So, last month, I started a column called #GIRLTALK with the intention of talking about Mooncups.
Mooncups are an alternative to tampons and pads – they’re malleable little plastic reusable ‘cups’ that you put up your fanny. It looks like this:
I didn’t write about it in the end, however, cos I couldn’t honestly tell you that I found them easy to use the first time. I’m not gonna lie to my readers! However, it’s the second time round and I’m waaaay more au fait with the ways of this little wonder.
To make up for taking so long, I’m treating you to a double whammy. My Mooncup Musings today – and my most painfully embarrassing Mooncup Story, which I’m feeling generous enough to treat you to tomorrow.
Why is it so Great?
Let me count the ways! So firstly, did you know that, on average, a British woman uses 11000 sanitary products in her lifetime?
None of that is bio degradable. It’s all landfill, which is terrible for the environment. All those plastic applicators are just washing up on beaches.
Lots of products also contain harmful chemicals. They’re bleached bright white – do you think that’s healthy? And as for the fragrances (you know you should leave it natural up there) and that cotton which soaks up not just blood but all of your healthy flora and fauna up there…It’s not great. Skin absorbs chemicals right into the blood stream, so tampons really give me the creeps.
But it’s not as if we can wear massive pads on a bikini shoot, is it – plus they don’t feel great when the alternative is a neat little tampon.
Lastly, are you aware that we’re taxed on sanitary products? Yup, we pay 5% VAT (it used to be 17.5% – that’s what you get when men are in charge 🙁 ).
That means that every time we buy tampons, DAVID CAMERON makes money off OUR VAGINAS!
And that just won’t do.
Mooncups are £21.99 at Boots. They can last decades.
How Do They Work?
OK so once inserted, they form a seal and sit low in your vaginal canal and collect the blood. I changed mine in the morning, afternoon and evening – usually I’d have to change perhaps 5 or 6 tampons on a heavy day!
Some people might find that icky, but not me – it’s no worse than using tampons or pads – just different.
When you take it out, you just tip away the blood, rinse it under a tap and put it back up.
So that means that it helps if where you are has a little sink in the loo. If not, you could take in a bottle of water or just wipe with tissue.
You can sleep in it and exercise in it – I’ve managed running and Pilates and it’s been great!
How Do You Insert It?
OK this is where I have to be honest. It took me ages to be able to be relaxed about it, especially as I can be a bit squeamish about this sort of thing.
The Mooncup folds two different ways. You just fold it how you want, insert it and let it pop open. It’s good to do a couple of pelvic floors at this point, to make sure the seal’s all good.
To remove it, you push it out with your pelvic floor muscles til it’s easy to get a decent grip (maybe 2 or 3 pushes). You get a finger up around the top to break the seal and then you pull down.
Make sure you do it slowly and smoothly – you don’t want it making a mess!
It’s good if you do yoga breaths and squat. That makes you more relaxed. Soon you’ll be whipping it in and out like a pro, but for your first few attempts, do it when you’re at home and relaxed.
Does it Hurt?
Again, I’m being honest. It didn’t hurt – but I hated it the first time I used it. My problem was that stem – it really gave me the heeby jeebies. I’ve cut the stem off mine completely, which has made it all so much smoother and easier to use.
Once it’s in, you literally don’t feel it at all. There have been times I’ve been really aware of tampons being in – know what I mean? – you won’t get that with this.
The only time I’ve felt discomfort is while I’m still learning getting it out the best way. I need to figure out my grip a bit better. But I feel much more discomfort with removing tampons, especially at the end of the month.
Is it Effective?
Yes! There’s far less leakage than tampons (there should be none, but I’m still getting used to it. They say it takes 3 periods to get truly used to it all). It needs changing way less, especially on lighter days – if I was on a busy shoot with no breaks or a location shoot, I’d be able to leave it til the end of the day. That can be a real hassle for a lot of models.
It does take getting used to, but stick with it. I’ve found it really quite liberating, and there’s more space in my handbag – there’s no ‘getting my purse and letting a tampon whirl through the air’ anymore!
Below is a video giving you a demo, and tune in tomorrow for my MOONCUP MISHAP!