Warning: this post is all about vaginas, bleeding and of course reducing waste!
As some of you will already know we’re on an eco-friendly drive in our house, so we have been trying to reduce our waste for a few months now. I was keen to tackle personal hygiene waste as I knew the the amount of sanitary products I have already sent to landfill would be huge, so when I heard the statistic that each one of us uses around 11,000 disposable sanitary products in a lifetime I was gobsmacked to think of this amount of waste per person ending up in landfill, or worse, the sea. I was really wanting to find an alternative to this and to also make a personally more convenient change for me during my periods.
Previous sanitary products for me have been disposable. I haven’t been able to get on with tampons since childbirth as they just don’t sit comfortably for me (I have heard that this is pretty common) so that really just left me with sanitary towels as an option. Disposable sanitary towels are also uncomfortable, feel unhygienic to me, I can’t help but feel like I’m wearing a thin nappy and on hotter days it’s even more unpleasant. So when I heard about menstrual cups I was keen to get my hands on one.
The Mooncup® will significantly reduce waste as it can be re-used over and over again for years and could become the only sanitary product you would need. It’s made from soft medical grade silicone, is latex-free and hypoallergenic and contains no dyes, BPA, phthalates, plastic, bleaches or toxins. Therefore using it is much more beneficial to your body balance than disposable sanitary products. You’re able to re-use it by simply washing it in clean water before inserting it again. It can also get a deeper clean when needed by sterilising in hot water.
Now down to the nitty gritty. The moon cup comes in two sizes dependent on age and childbirth, so check your sizing first. Be mindful that getting to grips with a menstrual cup takes time so make sure you read the Mooncup® instructions numerous times for more reassurance. It can take 3 cycles to get used to inserting, wearing and removing the cup. It does get easier each time and I found from my first cycle once it was in place I felt immediately free wearing it. It took me a few times to get used to finding the best way to insert it. I found the one that works best for me is the punchdown fold technique. check out the folding techniques and find what works for you here Folding techniques
I did to grips quite early on on how to insert it and being mindful not to place it too high like a tampon as it just needs to sit as low as is comfortable. It comes with a stem for removing that sits just below the base of the cup so you may need to trim depending on the length of your vagina and I will say be sure not to trim it too much too soon. Trimming a little until it’s the right length for you and you’re still able to remove it comfortably works well. I did get a little anxious the first few cycles at removing it and this didn’t help me remove it smoothly those first few times. So my advice is to take the time not to rush, have a few deep breaths whilst crouched down worked well for me. The actual wearing of the Mooncup® is pretty liberating and to be able to wear a skirt in summer without worrying was a real plus. One of the main benefits I noticed was that you can wear them between 4-8 hours. Initially I found wearing it a few hours at a time helped me get to grips with the whole inserting, removal and confidence of wearing one. After that I found wearing mine every 4 hours before emptying worked best for my confidence and flow. For the first few times of use I wore a panty liner to give me that reassurance once I was reassured I only used the Mooncup®. I haven’t slept with mine in yet as ever hopeful that I will get a full night’s sleep of more than 8 hours from Florence! One thing for sure is that the Mooncup® is a really environmentally friendly sanitary product that could cut sanitary waste dramatically. So it’s well worth trying out the mooncup to see if you could make such a positive switch.
I was gifted the Mooncup®,however as always the opinions and words are my own.