Well today let’s talk about something people don’t like to talk about – feminine hygiene products and periods. When I started looking at ways to make greener choices in my life, I realized that every month I was creating a lot of waste with disposable tampons and pads. Using several tampons a day along with pads or panty liners (for leaks), I felt like I was going to the store every month to restock on supplies. It was money I ended up throwing in the bathroom garbage (which is not a pretty sight, or smell, and can be troublesome if pets tend to get in the garbage, ew).I did some research and learned about menstrual cups. A strange and foreign idea to me, but apparently many people use them with success. The concept is a cup that is inserted instead of a tampon, and simply collects your flow. When it’s full, you dump it out and re-insert. Now yes, it seems messier than modern disposable products, but I think we all just need to get over that. It’s your own body, be comfortable with it. A menstrual cup is reusable so you’re saving money and you’re not creating more waste. It’s a win-win situation in my book.
There’s also the benefit of not putting chemicals and bleached products into your body and next to your skin all the time. I’ve had trouble in the past with rashes from certain brands because of the chemicals and fragrances they use. Just an added bonus to not worry about that either!
I decided to go with the Mooncup. If you do your own research, you’ll find there is also The Moon Cup. From what I gather, Mooncup is a UK company, while The Moon Cup is made by GladRags in the US. GladRags also makes The Keeper, which is the same idea but made from latex rubber instead of medical grade silicone. There’s other cups out there too–The Diva Cup and Lunette are also fairly common.
It arrived in an unassuming box all the way from the UK, and upon opening I found my cup inside with a nice little carrying pouch. I’m using that to store the cup in between periods. There are two sizes for the Mooncup–size A and size B. Size A is for women who have given birth vaginally and size B is for those who haven’t, so I have size B.
It’s only my second month using it, but I’m already glad I took the plunge and bought one. The first month included a lot of learning. It took some practice learning how to properly insert and remove the cup without making a big mess. The instruction book did have a diagram on how to fold the cup to insert it, and I think I was keeping it folded for too long instead of letting it open up and create a seal as soon as it’s in. My tip: you want to hear the sound of the cup opening up and creating suction, like the sound a wet suction cup makes…was that too gross? Sounded gross when I read it out loud. Oh well, as long as it helps give you an idea of what to listen for. I did have a few leaks in the beginning since I didn’t make sure there was a proper seal, but I got the hang of it by the end of the week.Removing it wasn’t that bad. Just use the tail to pull it out far enough so you can pinch the base and break the seal. Carefully remove, dump contents in the toilet, rinse, and reinsert. I haven’t used it in a public bathroom yet, where you are in a stall and a sink isn’t immediately available, but it’s recommended to just wipe it out with tissue before reinserting in that situation.
As for comfort, there was initially an odd sensation, like a pressure, but sometimes I think maybe that was just in my head because it was something new and different to me. By day two, I couldn’t even tell I was wearing it, and it was perfectly comfortable to sleep in.
I also found I was really relieved to not have to think “do I have enough tampons left to get me through this month?” or “Should I stick an extra one in my purse in case I need to change it at work?” It’s those little worries that can really weigh us down with time, and I’m glad to be rid of them.
I highly recommend trying the Mooncup if you want to find an easy way to save money and help the environment EVERY SINGLE MONTH. That’s thousands of tampons and pads that won’t go to a landfill and money you aren’t throwing away in the bathroom trash. Give it a try!
For days when I’m really light, I’m going to not use the Mooncup and instead try a reusable cotton pad or panty liner that can simply be thrown in the wash when I’m done. I haven’t tried this yet, but I sense another product review in the future if I find success.