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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Review of Mooncup - the re-useable menstrual cup

Mooncups are re-useable menstrual cups, about 2 inches long, made from medical-grade silicon.

Having first heard about Mooncups and Keepers (similiar except made from latex rubber) quite some time ago I decided that any alternative to traditional disposal tampons or sanitary towels was worth a try. So I put a Mooncup on my Christmas wish-list and it arrived in the post just in time for the festive season!

After using sanitary towels during the first 8 years of my menstrual cycle I eventually began to use tampons when I first got to college and no longer had to pay due regard to the mammy's well-intentioned warnings about Toxic-Shock-Syndrome. I have been using tampons for the last 17 years and so was fairly confident that I would be able to use a re-useable cup once I got used to it.

The cup comes in a little cotton bag with an instruction booklet and some stickers to promote the product should you wish (one of the things that surprised me when I learned about the product was that there is very little to no promotion of it in the mainstream of sanitary protection products but I suppose there are a lot of vested interests in keeping a re-useable product out of the market!!)

My initial reaction to the Mooncup was that it was more substantial than I expected and I was definitely a little less confident that it would be as easy to use as a tampon. The second thing about the Mooncup is that it comes with a tail attached for easier insertion and removal, which you are advised to cut to a comfortable length.

The first time I tried to use the cup it was slightly fiddly but then I found tampons the same initially. After a bit of jigging, poking and fiddling I got the cup where it was supposed to be and left it to do it's job. For the first use I hadn't cut the tail as I didn't want to cut too much of and wanted to get an idea of how much it needed to be trimmed. I would advise all trial-runs to be carried out in the privacy of your own home when you don't have anywhere to go, so that you can get a feel for it and take your time to trim the tail to the right length for you. You will of course, feel the tail until it is trimmed. Removal, the first time went very smoothly for me and I was pleasantly surprised but of course the tail hadn't been trimmed as yet.

The second time I used the Mooncup I had trimmed the tail to what I thought was about the right length. This time insertion was easy too, although was still far from anywhere near as automatic as insertion of a tampon but then I have had 17 years of practice on that one. Once the cup was in I couldn't feel anything and experienced no leaks whatsoever. However, when I went to remove the cup it was a very different story. I just couldn't get it. Deciding not to panic I left it for a wee while and went back to the task once I had relaxed again. I also tried it sitting down on the loo which did make it easier. I have to say once I got a handle on the best position it was relatively easy to remove.

Once the cup is removed it can simply emptied and then run under the tap before re-insertion. If you happen to be in public toilet with no basin near-hand a simple wipe with toilet tissue will suffice. The cup can then be cleaned by boiling as per instructions at the end of your cycle.

I am now converted to the Mooncup and am using it once again. It is fantastic not to have worry about having tampons on your person when you go out, there are no dryness issues which can be a side-effect of either tampons or sanitary towels, it is cheaper than the alternatives (£18.99stg./ €25approx incl. p&p) and best of all much, much kinder to the environment.

There are a few tips I would give anyone considering the Mooncup;
  • take your time, perservere, it is a new product and takes some getting used to
  • aim for the small of your back
  • when cutting the tail, take it in increments till you reach your balance between being comfortable as no tail is left hanging out and leaving enough that you can reach the cup when trying to remove.
  • I found a sitting position on a loo the best position for removal
  • Don't panic if you can't easily remove the cup the first time, take your time, read the instruction booklet and relax.
As far as I am concerned it was worth €25 approx just to try the product out as an alternative to what is currently out there in the market, even if it hadn't worked out for me. It just so happens that it has worked for me and I am now a convert!

Photo (c) www.mooncup.co.uk

Rated 4/5 on Feb 12 2008

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redwinegums said...

There was no warning! No warning at all! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!


Curly K said...

Redwinegums, LOL, no there was no specific warning for two reasons; firstly I thought "menstrual" cup was a fairly good indication as to what I was talking about and secondly I actually refuse to warn people and almost apologise for mentioning periods. To be fair, no mention was made of blood or any of really "gory" details. Good to have you drop by again though!

ManicMammy said...

Great review missus.

Curly K said...

Thanks Manicmammy, not a lot of people talk about sanitary protection and still cannot believe how little is known about Mooncups as an alternative to traditional sanitary protection.

Anonymous said...

I converted about.... 6 months ago. And I'm very fond of my mooncup. It requires less thought, less money and does much less damage to the environment!

famron said...

Excellent. Will definitely look into it (no pun intended ;~) Thanks for the info.

Curly K said...

Anonymous, certainly it requires less thought going out etc., however after using tampons for 17 years I do find that the Mooncup currently requires a little more thought for use than a tampon but that is natural and it is easy - just not as automatic yet as I would like it but only time will do that and it is becoming easier everytime.

Famron - they are definitely worth looking into. Like all forms of sanitary protection there will be some who they are just not for but I think at €25 they are cheap if they do work and worth trying out at least.

Julie Midas said...

Fab review. I've been toying with the idea of getting a mooncup for ages but it's one of those things I've never quite got round to. Think you've just about managed to convince me it's the right thing to do. Will let you know how I get on!

Curly K said...

Julie, do it, even if it turns out it's not for you, you've nothing to lose except £18.99!

Doris said...

Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!

So glad you are getting on so well. It does get easier and it does get even better.

Great review ;-) I cut the tail off mine completely and find for me, there is no need for it. In due course I'll write a follow-up review after "years" of using mine :-D

Curly K said...

Doris, yes I am getting on well and am finding it getting easier all the time. All down to your inspiration I have to say :). I can't imagine the amount of money and damage to the environment, let alone me bits! that would have been saved if I'd known about them years ago. Definitely one of the biggest advantages is that there is no dryness when using them!

Sabrina said...

Please, let us NOT discuss the dryness issue!

One tip I have is that if you first attemp to use a cup at the start of your period when you're not in "full flow" as it were, lube is your friend.

OK, lube is ALWAYS your friend, but a bit around the cup rim can help.

I've had mine for about 5 years!

Curly K said...

Sabrina, why not discuss the dryness issue LOL? To be honest, never tried lube but did find just even wetting the cup helped. As ever, I see I am last to the party only starting now with the cup!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi, quick question preceded by a story to explain:
my husband purchased a mooncup for me at the Boots in Cambridge when he was there this August. I live in Michigan across the Atlantic or I'd just stop by the Boots and ask them...

When I finally opened the package to prepare to use it for the first time, I discovered there were no stickers (!!!) and, more importantly, there were two tags/labels inside the muslin bag which had been cut off with scissors.

Are these cut tags in the bag normal? Or did Boots somehow sell me a used mooncup?

I've written the mooncup people as well, but figure maybe you or someone else reading this blog entry will know.

Doro said...

I know this is an old post but I'll comment anyhow.

Decided to try the Mooncup but it became dislodged, slipped up inside and let's say, there was leakage.

Will try again but not happy so far.

Anonymous said...

i just wanted to thank you for your review. i had never heard of menstrual cups until recently while viewing a site discussing diaphrams (they mentioned that diaphrams were not the same as menstrual cups, and i was like, "what is a menstrual cup?"). i am considering purchasing one myself, and it's hard to find information out there on it besides the manufacturers websites. so, thanks. it is much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

What a Great Addition!
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Anonymous said...

RUBBISH the only place I would stick it is the bin.

kimberly said...

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Enie Dub said...

I'm a convert too!!!

Why aren't menstrual cups publicised?!!!