Let's talk about periods, plastic and the Mooncup

November 08, 2018

Head's up. 
In case you didn't gather by the title... today we're talking about periods, so if you're feeling a little squeamish or about to tuck into your lunch, this one isn't for you!

Clearly this is a little more intimate than my usual posts, however earlier last year I started using the Mooncup. I've mentioned it to my friends, and they've said they were interested but unsure how it worked/if it was any good/etc. So here's the full low-down on what goes on down there...

The main reason I switched to a menstrual cup rather than tampons and pads was for environmental reasons. I'm trying my best to lower the amount of waste (especially plastic) and be kinder to the planet. Disposable menstrual products make up 200,000 tonnes of waste a year, and pads are 90% plastic, which ends up polluting our oceans and spaces. In 2010, a UK beach clean found an average of 23 sanitary pads and 9 tampon applicators per kilometre of British coastline. When  you think that in the UK the average woman uses 11,000 tampons in her lifetime, that's not great for our planet!

I also made the switch when I heard that companies that make tampons don't legally have to state the ingredients they use. According to Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, tampons may have fragrances, dioxins from bleach to make them white, and non-organic cotton may have pesticide residue. Not exactly what you want to be worrying about tucking into a tub of ice cream when that time of the month comes around!
So... the Mooncup.
It retails at £19.99, which initially seems like a lot. Y'know, for a funny looking cup that doesn't really sound to appealing. But when you think about how much you spend every month on tampons and pads, it soon adds up and it will end up paying for itself pretty quick.

First impression- there is NO way that is fitting up there.
I've got to admit, it was very intimidating when it arrived in the post. However, I do not shy away from a challenge. Grab yourself a big glass of wine and pull your big girl pants on, because you just paid the price of a large Domino's.
Don't worry, it gets easier folks. The first couple of months will be trial and error, and it does take a bit of getting used to. However, when you fold it, it is about the same size as a tampon, so just relax and think of rabbits and rainbows.

The easiest way to describe the whole experience is probably best answered by replying to some questions I get asked the most when I say I use a Mooncup. Please feel free to ask more in the comments if you would like to know anything!

Isn't it really expensive?
Okay yes,  twenty quid is a lot compared to a few pounds for a box of tampons and pads. However, when you think you'll use on average 11,000 tampons vs one Mooncup, you'll soon get your money back! You're also being kinder to your body and planet, as well as reducing your risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome. I've also found that with the Mooncup I don't need pads (I used to use both pads and tampons), so it saves me money that way too.

How often do I need to empty the cup?
The website says every 12 hours, so once in the morning and once in the evening. However being blessed by Mother Nature I empty it every couple of hours. You'll soon find what works for you!

On that note, isn't it REALLY messy and gross?
I know I'm  not going to convince everyone here! But let's face it, it's your body and not a Quentin Tarantino film. You remove the cup straight down so the blood stays contained, then you empty it straight into the loo. Then just rinse it in the sink, which yes is hands on, but its your body and totally natural!

I feel like we've been taught to feel ashamed and grossed out by periods, and throwing a tampon straight in the bin as quickly as possible is continuing the idea of it being 'gross'. I know it sounds very hippie of me, but using the Mooncup I feel a lot more connected to my body, and it's a lot easier to monitor each month (there are volume markers on the side). Just another point to consider!

Does it leak?
It shouldn't do, as the little holes form a vacuum. However, if you get the positioning a little wrong it can leak. It's just trial and error, and again...find what works for you! I'd recommend using pads for the first couple of months whilst you get into the swing of it. That being said, tampons leak too and if you empty it frequently then you should be fine!

What other plastic free options are there?
There are also plenty of  plastic free pad options available! A lot of them are handmade by small business, and are organic cotton or bamboo so are super comfy. Just use the poppers to secure them, then once you've used them put them in with your regular washing!

Anything else I should know?
Personally, using the Mooncup also reduces my cramps, which is great! Obviously it's not magic and doesn't stop them completely, however one time I left my Mooncup at home and had to use a tampon. There was a major difference in my stomach cramps between using my Mooncup vs tampons! Although not everyone has the same experience, I've heard a lot of other women have found this too :)

Stats source: Women's Environmental Network https://www.wen.org.uk/environmenstrual
There we go! I really hope you've found this post informative and helpful. If you have any further questions or if you'd like to share your own experiences drop a comment below!
Thanks for reading :)

Emma xo

(P.S. This post is not sponsored. I bought my Mooncup with my own money and have loved it, so thought I'd share my experience!)

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