel better. Yes, I googled 'How to get your Mooncup out' haha. Thank god it's not just me that couldn't figure this thing out!
As Frankie once said - you've got to relax (okay... I know he wasn't talking about the Mooncup) but you do have to relax. Panicking just makes you all tense and that. Once you've got the hang of putting it in (I like to fold it in a particular way) and then relax when you take it out - bear down, pinch the end, wiggle to release the seal and manoeuvre it out. Then you tip it into the toilet and wash it out... there's not much to it. I've found that I can put it in before work and don't have to empty it until I get home. I've been lucky that I haven't experienced any leakage (I know this isn't the same for everyone and some people wear a cloth liner just in case) and I find it incredibly comfortable. You could easily forget it's in there.
The Mooncup is made from soft medical-grade silicone, it's eco-friendly and vegan. It might seem like an initial expense (around £15 - £20 and I got mine off Amazon) but they literally last for years! I know that sounds gross, but you just wash it in soapy water and sterilise it to keep it clean. I even found myself being intrigued at the amount in the cup (I mean it was just a quick thought - I wasn't actually gawping at it for time). Seriously gross I know - but I've never known before haha! Have I changed your mind yet? If not, I found this YouTube video by ScienceSheWrote the night I panicked about taking it out and it made me laugh! They're really not that bad and I'm glad I finally got one.
If you've got any funny Mooncup experiences, or if you love/hate it let me know in the comments below! I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Lots of love,
Definitely Vegan x