So. The mooncup. For you poor unfortunate souls who really don’t want to know about this, I suggest you tune out now. Though, for you poor unfortunate souls who have no idea of where this post is going, ah HA cop this!
The benefits of the mooncup seemed logical enough to me on paper (and by paper I mean computer screen). The mooncup is made of silicone and so it’s better for your body (and doesn’t absorb all the important stuff in the vagina that keeps it healthy, unlike tampons who, for my body, are the antichrist). Also, it’s reusable (environment tick) and puts less stress on the body than tampons do (no TSS and cramping tick) and comes in a cute calico bag (novelty factor tick). They’ve been around since the 1930s (tried and tested tick) and give you an opportunity to more intimately experience your period (gross but funny aspect, final tick). Also, the testimonials on the website are HYSTERICAL, so if you ever need a pick me up go forth to mooncup.co.uk and have a giggle.
(and now if you follow this link to purchase your own mooncup, feminaust will receive a 20% commission which will go towards EDITH, our fund for Australian feminism)
After I purchased my little mooncup I awaited it eagerly in the post. When it finally arrived I tore open the packet with glee and pulled the little bugger out so that I could see what all the hype was for.
My first reaction: It’s big. Potentially too big. Oh dear.
My second reaction: There are volume indicators on the side. Gross. Now that I’m holding it, the full weight of my decision to ‘go mooncup’ is bearing down on me. It’s reusable, which means I don’t just throw it away without a care once it’s full. However that means that I have to empty it into the toilet and pop it back in. Holy moly. The website assured me it wouldn’t be messy, but now I’m not so sure I’m a believer.
My third reaction: No really, it’s huge. I don’t think it’s going to be able to go where it needs to go.
Luckily my decisions are largely made with the assumption that I can do anything (thanks to a private school education and a largely harmonious life) and I don’t like to back down once I’ve set myself a challenge. So, hand in hand with my pride, I took my mooncup into the bathroom for the first test run.
Well. In two words: Struggle Town.
To insert the mooncup you have to fold it so that it’s small when it goes in, but can pop open once it’s in its proper place. Then, once it’s in there it makes a seal around the vagina wall and becomes leak free and you can forget about for the next 8 hours. However, this whole process is contingent on being able to insert the damn thing in the first place. The trick here ladies, is to persevere. After a few failed attempts I got quite frustrated, throwing my hands in the air thinking ‘I’m too old to feel this inept with my body’. After a while I got much better, though it did take a lot of practice. Also, I found that it’s a very good opportunity to get to know your vagina better. Even if you didn’t really feel you needed to in the first place.
Also, a friendly tip, when practicing the removal process be mindful that if you drop your mooncup it will need to be sterilised. Post haste. Especially if you forgot to flush.
So, after a few practice runs I felt I was ready to send the mooncup on its first tour of duty. And that was nearly a year ago.
All in all I’d say I’m a satisfied mooncuper. Once you get used to the idea that you will become in constant physical contact with your period it’s actually pretty cool to be able to see how far up the measurements you made it in the last 8 hours. Also, it feels great to not have to run to the supermarket for tampons, or dig around in your bag for one only to find it’s been decimated by a leaky pen. However, on some days it’s all a bit too hard and the mooncup gets left at home. I’d still never go back to tampons though, that’s for sure.
So essentially I’d give the mooncup a resounding thumbs up and I’d encourage everyone to get one, baring three things in mind: 1) you will need to be prepared to get to know your vagina better than you did when you used tampons, 2) period blood is actually not that gross, it’s normal, 3) the choice to go mooncup is the choice to care for the environment and for yourself.
For more posts on feminaust about the mooncup visit here (for first-timers) and here (for sexy timers) and don’t forget your purchase of a mooncup via this link will support young Australian women with awesome ideas.