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.
Photo (c) www.mooncup.co.uk
Rated Feb 12 2008/5 on
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