Mooncups are fabulous! I first heard about them in 2005 but was very reluctant to use them. Probably because they were so different from what I was used to, and if there is one thing I know about myself, I do NOT like change.
My partner knows this about me and being very conscious of our impact on the environment he bought me one and suggested I just give it a try. Well I have been using it for nearly 10 years now and wish I had started using them sooner. Not only are they great for the environment, but great for the pocket too.
What is a Mooncup?
A Mooncup is a soft, foldable cup used to collect menstrual blood in place of single use items such as menstrual pads or tampons.
This reusable menstrual cup is made of surgical grade silicon, it is comfortable, environmentally friendly and hygienic to use.
How to use your Mooncup and how it works
They are very easy to use, just fold the mooncup in half and insert it into the vagina with the open end of the cup facing upwards and the little tail end pointing down towards the mouth of the vagina.
Once you have inserted the Mooncup you don’t feel it, similar to that of a tampon. It works very differently though, it sits lower in the vagina than an tampon and once inserted it forms a light seal with the vaginal wall which holds it in place and collects, rather than absorbs, menstrual blood.
When you want to remove your mooncup, just use your finger to press the side of the cup to break the seal and you can easily slide it out.
Aside from being extremely environmentally friendly, it is very user friendly too. When necessary just empty the contents into the loo, give your Mooncup a quick rinse under the tap, reinsert and carry on with your day!
Cleaning your Mooncup
To ensure my Mooncup is properly sterilised, after each period I boil my mooncup for about 7 minutes. This kills any bacteria that may be on it and it is ready to go for my next cycle.
It isn’t necessary to sterilise your mooncup during your menstrual cycle, just rinsing with water is fine but make sure the little holes in the side are clear to ensure a good seal.
You can use a bit of soap if you prefer but make sure it is unscented and you wash all the soap off as it may cause irritation.
Are Mooncups better for the environment?
If you think about how many tampons or menstrual pads you use each month, then calculate how many you use each year, you will get an idea of how many you will use in your lifetime and the environmental impact that has. Especially when we remember that billions of women use them, it is a staggering amount and very damaging.
Tampons contain some nasty chemicals such as dioxin and rayon. Even organic, one hundred percent cotton tampons have been found to contain dioxin.
(Dioxin is the byproduct of the process from converting wood pulp into a synthetic fiber called Rayon, which is also used for fabric. Tampons are usually made of cotton and rayon).
If you are interested in the science of how dioxin affects the environment then please click here.
These tampons end up in landfills and the nasty chemicals leech into the earth, polluting the groundwater and air, threatening the ecosystem.
For more information you can check out this interesting article by National Centre for Health Research.
Menstrual pads aren’t any better and they also contain environment harming polyethene plastic, the sticky bit that adheres the pad to your panties.
Despite looking and feeling like cotton, most tampons and pads are made mostly of plastic, pads being the worst with an approximate 90% plastic content! Given plastics take around 500 years to decompose, your disposable sanitary products will be around allot longer than you will!
When they are so polluting to the environment, why are we letting these things anywhere near our sensitive lady bits!?
Horrifyingly, disposable tampons, applicators and pads get everywhere. They pollute our waterways and harm wildlife. According to Nick Mallos, director of the Trash Free Seas program at Ocean Conservancy, they collected nearly twenty eight thousand tampons and applicators on beaches around the world in just one day in 2015! That is just not acceptable.
I encourage you to have a look at their website and show them some support. Just click here.
My Mooncup is nearly 10 years old and still going strong, so the environmental impact is extremely low, it cannot even be compared to the devastating impact of using disposable tampons and pads.
So given what we now know, it is clear that Mooncups are definitely far better for the environment.
Mooncups save you money
The cost of a mooncup is similar to what you would pay for a few months worth of disposable sanitary aids. As I mentioned above I have had mine for nearly a decade with no signs of it giving up on me!
So buying a mooncup is definitely a sound financial investment.
Is a Mooncup better for your health?
Unlike conventional pads and tampons, Mooncups don’t contain damaging chemicals. The Mooncup is Latex-free, hypoallergenic and contains no dyes, perfumes, BPA, phthalates, plastic, bleaches, absorbency gels or toxins.
While tampons absorb 35% of your vaginal moisture and leaves fibres behind, the Mooncup is gentle and won’t affect your moisture balance.
They hold around 3x more fluid than regular tampons so gives you peace of mind on heavier days. And because it’s non-absorbent, it won’t cause dryness and discomfort on lighter days.
Should I buy a Mooncup?
YES, definitely. Don’t do what I did and let your fear of change result in you waiting years before trying it, I sorely wish I had bought one when I first learned about them.
No more awkward shuffles around the local co-op if I come on suddenly and have no tampons at home!
When I think about all the plastic menstrual waste I am responsible for that is still polluting the environment because I was worried about trying something new I am horrified.
I hope you have found this blog helpful and good luck on your Mooncup journey. The environment, your wallet and your vagina will thank you!
What size should I buy?
Mooncups come in two sizes, and choosing a size is simple.
- If you are over 30, or have given birth vaginally, choose size A.
- If you are under 30, or have not given birth vaginally, choose size B.
I hope you have found this blog helpful and good luck on your Mooncup journey.
The environment, your wallet and your vagina will thank you!