Content warning - menstruation and blood. Instagram: rupikaurYep, you've guessed it - it's that time of the…
I remember the exact moment I discovered the bloodstain in my underwear. My family and I were in the dining room having dinner when I rushed to the toilet. I was surprisingly excited my period had begun, hurrying back to let everyone know. Of course, I didn’t care that we were eating dinner. I knew it wasn’t an appropriate time for me to announce that there was blood in my underwear but I didn’t care: I had started my PERIOD! I was the last person to get my period in the family and I felt like I had achieved something. I was ecstatic. I was ecstatic and naïve, extremely naïve.
It’s been almost 10 years since then. You may have guessed my pride was firmly swallowed quite soon after that day. During the rest of my teens, I hated my period. I had awful cramps and I desperately wanted to get rid of my womb. I felt almost as though me having a womb was a waste, I despised my period and I never wanted to have my own children so I felt there was no use for it. I just wanted it gone. I thought that if I wanted to remove my womb I could just go to the doctors and ask them to take it out but I soon learnt it wasn’t that easy. I discovered that the removal of ones womb was actually a rather difficult task and it wasn’t available to people unless they met certain womb-removal guidelines, so I had to just deal with it.
I wore sanitary towels for the first few years of my period before moving onto tampons. I hated sanitary towels because I didn’t like feeling the blood as it came out and I hated tampons because shoving a dry cotton wad up a vagina is an absurd concept and extremely uncomfortable. I finally settled on something bearable – tampons with a smooth plastic applicator. I continued to use these until I discovered the Mooncup.
My first impression of the Mooncup left me questioning a lot. I was enthusiastically curious. The main reason I wanted to embrace the Mooncup was to reduce my impact on the environment. I’d probably wasted hundreds of bloody pads and tampons. It frustrated me that I hadn’t heard of the Mooncup sooner.
As a regular Mooncup user, I am now able to answer the initial questions that were flicking through my mind. This is for those of you who may be contemplating the same questions but don’t know how to ask.
Q: How does this little silicone cup fit inside me?
A: It’s flexible. The cup can be folded. Once you’ve found your preferred method of folding you insert it into your vagina.
Q: Will I feel it inside me?
A: No. You shouldn’t feel the Mooncup once it’s inserted. Although you might need to trim the stem before insertion as you may feel it’s too long and rubbing on the entrance to your vagina.
Q: What happens once I’ve inserted it?
A: The Mooncup will suction to the walls of your vagina and will sit nicely until you need to remove it. The recommended removal time is 4-6 hours after insertion but it all depends on the volume of your flow.
Q: How do I get it out?
A: To remove the Mooncup get into a comfortable position. I can’t emphasise this enough – on the first few go’s you might be there a while. Sometimes I can grab the stem and yank it out quite easily. Other times I have to reach higher up and pull from the bottom of the cup. It helps to loosen the suction of the cup, to do this you have to pinch the stem. Once you’ve got hold of the stem you can wiggle it out and/or pull it downwards. If your vagina muscles are strong, you can push too.
Q: What if it gets stuck and I can’t remove it?
A: This happened to me once. My vagina went into shock and I couldn’t push it out or grab the stem tight enough to pull it down. If this happens try the removal whilst squatting in the shower. Alternatively – this is my favourite Mooncup removal position – you can sit on the toilet with your feet up on the seat. If your feet wont reach the seat grab something to put on the floor in front of the toilet to rest your feet on (I use the bathroom bin). Take a few deep breaths and relax your vagina muscles. Once you’re relaxed you can grab hold of the stem and push with your muscles. You should feel the cup loosen and be able to remove it quite easily.
Q: What do I do with the blood?
A: Flush it down the toilet. Pour it in the sink. Drink it. Anything you so wish, it’s your blood. The world is your oyster.
Q: How do I wash it?
A: Easily. All it needs is to be rinsed with warm water in the sink – no soap.
Q: Where do I purchase a Mooncup? How much is it?
A: You can purchase them here. They cost £19.99.
If there are any more lingering questions or things I haven’t covered, drop a question in the comments below or tweet me @emalemonpie
The Mooncup really forces you to get friendly with whatever is down there. I feel like because it forces you to be so intimate with your vagina, it can seem daunting. I was surprised to discover how comfortable and safe I felt. The vaginal intimacy gave me a sense of control I had never truly felt before. Once you’ve warmed to the cup which may take a while getting used to and maybe some longer than others, you will love it. It’s super easy to transport, comfortable to wear and no more waste!
For me, the Mooncup was life changing. I felt the same sense of pride I felt on the day I started my period 8 years ago. I love my Mooncup. I am a Mooncup enthusiast.
P.S. Happy Earth Day :-)