Good Afternoon Ferals!
TW: If periods, blood or hormones offend you then this is NOT the post for you. Please kindly skip this post and have a nice day. For those of you that this doesn’t offend – welcome. If you have more to add to this post then feel free to add LOTS of wonderful comments below!
I can hear you guys already.. “What on earth does this have to do with being in the outdoors? Why would I want to read this?!” Well, let me fill you in. My body does this weird thing (and upon talking to other women, it’s actually not that weird). Every time I gear up for a big trip I get my period the day before (whilst I was in Pembroke last summer I was on for 10 FREAKING DAYS. WHY). Thanks body. Then, I’m chucked into the mountains for anything from 2 days to two weeks. I resorted to taking doggy-poop bags and using those til I could properly dispose of my used sanitary products. Nice. Real nice. I thought that was going to be it for the rest of my life – to plug my vagina and hope I don’t leak whilst I’m on a 10 hour trek through the alps, and then hope to God I can find somewhere to dispose of a days work of tampons. It kinda took away from the pure magic of being in the mountains. Well, that is until I met my Mooncup.
The Mooncup is a wonderfully simple concept. It’s a tiny cup made from soft, medical-grade silicone. It’s vegan, it’s latex free, it doesn’t dry you out (like tampons) and it’s super easy to clean. I worked out that I probably use 20 tampons of varying sizes in a cycle (around 4 a day) – which is around 224 tampons in a year. I wasn’t that sold on Mooncups before I bought one, but now I will never look back – I wish someone told me sooner! So, I’m here to be that person for you!
- It’s actually not as much blood as you think // I was led to believe that periods were litres of blood (that’s certainly how it felt sometimes anyway) but I was pleasantly surprised to find that that wasn’t the case. Even at my heaviest, I was only filling up 2-3 cups a day (of course, that may vary depending on the woman).
- It’s kinda weird and takes a bit of practice // I chose to practice on a couple of days where I wasn’t actually on my period; I found it more comfortable to be in a squatting position (which, you know, if I’m outdoors that’s what I’m doing anyway) and the folding technique that worked for me was folding it in half and then inserting it. It sits much lower than a tampon so it takes a bit of practice. Once it unfolds it forms a seal (to release the seal just gently squeeze the base of the cup). At first, it’s a bit fiddly but once you get it…
- However, it takes even more practice to get it out // So that seal I mentioned earlier? It’s weird. You have to squeeze the base of the cup or insert your finger to release the seal, then just kinda slowly wiggle it out side to side. Fine once you get it. Scary if you don’t know how to do it. That little bit of suction is pretty strong but that’s what holds it in place! For the first couple of times it may be worth trying in the shower so if you accidentally drop the cup it’s no biggie.
- You really can’t feel it at all // Yea, like really. You can’t feel it when you walk, or when you bend over… in fact, I quite often forget I’m on my period at all (okay, almost), which is truly wonderful.
- They are poop, belly-laugh and exercise-friendly // The little leaflet that came with my Mooncup said it was safe to use whilst defecating, and honestly, I didn’t believe it. Tampons never stayed in so why would a Mooncup? Oh, I was so wrong my friends. Not one poop, belly laugh or heavy squat made this little wonder dislodge – not one. I was absolutely amazed!
- They are very easy to clean no matter where you are // If I’m out in the mountains I just give it a quick wipe or I rinse it out with my water bottle, then when I am in a more convenient place (like my own home) I’ll wash it with warm water and a gentle soap. Then, at the end of each cycle, I will give it a deep clean. You can either soak it in sterilizing solution for 10 minutes or boil it for 5 minutes. Then, I pop it in its little cotton bag and keep it in my bag until the next time!
- They hold more than a tampon or pad so you can keep them in for longer // I never really knew if I was going to have a super heavy day or a very light day, which meant that I would usually carry a few tampons of varying sizes on me at all times. However, even on my heavy days I still had no problem keeping my Mooncup in for a few hours.
- They come in two different sizes // This is pretty important to note – getting the right size will allow your Mooncup to form a proper seal. There are two sizes, A and B. Size A covers women over the age of 30 or women who’ve given birth vaginally. Size B covers women under the age of 30 or have not given birth vaginally. This is because both of these aspects can affect pelvic floor tone – not your flow.
- They hardly ever leak// In fact, the only time it’s ever leaked was because of me! If the seal doesn’t form properly or you put it in a bit too high then it can leak, but it gets easier the more you use it. It will also leak if it overfills, so if you’re on a heavy flow day then you’ll need to empty it more often. I will also pop in a reusable pad for a bit of extra security!
Cheers to you, brave human, for reading this far! I sound like an advert for Mooncups – I wish I’d been paid to write this but truth is it’s changed the way I plan for multi-day treks and it’s helped me take another step in my quest for a single-use plastic-free life (and just a waste-free life in general). I wish someone had told me about these years ago. If you have any more questions then fire away!
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