For those of you who don’t know (and by the end of this, you’ll wish you’d have known sooner), the Mooncup is a brand of menstrual cup made from medical grade silicone that is worn during a menstrual period. It is reusable and awesome for SOOO many reasons.
I first heard of the Mooncup from a very close friend, who was kind enough and brave enough to tell me about it. She changed my life in that moment. This was in 2006, and I contribute the discovery of the Mooncup as a major factor in my journey to self-discovery and conversion to real-food/healthy living.
At the time, I was suffering from chronic yeast infections (icky, I know), that had persisted for around a year and a half. Every cycle had developed a pattern, to the point where I dreaded my period. At the end of each period, I would develop a yeast infection, which I would then treat with suppositories (not cheap!) just to wait for another period and repeat the cycle again. If you’ve ever had a yeast infection, you know how painful they can be!
Simultaneously, I was dealing with severe eczema, and I tried eliminating different aspects of my diet (i.e. sugar, grain, dairy) to see if it helped clear that up. Even when eliminating these things, it did not cure my yeast infections.
My friend recommended the Mooncup as an alternative to tampons, and she suggested the possibility that tampons were contributing to my infections!
Did you know that tampons and disposable pads (and disposable diapers, for that matter) can contain over 23 different toxic chemicals? One of which is bleach! We’re putting BLEACH up there, girls! Not cool! Cotton itself is a pesticide-intensive crop, and you’d better believe those pesticides are still there when you go to put them all up in your lady-business!
So what to do? There are organic tampons, but that’s still dry cotton up there! Plus, tampons are a man’s solution, but they never had to use them! Tampons were originally created to stop-up bullet wounds and are much better suited for manly things.Military combat medics carry tampons in their aid bags for bullet wounds. My point, ladies, is that tampons are for plugging things up. The whole point (and I mean the whole point) of menstruation is to LET IT OUT.
Ohhhhh, there are SOOOO many reasons why I love my Mooncup! I talk about it with nearly every gal I come in contact with at some point or another. I would feel totally selfish and guilty if I didn’t share it with you, when it has made such a difference in my own life. So I’ve made a list. Of all the reasons I LOVE MY Mooncup!
And here they are:
- It keeps me pH neutral (i.e. no yeast infections).
- My cramps are almost non-existent (They used to be lay-me-down-for-a-day horrendous.)
- In that same vein, no more tampon aches. Do you get these? Do you know about the “ache” I’m talking about???
- It doesn’t freaking leak. Does it get any better? It actually creates a vacuum seal when you put it in. That means CLEAN SHEETS FOREVER.
- No strings.
- My periods are shorter. Like way shorter. I went from 5-10 days to 3 days, boom, done. (I have a theory about this. I think it’s because your body can just FLOW, uninhibited. Versus plugging it up with a tampon. Not even spotting on day four. It’s awesome.)
- It doesn’t feel like anything is there. I sometimes forget I’m menstruating at all.
- It holds 3 times the amount of a super tampon. This means WAY less times in the bathroom!
- You don’t have to wear back up pads. I’ll sometimes use my pretty cloth pads at night, but that’s just because I’m paranoid and it is easier to leak if you’re a restless sleeper. That said, I can only count a handful of times when I’ve actually leaked at night.
- No chance of Toxic Shock Syndrome. You think menses cause TSS? Think again. It’s the TOXIC TAMPONS. Go figure. Read:
Tampons, especially when left in place for a long period of time, are thought to provide a breeding ground for the bacteria that subsequently release toxins to cause TSS.
- NO ONE KNOWS IT’S THAT TIME OF THE MONTH. As in, I don’t have to carry a purse when I’m on my period, because I just empty it and reinsert. WIN!
- It’s super clean. Like way clean. Like clean in a way you won’t understand until you’ve tried it.
- It’s made from soft medical grade silicone and is latex-free, hypoallergenic and contains no dyes, BPA, phthalates, plastic, bleaches or toxins.
- It’s washable/reusable. At the end of your cycle, you simply boil it for 5 minutes, take it out, and it’s ready for your next cycle!
- IT PAYS FOR ITSELF. It costs $30 and lasts for years. (I got mine in 2006 and still have the same one.) How is that not enough to convince everyone?!
- Never be caught off guard AGAIN. A few days before you start, just pop it in, and voila! Once you start, it just catches it, and you’re good. (And yes, it’s totally safe to leave in for DAYS before your period, although I usually rinse it in the evening.)
- You don’t have to beg strangers for tampons.
- There are no absorbency gels, additives or perfumes, and it’s free from pesticides and genetically modified materials.
- It’s not as big and scary as it looks in pictures. It’s actually kind of tiny, really flexible, and soft. You can’t feel it once it’s in.
- It’s a life-saver if you’re backpacking, camping, or traveling, especially to other countries!
- And lastly, because all the cool kids are doing it.
There’s probably like 3874 other reasons I’m forgetting right now, but hopefully that’s enough to convince you to join the bandwagon, take back your cycle, stop poisoning your body, and start having fantastic periods! Yes, I said “FANTASTIC PERIODS” because it really is just that awesome. It’s almost ridiculous how much “that time of the month” just ISN’T a big deal anymore.
CLICK HERE TO BUY THE MOONCUP!
Some Q&A, I thought you might find helpful:
Q. It looks big. How do I put it in?
A. A quick YouTube search will bring up copious ways to put in your Mooncup. The easiest way, I think, is just to fold it in half, insert fully, and then give it a small twist to make sure it’s sealed.
Q. How can I tell if it’s full?
A. After a few cycles, you’ll be able to recognize when it’s full and when to change it. The vacuum seal starts to release, and it feels like small bubbling.
Q. How do I rinse it if I’m in a public toilet?
A. There are a few options for this. I personally prefer to rinse, if possible, so I try to get the family bathrooms or the single-room bathrooms or even handicap stalls with sinks in them. If that’s not possible, it’s just as easy to NOT rinse it. You can either gently wipe it with toilet tissue or just empty it and reinsert with a little fluid on it (which actually makes it easier). After using it for so long, I don’t even get blood on my fingers, and the blood doesn’t really “cling” to the silicone, so if you empty it, it is usually pretty clean afterwards.
Q. I can’t figure out how to get this thing in-and out-without feeling like an uncoordinated dunce. What am I doing wrong?
A. Don’t stress. :) There is a 2-3 cycle learning curve for becoming a Mooncup expert. (Since you only get a few days a month to practice.) Keep trying, and do a Youtube search or two for “how to insert a menstrual cup.” I like to fold it like a taco and then let it expand once inside. It might take you a month or two, but once you’ve got it down, you don’t even get blood on your fingers. CLEAN HANDS, BABY!
Q. What if it gets lost in there???
A. This is impossible. The vagina is only 3-4 inches long in most women, and it stops at the cervix (the coming-together of the uterus). However, some women may find that they can’t reach it. You only need to simply bear down with your pelvic muscles in order to reach the cup. There is also a trimmable stem that you can cut to size for what is most comfortable to you.
Q. I’ve got it in, but it feels like it’s pinching me. What do I do?
A. This happened to me, and it was just a problem of stem-length. Make sure the cup is in as far as it can go comfortably, and pinch the stem to where just the tiny tiny tip of your finger is in the opening. This is where you want to trim the stem. I personally chopped the whole thing off. The base of the cup is sturdy enough to pull it out without the stem.
Q. How come I’ve never heard of this before?!
A. Good question! The best thing to do now is tell everyone you know. :)