Warning: this is a post related to periods; ergo means I will be talking about vaginas, blood, pads, tampons. Look away if they disgust you or you don’t think women really have periods.
A few months ago, it emerged that women had to pay a tax for using sanitary products in the UK (women in the USA found out afterwards they had to pay the same penalty). It turned out there were a list of items that the EU deemed were taxable, and sanitary pads and tampons came under that remit. Ergo, the UK politicians decided they would tax us, because having a period is a luxury.
So I ranted, although it’s not often I buy sanitary products when back in the UK, but hey I bought enough for over 10 years and I was taxed for the privilege before I moved to Dubai. During my social media rants, friends started alerting me to the Mooncup (US they call it MCUK and Canada, the Diva Cup).
What is the Mooncup? It’s this:
Yep a silicon cup with a stem (bag comes with it to put away when not in use. Nice bag). You put it up your vagina and supposedly none of your period will come out. No need for pads, no feeling queasy from having your tampon up your hoo-ha for too long. It’s eco friendly and has no chemicals in it.
I was intrigued, but it sounded messy. If it filled up, would’t blood pour out of you? Won’t it go all over your hands when you take it out??
Despite my reservations, friends, in particular one, kept telling me I should try it. You can’t buy it here in the UAE, so I asked my mum to buy it for me to bring over. At £19.99, it is not cheap, but supposedly you only need one and that’s it for a long time. Mum thought I was bonkers but was kind enough to get it for me.
It comes in two sizes. One for under 30 va-jay-j’s and one for those over 30’s or who have popped babies out of their hoo-ha’s. How the cup knows you are over 30 is beyond me, but they must have done the science, so I went along with it.
When it arrives it will look like the above picture. You need to try it on and cut the stem. Trying it on is not a comfortable experience for the non experienced and guessing where to cut the stem is a bit of a hit and miss situation. I may have cut my cup too short (I practically have no stem on mine now), so don’t be like me, and leave a bit of stem on until you have your period properly. Also don’t have long nails or ones with shellac chipping off as may cut yourself inside whilst trying it out.
After a few months of using the Mooncup, here are my points on using it:
- It is a pain to try and put in the first few times. I had the flu the first month, so getting energy to put that damn thing up there was hard.
- You don’t need to empty the Mooncup as much as you think you should. Wearing the Mooncup you don’t feel wet like you would with a pad or queasy like with a tampon. You feel nothing. The last few times, I have kept it up there for more than the guideline-stated 7 hours. And it still hasn’t filled up.
- The first few times I wore a pad as I didn’t trust myself or the Mooncup. It was a good idea when I found I couldn’t put the Mooncup back up when in a mall. I was in that cubicle for too long and started getting harassed by people on the other side, so gave up on the Mooncup and padded it out.
- The fold and push up manoeuvre is an art, but once mastered (mastered it at the end of the second month!), you will feel like a gold medalist.
- Now I just wear a panty liner. It catches occasional drops that might arise when taking it in and out, but not from the Mooncup leaking. I keep a pad in the bag just in case. But still not used.
- You need to sanitize it every day (some friends have complained of getting yeast infections from the cup – I haven’t which is unusual for me, so I would put it down to the sterilizing). I sterilize the Mooncup whilst having a shower by filling a jar with very cold water and some sterilizing fluid (bought a big bottle from Carrefour in the baby section). Once my period is over, the Mooncup is sterilized overnight (with more sterilizing fluid in the jar) to make sure it is ready for the next month.
- It is great that we have the toilet shower things in this country so that you can clean the Mooncup and pop it back up if outside. If there is no toilet shower thingy (ie: everywhere back home in the UK!) then use a disabled toilet, and if anyone gives it large…well you know what to show them… (the cup!… not your finger)
- You can wear the Mooncup at night. Seriously. No need for extra long night pads to stop the leakages at the back. Seriously!
- I don’t get period pains anymore. I don’t know how the Mooncup has helped, but I used be in excruciating pain and now nothing.
- I have mentioned it before, but don’t remove the stem completely like I did. The stem is needed to help you get it out of you when it sometimes gets a little stuck up there. It is a closed stem so the cup won’t get holey if you cut it off. You also don’t want the stem too long as it will hurt the outside lips otherwise.
Is it worth the money? Yes. Definitely. I save on buying different kinds of sanitary products now. It does take getting some used to (like converting to Apple products), but once mastered you can’t imagine ever going back (like going back to a PC). On a plus, you don’t have to pay tampon tax after using this (yeah I know we don’t pay tax yet in the UAE, but pads ain’t cheap here either).
I don’t often get amazed by new products nowadays, but this has blown my mind! To find out more about it, click here to go to their website.
If you know anyone coming from the West side of the world, ask them to buy it and try it out for a few months. If you are not amazed after a few months, you can tell me so in the comments box below.
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