For those who get a bit squeamish talking about periods and girly bits, I'd recommend you stop reading right now. I've found something so amazing that I'm going to postpone my next post about another medical student in favour of telling you all.
Before I start I'd like to point out that I am not a hippy. I'd also like to point out that the initial reaction of "ewww... that's gross" is pretty normal, but if you think about it this is a really good idea.
Yesterday I bought a mooncup. This is a little latex menstrual cup. The idea is that you pop it in instead of a tampon and it collects the blood, which you can then wash away and reuse the mooncup. Apparently menstrual cups have been around since the 1930's but never really took off. I can only imagine that this is because unlike a tampon, they don't have an applicator so you have to be pretty cool with poking around in your ladybits.
What tempted me with the mooncup was the fact that a woman uses around 10,000 tampons or towels in her life. That is not good for the environment. This also works out cheaper. About £20 for the mooncup which lasts around 10 years Vs expensive tampons every month.
When looking into it also mentioned the lack of a risk of TSS, compared to tampons and the fact it doesn't cause vaginal dryness. Now without getting too intimate many women will agree with me when I say that sex post-period can be uncomfortable if you've been using tampons. This is because they soak up any moisture indescriminately.
Anyway... I bought one, I've been wearing it for 24 hours so far and I thought I'd give you an honest review of the ups and downs.
My first experience was an embarassing one. One of the lads in my block of flats strolled into the flat to find me sterilising the mooncup in a pan of boiling water. It's a bit cringeworthy to explain, but he didn't seem too horrified (unlike my girly flatmates).
Down to the gorey details. Even the small size looks huge. Thankfully it's folded as it goes in but it's still a bit of a squeeze, I've found that after a bit of practice I have the right angle so everything's a bit easier. Once it's in it's completely comfortable. It has a little stalk that you can trim if it sticks out so there's no chaffage, and then it's just as unnoticeable as a tampon.
Getting the damn thing out was a little difficult. The easiest way is by assuming a rather unladylike squat and bearing down a little, this pushes the base of the cup to within reach. It's then important to squeeze it to break the seal and then gently pull it out. I thought my little cup of gunk would go everywhere, but it's surprisingly easy to keep under control, although I do find it a tad uncomfortable to put in and out. I'm hoping this is just due to lack of practice.
The grossest bit by far is emptying the cup, but as I'm not at all squeamish a little cup of blood does not really bother me. I can however see how this could bother some people.
After being taken out all it needs is a rinse and then it can be popped back in.
Amazingly, due to its fairly large capacity, even thought I have a heavy flow there was no leakage... not even overnight. This may be beginners luck, but reading forums about it, it seems like most people who try the mooncup get on really well with it. Because it's silicone you can also pop it in before your actual period starts. If you're like me this is great because I know that I always start my peroid on a monday, but the time of the day is never the same. Thus it takes away the risk of being caught short.
If it keeps on working this well I'm definitely sticking with my mooncup for life!
P.S I apologise for the huge amount of overshare
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