Mooncup: a Review
On with the review!
The Mooncup is a medical-grade silicone menstrual cup designed for women of all shapes, sizes, and walks of life. It's packed in a box made of recycled carton, and comes with a mini-manual made of non-bleached paper and a cotton carrying case. there are two available sizes -- Cup A is best for ladies who have given birth or are above 30, and size B for ladies under 30, have not given birth, or have given birth via C-section.
My friend AJ had been talking to me about the benefits of using the Mooncup -- it's eco-friendly, non-messy, and feels barely-there when worn. These were really great features of the product, but I wanted to see how it would be good for me.
I was never a big fan of messy periods. Back when the red flag had been raised on me in sixth grade, I absolutely hated having to use napkins. They felt funny stuck up in my undies, and when most the adhesive at the ends had worn of by the end of the day, it sort of wiggled side to side as I walked. The insecurity of finding an ugly, maroon stain on my skirt ate me up, as did the dread feeling of bodily fluids getting everywhere, and bacteria making things go smelly. The horror!
I found immediate relief in tampons -- they were discreet, they stayed put, and did not dissolve into crumbly, smelly messes. No, tampons do not make you lose your virginity. No, tampons cannot get lost or stuck inside you. Yes, it's a cinch to know when you need to change one, and quite easily too.
Later on, my periods were growing shorter and shorter, and lighter and lighter. It was still great using tampons, but I felt bad about only using up one side or the tip of the cotton piece.
Due to my ovarian condition, I don't have periods as often as most ladies do. That means I don't really get to use up the entirety of the sanitary napkin or tampon. That also means my constant use of feminine hygiene cotton goes wasted, and contributes to landfill after landfill of garbage. I mean, think about it: in about a year, I'll probably have sent about six to ten packs of cotton wadding into the trash heap -- and most of that will probably be unused cotton.Add to that the amount of cotton other ladies all over the country send to their bathroom bins too. Yuck. Wastage.
So... I didn't like wasting materials, and I preferred to keep my private matters neat and clean. I think those were quite good reasons for me to try the Mooncup for myself.
Upon receiving the box, I pried the top open to gleefully inspect my wares. The cup, the manual, and the carrying case were clean, and rather nice-smelling. I personally liked the fact that the paper and cotton they used were recycled and unbleached.
The cup itself was rather light, but the silicon itself felt quite sturdy. I think the only way to potentially destroy the cup would be to cut it up with scissors or a knife - which would already be quite deliberate. Oh no, this object would last a lot of flexing and folding and pulling for years to come, and that's exactly how it's meant to be. the manual said this cup would last for five years maybe longer, which I think says quite a lot. (The price and material consumption of one menstrual cup for five years versus five years' worth of tampons and pads. Think about that.)
There were no sharp or uneven edges to the cup. If there ever was, I think I cold clip it carefully with a nipper, but I don't think it'd even be necessary.
Finally a my rare monthly! I carefully washed my Mooncup, sat on the porcelain throne, and relaaaaaaxed. (AJ boiled her Mooncup in water just to keep safe. This is also a very good idea.)
According to the manual, the Mooncup is supposed to be folded in half, then in half again, and holding tight, eased inside as far as it can go. Once released, the cup will pop painlessly back into shape around the cervix. Easy.
So I folded, once, twice. It was a little tricky keeping the Mooncup folded that way, but it was nothing two tries couldn't handle.
I eaaaaaased it in, guiding it with my finger, and slipped out. The cup had indeed unfolded, and was quite snug inside me. I felt a strange pressure coming from the cup's lips, like a big O, but truthfully, it helped take my focus off the cramping that came with my period. I think I can say it helped me deal with the pain a bit better.
The cup will hold an ounce of bodily fluids, so that means I could really just leave it in for the entire day on my lightest day, and only have to empty it once or twice on my heaviest days. Most ladies will usually only bleed about 2 ounces of menstrual blood in their entire cycle, roughly about three table spoons. That means less taking out and less popping back in, and less subjecting the cup to wear and tear.
I found it silly that I was actually excited(!) to check if the cup had indeed worked the way it should. "I have a drop! No, three drops! Yay!"
I think that if I had indeed had flowed heavily, the cup would still have not spilled any, even if I was running, engaging in sports, going about with my chores, riding a bike, or sleeping.
As soon as I snipped off the silicone "tail" at the base of the cup, it really did feel as if it wasn't there. The only thing that reminded me I was wearing my Mooncup was the now-faint O-shaped pressure inside me, but that was it.
Now, taking the cup out felt a bit odd, but it wasn't unpleasant. Seeing as the body of the cup was bigger than my entrance, I was a bit unsure if it would be painful.
Well. Only one way to find out.
I gripped the base of the cup with my thumb and forefinger (thank the designers for putting gripping ridges), and pulled geeeently. As the manual said, I pulled and tilted it just a bit for one lip to pop out before the other, and ---
Whoa. Well, that felt odd. Not painful, just odd. There was a slight popping sensation, but that was really just the cup unfolding. That's it. As expected, the cup was a little slimy from me, so I had to grip firmly.
It was a pleasant experience, learning how my body could actually accommodate and adjust to things. That's being a woman for you.
I'm glad that my Mooncup is quite easy to clean. Ideally, it's meant to be washed with soap and warm water before reinsertion. For now, I've found that wiping it off with tissue after emptying it works too, but I'd still recommend using a feminine wash when you get home. Feminine wipes might help too.
All in all, I'm really glad I decided to get a Mooncup for myself. I confess, I heartily recommend it to ladies who would care to listen. I know the idea of using this menstrual cup an be scary or weird at first, but it really just takes a bit of getting used to.
And that's about it. Thanks for reading this review, and I hope this has helped you some. For another perspective of the Mooncup, here's a review video from Ms. Laci Green.
For the more curious... what happens inside your body on your period?